Sunday, August 30, 2009

That was so freakin' AWESOME !!!

Last night's Steelers game was good, but the overall evening for me was just...

Well, you've read the title...

Anyways, it began yesterday around noon with a phone call from P.Dave asking me if I could be at the church between 3:30 and 4:00. This was because his wife's aunt (Patrick's grandmother) wanted all of us - meaning their family - to get together for something to eat prior to Patrick having to leave for "work". No problem for me.
So I did the things I had to do, made dinner (fried chicken and corn fritters) so Bob would have something to eat when I left. And I reminded him that he'd have to walk to work, but I'd pick him up when he was done.
I got to P.Dave's around 3:20. And then we waited. P.Dave's wife and mother-in-law had gone out to do some shopping and they hadn't come back yet. So, we had to wait for them to return and get ready. Without going into too much detail, we ended up leaving for Patrick's apartment sometime around 4:00 - which was pretty close to when we wanted to leave. Not too bad for a bunch of Lutherans...
We made it to the North Shore before 5:00 - which is good on a game day! - and found parking about two blocks away from the apartment building. So we didn't have to pay for our parking. But we would have to walk to Heinz Field. But that's not a bad thing, considering that you can see PNC Park from the apartment build...

And Heinz Field is kinda right next door.
Of course, Patrick had already left, so we visited with the rest of his family while we waited. So I got to meet Patricks parents, one of his brothers, his grandparents, and his girlfriend. And they were just wonderful people.
I hate to say this, but I'm drawing a blank on some of their names. I remember Mickey is his dad, James is his brother, and Jim is his grandfather. His grandmother's name is Donna, but I can't remember his mother's or his girlfriend's names. And of course, our entourage was myself, P.Dave, his wife Ella, daughter Carissa, and Ella's parents - whose names also escape me.
Either way, we sat around talking about all kinds of stuff, and we had snacks to munch on. I was especially fond of Grandma's/Aunt Donna's zucchini bread with chocolate chips in it. Oh, was that every goooood!
We left for the game somtime around 6:30. And made it in decent time. I say that because I forgot to mention that Ella's dad has some health issues and needed a wheelchair to get around. So we had to take our time with him.
Once we got inside we headed towards the seats, but not before I got a few pics of the Steelers warming up on the field.

And as we found our way to our seats I managed to get this shot of The Great Hall.

I wish we'd have gotten here sooner so I could've gone in and looked around and taken some pics of the things on display. Especially the SIX Vince Lombardi Trophies...
But I may have other chances to see them again.
We walked around to where Patrick's family had their seats. And this was their view of the field.

Their seats were right between the 15 and 20 yard lines.
P.Dave and I lingered around for awhile to make sure everybody was situated. We did have our concerns for his father-in-law and wanted to make sure they didn't need us to help him with anything before we headed up to our seats. But all was well.
We paused momentarily as the Steelers were being announced and I managed to get this shot of them coming onto the field.

And then we hurried up to our seats.
I gotta tell ya, even though the seats are way up high and far away from the field, you can see everything that happens during a play. And even better, none of the other people around us were obnoxiously drunk.
I was really glad to get this pic because it's right before the opening kick-off and you can see Patrick right smack-dab in the middle of it.

And then came the kick-off.

I didn't really get any other pics from up here.
But sometime during the first quarter P.Dave got a text from Ella saying that there were all kinds of empty seats around them and we should come down and sit with them. So, after the first quarter ended we did.
And this was our view for the rest of the game.

Then half-time rolled around and they presented Patrick with is Rookie of the Year award.

They showed highlights from his rookie season.

It took a few seconds for the camera to adjust to the lighhting, but I got the whole thing.
Then Patrick gave his "speech".

It was a good speech and we joked with him about it later on. But he explained that he had a better speech written, but he couldn't remember anything he had written because his head was still "in the game". But he did make sure to thank Steeler Nation for being the greatest fans in the world.
And Steeler Nation are the greatest fans in the world !!!
So we watched the rest of the game and even got to see Patrick playing on the defense through the fourth quarter. That's him on the end of the front line in ths shot.

He did good. Got some pressure on the QB a couple of times. And that was while being blocked by a guy who was a head taller and probably a hundred pounds heavier than he is. And He also made a great tackle on a pass play.
After the game, his family had their passes to go to the locker room so they could leave with him. They had eight and were trying to decide who should go. Ultimately they decided that since his grandparents, and Ella's parents, wouldn't have as many chances to see him as the rest of them would they should be able to go. They also decided that me and Carissa wouldn't have that many chances to go to the locker room and see the other players, and that this would be a great thing for us. So we each got one. Then the last two were for James and Patricks' girlfriend.
So I got to go to the locker room. I got to see some of the players. I'm actually bigger than James Harrison. And I'm about the same size as Kasey Hampton. But a lot of the guys stood at least a head taller than me. Patrick did introduce us to a couple of the other players. We walked out with Jeff Reed - who had an entourage of really pretty girls with him. And it wasn't even the fabled blonde, brunette and redhead. No. Jeff Reed had two blondes, a brunette, a brunette with blond highlights and a redhead - more auburn then red, but still a redhead in my book. How insane is that?
We all walked out together, but since I was pushing a wheelchair and walking with Patrick's grandparents, we fell a bit behind. And it was kinda strange for me as we came out of the building and there were lines of people waiting to see the Steelers as they we leaving, so they could ask for autographs. Not that people waiting for autographs was a strange thought to me, but as I came out they were asking me for my autograph...

Who did they think I was?

I was wearing a Hines Ward jersey - another wonderful present from my really cool brother - but they couldn't possibly have thought I was him. Could they?
It kinda freaked me out. I wanted to say something, but it was just too loud to speak over. And I would've signed stuff, but that would've just been wrong. So I just kinda kept my eyes forward and pushed the wheelchair.
When we got out to the player's parking area there were even more people waiting around those fences. There was even one lady that was kinda ranting about how nobody was coming over to sign stuff over by where they were waiting, and they had been waiting for almost an hour. And, yes, she was directing a part of her rant towards me. I don't think I would've felt bad afterwards if I had given her my autograph...
Patrick pulled his car around so his grandparents and Ella's parents - I guess I could call them his aunt and uncle (I'm just trying to avoid more confusion) - could get in. But the rest of us gathered by one of the gates and then we walked back to the apartment.
When we got back to the apartment, Patrick's parents had tossed a few frozen pizzas in the oven so we could all have a bite to eat. And we sat around and talked some more. Watched the highlights from the game on the 11:00 news and just relaxed in general.
Sometime around midnight we decided that we should probably leave since P.Dave had to get up early to finish his sermon for the morning service - slacker! And the rest of us were worn out from the entire days activities.
We made it back to the church shortly after 12:30 and as I left I realized that I hadn't had any substantial food all day. So I stopped at Sheetz for what is quickly becoming a traditional late-nite-after-some-event meal for me; a pretzel melt and fries washed down by Mountain Dew. But this time I opted for turkey instead of roast beef.
I then came home and loaded the pics onto my computer so I could post this today. Then when the time came I picked-up Bob from work.

The end of another glorious adventure!

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Blogger One Wink at a Time said...

Wow, what an adventure!!! I'm even going to say that I wish I was a Steeler fan so I could feel the full impact ;-) But I'm glad, very glad, that you had an awesome time :-D

8:54 PM  
Blogger Jeff A said...

Wow, those look like nice seats. I get tickets for one Colts game per year. A vendor supplies them, they are great seats and I love every minute of it when I go.

9:37 PM  
Blogger M+ said...

It's never too late to become a Steelers fan. I can send you the application...

The seats were great. But what do you expect for the players families?
You are so blessed to have a vendor that gives you tix to see the Colts. And the Colts are a good team. Be glad you don't live in Detroit...

6:10 PM  
Blogger One Wink at a Time said...

Thank you my dear, but I think if it was "in the stars" it would have happened way before this ;-)

Me and football (most sports, actually) are kind of like oil and water. I make exceptions for surfing, BMX, skating (boards not ice or roller) and that's about it.

12:32 AM  

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