Wherever I go, whenever I can fit it in, I love taking stadium tours. My only true allegiance is with Carolina Tar Heel basketball, so it doesn't matter what team or sport the stadium is for, I just love touring the venues.
There's something majestic about quietly standing in the stands without the loud cheering crowds, while looking down at a field without a single player. And, it's way cool to stand on the 50-yard line even though you can't catch a football, or be in the locker rooms without the boys in it (though, I wouldn't mind if the boys were in it), and hang out in the press boxes or private boxes to see how the other half watch the games.
Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, has one of the best tours out there. Highly recommended - no, it's not Three Rivers, but even if you're a sometime fan, you can still feel the history of Steelers past on this site.
They traipsed us all over the stadium grounds - it was fantastic. We totally weren't allowed on the field - our tour was during the season, so they didn't want a bunch of tourists messing up the grass. But, I still managed to steal a couple of blades of grass for a friend of mine - that's me, the rule-breaker. Heh.
They also walked us under the giant ketchup bottles, which reminded me of the giant Coke bottles over at Turner in Atlanta.
Still, we were up in the private boxes - cushy-cushy snap, it's a great view from up there. And in the private lounge areas, and just above their little players private dining area. We went into a couple of famous people's boxes, and the real Steelers fans that we were with, were completely bowled over by being allowed in. I'm not gonna lie, while I was excited for them, it totally flew over my head.
At least until we went through their Steelers hall of fame area, where we were able to take time to look at the memorablia and read about the great players and coaches. Totally learned a lot more just wandering through there. And bonus, we were with maybe 15 people, rather than 15,000.
Oh, and the little shop! Dudes, how fun to run around and pick up tons of Steeler stuff without having to fight your way through mobs of people! Somehow, even though I myself am not a huge fan, I ended up dropping a ton of money anyway. Heh, I even picked up a Terrible Towel for my boss, not knowing the significance.
WHAT? I said I wasn't a huge fan! And now I know, okay? Now I get it.
Well, I know enough to theme this Superbowl weekend with Steeler magnets, anyway.
But, for the real scoop on what's the haps with the Steelers, definitely check out Cotter's One for the Other Thumb blog. He'll get ya educated.