We Went To Training Camp

Last year, Cotter and I made a hastily-planned trip to Steelers training camp in Latrobe from NYC. We decided to do the same this year, and ended up adding some stragglers in the form of Stan, DYm and KB. It was Stan’s first hands-on experience of being a new Steelers fan, so we made sure he spent the weekend just like any other Pittsburgher. That meant sitting on the hillsides of St. Vincent College, slumming it in the local motels, comparing the cuisines in Greensburg/Latrobe and getting completely geared out in Steelers merch.

Since this post will have a TON of pictures, you’ll have to go “after the jump” to get the rundown.

We left Hoboken, NJ…right across the Hudson River from NYC, about mid-day on Friday. After checking in to the Knight’s Inn (yeah), we tried to make night practice at Latrobe High School that night. However, the town was apparently gridlocked with traffic, and we had to scrap those plans. Stan would have to wait a day to see the Steelers in action.

So we hit up my best friend Bob, who just welcomed one of the newest Steelers fans into his family about a month and a half ago. Little Robert was born at the end of June, and was probably the coolest baby I’ve ever met.

Friday turned from a possible night practice into a wing-fest at Sharkey’s. I wanted the training camp noobs to compare Sharkey’s and Dino’s, as anyone in that area has their wing preference between the two. Since I went to St. Vincent College, I’ve had just about every different flavor of wings at both establishments. That night, I went with Buffalo, and promptly belched in one of the managers’ face. We left shortly thereafter.

Before the night ended, we made our way to the Lloydsville Fireman’s Club, where I used to take part in the local tabletop shuffleboard league. I can’t even remember how many games we played on Friday night.

Saturday was spent getting Stan ready for camp. We hit up the Westmoreland Mall so Stan could gear up. A Polamalu jersey and Terrible Towel later, and we were all set. The good thing about the Greensburg/Latrobe area is that everything is pretty close. There’s a Primanti’s right near the mall, so we had to get sandwiches. KB and Stan had never had one before, so this was a necessity.

Following Primanti’s was a trip over to the campus to see the Steelers. Camp was great, but incredibly humid and muggy. We sat on the hillside to watch the defense go through some drills, then made our way to the main field to watch O vs. D sets.

Then we went into the Knight’s Inn pool, since it was so gross outside.

Saturday night brought Dino’s wings, and we all tried to justify which one was better between them and Sharkey’s. Each had pros and cons. I enjoyed the pros, because it meant I was eating a ton of wings.

There’s a Wal-Mart right behind Dino’s…which we hit up as we were waiting for Bob. Steelers rookie Keenan Lewis was in the checkout next to us, and he was buying an air mattress. We tried to come up with reasons for the purchase, but maybe you guys can come up with better scenarios. Ours were pretty awful.

Before making the trip back to NYC on Sunday, we ended our Latrobe experience with a trip to Eat n Park. The Sunday Brunch Buffet is murder. Love that stuff…especially the mashed potatoes.

I’ve conveniently left out a ton of details…because I’d rather not publish some incriminating evidence. The secret details may or may not have included a donkey, some fireworks, a stolen car, 2 midgets, a Christmas tree and an Asian man named Lee, but we’ll keep quiet so you can make your own assumptions to fill in the blanks and imagine what else we got into.

All in all, it was a great trip, and awesome to be back in my old stomping grounds. I can’t speak for Stan, but I’d say he got started in Steelers Nation on the right foot, and had a blast in doing so.

Pictures are below, in as close to chronological order as possible. I’ll add more if I find any else that should make the cut.

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