Tonight was the first televised pre-season game that I got to enjoy, and I have to tell everyone, it was most assuredly exhilarating.
I was smiling like a giddy child as Ben dropped back to assess his first pass ~ smiling like a giddy child when all the numbers and names that I followed with dogged devotion last seaon (well … not all of them, but a lot of them) came back to me, in inky black and vivid gold. Yes, I understand it’s pre-season; but pre-season precedes a season, and for that, I am infinitely excited.
The Steelers are tradition to me. They are the fall, and hopefully the beginning of the wretchness that is January, and the bleak days of winter. I have memories of my father wearing a Steelers tossle cap to shovel the driveway … in Noblesville, in Exeter, in Flemington, in Gibsonia … in Wyomissing. Black and gold were bred into me like most fathers indoctrinate their sons. I love them now, I loved them then, I will love them always, in a totally fanatic, unabashed way.
I remember eating brunch at Station Square and taking the ferry across the river to games that were more bitterly cold than anything I could imagine.
I think with utter fondness of watching games in college, surrounded by a sea of black and gold.
I know where I was when we beat the Broncos at Mile High Stadium in the AFC Championship, and headed to Bill Cowher’s 2nd (and sole victorious) Super Bowl.
I know where I was when we faced the Ravens to battle for the AFC title again ~ standing in row 521 in the endzone with my little brother, wrapped up like the son in “A Christmas Story,” drinking IC Light and screaming at the top of my lungs.
I know where I was last year, when we fell in defeat. It was heart-breaking.
I love the Steelers in a completely biased, ridiculously enthusiastic way. (I drive a black & gold Mini Cooper, for goodness sakes’). I’m chomping at the bit for football season, and I’m so grateful that the man loves the game as much as me.
Despite eating a completely green-themed meal for dinner (dates wrapped in proscuitto with a basil/garlic/honey dipping sauce, shaved aparagus salad, green ravioli with broccoli & pesto … and the piece de resistance, the mint green whipped dipping sauce for kiwis, green grapes & honeydew) tonight was a wholly black & gold evening. Whew!
And so I say, in the spirit of utter fan devotion ~
Thank you, Football Gods, for settling the lockout, and allowing us a full NFL season. I deeply appreciate it. As I am sure all true fans nationwide do as well.
And to all teams across our great nation I say, Good Night & Good Luck! (PS. Such a good movie!!)
From last night … Hamlet speaks those immortal lines in … you guessed it … Hamlet. 🙂