Dear Pittsburgh Panthers football fans: have fun while visiting scenic El Paso this week for your team’s Sun Bowl appearance against Oregon State. But the PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW has a bit of advice for you: for the love of God, whatever you do, don’t go into neighboring Juarez, Mexico for a fun-filled night on the town. That is, unless you want it to turn into a bullet-filled night.
Juarez is the front line of the current war taking place between the Mexican government and the drug lords who really run the country. Essentially, it’s turned into “Traffic” but not nearly as uplifting. There have been nearly 1,600 homicides in Juarez in the past year, including 150 in December alone.
Basically, not even Dave Wannstedt’s mustache can protect Panthers fans if they dare to cross the border. So the Sun Bowl’s executive director is telling the Pitt contingent to stay in El Paso this week and avoid the “local flavor” that Juarez has to offer.
Not that this is a great option either. Consider me skeptical of the crime rates reported in the article: I’ve visited New Mexico several times in the past, and every time I’ve rented a car at the Albuquerque airport, I’ve had to sign a waiver specifically stating that I will not drive into El Paso because of the high likelihood of the car being stolen. Which is probably why the city started passing out The Club to drivers last month.
I think the Sun Bowl officials are missing a clear opportunity to fix the problem for once and for all. After all, they do have The Village People as their halftime entertainment. I say, let’s send The Cop and The Army Guy over to Juarez to clean things up. Either it works, or we’re done with The Village People for good. In my book, that’s a win-win situation.