Friday, August 26, 2016

Home of Steeler Nation - Oh Goody, Goody Goody!!!

Monday, August 22 - Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Tarentum, Pennsylvania 


Dad was a Los Angeles Rams fan so I was too. He was very "disappointed in me" when in 1973 I started following the Pittsburgh Steelers instead. But it stuck and I've been black and yellow for decades.

Bill started out as a Cowboys fan with his dad, and being a better kid, he still is. I love him anyway.

Our love of football is one of the many things we've "incorporated" into this lifestyle, seeing as many NFL stadiums as we can along our route. 

For me, none can be more important than Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. 

So how do I manage to nearly miss the tour?!

I'm very surprised when I read on the website that tours are only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Since I had planned to go on Tuesday, I'm relieved I checked.

So how did I miss that there are only two tours each day?!

Monday morning at 11:22 I read that the tours are at 10:00 and 12:00. OMG, we're still at home!

We hop in Piper and I tell Bill that if we miss it, we miss it. Nobody's fault but my own. Lots of calming self-talk. I still drive "quickly" for the 37 miles to the stadium. I don't look at the time, I just drive.

The football gods are smiling: we park on the street in front of the stadium, and we "slide" into the last tour group that is already moving as we walk in.

At $2 to park, and $7/each to tour, this is the least expensive tour so far. It is also the longest and most thorough. 

When I see the field for the first time I have to admit I would have been horribly disappointed to have missed this. I even get a little teary-eyed. Just a little of course, this is football!


I'll always remember my first time
The gray seats are climate controlled, so cost a lot more.
This one is just fine for me!
Heinz paid $50M for their name on the field for eight years.
You can take a boat shuttle to the game - I would love that!
Paintings and photos line the walls of each floor
The press box
Sweet suite
When the team gets in the red zone the ketchup bottles turn upside down, and when we score they "pour" red flashing lights onto the screen. I'm a bit embarrassed. 
This is the first stadium where we've gotten closer than this.
In a few feet we're inside!! No one is allowed to step on the logo.
OMG - the home locker room!!
Decades of player hands have touched this on their way to the field. We all touch it on our way.....
....to the....
....FIELD!
There isn't a taped cheering crowd, but Bill and I still get goose bumps making this walk. There's just something so powerful about coming through that tunnel onto a big patch of grass that you watch every Sunday for 17 weeks.


So much Wow.
The tour wraps up in the team's history hall. Here I finally find my hero, Lynn Swann.


This wide receiver, and his quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, made me fall in love with this team. He is now the athletic director for USC.
In addition to "lockers" filled with memorabilia from dozens of players, the SIX Super Bowl trophies are also here. 


There's room for more in the hall.
Following the tour I stop at the pro-shop. It's very underwhelming. It looks like a garage compared to Lambeau's, and all the other stadiums we've visited. Given that Steeler Nation has one of the largest fan bases in the country, it's surprising to me that our stadium offers so few tours, and has such a small shop. Especially since this is a new stadium. 

Yet I am still giddy from being here :-)

Bill finds a wonderful little spot for lunch away from downtown. One of the differences we see here in the east is the wonderful old architecture of row houses and small business districts. I love just driving up and down small streets, looking at these wonderful structures.







We have no sewer hook-up at our next stop so I get all the laundry done on Tuesday, and we enjoy our pretty mountain top home. 

Trying local cuisine is something we try to do in each location. We hear about Primanti sandwiches on the tour and figure we'll have one for lunch before moving on. 

We're glad we tried one, but we don't need to have another one. Adding the coleslaw and fries on the sandwich is tasty with the cheese and tomatoes. The dry white bread is weird, and not very good.




Tomorrow we move on to New York where Bill will catch a flight to see the new grand-baby! 






22 comments:

  1. Congratulations all the way around...from the new grand baby to the tour of your favorite team! All so exciting!

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    1. It was definitely an exciting month!! And very different than our travels in the West.

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  2. Being a Texan, my dad was definitely a Cowboy fan. Then, we lived in Dallas for many years and continued as Cowboy fans. However, now we're Seahawk fans first but Cowboys are second. It's fun. We enjoy the teams. However, it's more fun to cheer a winning team than a losing one.

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    1. Definitely more fun! Now I hope the Cowboys win so our Sundays are "happier" at home :-))))

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  3. Being the football addict that I am, college and pro, I am enjoying this photos of your different stadium tours. Growing up in the 60's in Indiana, the Colts were in Baltimore and I was a Green Bay Packer fan. While living on Whidbey Island I loved the Seahawks unless they played the Packers. When I moved back to Indiana and the Colts were in town, I became a Colts, Packers, Seahawks fan ... lol ... figure that one out.

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    1. I like all those teams as well so I get it! It's been a lot of fun to feed our passion by seeing so many stadiums, and adds a bit of variety as it takes us to big cities we might otherwise have passed.

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  4. When I read the title of your post I was wondering how a SoCal girl could end up being a Steelers fan...thanks for enlightening me!

    Another grandbaby, yay!

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    1. With all the CA teams it's weird that I chose Pittsburgh, but we are everywhere :-)))

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  5. Jodee, I could feel your excitement as I read this post. Excellent writing :-) Now when you watch the Steelers come onto the field, you'll remember your time going through the tunnel and smile :-))
    Another baby boy :-), your first grand daughter will be a lucky girl with all her cousins and brothers to protect her. Congratulations to your family!

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    1. Thanks Renee! I was thinking the same thing - that they'll be coming through where we did that day :-) Oh yes, if there's ever a girl she will be everybody's princess!

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  6. Although I'm not a football fan I love that you both are and stop to visit these stadiums. Good to follow your heart. Congrats on the newest addition!

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    1. We are lucky we both love it! Thanks Gaelyn.

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  7. That's really cool that they let you tour the home locker room, Jodee!

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  8. Your excitement came through loud and clear. I was just smiling as I read your words and I'm not a football fan at all. I will confess to being anti-football as a gladiator sport where there is too much chance for injury. But I'm happy for you since you are such a big Steelers fan. Congrats on the birth of Maximus. I laughed out loud. Hope his mom is doing OK. That's one big boy. He's a cutie. No wrinkled old man face for him. Where will you be in New York while Bill is gone?

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    1. Mom and baby are doing great - I guess Dad and all the uncles were big babies too :-) My little spot on Lake Erie is a great location - next we're in the Finger Lakes for a couple weeks.

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  9. Congratulations on an the arrival of another adorable grandbaby! And how fun that you guys are getting to visit so many football stadiums. I imagine it will make watching the games even more fun for you. I've never heard of a sandwich with the french fries inside! :-))

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    1. I think it will be fun to see the stadiums on tv as well! Especially those where we've been down on the field :-) Supposedly the sandwiches were made for truck drivers so they could eat everything from one hand. Personally I think Pita bread would be a much better choice!

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  10. So I'm reading the blogs backwards...trying to avoid most of this one:) But the new grandson is precious:) So glad you made the tour and had fun with your team:)

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    1. Haha! Yes he is pretty dang cute - he'll grow up loving the Raiders though :-(

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