Here We Go Again!

It seems I picked just the right time to move to Pittsburgh–the Steelers have been to three Super Bowls since we landed in the Iron City. I am so interested in the ways that my life has changed, and my experience of Steeler Nation, since that epic win of 2006. That year, I arrived to this place not really caring about football (I was, after all, a graduate student in the English department at Pitt). I was initially shocked and then enamored by the fact that college professors discussed football games at staff meetings, that Whole Foods broadcast the games over the muzak in the store, and that Penn Ave became a bacchanalia of New Orleans proportions. I started to love football, this city, and the people who loved both so much they became inextricable.

I went “out” to watch each playoff game, fully experiencing the celebration in public, driving through the joyful riots after each road win. Corey and I basically walked from our apartment to the South Side for the big game, since many roads were closed and buses were few. We thought we were so hip walking across the Birmingham Bridge in the snow, waiting with drunken multitudes for a bus home that never arrived.

The next Super Bowl, I was pregnant and too tired/cigarette-smoke-averse to go watch the games in public. We had gotten rid of television at our house by then, so I was listening to a lot of the games on the radio. In comparison, the experience lacked luster. We did go to a Super Bowl party with Corey’s friend and watched the game on the projector, got to celebrate with friends and periodically run into the streets to high five strangers…the works. The obvious DD for the night, I got to drive through the rioting Burghers honking my horn like crazy and swerving.

And here we are a third time, with a kid who doesn’t sleep too much, limited funds based on our decision for only one of us to work full-time, and no television at home. We got to watch one of the playoff games with friends in a kid-friendly house, but since bedtime routine has taken precedence above all else, late kickoffs meant only one of us could leave the house to watch the game with others. That meant leaving the other behind to listen to a radio broadcast–which interferes with the baby monitor!

So Corey went out and bought a converter box and an antenna. I made soup and set up tray tables. We made use of our 35% “effective” reception and watched some of the game from the comfort of our living room, taking it in shifts to coerce a crying toddler to go to sleep. I miss the public, shared joy of watching this football team play in this city. I suppose I could crack the windows to hear the collective gasps and cheers all down our street…

I miss the drive home afterwards, when the streets teem with weeping, proud Yinzers. I do not miss living in an apartment building above a busy intersection, where a weeping, joyful man stood out in the cold singing the “Here we go, Steelers, here we go!” song until dawn after the AFC championship in 2006. I don’t miss the disrupted sleep when celebrations get rowdy and draw police sirens.

But I was so, so happy this morning to pass a man in black and gold striped trousers, staggering hom from last night’s bar celebration. He clutched a PBR pounder in one hand, had his other fist raised in the air, and seemed not to notice that he was wandering down the highway during morning rush hour. I can only hope a similar joyful resident helps me appreciate the atmosphere on February 7.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 at 12:19 pm and is filed under Wedding. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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