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The Screencaps mini Pittsburgh summit is in the books

What a day it was in the Steel City where Heinz Field was 1/8th full by the time the Steelers scored a touchdown to make it a one-score game against the Bengals. Steelers fans had seen enough. They had enough of the wind chills that had to be in the low teens. They’d had enough of the Steelers looking like a 3-7 team.

And for once, I was one of the fans going home happy after a Bengals-Steelers game. Trust me, the feeling wasn’t lost on me. There I was having a beer at my hotel with Steelers fan Mig, who made the trip to join the Screencaps summit as the honorary ticket winner, and it was eerily quiet as Steelers fans tried to get Ubers. The season is over in Pittsburgh and it’s not Thanksgiving. That’s wild.

How wild? Let this sink in: The Steelers haven’t had a season below .500 since 2003 and just four seasons below .500 since 1990.

Screencaps Pittsburgh summit trip highlights and observations:

  • The premise of this trip for Tom H. in Fort Wayne, who provided tickets to create this summit, is to get together with his childhood buddies who all meet once a year to have a good time, be guys for a couple of days, and reminisce about old times. The four grew up outside Pittsburgh and then went in different directions after high school, but they remained friends even as all four moved to different cities. Now here they are in their 50s and the guys trip is still going on after all these years.
  • Those of us in our 30s and 40s better be doing these guys’ trips like Tom H. and his buddies in our 50s. If you’re not already doing at least one trip a year with one or more buddies, it’s time. Tell your wife this is about your mental health. It’s necessary. Ladies, we NEED these trips.
  • Mig, the honorary ticket winner, had never been to a Steelers game in Pittsburgh. This guy was born in Sharon, PA, and has been a Steelers fan his entire life. He’s seen his Steelers at other stadiums but never at the holy grail of Steelers football. Needless to say, he was pumped for this opportunity to talk football, life and good times.
  • Mig doing work on those glorious IC Lights:
  • Lunch at Primanti Bros. isn’t a tourist thing to do when you’re with five Steelers fans who were born in the state.
  • Tom H. spent 30 years on the Steelers season ticket waiting list — 1989-2019 — before finally getting the call he’d been waiting for all those years. Now he holds six club-level season tickets that have a decent view.
  • Did I mention it was cold?
  • Shoutout to the 10-year-old Bengals fan from Lexington, KY sitting behind us who spent four quarters analyzing the game and going toe-to-toe with Steelers fans who wanted to argue with him. His mother is a Bengals fan and his brother is a Steelers fan. The brothers must fight to the death on a daily basis.
  • If you’re lucky enough to get a room at the Hyatt near Heinz Field, ask for a room as far away from the highway bridges as possible.
  • I thought the trash truck emptying dumpsters at 4 a.m. were cars crashing.
  • This is the view I have this morning as I write Screencaps:
  • It’s not a great trip until there’s a great moment that defines a football trip. That moment came during the third quarter when Mig said there was a guy stumbling around with hand warmers duct taped to his shoes. It was a Pure Screencaps® moment and that’s exactly why a guy like Mig gets invited on these trips — he’s a head-on-a-swivel kind of guy and it helps that he’s like 6’3 and has eyes scanning for content.
  • Speaking of moments that define trips, we were preparing to head back out in the cold from the warm confines of the club level — thanks again, Tom H., — when I see a guy coming from outside and he dropped something. I look up and it’s none other than Justin. H. in Cincinnati, a guy I met on a northern Michigan golf trip a few years ago. We’re in a stadium with 60,000 people and I run into a golf buddy. And it was his first Pittsburgh trip. Unreal.
  • Tom H.’s daughter drove from Indiana to Pittsburgh for the game, sat in the upper deck, saw her Steelers lose, and then got in the car and drove home. That’s just a next-level Sunday road trip.
  • I love when guys get jerseys that reflect their lives. You know Big Nasty lives the Big Nasty lifestyle.
  • From what I saw, fans were on their best behavior at the game and outside after the game. It was actually a game where kids wouldn’t have felt like they’d entered a war zone. Kudos to everyone involved for being responsible adults.
  • I forgot you can’t buy more than a 12-pack at a time at Pennsylvania gas stations. The Sheetz cashier made me take a sixer to the trunk and return to cash out a 12-pack separately. One of Tom H.’s buddies told me about how he went in to buy 3 cases of beer before a Penn State tailgate and he had to make multiple trips to get all six 12-packs.
  • It’s time to get on the road back to Ohio. It’s officially Thanksgiving Week and many of you are cranking it down at work and you’ll have plenty of time to send me emails about life.

Let’s have a strong week. Let’s get some deals on TVs. Let’s watch football. Let’s eat too much and have a great time with family. Don’t forget, it’s a full Screencaps schedule this week, including a Thanksgiving edition!

Email: joekinsey@gmail.com

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Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

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