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It’s hard to believe the Steelers are just weeks away from the start of training camp

As I write this article, the Steelers are Mike Wallace’s No. 17 days away from reporting to training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. However, when you read this, the players may only be Mark Malone’s No. 16 days from the start of camp. Heck, you could be a day or two behind in your Steel Curtain Network reading, meaning, Pittsburgh could be just Mike Kruczek’s No. 15 days from the start of camp.

The point is this: It’s hard to believe training camp is almost here.

Remember when we were all arguing over the NFL’s decision to move the Steelers’ wildcard playoff game against the Bills back a day because of snow? That seems like that happened two weeks ago, but it’s been almost six months. I know I complained recently about those people who begin counting down to Week 1 of the regular season Aaron Donald’s No. 99 days ahead of time, but it’s perfectly fine to be excited that training camp is just around the corner. I’m not going to Latrobe this year (at least I don’t plan to), but if you are, you’ll get to watch Russell Wilson throw his first passes while donning the black and gold.

That’s kind of a surreal thought, is it not? I didn’t know what the future held when Pittsburgh’s 2023 campaign came to an end in Buffalo on January 15, but I certainly couldn’t have predicted that Kenny Pickett, Mason Rudolph and Mitch Trubisky would all soon be gone, while Wilson, Justin Fields and someone named Kyle Allen would be the first three names on the quarterback depth chart at the start of the next training camp.

Anyway, the NFL offseason is a misnomer these days, and that has made it more difficult to miss football, but I admit that I begin to do just that around this time of year.

It’s amazing how absence does make the heart fonder, even if football is only kinda gone from our collective minds for maybe a week or two in the summer.

My new gig here at FFSN has afforded me the great opportunity to write and learn about so many other sports and athletes over the past year. I forgot how much I loved other sports–including baseball, basketball and college football–because it is hard to give those things any attention when you have to focus so much of your time and energy on one team. That was my life for many years, but not anymore. In addition to reigniting my passion for my old sports crushes, I’ve learned so much about hockey over the past year. I’ve also written multiple articles about Caitlin Clark and now know more about the WNBA than I ever thought I would.

Last December, I covered Pitt women’s volleyball and its march to a third-consecutive Final Four appearance.

But while expanding my horizons has been an enriching experience, and while I will continue to write about everything under the sports umbrella throughout the year, I would be lying if I said football wasn’t still No. 1 for me.

I can feel the football in my bones, and that feeling has informed some of my television viewing habits as of late. I watched Necessary Roughness just the other night. I plan on watching a lot of old NFL Films features on YouTube over the next several weeks.

I’ve been waxing nostalgic about football lately. Why do you think I told you about the time I played midget football in 1984? For that matter, why do you think I’ve been spending my Sunday mornings running around Langley Field (my old midget football home) for the past few weeks?

I just wrote about the time I went to a preseason game and watched the Steelers blunder their first-ever shotgun snap. I plan on writing about the day I went to my very first game.

Football is back, and while I’m not necessarily optimistic about the Steelers’ chances in 2024, I look forward to them trying to change my mind.

The NFL: It’s fantastic.


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