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Dateline: November 21, 2010 2pm

Here’s another thing that annoys me: Pittsburgh. We took off for our European trip from PIT this morning b/c Delta is offering double MQM promo for all flights out of PIT. We drove into downtown Pittsburgh last night from VA and encountered a crowd of 20+ people milling about on the sidewalk in front of a bar that was about to open for the evening. They were almost all wearing Steeler jerseys (Steelers are the PIT football team). Must be a game tonight I thought. We walked a few more blocks, passing more Steeler attired fans. Into our restaurant for the evening – Fat Head’s. I saw Steeler scarves, Steeler hats, Steeler pins, Steeler t-shirts, Steeler sweatshirts, Steeler jackets. I saw Steeler earrings and even a Steeler tattoo! Middle aged men, kids, senior citizens, dogs, all dressed to support the team. Now, the shocking fact: THERE WAS NO STEELER GAME. Turns out this is just regular evening wear for 3/4 of Pittsburg residents. I found it ridiculous. Ridiculous!

Then I spotted the sandwiches coming  to the tables around us and my blood really began to boil. Massively huge sandwiches! Makes me ashamed to be an American huge. The “way we Americans all go to the all-you-can-eat-buffet side of the restaurant overlooking Niagara Falls but all the foreigners go to the smaller portioned sit-down side” ashamed. The “way we cheer for Smarter than a 5th Grader contestants” ashamed (if you lose you look like an idiot, if you win you’re only bragging rights are that you can intellectual best a 12 year old; dear God why do people champion this show?!). But I digress. Pittsburgh! Giant sandwiches with descriptions like “mounds of meat”, “piles of”, “mountains”, “layers”. Sure you can pick off all but a respectable portion of meat but then you’re paying $10 for a normal sandwich which is sort of like paying $12 for a Moleskin notebook.

I ordered a simple cheap grilled cheese sandwich to avoid the overstuffed meat versus overpriced sandwich and was still disappointed . Massive and greasy and served with enough potato chips to fill a whole bag, I picked at it while Jon worked his way through a kielbasa sandwich. And don’t get me started on how much they mix meats on their sandwiches!!!

So we leave the restaurant and pass legions of PIT Steeler adorned adults. It was really irritating me even though I can’t put my finger on the reason. Sports fanaticism? Group think? I don’t know but by the time we left the hotel for the airport in the morning and the body count of PIT fans had continued to skyrocket I was livid. Actually livid. Then we arrived at our gate and the Delta gate agents were wearing PIT jerseys over their uniforms.  I KID YOU NOT.

THERE IS SOME SORT OF PATHOLOGICAL SICKNESS IN PIT AND IT IS CENTERED ON GIANT SANDWICHES AND STEELER PARAPHENALIA. The whole thing has made me cranky. Or perhaps it’s just internet withdrawal rearing it’s ugly head.

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