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Monday, March 14, 2005

Televison: Austin Held Hostage (Day Forty-Five) 

I haven't forgotten about "The Real World: Austin." Well, yeah, I guess I had -- until yesterday.

Despite an absolutely perfect day of sun and warm temperatures, I found myself indoors. The Austin Wranglers battled the Dallas Desperados in an [Jim Rome]epic[/Jim Rome] Arena Football grudge match, and I was on hand to witness the clash for an INsite piece I'm writing.

It turns out I wasn't the only not-so-famous, not-quite-a-celebrity in attendance. Midway through the first quarter a large and, well, interesting band of misfits came rumbling through the press area. They looked too unprofessional to be a part of the Fox Sports Net crew broadcasting the game. I'd guess they numbered between ten and fifteen, with so many visible piercing and tats that I wondered if the Wranglers had scheduled a punk rock show for halftime.

The group of what I assume must have been producers sat directly behind me, while the camera grunts occupied the section over. Still I couldn't think of what station they could have been from. It was only after one of them spilled a tray of beers (in the PRESS section, remember) all over the row behind me that it struck me: it was the damn Real World folks.

I actually didn't realize that the cast was there until later. The camera geeks blocked them out for much of the game. I noticed them in the third quarter, when a camerawoman focused on the three girls (not as attractive as some RW casts, but not bad either... the tall blonde proved quite the dancer) for a good ten minutes.

One of the Wrangler fan promotions is the Kiss Cam, and wouldn't you know it, but the two brunettes made the jumbotron locking lips. God Bless MTV and their encouragement of alternative lifestyle experimentation. The screen operator kept rewiding it and playing it over and over, which gave the crowd something to enjoy, since Dallas had the game well in hand.

I didn't see the "RW:A" guys, but then again, I wasn't looking too hard either. None of them seemed that into the game, but compared to the contingent of hardcore Dallas fans, who occupied an entire section of the lower seating area, and stayed until after the game to heckle Austin fans, I can't fault them.


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