Pilgrims in an unholy land

I grew up in Pittsburgh and remain a Steelers football fan. Although I have not lived in the ‘Burgh in a long time, I have roots to the city that run deep. Living in Maryland for more than 20 years has not changed my affinity for the Pittsburgh sports franchises.

My boys are different. I’ve never imposed my fandom on them. They have each developed their own teams or sports that they like. My middle son, Chase, is a huge football fan who likes the Cardinals. I’m not sure that he so much likes the Cardinals or some of the players. Nonetheless, he likes the team and pays close attention to their players.

Last year, Chase bemoaned that he had never been to an NFL game. Wanting to get as many experiences with boys as I can, I made the wish come true. Chase is not a big fan of flying. So, we kept our game search close to home here in Maryland.

We landed on a Sunday night game where the Ravens would be hosting the Bengals. For me, as a Steeler fan, I was rooting for the referees. Chase likes Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. So, he was quietly rooting for the Bengals.

We lucked into great weather and a good group of people around us. I have to admit, the Ravens put on a good game with a last second drive to kick a winning field goal. As well, the stadium was rocking with sellout crowd. We were both impressed with the lightup bracelets we were issued upon entrance. The bracelets lit up different colors when music was playing in the stadium and moved to the beat of the halftime show.

In all, it was a great experience for a first NFL game for Chase. For me, that last NFL game I attended was more than a decade ago. More than anything, I got to spend some quality time with just Chase in a place that was like a temple for him. So, it was like a first for me as well. I hope we can get to see many more live games.

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