View From 522: It is hot, man
Thoughts from the Pittsburgh Steelers-Detroit Lions game
There was more than one occasion yesterday when I stepped outside my house and thought to myself, “It is too damn hot to go to a preseason football game. This is fucking stupid.”
It was already hotter than some outer circle of hell, it was supposed to reach peak heat right around 4 p.m. ET (right around when the game would be kicking off), and this just seems like a bad idea to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers backups play the Detroit Lions backups for most of the day.
Or at least not a fun idea.
But, I did not want to bail on my brother Matt last minute and I just simply enjoy going to sporting events so I decided to go. It would still be fun and we would make the best of it.
As I suspected, it was H-O-T.
We always park downtown at the bus station so we already had a long walk ahead of us in the heat. While it is a long walk, it is the cheapest parking option for football games ($5), the easiest place to get out of (insanely easy in terms of traffic), and even though it is a long walk, it is a fun walk through the cultural district and then along the river. Lot of stuff to do, food to eat, drinks to drink, etc. Plus, if you do not want to walk that distance, or if it is raining, there are several T Stops downtown and a station right behind Heinz Field you can take. It all works.
Anyway, we get over to the stadium, sit down roughly 25 minutes before kick-off, and are chugging as much water and gatorade as we can to stay hydrated. Despite that, I am sweating my ass off, and I can tell Matt is struggling. When you know somebody for 30 years you can just tell when they are off. As the National Anthem is going Matt just out of nowhere goes “I need help. I need out of here.”
So …. we did that. Carefully. It turned out, the heat got him. Bad. We get him down to the shade just down the steps outside the section, he sits down on the floor (you know you are in bad shape when you are willingly sitting down on the floor of the Heinz Field —sorry, Acrisure Stadium — concourse) and I run off to find somebody, anybody, that can help.
The first person I encountered was a beer vendor just behind section 522, told him the situation, and my dude said “I got you” and sprinted off to find somebody. It was so hectic that I forgot to get his name, but if you are the beer vendor behind section 522 that helped, you are the man. A king. Medics arrived almost instantly and took care of him, confirming that, yes, the heat was fucking up his body pretty intensely. Everybody in the stadium that helped was wonderful in getting him help and helping to get him safely down to the ground level to get him home.
In the process of this the one medic was talking to me about how they already had a TON of calls like this and they basically had to triage who they could drive down the ramps on the carts, and because Matt was at least able to stand up and walk, they asked if he would be okay walking over to the elevator in the North Club Level. Understandable.
So we get Matt downstairs, I call a Lyft, and send him on his way back to his apartment. I then walked back to the bus station, called all the necessary family to update them on the situation, and drove Matt’s car back to his apartment on Mt. Washington, and then took a Lyft back to the bus station so I could drive my car home. On the latter ride I had a DELIGHTFUL driver named Anthony who, upon my arrival in the car, happily greets me by screaming “ADAM! HOW ARE YOU TODAY?! ARE YOU WATCHING THE GAME?!”
“Well, funny story about that…..”
So I then proceed to tell him the story, and he goes “the thing I love about this job is hearing people’s stories, and that is definitely one of those stories….”
That was my day.
The good news is Matt was instantly doing better once he got home in his air conditioning and relaxed.
The heat is no joke, man. The medics told me that on days like this you not only need to keep yourself hydrated, you also need to make sure you EAT a lot. So, lesson for anybody that is going to a football game in the heat and humidity. Hydrate and eat.
So that was my day.
In between all of that I did get to see and listen to significant parts of the game. Some thoughts on that below.
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