Thursday, February 5, 2009
Here we go!
I have to explain why we both look so tired and terrible in this picture. It's 3 a.m.! The game started at 1:30 and we went to bed at 5. Here's the story.
After asking everyone all over for a place that might be showing the game, we just happen to walk past an Irish Pub two blocks from our hotel that had a sign outside advertising the game! It's amazing what you find when you take the wrong way back. The place was just perfect for watching the game. Lots of big tvs, and good beer, and they served a free buffet at half time.
So we took a nap from like 9pm until 12:30 or so and then got up and heading out to the pub. The place was crowded but we managed to get seats. On either side of us were groups of American exchange students. And holding court in another corner of the bar was a rabid Steeler fan, an American who has been living in Athens for 14 years, running a Mexican restaurant. Everyone tells everyone what town they are from, and where they went to college, and we all talk about how long it's been since we have been home.
It sounds corny, but I got very homesick during the national anthem. Not because it was the national anthem, but because it was quiet and I was in a bar surrounded by Steeler fans. This is a constant no matter where we have lived. There is always a Steeler bar, and there are always Steeler fans. Even in Athens. I wished the tables next to me weren't filled with exchange students, but my friends. You don't really miss home when you are taking on new adventures, but a slice of the familiar will make you well up. Or maybe it's because it's because it's one in the morning. I get weepy when sleepy.
But the game was so tense it was definitely keeping us awake. There were so many highs and lows, and we were sitting on the edge of our seats most of the time. Towards the end of the first quarter, we notice that there are some Cardinals fans in the house too, as they begin ratcheting up their score. And then, at the very end, our team won! After four hours sitting next to strangers, we were all high-fiving each other.
The night manager let us into the hotel and said, "your team won!" Our team won!