In 1989, on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the Pittsburgh Steelers played the Miami Dolphins in a rainstorm in Miami. The Steelers were not playing well and were taking on a Miami team with Dan Marino. My father lived in Washington, DC but was in Johnstown for the holiday weekend. He came over to my mom's house to visit with my brother and I for the afternoon. My mother was out for the day and I think my brother, who was not a football fan at the time, spent the afternoon in front of the computer upstairs. My dad and I watched the Steelers game in the back room (the den). Both teams were sliding all over the wet field, but Pittsburgh got all the breaks and won the game 34-14. I'd watched football with my dad before, but this is the first game that I remember watching with him and following the game closely. We had leftover turkey sandwiches for lunch and I remember my dad carving the rest of the meat off the bird, even though it wasn't technically "his" turkey to carve. Since my dad lived in DC and I lived in Johnstown, I didn't get to see him more than once or twice a month, so I remember that I really enjoyed having the afternoon to share the game, some food, and some conversation with him.
When I saw the rain at Heinz Field for last night's game, I remembered that game from 18 years ago and thought about how much fun it would be to see the Steelers dominate an inferior Dolphins squad again. Well, Pittsburgh won again, but it took 59 minutes and a field goal at the end of regulation to do it, with the final score of 3-0. It was absolutely the worst football game I've ever watched. If my team hadn't been playing I would have changed the channel by halftime. It was depressing, boring and nerve-wracking all at the same time. I could have used a hug when it was over.