Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday Night Euphoria

That's the best way to sum up the whole evening.

Just to give a little background... my current circle of friends that I have in Richmond was probably the first set of friends that I met outside of basketball. I met this one guy through work and then his brother moved down to Richmond and then our circle just kept on expanding as we all met new people and kinda introduced them to our "group." Plenty of jackassery goes around but the one thing that always came back was our debate about football. For as long as I knew them, they would talk about how "this is the year" for the Redskins... and the time I met them coincides with around the time that Dan Snyder took over that team. And being in Richmond, you have to listen to a lot of that bullshit nonsense. And being the Steelers fan that I am, we would always heckle them and tell them how much they suck... and sure enough, for the most part, they have sucked the past decade or so that I've been friends with them so it's been fun.

Last time they played in the regular season was back in December of 2000... it was the last game at Three Rivers Stadium and we were watching from the bar, yelling, screaming, heckling each other, doing shots, and basically having a blast. Steelers beat the Redskins at that time, as they should, being the superior team that we are and at that point, we swore to each other that the next time these two teams meet, we would have to go to the game.

Fast forward 8 years and when the schedule came out this year, sure enough, the Steelers and Redskins are playing! On a MONDAY NIGHT!!!! We had a few chances where some of us thought we could score tickets from people we knew and sure enough, one of my buddies who is a Redskins fan came through with 4 tickets. Being busy at work and stuff, leading up to the game, I have to say that it wasn't as high on my priority list in terms of excitement as it should. But when I woke up on Monday, I was giddy. I had to go into work and finish a few things but I knew that in the afternoon, I would be out of there. Sure enough, by 3:30, we were on the road, cooler packed with beer and brats. And even better, since the 4th (who was supposed to be another Redskins fan) never materialized, our foursome was comprised of 3 Steelers fans and one Redskins fan. As the lone Redskins fan put it "it's feast or famine for me." We quickly retorted with "good luck finding the ride home."

On the ride up, I think we checked every 15 minutes if we still had the four tickets and the parking pass.

Once we got to DC around 5:45pm, we were thirsty... for a beer. The 6 pack of Winterlager that we purchased was key. That was the first winterlager I've had since last winter and it was just as tasty as I remembered it. Only three of us were drinkers so we downed 2 bottles of Winterlager each and then moved on to Miller Lite. At this point, there was a slight dilemma. One of our buddies had a neighbor who was also at this game who had a grill. And since we were gonna meet up with them, we had the brats but no grill. But see, we also decided to splurge on a parking pass so we were like right by the stadium. As such, we were in no mood to leave our spot so we decided to make friends with other tailgaters so we could use their grill. The brat that my buddy brought was the boar that he hunted a few weekends ago and man, even though I'm anti hunting, that shit was good. At one point though, the guys who let us use their grill was running out of charcoal and the fire was dying down...

Bad beat warning!!!!

Until miraculously, we found someone who was willing to give us the rest of the charcoal that they weren't using. Saved by the river!!!

We celebrated as we downed our 2nd or 3rd brat. It was very tasty. Not bad for our liberal tree hugging hunter friend. So, with our stomachs full and plenty of beers flowing through us, we headed into the stadium... and I will say this. I am impressed with the number of Steelers fans there. We were in the 400 section of the stadium so we were high up but I turned my head and all I can see was a sea of terrible towels!!!! Of course, I brought mine and I was waving that thing fanatically.

Here's the view from our seats...

I was already euphoric from the atmosphere and the booze and everything... really, words can't describe how excited I was and when we blocked their punt, we pretty much exploded. When Leftwich came in, I was chanting "We are Marshall!!!" I pretty much make no sense... but we were having a blast. (In my defense, I was a big fan of him when he was at Marshall, even though I'm a big ECU fan so it's not like that came out of nowhere)

Of course, the best part about the game was this.

We stayed until the very end of the game and so sure enough, as we were walking out of the stadium chanting "Here we go Steelers, here we go!!!" with seemingly everyone else and yelling "this is a home game for us!!!!" we saw the huge line of cars out the parking lot. Since neither I nor the Redskins fan were driving, we went back to the car and pounded more beers. I think we were even drinking on the way home. We stopped by at Sheetz around 2:30am to get some grub and I shove a cheesesteak down with lots of jalapenos and man, that tasted good.

Oh, and quick thanks to the driver. You're the man. And GO STEELERS. Responsible dads are key.

However, paradise one night leads to feeling of death the next. When I woke up this morning, I felt like dog shit... but I had to go into work so I made it in around 10am... with my voice completely hoarse. But as I sit here typing this up, I can't help but think that that was totally worth it. That was my very first Steelers game since I adopted them as my team back in '94 (when I first landed here) that I saw live and man... I am just not a talented enough writer to put it in any other words besides this.



$mokkee said...

MNF games are an awesome experience, esp when your team wins.

vg recap

lj said...

w00t trip report!

Matt said...

Sounds like a blast. One of the things tops on my list is coordinating a trip for my dad, bro and me to go to a Steelers game at Heinz. Hopefully next year.

Go Steelers!

Anonymous said...

I miss my Miami Dolphins season tickets.

Live NFL kicks ass.