It’s been a few days since my trip to Pittsburgh, so I’m writing this entry post-trip. But I couldn’t let a weekend like that slip away without a posting. So, in the sake of saving time, here are 8 reasons I’m still thinking about Steel City …
8. They call it the City of Bridges for a reason. Driving through downtown is like cruising around in a lifesize erector set. “I can see the stadium! … I can see the stadium! … Oh … on the other side of that river and bridge and bridge and …”
7. A great dinner with my friends Neil and Franco at Eleven (If you’re ever in the Burgh, go! Everything, in the words of our waitress, “is fantastic.”) The food (and company) was so great, we missed the Cotto-Mayweather fight. And didn’t even care.
6. Heinz Field. I can’t believe it’s been six years since they imploded Three Rivers, and this was my first visit to the new stadium. Well, it’s my new favorite NFL field. It’s friendly like a college stadium (probably because it is—Pitt plays there) and the Steelers have the friendliest fans in the league. I chatted with a 70-year-old woman who was also attending her first game and heard the words “please”, “thank you” and “excuse me” on more than one occasion. Seriously.
5. Player purses. I have come to realize I am a fan of the two sports teams with the most well-accessorized fans: the Gators (hello, diamond gator pins) and the Steelers. This weekend, I saw no fewer than five styles of player-themed purses. Knowing I would find them awesome, my friend Chad, who was at the 75th Anniversary game the week before, sent me a Troy Polamalu purse, which arrived the day I returned from Pittsburgh. Can’t buy that at Bloomies!
4. Press boxes are no places for fans. For this reason, I spent very little time in Pittsburgh’s. Instead, I opted to walk down to the field (just to stand on it for a minute!), sit with friends in the club level seats and roam the first level in search of the best angle. Answer: the low 100s, 40-yard-line—you can watch a play unfold on the field while catching it on the ginormous HD-screen in the north endzone.
3. It was nice to interview players in a WINNING locker room. Although I still hold firm that locker room interviews are officially the strangest part of my job.
2. THE GAME! Had I made it back for the 75th Anniversary blowout of Baltimore, I would have had fun, sure. But this game was an experience. I developed an ulcer by fourth quarter.
1. My visit home to the farm. Game over, interviews done, I hopped in my rental car and drove to Sarver to have dinner with my grandparents. It was late, and the visit was short, but sweet, and special.
What a weekend.