Whew, finally! I'm in Dallas after an absolutely hellacious past 48 hours of traveling. I was originally scheduled to arrive in Dallas on Tuesday in time to attend the annual Media Dinner that the NFL holds for the folks that will be covering the week for various media outlets across the country and world. I was super excited about making that. I'd of course be respectful to the seasoned pros that grind it out each year bringing us the day-to-day news and information we rely on to have informed and entertaining conversations, but I also had high hopes for having some fun with some buzzed jornos that were taking full advantage of all the free food and booze they could possibly want.
I knew the weather had taken a turn for the worst in the central and eastern part of the country, and I was aware that the Texas Panhandle...i.e. Dallas... would feel the effects of the storm. But no alerts from the arline prior to my flight left me hopeful that I was going to make it into town just fine.
Not quite. Literally five minutes after I arrive at the airport in Seattle, my flight's canceled. Back on the light rail for the 45-minnute commute home. As you noticed on Tuesday, I took my mind off my disappointment by working the rest of the afternoon and well into the night. With a seat on the 7 am flight on Wednesday, I was going to arrive in Dallas early enough on Wednesday afternoon to scoop up my credential and make something out of the last few hours of my afternoon.
Again, no warnings of delays, only the ominous declaration that Dallas was under a winter weather advisory, and that anything and everything was subject to change on a moment's notice. We arrived into Albuquerque with no problems. No plane change, just a quick stop before promptly leaving for Dallas. (Why the stop but no plane change? I don't know. The plane wasn't small. Could it not hold enough gas to get from Seattle to Dallas?)
Then the bad news returns. Dallas Love has closed for the afternoon. Not because of ice on the runaways. Hell, it was 10 degrees colder and just as icy in Albuquerque. The problem was the machinery needed to melt the runways and keep them safe had just broken! Of course it did.
Anyway, rather than hanging around the dump that is the Albuquerque airport, I took a cab into town thinking I'd wander around a bit. Whoops, forgot it was 5 degrees outside with a biting wind. Better head inside instead. With a gazillion casinos and not much else around, I opted for a game of poker. Did I lose $100 playing against a group of depressing regulars that all knew each other's name? You bet I did.
So, the moral of the story is, rejoice! I've gotten all the bad news and disappointment of the week out of the way before even landing down in town. Tomorrow I'll wake up feeling grand, knowing damn well that it's all up here from here. Lots of fun events still on the horizon before Sunday's game. If I need to endure some more misfortune to ensure a win on Sunday, by all means, bring it on. I think we're good though already.
(I share mostly in jest. Frustrating stuff, no doubt, but just bad luck and really not too awful or out of the ordinary)
Anyway, I'll check in with you all from Fort Worth where the Steelers will conduct their final media day as a team this week (it's mostly just the coaches on Friday supposedly). I also had plenty of time to contemplate the matchup between the Steelers and Packers, and finally am ready to write some comprehensive previews and predictions before the weekend. Look for that tomorrow afternoon through Sunday morning.
For now, here's a number of transcribed sessions from Tuesday, including Bruce Arians, Art Rooney, and several noteworthy players that we've yet to hear from this week.