Football and Relief

September 12th, 2005

Football and Relief

There are four cities I have called home: Houston, New Orleans, New York City, and Pittsburgh. I am still so emotionally tied to the city of New Orleans that since Hurricane Katrina I felt sick with each piece of news I received. Sadly I am familiar with that uneasy feeling. It is the same sickness I felt after September 11, 2001.

Four years later and I felt the same sadness. That is until the first Steelers game. In my mind I thought, “How can you think about football when so many people are suffering?” Days filled with CNN and constantly reading every internet news site and blog made me feel like their was no hope. But when I showed up for the first regular season tailgate I realized the power of a community. I had the opportunity to talk about my grief with friends and strangers, and for a few hours I felt relief from the sadness. And so as I entered Heinz Field I left my sorrows at the gate. Life must go on.

Kickoff Sunday in Pittsburgh was a beautiful day full of tank top tees, swimming suits, short shorts, and black and gold fans with tans. Before the game I spent time catching up with old friends. The whole time I was struggling not to run off with my camera to look for more photographs. But with 10,000 photos already in my pocket, I decided to slow things down and enjoy it a little.

The chill of the last AFC Championship game seemed a distant memory as smoke from grilling kielbasa lifted through the sunlight. A good time for a cold Iron. At game time I found yet another use for my Terrible Towel, and draped it over my head in relief of the hot sun. Looking down, the turf at Heinz Field must have been as hot as Texas sand because Willie Parker’s feet barely touched the ground. With scorching speed Fast Willie gained 209 yards in his first start. Another interesting statistic or “sign of cosmic alignment” was that Big Ben completed 9 of 11 passes on 9-11-2005. And with a bang and a zip, the first offense that was as questionable as Duce Staley in the preseason, began another Sixteen Sundays. This year’s finish line: Detroit Rock City.

From the old Oilers to the new Texans, my next stop is Houston. I will venture to the home of my youth, not in Luv Ya Blue, but this time wearing black and gold. See you in Reliant’s Red Lot.

Final Outcome of Game 1:
Steelers defeat Tennessee Titans 34-7

Willie Parker named AFC Offensive Player of Kickoff Weekend 2005

Special Notes:

NFL Hurricane Relief Weekend information

Please Help Victims of Hurricane Katrina. Donate to the American Red Cross or the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund

Sorry that there was no journal entry from the preseason games. The tailgate atmosphere wasn’t quite the same, and for the Miami game, blistering heat was blown aside for game-postponing thunderstorms. With all the rain I only got a few photographs. I have posted them with the game 1 photographs. Included are a few pictures from the Pittsburgh Air Show and the 171 ARW insignia that boasts the hypercycloids.

Football and Relief

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