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Here we go, Steelers fans

September 7, 2008 - John Mehno

The Steelers open today, and Mirror sports editor Buck Frank and I will be there, along with one of the Mirror's superstar photographers.

You'll be on your couch, watching on television. You have my envy. In a perfect world, I'd be on my couch, watching on television, and I don't even have one of those HD big screens. I love the NFL on television. It's one of my favorite shows. But the NFL in person? Not so great.

The advantage of being there is you can see the whole field and see the play unfold. Once it does, you look at one of the many TVs to watch the replay and see what happened. Thank goodness for the people who buy the tickets and the seat licenses and the $8 cups of beer. They're the ones who keep the merry-go-round spinning for the rest of us. But the NFL is so much better on TV. The dead time isn't as long as it is at the stadium, and you get the instant highlights from all the other games. If something spectacular happens in another time zone, you're going to see it.

No one will ever call Heinz Field pretty. It's functional. The press box is nice, and a huge upgrade over the one we had at Three Rivers. This one has comfortable chairs, it's climate controlled and carpeted. There are plenty of TVs for the replays and the walk to the elevator to get to the locker rooms is less than the quarter mile we used to trudge at Three Rivers. It's also nice that the Steelers kick in lunch, the last free meal on the pro sports beats in town (The Pirates charge $8, the Penguins $10).

But the NFL is first and foremost a TV show. Baseball and hockey are diminished by TV, while football is enhanced. (I don't think much of basketball in any form). So rest assured you'll have a better seat for the game than we will. Yes, I'm officially jealous.

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