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I will never forget this day all my life. It would be the day of my first NFL football game. My parents had tried to keep it a secret, but did not succeed. Once I found out I had been excited for months.
“Do we have everything in the car?” my dad asked.
“Yes,” I answered.
“Then lets go,” my mom suggested.
It was the Saturday before the game, and my mom and dad, my brother, Adam, and I piled into the van. We would be driving into a town about one hour from the stadium. The 3 ½ hour trip seemed to take forever, but we got to our aunt and uncle’s house no later then it normally took. Once we got there, we ate and hung out for a little, but because I knew it would be a big day I went to bed early. It took a while for me to fall asleep, but eventually I did and I slept very well.
“Get up, Ryan,” Adam said, standing over me.
I got up and looked outside and saw a coat of white on the ground. It had snowed the night before. I put many layers of clothes on in attempt to stay warm. By 9 o’clock we were on our way to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
This trip, only an hour long, went by quickly. Before I knew it, I was surrounded by thousands of Steelers fans at tailgates.
We met one of our other uncles by PNC Park at his tailgate. I had a hamburger, and talked to people at the tail gate for an hour. Now it was just about time to go into the stadium.
“Ryan, do we have everything you need for the game?” my dad asked.
I answered “Yes,” and we were on our way into the game.
There were several places to buy shirts. My mom bought two Terrible Towels.
We continued to walk until we got close to the stadium. We had to figure out where we should enter. Once we figured out what gate to go to we continued walking.
My dad yelled, “Stay close!” with now thousands of people squishing us. We made our through the gate and now with people going in all directions it seemed like there was more room.
“Which way do we go?” I ask my mom.
“Left, up these steps,” my instructed my mom.
We got up the steps and wait, for everybody in our group to get up. We begin to began, and while walking I begin to hear people yelling “Here we go Steelers, Here we go.”
Finally it is time to go down into our seats. Not knowing where our seats are I follow my dad, followed by my brother Adam, and my mom. We keep moving down until we are in the 6th row!
“These seats are fantastic,” Adam states.
We all agree and are very happy with the 30 yard line seats, only six rows up from where the players are. My dad is amazed about how big all the players are including Jeff Reed who is the kicker.
In all this excitement I almost forgot about the game that was about to start in just 10 minutes.
We begin to see Bengals players walking out. Several “BOOS,” come from the crowd as the Bengal’s Chad Johnson comes out.
Then all of a sudden several cheers begin to erupt. Then I notice, all of the black helmets in the tunnel and it seems like everybody in the crowd is waving a Terrible Towel.
Once the game started the crowd was not as loud as when the players came out of the tunnel, but every time the Steelers did something fantastic the crowd responded with cheers. On the other hand when the Bengals did well the crowd became silent and there would even be a few isolated boos.
The crowd did get very loud when Hines Ward caught a touchdown pass at the end of the first half. At halftime the game was very close, but the Bengals were winning 17-14. Although the Bengals were winning I felt good about the Steelers chances of the winning this game.
The fans were now starting to make their way back to there seats after getting something to eat and drink at halftime. The players made there way back onto the field at the same time.
As the second half was about to begin, the punter and kickers began to warm up and the quarterbacks started throwing. The Steelers would be receiving the ball to start the 2nd half. The second half was about to start.
The Steelers received the ball to start the second half and drove down the field effortlessly. On 4th and goal I thought the Steelers would decide to kick the ball and take the 3 points, nevertheless instead Bill Cower left the offence on the field. The decision paid off and Jerome Bettis ran the ball from 2 yards away. Now the Steelers wee up 21-17. The stadium erupted and this was clearly the loudest the stadium had been all day.
“That was easy, he practically walked into the end zone,” my dad said.
After numerous back to back scoring, the Steelers found themselves down 38-31 with just 3 minutes to go and they would need to drive 75 yards to tie the game up. Ben Roethlisberger must have a fantastic drive if the Steelers would win. After getting to the 15 yard line he could not finish off the drive. He threw a stupid interception. Carson Palmer kneed the ball 2 times and the Steelers had lost the game 38-31.
I was disappointed the Steelers could not, yet I appreciated that I was able to have this experience. I will never forget this day for the rest of my life.