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A City and Its Team
WHY PITTSBURGH AND THE STEELERS GO HAND IN HAND
“The Steelers don’t need a mascot. Their fans are their mascot.” –Steve Sabol, NFL Films
legend himself). The Steelers are a part of my upbringing and part of so many childhood memories. My dad would pace the family room carpet and say, “You kids watch this because you’ll never see it again”, referring to their decade of dominance. To this day, they are one of the things that ties me back to where I’m from. Not far from our home in Laguna Niguel, there’s a Steelers bar. I find one in almost every city I travel to. In a world where we so often move from our hometowns, these places are a way for transplants everywhere to come together and share their pride. While the Steelers may be a rare breed in terms of feverish, citywide devotion, I think NFL fans in general are an enthusiastic bunch. When we lived in Philly, I was so impressed by the devotion of the then long-suffering Eagles fans. We were there before their recent Super Bowl success when crushing playoff defeat was a regular occurrence. Despite the regular heartache, the fans kept coming back without the slightest sense of hopelessness. They were incredibly loyal fans, and I loved ‘em for it. The same goes for Chargers fans, who remain loyal in the face of relocation and disappointment. My wife grew up in Dallas, and I don’t even want to get started on that. And, hey, L.A. We got the Rams back! They looked tight all season. Oh, okay. They choked in the Big Game, but they got there, didn’t they? There’s just something about football that brings people together. The bro- ken-up nature of the game, where each play is a new slate, creates a ton of drama. You never know when the next big play is going to come. When you’re watching with a group of fans and everyone celebrates or agonizes in unison, it’s a shared experience unlike any other. I love that deep post route ball thrown per- fectly and caught on stride with seamless defensive coverage. It’s just awesome! I know what I’ll be doing for the next several Sundays; how about you? Who’s your team? Shoot me an email and tell me why. Whoever they are, I hope they have a great season — except when they play the Steelers.
As many of you know, I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. When I tell people where I’m from, I know they’re going to ask me that one question. This question comes in many forms, but my favorite version is just two words long, “Steelers fan?” And honestly, even though I’ve been asked this question countless times throughout my life, I never get tired of answering it. I am a Steelers fan, but it goes so much deeper than that. The Steelers are an obvious and automatic part of Pittsburgh culture. If you’ve never been to Pittsburgh during football season, it’s hard to describe the city’s all-encompassing love for its team. It’s the topic of every conversation during the fall, supplanting the weather as the easiest subject to discuss. My sisters, who are not football fans, are hardwired to ask what the score is if they see the Steelers on TV. On any Sunday during the season, people everywhere are wearing black and gold. Some have on jerseys, and others have on T-shirts, while a few dress up the colors for a more high-fashion look. I’m not kidding. It’s everywhere, even the airports. Probably the best way to put it is to say the Steelers are part of the air we breathe. I’m no different. I’ve been a Steelers fan for almost as long as I’ve been anything. I grew up in the era of Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, the Steel Curtain, and Emperor Chaz Noll (nick named by local sports broadcaster Myron Cope, a local “On any Sunday during the season, people everywhere are wearing black and gold. Some have on jerseys, and others have on T-shirts, while a few dress up the colors for a more high-fashion look. I’m not kidding. It’s everywhere, even the airports.”
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THE 4-LEGGED HEROES OF GROUND ZERO Honoring the Canines of 9/11
If you feel like you’ve hardly seen your kids since the school year started, you’re not alone. Americans are way too busy — from childhood onward, we’re always running hither and thither, packing in as many after-school activities, work-related meetings, and social engagements as possible. It’s a problem so pervasive that it has a name: time scarcity. Families feel time scarcity keenly after school starts in September, when children’s schedules explode with engagements. But all hope for close ties isn’t lost; there are ways to stay connected with your spouse and kids, even in an increasingly busy world. Here are some ideas from counselors, teachers, and psychologists who claim to have mastered the art. Rituals make up the backbone of individual families and society at large. Most people wouldn’t dream of abandoning their holiday traditions, so why forgo the smaller rituals that bring families together? Whether it’s eating dinner at the same table each evening, watching a movie together every Thursday night, or going on a monthly getaway, make sure these traditions aren’t canceled. If your family doesn’t have many rituals, a great way to connect is to start some. STAYING CONNECTED Keep Your Family Close in a Busy World REMEMBER YOUR RITUALS
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.
Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and
rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes.
MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT
As cliche as it sounds, when you don’t have much time together, it’s crucial to be present for every minute of it. If you have a rare half hour at home with one of your kids, make a point to spend it in the same room and try to start a conversation. If you squeeze in a romantic dinner with your spouse, turn off your phones before the food comes. Listening to each other without distractions will strengthen your relationship.
After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies
examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re
HUG IT OUT
Physical contact is vital for closeness. When you get the chance, hug your kids, hold hands with your spouse, and do physical activities as a family, like hiking, biking, or even playing group sports. It’s been scientifically proven that physical closeness leads to emotional closeness, so if you’re low on time, take advantage of that shortcut!
looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: AKCCHF.org .
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STOP THE SPREAD Prevent Colds and the Flu With Kid-Friendly Teaching Tools
School is back in session, but your child may be bringing home more than just random facts. Germs and bacteria that spread the common cold and flu are most prevalent in schools, but while these illnesses are strong, prevention is simple. Teach your kids how to prevent the spread of bacteria this season with these helpful tips.
one sneeze. (According to research, sneezes can travel anywhere from 19–26 feet at 100 miles per hour!) For crafty kids, let
BUT MOMMY DOESN’T COVER HER NOSE!
them decorate tissue boxes or hand sanitizer
Kids learn more by watching what you do rather than listening to what you tell them to do. Get in the habit of covering your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands. Make hand sanitizer and facial tissues readily available in your home and be sure to wash your hands before every meal. In addition, stick to healthy habits when you do feel sick. Drink fluids, get plenty of rest, and seek medical attention when it’s warranted. If your children see you taking care of yourself, they will be more likely to do the same for themselves in the future.
containers to give hygiene some flair. Soon enough, you’ll find them being smarter about their health.
AHH ... AHH ... ACHOO!
As kids pack into classrooms this fall, germs will fly faster than this past summer did. Prevent
Hand washing and nose blowing are about as fun as …well, just that. It’s no wonder children don’t want to take time out of their busy play schedules to combat nasty germs. Instead of making these important steps a chore, make basic hygiene fun. Use fun songs to teach the proper way to cover a sneeze, or do a science experiment to teach your children about the germs that are spread through just
the spread of the common cold and flu by learning more tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online at CDC.gov.
CACIO E PEPE
TAKE A BREAK
Inspired by Bon Appétit
6 oz pasta, ideally spaghetti or bucatini
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and divided
1/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste
1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stopping 2 minutes short of desired doneness. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add pepper and cook until toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. 3. Transfer pasta and remaining butter to pan and reduce heat to low. Add Parmesan cheese and cook until melted, tossing pasta throughout. Remove pan from heat and add pecorino, continuing to toss until cheese is melted and sauce coats pasta. 4. Transfer to bowls and serve.
Solution on Page 4
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INSIDE 1 30270 Rancho Viejo Road Suite D San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Are You Ready for Some Football?
Keep Your Family Close in a Busy World Honoring the Canines of 9/11
Teach Your Kids Flu Prevention Cacio e Pepe
The Vibrant Colors of America’s National Parks
THE BEST NATIONAL PARKS TO VISIT THIS FALL
Have you ever wanted to experience the colors of a Boston fall while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the great outdoors? Autumn
colors in full effect, take a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, and watch the sun crest over the vibrant leaves. To fully experience fall in the Northeastern U.S., Acadia National Park is a must-see. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina Further south, the autumn colors of the Smoky Mountains are no less breathtaking than those in the Northeast. This park offers many scenic lookout points accessible by car, so don’t worry about hoofing it into the forest if that’s not your thing. Park wherever you like and watch the warm colors of ancient maples, oaks, and cedars change before your eyes. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming While the West might typically be associated with evergreen pines, the deciduous trees of the relatively small Grand Teton National Park pack a colorful punch starting around the third week of September. It’s also breeding season for elk in the area, and their high, eerie whistles can be heard in the evenings. Popular destinations in the park include the Christian Pond Loop and String Lake. Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite national parks until next summer. The natural beauty of America can be experienced at any time of the year, so start planning your next autumn outdoor excursion!
leaves are a universally appreciated sign of the
changing seasons, and there’s no better place to see those vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds on display than in one of America’s national parks. So, if you’ve got some free time this autumn, here are some parks worth seeing.
Acadia National Park, Maine While the maple, birch, and poplar trees of Acadia begin to change color in September, mid-October is the best time to witness autumn in full swing. The park is crisscrossed with unpaved trails that date back to a time of horse-drawn carriages, preserving an idyllic setting. If you want to see the
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