Training camp is like a national holiday at my house. Every year when the preseason approaches, I turn into a little kid on Christmas. My present is knowing that the football season is only weeks away. Months ago I made a mental note of the date of the first Steelers preseason game, August 13.
The NFL draft in April is interesting, but doesn’t provide the excitement of football. Instead, it offers false hopes that football is coming, but it’s always months away. I’m not big on college football, so I usually don’t recognize the names. That’s the beauty of the preseason games. It lets me see the draft picks. I’ve read about the new talent and all of the draft picks sound appealing, especially Ziggy Hood.
My Steelers Digest arrived in the mail yesterday. It doesn’t come during the offseason, so getting the first paper is always a big deal. To me, it’s like the Steelers gospel. Every Steelers fan should own it. They do a great job. I’m in the middle of an article about training camp and what to expect from the running game this year. They always have an interview with coach Mike Tomlin. I’ve skimmed the paper, but am only a third through. My favorite part about Christmas is eggnog, so the Steelers Digest is kind of like that, in that it reminds me that the season is coming.
I get training camp updates on my phone. They come a couple times a day and lets me find out the latest details on my players. For example, they texted about Mike Wallace, who is supposed to be a good returner like Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes. They tell me about offensive lineman Stapleton’s injury. I live in California, so it’s not easy to fly to Pittsburgh to see training camp, although I usually end up seeing a game every year. The texts help me keep up with training camp news. Steelers fans should sign up. To sign up, text HINES to 94253 (WHALE). If you sign up, you will be entered in a random draw to win an autographed Hines Ward jersey and a phone call from Hines himself.
I live for football. It’s one of the passions in my life. The only other sport I really like is hockey, and I get a few weeks of that after football season ends. So during the offseason, there’s always a gap in my life; there’s always something missing. Christmas has arrived: football season is finally here.