Steelers Training Camp is always a well-attended affair. But the most exciting day of training camp is usually the annual “Friday Night Lights” practice.
Unlike the regular practices that are held at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, the “Friday Night Lights” practice is held at Latrobe Memorial Stadium. Also, while practices at Saint Vincent are always held during the day, the “Friday Night Lights” practice is the lone training camp practice that is held at night.
I have been a regular at Steelers Training Camp for years, and I must say that the annual Friday Night Lights practice is always the best opportunity to get an autograph from your favorite Steelers player. The Steelers have a special time before practice where fans can line up to get autographs from the favorite players. More importantly, the team makes sure that all of the players participate.
Those of you who attend training camp at Saint Vincent College know that certain players like Big Ben, James Harrison, and Troy Polamalu generally don’t spend much time signing autographs. But others, like Ziggy Hood and Ryan Clark, seem to be more than happy to sign autographs for anyone that asks.
But at the Friday Night Lights practice, you can get an autograph from just about anybody that you want one from. Even former Steelers (some of them are Hall-of-Famers) sometimes sign autographs.
If you plan to go to “Friday Night Lights”, there are a few things that you need to know. The first and most important thing that you need to know is that “Latrobe Memorial Stadium” is NOT located at Latrobe High School. The first time I ever tried to go to a Friday Night Lights practice, I thought that the stadium would be located at the high school. And I wasn’t the only one. There were probably 50 other cars driving around the high school looking for the practice with me. In fact, it’s such a frequent mistake that Latrobe High School posts signs all over the high school grounds informing people that the practice is not taking place there, and giving directions to Latrobe Memorial Stadium.
So if you plan to go, get directions in advance. Don’t be one of the hundreds of people who will inevitably end up at Latrobe High School tonight.
Secondly, get there early. The practice starts at 7:00 p.m., but the gates actually open at 5:30 p.m. If you want a great seat, get there early. Also, be aware that there is an admissions charge. This is different from the practices at Saint Vincent College, which are always free.
Lastly, don’t forget to bring something for the Steelers to sign for you. There’s nothing worse than having Troy Polamalu standing right in front of you waiting to sign an autograph for you, and suddenly realizing you don’t have anything for him to sign.