About two weeks ago, Thomas Slater received a call from Steelers Nation Unite, notifying him that he had been randomly chosen as the winner of an exclusive sweepstakes. As the official home of Steelers Nation, Steelers Nation Unite was sending Slater and his wife Katherine, who reside in West Point, NY, to Pittsburgh for a weekend with the Steelers.
Included in the prize package was a pair of passes to the Rock Steelers Style Fashion Show on Friday night at Stage AE and two tickets and pregame field passes for Sunday's game against the Jets.
As excited as Thomas and his wife Katherine were, it was hard to imagine what would actually be awaiting them in Pittsburgh, with more than one chance to go up-close with their favorite team and favorite players. From when they first left New York on Friday afternoon, it was everything they could have hoped for and more.
"From the moment we got off the plane it's been like one adventure after another," said Slater. "It's just a dream come true."
The weekend got off to a fast start as the Slaters attended Friday night's Rock Steelers Style Fashion Show at Stage AE. After being interviewed by former Steelers safety Will Allen in the Style Lounge, Thomas then found himself walking the runway in a new Cam Heyward jersey and waving a Terrible Towel. Along the way, he got to meet a number of Steelers players, as well as Team President Art Rooney II.
"I was backstage and all of the players were right there. We'd give a head nod and Le'Veon Bell came over and said 'What's up' to me. I would never have had that opportunity otherwise," Slater said.
That helped set the stage for Sunday, as the couple enjoyed watching warm-ups at field level and then took part in the Terrible Towel Twirl on the Steelers sideline at kickoff. For this native of Titusville, PA, being this close to his team was a day he won't soon be forgetting.
"It's surreal. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd be doing this," Slater said. "I've been a fan since the early 1970s with Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth – the whole crew there."
And with the many memories he already has from over four decades of being a fan, this past weekend will undoubtedly have its rightful place in a lifetime of loyalty to the black and gold.
Steelers Nation Unite delivers opportunities such as this on a weekly basis and gives fans all around the world ways to get rewarded and connect with their team. To learn more or sign up for free, visit the official home of Steelers Nation at SteelersNationUnite.com.