Sitting in Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania was a dream come
true for me. A Christmas present from my best friend, I got to watch
the Steelers get their asses handed to them by, of all teams, the San
Diego Chargers. Yes, the loss was kind of sad but as I understand it,
San Diego had never before won in Pittsburgh during regular season, so
at least I got to witness history.
Sitting behind us was a bonified Pittsburgh native with her kids. Lets
call her Barbara. She lined up here three boys with a lap full of
Primanti Bros. french fries and chicken nuggets, later followed up my iPads
(each had his own) with monster truck racing games. Her friend, I
assume her name was Bev, sat next to her with her own three children,
iPhones, and candy. Going to a game on Sunday was obviously as normal
to them as church is in the south.
We sat down right at kick-off and as soon as the Steelers defense took
the field, we learned that Barbara is more than meets the eye. In the
single most shrill, eye-squinting, stabbing headache pain-producing
voice I’ve ever heard, she began to root for the defense. No, not
root. Scream. The kind of scream that, when I tried to recreate it
later, is unmatched by any sound a human has ever made before. The
octave. The vibrato. The glass-shattering pitch. It made every
defensive play that much more high-stakes because if we didn’t get the
Chargers off the field, any function of our inner ears at a later date
was literally in jeopardy. It got to the point where my friend and I
quietly begged and prayed that the defense would do ANYTHING Barbara
was asking for just to make the screaming stop.
“Come on D!!!! Let’s gooooo!!!!”
Please, defense. Go.
“Hold ’em back, D!!! HOLD ‘EMI!!!!!!”
For the love of God, hold them back, defense.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! Push them, D! PUSH!!”
Dearest lord in heaven above, answer Barb’s prayer at any cost and
push them. Hold them. Just make it stop.
At one point, Barb screamed so loudly that one of her kids, assuredly
growing up with this sound, elbowed her and snarked, “That’s it, mom.
I think you’re really a getting into their heads, now. Tone it down,
And all the while, Barb was having lovely conversation with Bev.
Screaming, “Get your asses in front of the ball, D!!!!” and then
turning to Bev to ask (no joke), “Did you end up seeing that
podiatrist I recommended to you?”
“Yeah! He was really nice. I don’t know if he’ll end up doing surgery
or not, but my bunions hurt so bad it’ll be worth it if he does.”
“I’m glad you liked him. He’s got a great bedside manner. GO
DEFENSE!!! Push ’em waaaaaay back, D!!”
I am still experiencing a sharp pain in my right temple everytime
someone around me begins to say a word starting with the letter “d”.
But Barb gave me the true Heinz Field experience, and I appreciate her
for that. I just hope and pray her children get their ears checked
regularly, or are in the process of learning sign language to prepare
for the inevitable.