Good morning, Steelers’ Nation! It’s finally, mercifully, July 1st. That means it’s training camp month, the Pittsburgh Steelers reporting the 28th and first practice kicking off the following today. This year’s camp is a little shorter, only 14 practices, because there’s no Hall of Fame Game, and a little more condensed. Three weeks compared to about a full month.
But our goal is to be there for every single one of them, just as we’ve been for the 33 that have taken place over the last two years.
And as we’ve done in the past, if you would like to make a donation because of the work we do, the reports we produce, you can do so at the GoFundMe link here.
I want to make one thing very, very clear. This isn’t so we can go there. Even if we didn’t get any money, not a penny, I’d be at all 14 practices. I don’t want to deceive anyone. You know I’m always as transparent as I can be. I want to make it clear of exactly where that money is going towards. Yes, of course, it’ll go help for the expenses that are associated with camp (gas, food, items bought to get ready for camp, the inevitable tow truck for my McLumina), but like I said, we’re going to St. Vincent College no matter what.
So I have no expectations, no hopes, no goals about how much money we raise. Last year was amazing, an incredible amount of generosity shown by so many of you, but it’s irrelevant now. I’m not looking to “beat” last year’s goal. We’re not the Red Cross. Whatever we get, big or small, I’ll be overjoyed.
I realize that’s the biggest undersell in the world, never ever let me work in PR, but that’s the truth. I just wanted to be crystal clear about these things.
And as always, only give if you can. Keep your lights on. Yourself fed. Heck, I don’t want you to even skip a car wash. Whether it’s $5 or $50, it’s appreciated all the same. I’ll make sure to send a personal thank you to everyone who donates.
There is no obligation to pay. If you don’t, that’s totally fine and you’ll get to read the same content as everyone else. Even if you don’t like it, don’t like me, it’ll be there every day for you to make fun of. Steelers’ Nation is a family. And there are never going to be any barriers to that. Not around here.
Ok, so now to the fun stuff. What will we be doing at camp this year? The same in-depth daily reports, breaking down basically everything that happens going on in camp. If you’ve been around for the past two years, you know what we’re talking about. If you’ve never seen one of our reports, here’s just one example.
Dave and I will have our roundup podcast for you each night (by morning at the latest), with the exception of the Friday Night Latrobe practice, since it ends so late.
Training camp is honestly my favorite time. Nothing beats Latrobe. The town is great. For my money, St. Vincent College is the prettiest campus in the world. Driving back at the right moment, you’ll capture the sun setting behind the campus, the Archabbey Basilica standing tall in the foreground. Magnificent. Not a word to use lightly but entirely appropriate for such a scene.
The people couldn’t be nicer. The atmosphere, the feel, hearkens back to a totally different era. Arnold Palmer Regional Airport practically across the street, planes buzzing in and out. And of course, the football, just a few feet away. It’s perfect.
If you happen to make it up to camp, I thoroughly recommend it, please be sure to say hello! I’m probably easy to spot. The one in the bleachers, nerding out with my notebook and pens (all good notes start with a great pen).
The only thing I ask is to give me a little space during practice. I just want to make sure I’m focused in and not miss anything that happens. But before or after (I usually hang around for about 10 minutes after the final horn), stop over and say hi.
There’s simply no better way to spend three weeks. And I’m grateful to be able to do it. I get called a journalist, usually in condescending fashion, from time to time. This ain’t no journalism (because journalists don’t say “ain’t no”). I don’t hit the “publish” button and sit back for my Pulitzer. It isn’t coming. We are a blog, though that too has a particularity negative connotation associated with it.
If I have to go back and find one of my articles and look myself up in the search bar, it’ll say “Articles By Kozora.” And that’s what I think I am. Not a journalist. Not a blogger. Just, “articles by.” It might not make much sense on a business card but it makes sense to me. I’m just elated I get to share my experiences, and talk about the Steelers, with each and every one of you, for the upcoming couple of weeks.
Whew. I think I’ve rambled enough. Thanks again for the support, that literally keeps this place going, and again, if you’re kind enough to donate, you can do so by clicking the link here.
If you have any questions at all, please ask away in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer.