Many thanks to mary rose for taking these great shots on Sunday from Heinz Field. 'Rose, a season ticket holder, has offered to do so each home game in 2008. Click photographs to enlarge. More pics after the break.
Tailgating around Heinz is a ritual as good as any other. Unfortunately, the crane in the background indicates the building of a new hotel which will take more tailgate spaces away from the fans.
Tailgating is a massive party. Three pretty gals play corn hole in the middle of the lot.
During pregame, the Steelers honored Myron Cope, Dwight White and Ernie Holmes, all of whom died this past year. Representing them from left to right is Myron's daughter, L.C. Greenwood, Mel Blount and Joe Greene. To the left of them are family members of Dwight White and Ernie Holmes sharing an emotional hug.
The scoreboard at Heinz is second to none. Notice the two large ketchup bottles on top. They are exact replicas. They each weight 8,000 pounds and include 375 feet of neon tubing in them. If they were filled with actual ketchup, the amount would be the same as every fan taking home a 14-ounce bottle.
The apache war planes flying overhead signaled the beginning of a new season.
Mike Tomlin comes out of the tunnel first and makes gestures to the crowd to jack everyone up. He acknowledges the fans and they respond accordingly.
Players coming out of the tunnel also get the crowd going crazy.
Ben warms up with a cap that he'll wear the entire fourth quarter.
Watching games in person have pros and cons. It's nice to see the entire field and key on who you want to see, but you do miss the commentators.
Tomlin is really animated on the sidelines, both good and bad, with his players on the sidelines. You can't see that on television, but Tomlin is well-connected with every player the whole game.
Congratulations to Fast Willie after scoring his third touchdown. He not only silenced those who doubted his health, he silenced the naysayers who thought he didn't find the endzone enough to be considered great.