On the road again.
That line from Willie Nelson’s song describes the last seven Week Ones for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since 2015, the Steelers have opened every season on the road, now eight years running with the team kicking off 2022 at Cincinnati. It makes for the fifth-longest streak since the 1970 merger, the longest since the Arizona Cardinals were away from home a whopping 17 straight seasons, 1988 to 2005. The Pittsburgh Pirates have been thought of as to blame for this streak, always at home to kickoff the NFL season with the league not wanting to put two teams playing in the same city in the same day, knowing Acrisure Stadium (are you used to it yet?) and PNC Park are just minutes from each other. On paper, that creates logistical issues from a parking/crowd standpoint, though someone should inform Roger Goodell Pirates’ games aren’t well-populated.
That streak might be coming to an end in 2023.
The MLB 2023 schedule was released today, with the Pittsburgh Pirates having a huge road stretch during early September. According to their schedule, the Pirates are on the road against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, September 10th, the NFL’s likely opening weekend. For the first time in a long time, the Pirates’ schedule wouldn’t conflict with the Steelers, creating an opportunity for Pittsburgh to open up at home. NFL schedule-makers surely realize the streak Pittsburgh’s been on and should jump at the chance to break it, finally giving Steelers’ Nation a Week 1 game they can attend.
In fact, the Pirates play away from home for the majority of the month, though they end the season at home against the Miami Marlins.
The Pirates are back at home the following day on the 11th. So if the Steelers happen to be scheduled for a Monday night game, they may end up back on the road. But fingers crossed – this might be the team’s best chance to end the streak in a long time.
We won’t know until next May what Pittsburgh’s 2023 schedule looks like. But at long last, they may get to open Week 1, against whoever it may be, at home.