Last night I attended the CASA Tailgate event at Heinz Field, and girls, mine eyes have seen the glory of Mike Wallace in the flesh.
Where was I?
I began the evening meeting some of the CASA employees and was then introduced to one Chris Arians, Bruce Arians’ wife. She’s beautiful. See.
Here’s something you didn’t know. Chris has been a volunteer with CASA for over a dozen years, beginning with the CASA organization in Indianapolis.
She volunteers her time each week to work as an advocate and a champion for abused and neglected children in Allegheny County who have some very sad stories. She told me about how she’s been working the same case for several years now and about how her role is to always put the best interests of the child first, to ensure they aren’t lost in the system, to give them a fighting chance.
Guys? If I was Bruce Arians’ wife, do you know what I’d probably be doing? Shopping. I’d be shopping like it was an Olympic event. Like it was going out of style. Like it was my superpower.
Here’s Chris taking a personal interest in abused and neglected children, telling me things like, “I’ve never had a case where I didn’t feel like I at least made a difference.”
So much love for her and what she’s doing here in Pittsburgh for our kids.
She’s the next Awesome Burgher and her crown is in the mail.
So, after chatting with Chris for about 15 minutes, I mingled. I found the winner of the tickets from my giveaway, Anne and her sister Katherine who came in from DC for the event:
The picture is blurry because my husband didn’t do a good job. Blame him.
Then, a bit after 7:00 p.m., the room was full of good buzz, vibe, conversation, etc. A nice hum of conversation and laughter, when the players entered the room.
And a hush fell over the crowd.
I mean, seriously, a hush. Everyone shut the hell up and the room became as quiet as a black hole. Scientists, I assume black holes are quiet. If I’m wrong, and they’re actually very noisy, I don’t much care.
I kind of wanted to start the wave or something to get people talking again. I mean, they’re just football players. What the hell?
I got in line to get my Terrible Towel autographed and first up? My deliciousness Mike Wallace:
Huge smile on his face. Nice guy. I told him that I very much liked his new hair. He was gracious. Also? That picture was snapped by Katherine who went up to him for me to ask for a better shot because SOMEONE NAMED ME forgot to put her flash on and all her pictures of Mike Wallace looked like this:
Moving down the line:
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t recognize some of them. Don’t hate me. That guy in the white is David Johnson, who I had to Google.
Of course I recognized Mr. Charlie Batch:
Byron, who I blinded with my flash. Poor guy:
Antwaan Randle-El was there but couldn’t be bothered to make eye contact. Also, Fox was there, but I accidentally skipped him and didn’t get his autograph.
Other people’s #s on my towel: 84, 17, 88, 85, 4, and 33.
So, after I said my goodbyes, my husband and I headed to the elevator and it just so happened that four of the players were leaving at the same time and there I was, in an elevator with Byron Leftwich, I believe Isaac Redman, Keyaron Fox, and David Johnson, who was so serious while signing autographs I almost asked him if maybe his puppy or his grandma had just died. Like, it wouldn’t kill you to smile, dude, even if you DO share a name with another local Pittsburgh celebrity.
The four of them are giant. Standing against the wall of the elevator. Quiet as a black hole again other than the hum of the moving elevator.
And I was not having any of that shit.
So I piped up cheerily, “Hey, did you guys ever notice how everyone shuts up when you enter a room?”
And David Johnson looked at me, and he smiled big, and they all started laughing.
And I said, “I’m serious. You’d have thought a bishop walked in. It must be nice to have that kind of power over people.”
And they laughed again and the elevator doors opened and we bid them goodnight.
Internet, for once in my life, I met a famous person and I did not get all “I carried a watermelon” on them and I think it was because after talking to Chris Arians, I realized that the ripple of her life and her work will have much further-reaching good will and perpetual positive impact than most professional athletes’ lives will. People like her are the real heroes, the ones we should be in awe of and nervous around.
Also, I’m giving away this Terrible Towel with all these autographs.
But you gotta come to Ti Kanaval to win it as it will be a raffle item.
See how I did that?