Steelers vs. Giants: A Steelers Fan Reflects in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Mike Batista@Steel_TweetsContributor INovember 4, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 21:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Considering Hurricane Sandy’s impact on New York and New Jersey, did the NFL make the right decision to play today's game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants as scheduled?

I can't answer that objectively, because this Steelers fan and New Jersey resident is glad the show will go on.

Many lives and homes, including my own, were in danger last weekend when Hurricane Sandy closed in on the East Coast.

I really shouldn't have cared about the Steelers game, but I did.

Today is the only day I was going to be free to watch the game. If it was moved to Monday or Tuesday, I wouldn't be able to watch it.

A lot of people in New York and New Jersey wish missing a football game was their biggest problem.

I'm without power and Internet as of this morning. My asthma medication arrived a day late. I waited more than an hour for gas on Wednesday.

I'm one of the lucky ones.

I feel selfish that the Steelers never left my mind as Sandy was killing people and destroying homes, but I didn't want a hurricane to prevent me from watching this game.

There have been times when I've watched the Steelers despite being in worse condition than Sandy has left me.

Most of the time, watching a Steelers game involves going to a place that has the NFL Sunday Ticket.

Despite being sick as a dog, I went to a bar to watch the Steelers beat the Bills in overtime in 2010.

Less than a week after having surgery in 2007, I left the house to watch the Steelers beat the Bengals.

I almost didn’t make kickoff for the Steelers’ 2003 season opener. Jet-lagged after flying to Rhode Island (where I lived at the time) from Las Vegas the night before, I woke up late. By the time I arrived at my usual spot, the parking lot was full and 1 p.m. was fast approaching. Fortunately, I found some dive bar where I could watch the game, and I didn’t miss kickoff.

Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have to leave the house to watch a Steelers-Giants game here in New Jersey. It's obviously being shown here on CBS. If I still don’t have power, however, I'll have to find a place that has power.

Long before Hurricane Sandy was even a gleam in Mother Nature’s eye, I pondered buying a ticket to the game, since MetLife Stadium is only about 50 miles from my apartment.

Now, Sandy has provided me with enough perspective to be grateful that I can watch the game at all instead of regretful that I'm not there.

Many New Yorkers and New Jerseyans gained perspective on a much grander scale in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Seventy-four people died through Thursday, according to the New York Daily News. Gorgeous seaside towns on the Jersey Shore have been swallowed up by the Atlantic Ocean.

MetLife Stadium is unscathed. Still, I could understand if this game wasn’t played today with so much of New York and New Jersey still a mess.

It’s such a mess that the Steelers couldn’t find a hotel for Saturday night, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The hotel they use when they visit the Jets or Giants didn’t have power, and they didn’t want to take up so many hotel rooms knowing that people left homeless are looking for shelter.

The Steelers were scheduled to fly to New Jersey from Pittsburgh this morning.

So while I won’t be watching the Steelers in person today, I’ll at least share with them the inconvenience of Hurricane Sandy. I also can take pride in my team sacrificing some comfort for the sake of hurricane victims.

I wouldn’t classify myself as a victim. Like a lot of people in New Jersey and New York, I’m just looking forward to watching a football game after a tough week.

Fans trying to recover from the hurricane will rally around their team, and I’m not just talking about Giants fans. There’s a nice little enclave of Steelers fans in my part of New Jersey, so much so that there's a Steelers bar in the city where I live, and it has power.

I was pretty much forced to move to New Jersey for work last year. Luckily, I landed within walking distance of a place where Terrible Towels wave, and I'll be there today.

No matter which team wins, this game will lift a lot of spirits.

MetLife Stadium will be an emotionally charged place, and it might be tempting to try to get there somehow, but Sandy restrains me from any such last-minute impulse.

Sandy threw boats on some of New Jersey Transit's tracks. Normally the train would take me right to the stadium, but it's not operating in my part of New Jersey. Driving is not an option. I won’t burn precious gas on a trip from the Jersey Shore to East Rutherford.

Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise. The hundreds of dollars I would have spent on a ticket to Sunday’s game can go toward a ticket to Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium next season, when Ben Roethlisberger tries to tie Terry Bradshaw and win a fourth Super Bowl ring.

That’s happening. Right, Steelers?


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