Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Catching Troy Polamalu 

So I went to the parade and rally yesterday, with a couple hundred thousand of my closest friends. Unfortunately, the whole thing was a bit of a disappointment -- and I couldn't catch up with my actual friend, Marc.

There was a parade through downtown, and then there was the actual rally, where a few players and Cowher spoke. Without getting too detailed, I (and most others, based on morning newspaper stories) thought the rally would be at Point State Park -- at the end of the parade route -- where the maximum number of people would be able to see it. So that's where I planted myself. Instead, they put it close to the end of the route, but far enough away that I couldn't see or hear it. I didn't even know it was happening. And the only people who could see it were the ones who positioned themselves in the right spot during the parade -- since there were so many people, no one could move. My plan was to see everyone come by, then proceed to the rally. But since I was the very end of the route, by the time the parade was over, the rally was, too! Bettis, Cowher, Rooney, and the trophy got off to do the rally before they could pass me.

Nevertheless, I saw many of the players. And the picture above provided an unforgettable moment. It happened right in front of me! Troy Polamalu's car was stopped for like 5 minutes, so he eventually started pretending to surf on top of the SUV. Then some people egged him on to jump -- so he stage-dove into the crowd twice! Because we weren't near the rally, I thought that no media cameras caught it. But I found this AP picture this morning. It was great!

As for not catching up with Marc, who drove in from Michigan for the event: the cell phone networks were all jammed and we couldn't reach each other. Too many people trying to use too few towers. It's really kind of scary -- and potentially life-threatening -- that cell networks are so incapable of handling it when many people try to use them at once (a la 9/11).

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