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Take in every Steelers moment while you can

After completing their mandatory minicamp this past week, the Pittsburgh Steelers are headed into nearly six weeks with no team activities before they report to training camp on July 24. Even though the past month only brought “football in shorts,” it is still better than no football at all. As Steelers fans navigate this downtime, it will be over soon. There will be plenty of Pittsburgh Steelers football news to take in.

Although it’s easy to talk about how we should have appreciated OTAs while they were going on because of the time of no Steelers practices, this isn’t really what this is about. It’s still the offseason regardless. But over the past week I have been doing some reminiscing as the last episode of the Steelers Stat Geek podcast aired on Thursday morning. As I look back over the nearly 5 years of shows, I made it a point to listen to my first ever episode.

It was very different for a variety of reasons and it sure did get me thinking. Yes, the audio was poor as I did not yet have the proper microphone. Yes, I enjoyed the breakdown of diving into a few numbers rather than just spouting off too many. But I found it interesting hearing about what was going on with the Steelers at the time. As the Steelers were not far into training camp in 2019, I discussed the restructure of Stephon Tuitt’s contract (no, he never played another game) and some other announcements that had just been made by the Steelers.

Hold on, I’m getting to the point…

One of the items that I discussed was where the Steelers just announced which games they were going to wear their color rush throwback uniforms. Talking about those games brought back quite the memories, especially the Steelers color rush game from 2019. It was on a Monday night coming off of the Steelers bye week when they hosted the Miami Dolphins. Even though the Steelers fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter, they fought their way back for a 27–14 victory. But this was not why this game stood out in my mind.

This was the last game I attended in person with my father.

I am very blessed to still have my father with me, but due to age and health I realize he has attended his last game in person. I have a lot of great memories of going to Steelers games with my father. And when I went to that last one with him, I did so with the belief that it was our last one. And for that reason, I appreciated it even more.

It’s no mistake that I’m writing this article for Father’s Day. I’ve been thinking about that game, and many of the other games I attended with my father. I’m also thinking about games this season that I’m hoping I can watch with my father as I’ve been able to catch one or two with him on television the last couple years. And while sometimes my father’s negativity about things can get frustrating, I don’t let it bother me nearly as much as I used to as I’m simply taking in every moment that I can.

Like so many things in life, things transition from one generation to the next. While I have memories of watching the Steelers with my father when I was a kid, I’m hoping to continue to have the same memories with my own children. Even if they’re not completely focused on the game, I need to take in the time that we can spend together. Rather than worrying about them taking my attention away from the action, I need to remember to just enjoy the experience.

This past season I took my daughter, my oldest child, to her first regular-season game. I had taken her to preseason games in the past, but this was her first time going in several years. I hate to say it, but it was a pretty miserable experience. It was the game against the Arizona Cardinals where, not only did the Steelers lose, but we had to evacuate the stadium twice due to thunderstorms. During the second time, we were soaking wet, cold, and miserable as we huddled in the concourse. While I contemplated heading home, instead we decided to “embrace the suck“ and stick it out to the end as I have done with every Steelers game I’ve attended. Instead of having a fantastic experience with my daughter, we had a very memorable yet miserable one which we will hold dear to us probably just as much. The most important thing is that we were together.

I have been blessed to attend a good number of Steelers games in my life. And while I remember a lot of details from each one, the biggest thing I remember is who attended the games with me.

On this Father’s Day, I hope the Pittsburgh Steelers are something that you have been able to share with loved ones. I know not everyone has their father with them still, or even have a positive relationship. But for those who do, make sure you cherish the moments. And for all you fathers out there, teach your children well so you can make fantastic memories that can include the Pittsburgh Steelers.


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