Alright, our only home Monday night game versus the despised Purple Browns. Could you ask for a better Halloween game? I wore my witches hat along with my usual uninspired attire (jeans, t-shirt and a jacket). I could have at least brought a broom or snagged an umbrella from the limo. Once again, it was a packed limo originating from the Angel. Plenty of traffic but we landed in the lot around 7:30pm. Not much time to rock but just enough to get in the flow of things. There were a few pockets of Ravens fans who seemed to be taking a great deal of abuse. I was listening to the pregame show on WDVE most of the ride up and they were all picking the Steelers in a blow-out. We were 10 point favorites. Hardly any respect was being given to Baltimore.
On my way to the stadium, I knew finding a ticket would be exceptionally difficult. I ran into some black kid and overheard him mention he had a single. I asked him how much, and he said, "Yo man, gimme a buck." I countered with, "How about eighty?" He said, "C'mon man." I said, "Alright" and forked over a hundred. This was the only game of the year where I paid over face, but considering the stakes, there was no way I was going to sit outside for this one. No big deal if you think about it - just 35 bucks over cost. In retrospect, I don't think I've ever paid more than face value for a Steelers ticket. Actually, I take that back. I paid $75.00 for the final game at Three Rivers against the Redskins. Turned out to be a bad move as the weather turned miserable and people were giving them away at the gate. My bad. I've always hated people who relate what they pay to the price of the ticket. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the face value of the ticket means NOTHING. Supply and demand is everything. Wake up, America.
As usual, we were hanging out in the pit area. This would be my first encounter with Death - a truly haggard middle aged woman with long, ill-permed, blond hair and heavy, multi-layered make-up. Scottie looked at me and said, "That is the face of death." I would end up noticing her at all the future games as she was a regular in the Steel Pit. However, it was destiny that Death made her first appearance on Halloween night. Aside from her, the pit has a lot of odd characters. This is where the rougher people hang. Lots of people staggering and shuffling about. Security always warning people not to stand up on the tables. Discarded food everywhere. Half-eaten soft pretzels and cigarette butts dumped in warm beer with a little ranch dressing on top. Tattooed rednecks, toothless whores, morbidly obese greaseballs gnawing on Quaker Steak and Lube wings, and on it goes. You might get the impression that I don't like the pit. Nothing could be farther form the truth. The landscape is constantly changing and perhaps I'm being a bit harsh. There is an occassional hottie from time to time.
It ended up being a pretty late game. Great crowd energy. The standard Hank Jr. MNF theme song followed by a great F-16 fly-by. You don't get to see those very often. The crowd even did "the wave". It was the first wave I'd ever seen at Heinz Field (I think) - perhaps, an omen for Seattle down the road. The atmosphere was truly intense.
I actually got pulled over in Bellaire around 3am. The cop claimed I didn't use my turn signal off the exit. It was the middle of the night and I was in a turn-only lane but I decided not to mention it. I handed over the info and told him I just wanted to get everybody home. He didn't even bother running my info through the computer. I think he just wanted to get a look at the occupants inside the limo. I'm sure he'd seen the limo over 100 times in the back parking lot of the Angel. No big deal though. Took everyone home and finally crashed out as daylight broke. One of the longest limo trips of the year.