...I drove this crew of 5 guys up to the Duquesne Club in downtown Pittsburgh for dinner. There were all local physicians/hospital administrators - very pleasant. As expected, we ran into horrendous traffic on 79 about 2 miles before the parkway. Usually, it's not backed up that far, but last night was the Backyard Brawl at Heinz Field. Anyway, I was maneuvering a little bit here and there and managed to shave about 15 minutes or so off the trip. Once we got to Green Tree things picked up. Anyway, just as I dumped them off, I get a call from Josh - curious if anyone is watching the game. I tell him I'm caught in the downtown Pittsburgh morass. He mentions that Gary might have an extra ticket to the game. So I give Gary a call and he confirms. The problem is that I'm trying to get to the "NO PARKING" turn around at PNC Park and the traffic is ridiculous. Then they close Mazeroski Way so I have to go all the way around Heinz Field. Anyway, I finally make it and park the limo. Surprisingly, the turn around is completely empty. Usually, this is a good spot for limos if there's a concert or non-football event at Heinz Field. Anyway, I call Gary and he tells me he'll put the ticket in a blue plastic cup in one of the planters outside Gate B. I'm a little hesitant but I figure, alright, nothing to lose. Anyway as I approach Gate B, this black guy sees me looking aorund and says "Hey brother, you need a ticket" At that exact moment, I see the upside down blue cup and repsond "No, I'm good. In fact, I think there's a club ticket underneath this blue cup." I lift up the cup and lo and behold, there it is. I felt like that kid Charlie in the Willy Wonka movie. This other couple was killing their drinks and saw the brief episode unfold. They had this look of dismay and all the black dude could mutter was, "Ahhh, Shit, man." NICE. Anyway, I bolted up the ramp to the seat. Fantastic seats - 2nd level endzone club seating. This area was newly built and I'd never been back there. They probably decided to build it after the Superbowl win last year. Anyway, I hung out with G Max and Pita for the first half and then decided to make a move back to the city. Probably could have stayed well into the third quarter but I didn't want to keep my crew waiting in case they decided to leave early.
So I came back and used the restaurant in the Duquesne Club. This was a truly a bad-ass building. I'd heard of it but never knew where it was. Strictly a coat and tie establishment. A VERY private club. I was slightly intimidated but managed to ask where the restrooms where. Even the bums are intimidated. They won't even walk on that side of Liberty Ave. We cruised home in easily under an hour and I wrapped things up at the 19th Ho and then hit the Alpha for one last drink. The Ho was mediocre. They had this acoustic guitarist named Tim Ullom playing that night. I'd never heard of him but the bartender said he plays there quite a bit. The Alpha was pretty much empty by the time I arrived.
Then, I was hungry with limited options. I went through the Hardees drive thru. The lights were ON, but nobody was taking orders. Here's a novel idea - if nobody is working, turn the lights off. I settled for McDonalds and called it a night.
Great game - WVU won and covered. I love it when the Mountaineers play at Heinz Field. You always hear that Panther "RRoooaaarrrr" and then they lose.