It was a special weekend for Tyler Sweet from Malone, N.Y., who enjoyed an experience of a lifetime thanks to the Steelers and Make-A-Wish.
Sweet, who has stage IV kidney disease, was the guest of the Steelers at practice at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Friday, watching practice, meeting players and getting autographs and pictures. He also was given signed worn cleats and gloves from one of his favorite players, JuJu Smith-Schuster.
“I grew up watching football,” said Sweet. “I always wanted to come to a Steelers game. This is checking something off of my bucket list. This is very different. It’s a lot to take in. On television you are like okay, then you see the work they put in during practice, they are normal guys. But this is amazing.”
After enjoying the city with his parents and younger brother for a few days he went to Monday night’s Steelers-Bengals game, where he had one of his passions fulfilled, visiting the team’s radio booth and spending time with broadcasters Bill Hillgrove and Tunch Ilkin.
Sweet got involved with broadcasting in high school, a way to stay involved in sports after he was no longer able to participate. And he never imagined he would one day be in the Steelers radio booth.
“My sophomore year of high school my athletic director asked if I wanted to announce some of the games,” said Sweet. “I love it. By my senior year I was doing junior varsity and varsity games. I was in the booth calling games all day. When I was eligible for the Make-A-Wish I asked if I could do something with radio broadcasting.
“I didn’t know I was doing it until I got here. It is amazing. It was a huge surprise. I wasn’t expecting it.”
The Steelers grant the wish of a young fan from Malone, NY