Yesterday was the Bengals/Steelers game at the Bengals stadium. Whenever the Steelers play in Cincinnati, I always laugh. One of the last father-daughter things I did was take my dad to the Bengals/Steelers game in Cincinnati. Go figure.
My mother-in-law had bought us two tickets to go to the Bengals game in Cincinnati. She then somehow got two more tickets, but on opposite sides of the stadium. She was going to go and sit with Don and I was going to take my dad and sit in the other seats. Something happened that she couldn’t go, so we took Don’s dad instead.
Now, if you are at all familiar with the “old” stadium and the “new” stadium… you know that ‘bar row’ is no longer there. They also tore down the oldest Skyline Chili, which is where we would always eat before the games. Don and I used to go down early and hit Bar Row to eat “breakfast” at the one that would serve free Stouffers food. Then, we’d walk around awhile and then hit the Skyline. When they built the new stadium, that was all gone.
We ventured out early, and found a Goldstar Chili and ate there. (Okay, I am a Skyline girl… Goldstar just doesn’t cut it…)
We get to the game and dad and I separate from Don and his dad to go to our seats. Don and his dad were on the Steelers sideline, and my dad and I were in the end zone about 20 rows up. Awesome seats.
Needless to say, I was in full Steelers garb… and the entire section we were sitting in were Steelers fans. This was back when Bengals/Steelers games IN Cincinnati looked like all the Steelers fans travelled en masse from PA… either that or all the closet fans in Ohio turned out. It was nothing but Steelers fans.
During the game, the other Steelers fans and I were chanting, screaming at the refs, high-fiving, and talking. You’d have thought we were in Heinz Field for a home game.
At one point, dad switched seats with me so he could be on the aisle and not in the middle of our cheers and chest bumps.
My dad was a general NFL fan. He just liked football. I am not even sure I could tell you what his favorite team was. The Bengals, perhaps. I really don’t know. Perhaps Nana can shed some light…
Sometime during the game, the couple sitting next to us asked us what part of Pittsburgh we were from, and I started laughing and said, “Oh, we are from Dayton, just north of here.”
My dad put his head in his hands and sighed.
I looked over at my dad at the end of the game… Steelers won, of course… and he was laughing.
I asked him what was so funny.
He replied, “A Steelers fan. I don’t know you at all.”
That was probably one of the funniest things my dad said to me… we laughed and laughed.
Occasionally, out of nowhere months later, my dad would start shaking his head and laughing and say, “Really? The Steelers? You live in Ohio.”
Dad died suddenly in October a year later.
Now, whenever the Steelers play the Bengals in Cincinnati… I laugh and laugh.
And, I can still hear my dad’s laugh and him saying, “A Steelers fan? I don’t know you at all.”