I harbor a lot of passion for the game of football. Its more than
just a game to me. Some people fish or do crosswords. What I do to relax and have fun in my spare time is watch or read about football. While engaged in watching or reading about this particular sport, I escape from the everyday grind of life.
Going to a sporting event like a football game is outrageous. The building anxiety weeks before I attend a Steeler game can drive any normal fan to insanity.
Its 6:00 AM Sunday morning. There was no need for an alarm to wake me up on this fine morning. I am about to pack my portable grill and a few cases of beer into my car to go on a two-hour road trip to Three Rivers Stadium. I am going to attend a Steeler game.
On the road its WDVE on the radio all the way to Pittsburgh. Myron Cope, WDVEs celebrated play by play analyst, sounds off. As usual he is as exited about toady as I am. Myron Cope is talking about players, injuries and coaches. There are a lot of things hell talk about with Tunch Ilkin, his sidekick and former Steeler player. As they make their predictions, as to how the day will go for the Steelers, and other teams in the Steelers division.
After two hours of listening to the analysts, its time to pay the ten dollars to park my car. I open my car door and its pandemonium. Organized chaos! Thousands of people (fans) parking their cars, setting up their grills and cracking their first beer of the morning.
All of this is happening at 8:00 AM. The day has just started, and it gets better. My breakfast on a day like today would consist of two hamburgers over easy and sixteen ounces of beer. In this kind of environment, Fruit Loops and O.J. just wont do. It seems as though a lot of fans feel the same way I do. I smell nothing but grilled food and stale beer. For those of you who come from other planets, and with me being a responsible citizen of earth, I must tell you this. Sitting in a parking lot or open field, drinking alcohol, eating large quantities of food, and socializing before or after any football game is called tailgating.
There are other things to view before the game even starts. Low flying aircraft with advertisement banners in tow. You know the kind, the same ones that interrupt your quiet time at the beach every ten minutes. Sometimes one of those huge blimps will be flying over Three Rivers Stadium too. I really like those blimps, and the blimps fly really low to the ground in the parking lot too. But I did not pay to see an air show. I came to watch a football game, and the only thing that I want to see in the air is a football. And looking at Three Rivers Stadium is quit a site, in itself. Its not just its size, but its history that impress me.
Well its time to get inside the stadium to watch the game. Ill pass many scalpers in the parking lot on my way to the stadium. At this time Id like to address the visitors from other planets again. Scalpers are not Indians trying to cut your forehead off. No sir, they are humans selling tickets to the game for three times their original value. I then get my game day program. I always buy this program. It makes a great souvenir.
Once inside the stadium, its a new world. Its nothing like watching the game from home. Everything looks different; the field is ten times more colorful than on television. The fans cheering are ten times louder, and more exciting. It feels like youre apart of something really big.
Once I sit down in my seat, like most fans I stay there until halftime. And at that point in time I wonder why I waited, because now I have to fight my way in and out of the restroom. That my friends, is the only bad thing about going to a Steeler game. While the game goes on you have plenty of things to cheer, or complain about, but all the fans are on the same page. We are all one unit, the twelfth man. To those of you who do not understand what that means. The twelfth man represents all the fans, because there are eleven players on the field for each team.
The home team always has the twelfth man because the fans are the twelfth man. The home teams fans make so much noise by cheering on their team, that it causes the visiting team to make mistakes. Fans have taken control of games before, just by making a lot of noise. Thats why the home team always has a slight advantage. The twelfth man is sixty-five thousand screaming fans.
Well the game is over. Its time to tailgate again. For dinner I will eat, one half bag of ships, a few hot dogs, some kolbalsi, and potato salad would be good too. Well wash that down with more beer.
Its getting dark, its time to pack up my things and go home. but first Ill stare at the city before I leave. I would never want to live in a city the size of Pittsburgh. But it sure is beautiful to look at, when its all lit up at night.
I will sleep the whole way home, and thats the beginning of the end; of my adventure.
Your probably wondering why, I did not tell you who won the game. Well there is a lot more to this event, than the game itself. I have a great time just going to the game. It does make the day more fulfilling if the Steelers win the game. But life is more than winning, and loosing. I know youve heard that before, but its only when you believe that statement that you mature in another aspect of your life. Life is about building memories, and some of my favorite memories are of conversations Ive had with my friends, while we where tailgating. And there is the time I took my stepson to his first Steeler game. You should have seen his eyes light up, when he seen his favorite player score two touchdowns, just twenty feet from where he was sitting.
Everyone has their own favorite pastime, you might like soccer, fishing, or reading. When you think of your fondest memories. It should come as no surprise to you that most of them are at times in your life when your engaged in your favorite pastime.