Underneath the bleachers there are Lombardis which we already covered, but also many other cool and fun things to see and do.
|The 20 Yard Line Under The Bleachers|
One of the first things I noticed was a large table with stacks upon stacks of yellow poster board and black sharpies scattered about. Becky and I walked over. People were making game signs. How cool. Becky said I should make one. I asked one of the ladies how much it would cost to make a sign. She said it was free. Really? Free at an NFL game? That happens? Well okay then. I will gladly make a sign because if it is free...it is for me.
I grab a sharpie and a piece of poster board all excited to make my sign and then I go stupid. "Oh my god!!" "What do I put on my sign?" I panic for a second then it comes to me. Of course!! I am going to write that I finally made it here!! Why wouldn't I? My hands were shaking so my handwriting was more uneven than usual but it was still a fabulous sign. (So bummed I left it on the bleachers. I totally forgot to take it with me when we left. )
After I make my sign we walk around taking in the Lombardis and other sites. There is memorabilia and cool stuff everywhere. In fact, I knew the Steelers had the largest female fan base of any NFL team but I did not realize that 55% of the Steelers fan base was female. Girl power! Think a lot of that has to do with the Rooney's professional and family oriented culture combined with the hard hitting strong men defense and the playing as a team and not a bunch of overpaid divas dynamic. Strong, humble men with good character (well most of them.) that care about others and are determined to work hard towards something is very attractive. I must agree.
|They even have a display case dedicated to their female fans!|
It is true too. Becky noticed it. So did I. We saw so many women there all decked out in their Steelers gear, complete with jewelry. Becky had mentioned how Steelers women are very thoughtful in their attire for a game. I mean, she witnessed my distress the night before as well as this morning concerning my outfit. I thought it was just me. Turns out I have a whole nation of sisters that are the same way when it comes to their Steelers fashion.
|Love this bracelet.|
|I have fashion too! Love my necklace!|
And even more stunning than witnessing the beautiful fashionistas of Steelernation, was observing so many sexy, sassy women of all ages out with their girlfriends and sisters to catch a game....without the boys. You see, for whatever reason and I honestly don't know why this has always been in my head, but I always thought my first NFL football experience would be with a guy. A date I guess, a long, fun, romantic, adventurous football weekend, just the two of us, but it just didn't happen that way. Like I said, not sure why I always thought that but I did. Maybe it is because men are more associated with football than women. But.... I was in Steelers Country.
Being here in Heinz Field with one of my nearest and dearest girlfriends and seeing so many other women with their girls, made this whole experience even more empowering for me. The Steelers organization not only embraced this female fan base phenomena but also proudly displayed it. It made me love them even more. This IS my team!! Always a Steelers Girl...forever and ever!
The female fans were here to represent, support their team, and have a damn good time. In fact, Becky had shown me where we could get our "Official" picture taken in front of a Heinz Field background. This was also free. How fantastic!! The Heinz Field people will take your picture for you then email it to you....for free. No catches, no sales, no hidden agendas...just free. I was about to get an official Heinz Field picture. Oh yea!! I was so happy and thrilled and ecstatic. And endeared....
You see, as Becky and I were standing in line to get our picture taken, there were two ladies standing in front of us. They both had to be in their late 60's early 70's. They were decked out in Steelers gear. I had seen them earlier walking though the Hall of Fame memorabilia. It was just the two of them. I thought they were cute. When it was their turn to get their picture taken, they both walked up to the background, the one practically jumping and smiling with excitement. It was her first game.
That's when I really lost it. The tears just started rolling down my face. I had to turn away so I wouldn't start bawling completely. I took some pics of the MVPS for each Steeler year as a distraction.
I believe I was more happy for her than I was for myself. It is never too late. You are never too old. God bless her. I was so humbled that I got to witness such a special moment in this woman's life. It was beautiful and amazing and precious. I so much wanted to hang with these sassy, wonderful women. I wish I would have introduced myself or taken a picture but I was too choked up and it was our turn so I was trying to wipe the tears away.
Becky and I get ready to have our pic taken. The guy said I should hold my sign up because it was a cool sign. Becks agreed. My head was all over the place, my emotions too. I was a little lost in my thoughts. This picture shows that. This picture is probably the most pure, most real picture I took all day. And by that I mean, at the moment when this picture was taken, there was so much I was feeling and there was no hiding it from my face. It was a mix of so many things. I was in my body but out of it again. It was weird and wonderful and a little melancholy. I can't explain it.
|We are ready for our close up Mr. Deville.|
Anyways, after our Kodak moment, we are walking down the hall when Becky notices two sportscasters sitting in front of bright TV lights in the middle of the corridor. I am like "Ooooohhh TV." I stand there all dumbfounded. They are really here on TV. I am watching this really happen. It was a weird kind of starstruck thing without actually being starstruck, more like TV struck. I stand there on the side all shy, wondering what they were talking about. They are probably talking about the Steelers genius, I tell myself. I walk out of my way and go the long way around them to the other side, completely avoiding the cameras.
That is when Becky is like "Ummmm....what was that? Why are you not photobombing them? You totally should." Yep. The conundrum that is me can be completely un-shy in any given situation, or completely, utterly shy. I honestly never know what side is coming out at any given moment. Guess I was camera shy on this day, for about five seconds.
Becky tells me to take my sign and photobomb the cameras. I give her that devilish look and accept the challenge. I walk directly behind them and alternate between holding my sign and waving to the camera. "Hello Steeler Nation. It's me! It's Chrissy. I'm here! Pay attention to me!! " ( I was thinking that in my head however, I really did not speak. I just waved the hell out of my sign and flashed my biggest smile.) LMAO! You can tell these guys are used to this kind of behavior because I was literally so close to them I could smell their cologne yet they did not flinch once.
Think the one guy might have eyed me up with his peripheral vision but otherwise my presence was not acknowledged at all. Some of the other fans near by were laughing at me but not the TV men. They were the ultimate professionals. They were probably thinking "Security, please get the crazy blonde that keeps waving the big yellow sign about a mothership five inches from our heads out of here now!" I decided to back up a little. Didn't want Troy to be mad at me. LOL!
And so I had my first ever official TV photobombing! What a great place for this experience to happen! And Becky got some pics!! Oh yeah!
|Crazy lady with a sign in front of TV cameras. SMH!|
|Back off sister!|
And in between all the pictures and browsing and photobombing and beer drinking and french fry eating there was also the Hall of Fame walk which was way cool. A case dedicated to each Hall of Fame members memorabilia was on display for all to see. The legends of old and the legends of the not so long ago stood side by side, jerseys hanging, helmets signed all for Steeler Nation to enjoy. And this year there will be a new case on display right next to Rod Woodson's. That case will belong to Mr. Jerome Bettis. I will go back to see that for sure. So happy for him!
|Hall of Fame Walk|
It was really crowded on the Hall of Fame Walk. In fact, it was nearly impossible to get near Jack Lambert and Mean Joe Greene's case. Lots of peeps taking pictures by them. I totally respected that. I just snapped as many pictures as I could, and got close to as many cases as possible to really soak in the items enclosed in each case. It was surreal seeing their authentic game attire, especially that of the Steel Curtain of the 70's. They became a little more real to me when I saw their cases.
|Biggest Steelers helmet ever!!|
I'm not going to post all the pictures I took but here are a few HOF legends enshrined in Heinz Field.
|Mr. Mel Blount|
|Mr. Terry Bradshaw|
|Mr. Chuck Noll and Mr. Mike Webster|
|Mr. Jack Lambert|
|Mr. Franco Harris|
|Mr. John Stallworth|
|Mr. Dermontti Dawson|
Another really cool thing we saw under the bleachers we actually didn't notice until after the game. The Formation of a Nation aka The Wall of Terrible Towels was so much fun to see. I never knew there were so many Terrible Towels out there. My favorite was the Terrible Toddler Towel. That was too cute. Would have gotten those for my kiddos when they were little, especially my son. LOL! Just kidding. I actually added a Camouflage Towel to my collection but would really love a black one. They were all sold out though. Next time for sure I will get a black one!
|Holy Towels Batman!!|
|And more Terrible Towels|
|And even more Terrible Towels|
|My new addition! Love it!|
It is now nearing noon. Becky asks me if I am ready to go to the seats. I smile and say yes! I grab another beer. Becky grabs a soda. We make our way to the escalators, to ascend the 8 miles upwards to our seats in the warm late summer sun. Game time is in one hour. Time to go check out our section and the bird's eye view. I am so ready!!
The Free Spirit Bucket List Football Weekend Series
#1 Attend A Pittsburgh Steelers Game Part I: Prelude
#1 Attend A Pittsburgh Steelers Game Part II: The Morning of the Big Day
#1 Attend A Pittsburgh Steelers Game Part III: You Are Now In Steelers
#1 Attend A Pittsburgh Steelers Game Part IV: 3 Rivers Run Through It
#1 Attend A Pittsburgh Steelers Game Part V: The Mothership
#1 Attend A Pittsburgh Steelers Game Part VI: May The Lombardi Be With You
#1 Attend A Pittsburgh Steelers Game Part VII: Under The Bleachers
#1 Attend A Pittsburgh Steelers Game Part VIII: Pre-Gaming It
#1 Attend A Pittsburgh Steelers Game Part IX: Game Time
#1 Attend A Pittsburgh Steelers Game Part X: Game Over