The Revolution is Not a Dinner Party

It's Just Lunch....or IS IT??

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

This is my first and last attempt at live blogging. None of the names below will be spelled correctly, so now I can get fun google search hits from other spelling-challenged folks.

11:05 ESPN News is broadcasting the WTAE (Pittsburgh’s ABC affiliate) broadcast of the victory parade…this is so awesome.

11:10 The new mayor (Bob O’Connor??…I think that’s it) is leading the parade. He was only sworn in at the beginning of January. Closely following on his heels is Allegheny County Executive Dan Onoroto. These two guys hate each other. Pittsburgh is one of those cities with huge urban-suburban dilemmas. The city has 400,000 people and is the heart of life in Southwestern PA. However, more than 2 million people live in the area. This means most people live and pay property taxes outside the city limits, but use the city for work and play. The County government was re-organized to better deal with regional issues. But, the city still wants some sort of commuter tax to get a piece of the pie.

11:15 Dan and Art III Rooney are up front too. These guys are the real heros of this franchise. Unlike every other team ownership, the Steelers are the only business that the Rooney’s do. They do it REALLY well. There’s a reason why we always have great coaches and wonderful drafts. While other teams (Cowboys? Giants?) try to make news back home by doing outlandish antics at the Draft, the Steelers pick quality athletes who play the game right. They’ve been doing this for 10 years…and we’re finally WORLD CHAMPIONS. Makes you wonder what happened in the 80’s. The Steelers had some of the greatest drafts in history during the 70s, and I think the string of picks they’ve made over the last 4-5 years will be equally historic.

Anyway, all of these muckity-mucks have been commenting on how many young people are in the audience. I’ll also observe that this is the first time I’ve seen black and white strangers hugging each other in Pittsburgh. What a great thing for the city. There really is a crisis of youth in the Pittsburgh region. People like yours truly have created a massive “brain drain” that rivals the third world experience. Unfortunately, the brain drain is one of necessity because the region cannot provide opportunities for all the talented salt-of-the-earth types (like me) it produces….this reminds me of my favorite Madden moment from Super Bowl XL….he said, “this team [Pittsburgh] plays gritty, like the gritty city of Pittsburgh.” Hahahaha. We are so gritty and tough.

11:20 The WTAE street reporter guy called Anton Randel El, “Willie,” presumably thinking he was Willie Parker. Randel El was PISSED…said something along this lines of, “this interview is over.” The broadcaster back at the studio was like, “tell Anton its cool, we go to the same church and our kids go to the same school.”

11:29 Enter the Mt. Lebanon High School (my alma matter) Marching Band. This is hysterical. We have a really good band, they regularly do the Rose Bowl. However, the previous bands were from city schools and were really enjoying themselves (think Drumline). The Lebo band looks like a bunch of fascist in comparison.

11:30 “I have never seen so many people squashed into one place”…it seems the cars are getting mobbed. The “fans are slowing things down.” The crowds at the beginning of the parade seems to be the most narrow…at points the fans are close enough to touch the car. The parade goes from the Mellon Arena through the relatively small “downtown” skyscraper district to the Point, which is the confluence of the three rivers. Say it with me, confluence.

11:33 Apparently Bettis’ mom made dinner for the team before the game.

11:34 Heinz Ward is, predictably, all smiles.

11:35 Bettis is bringing up the rear with the Lombardi trophy

11:47 Lynn Swan is warming up the crowd at the Point (the confluence of the three rivers). I love saying confluence, it’s a Pittsburgh-only word. Lynn Swan is running for Governor of PA as a Republican. I like Ed Rendell, our current Democrat governor.

11:50 WTAE is giving excessive coverage to the North Allegheny Marching Band. BOOOOO! I take back my previous fascist comment about the Lebo band, these guys take the cake. They are trying to march 10 wide through a really narrow passage.

11:55 Dan Onoroto (County Exec) just called this the biggest Super Bowl celebration of any team ever. He also made some reference to the “whole 10 county region.” I don’t know what that is, but it sounds like Dan has big plans.

12:00 Apparently Mike Logan said, “I’m not going to Disneyworld, I’m going to Kennywood.” That is just awesome. Kennywood is Pittsburgh, old-timey amusement park that is home to several of the most thrilling and historic roller coasters in America. Its really an amazing place, really perfect for families (Ceder Point has cooler coasters, but that’s the last good word you’ll hear about Ohio from this reporter). There is also a sister water-park called Sandcastle, but that’s more of place for yinsers to drink beer and compare their jean shorts.

12:01 The fans are chanting “Cowher, Cowher!”

12:02 This broadcast is devolving into various shout outs for various high school bands.

12:05 Randel El notes, “no one is in school, this is amazing.” It really is great how many people are in the city today. Wow…I have goosebumps…embarrassing.

12:06 Dick Lebeau (defensive coordinator) is making the crowd chant ‘stay here, stay here’ to Kent Wisenhunt (offensive coordinator) who skipped his interview in Oakland for this parade.

12:08 Troy Palamalu is playing with his hair and “kissing the crowd.” Ummmmmmm….Troy, please remember what happened to Kordell…don’t go spending too much time in Schenley Park late at night.

12:15 Sally Wiggin (long time Pittsburgh news celeb) just said, “when you are a big man, you’re going to have a big fur coat.” Odd

12:16 Dan Onorato and Bob O’Connor are sharing the stage before the players arrive. Richard Caliguiri and Sophie Masloff (former Pitt mayors…Masloff was our Anne Richards) never would have stood for such “sharing” shenanigans. Get these losers off the stage. Vote Big Ben for Mayor.

12:19 Cowher is waiting behind the “civic leaders”…he’s got jeans, a hooded sweatshirt, work gloves, and a trucker hat….he looks like he just got back from a hunting trip. He’s a man’s man…yeah.

12:20 Big shout out for Myron Cope from the current broadcasters….awesome.

12:23 Bob O’Connor just accidentally said, “thank you for making me the greatest mayor in the country.” It was a reasonable slip considering he just said Pittsburgh is the greatest city in the world…but still, funny.

12:28 Art Rooney III just gave a blissfully short thank-you to the fans around the world. (My aunt lives in Beijing now, she was at a sports bar with lots of other Steelers fans…apparently the biggest contigent there were miners from West Virginia…its not just Steelers Nation, its Steelers World). Thank YOU, Art.

12:30 Cowher is happy, this is great….he just led the fans in a “I say ‘who day’ you say ‘we day’” chant. Awesome.

12:35 Roethlisberger has flowers and Mardi Gras beads, funny.

12:39 Whoa, the broadcasters just dropped the ‘theory’ that Jeremy Stevens was psyched out by Joey Porter and so afraid of being hit that he dropped those passes. Not cool.

12:43 Randel El is out of his car and fired up, leading the fans in chants. Cowher is like a kid in a candy store.

Man, I already bought my authentic locker room t-shirt…now I’m gonna have to get one of these parade day hooded sweatshirts.

12:46 Gladdis Bettis needs to start doing soup commercials. I’m pulling for Progresso, maker of the finest canned soup on the market…their Chikarenia soup.

12:50 This is exhausting….what exactly is the point of ‘live blogging?’

12:50-1pm Bettis and Ward gave great speeches. Everyone is happy. I’m leaving the rest for DVR. I can't wait for the attendence numbers to come out.


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