Last day in the US. Teaching on a short course for researchers within the Veterans Administration at the Grand Wyndham Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. In a conference room cut off from the outside world with air-con set to ‘artic’.
Lunch break was 1 hour 15 mins. I step out of the hotel into a beautiful sunny, beyond baking hot day. Slightly disorientating. Everywhere I look people are wearing yellow and black. Walking across the park in front of the hotel. It’s Sunday. The Steelers are playing. I walk in the same direction. Across the yellow bridge. Towards the stadium.
I’m told/observe a few things.
American football is a family event. People head over to the stadium hours before the game for the atmosphere, pre-drinking and eating. Very, very few people do not wear the kit in some shape or form. You can take alcohol into the stadium but no bags (other than clear/plastic bags).
I saw one policeman on a bike. Looking totally out of place. As if he was passing by on his lunch hour.
A retired player posed for photos with fans. The queue was enormous.
“Get your phones out and ready” people were told. No charge. A snap or two. A ‘terrible towel’. More cheer.
I wandered back towards the yellow bridge. To the beige hotel (in the photo below) for the final sessions in this marathon trip.
What a backdrop. What a city. What an extraordinary journey…
I cannot wait to be home.