The lights are on, and the marching band is on the field. Pregame festivities for Super Bowl XLIII are underway.
I’m stationed at the entrance of the tunnel where the Steelers will be coming out onto the field, and it’s simply amazing how many things are happening at once. As the band goes in one tunnel, the flag holders come out another. Everyone is wearing a headset, yelling directions at someone on the other end who, presumably, also is wearing a headset.
They’re getting close to paying tribute to Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger and the crew of U.S. Airways flight 1549, which crash-landed in the Hudson River.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin just weaved through a bunch of the pregame flag people to get onto the field. The Steelers, who aren’t being announced, just huddled in the tunnel for a last-minute chat before bursting out onto the field.
From this vantage point, this is close to a Steelers home game.
Two Steelers fans above me are screaming about nearly everything that happens, and one has almost completely lost his voice already. As one of his screams turned into a shrill, high-pitched whine, an event worker and I looked at each other and said at the exact same time: That’s awesome.