Football bus scores big with McIntyre Elementary teacher, students
Sonny Amato considers himself a Steelers fanatic.
He's been cheering for the black and gold since he was a preschooler and now, at 35, he attends every home game as a season ticket holder.
So when the McIntyre Elementary School kindergarten teacher recently was named a “Sunday Night Football” Fan of the Week by NBC, he was elated.
“I thought it was great,” he said. “It was an honor to be picked.”
As one of four weekly winners, Amato was awarded prizes including the NBC Sports Group's “Sunday Night Football” bus making a visit to McIntryre Elementary — its first visit to a school.
The 304-square-foot bus is wrapped with bigger-than-life images of popular NFL players. Inside, it boasts a sofa and flat-screen TV; an Xbox game system featuring “Madden NFL 25;” a mock broadcast studio mimicking the space where Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth call the games.
The bus is crossing the country, covering more than 17,000 miles. The vehicle will make 17 game day stops and a Thanksgiving night game stop, plus four stops at local landmarks and events in each “Sunday Night Football” host city.
Amato's 20 kindergarten students toured the bus during on Sept. 20.
“It was priceless to see the kids' faces light up when they came out and saw the NBC football bus parked where their school buses normally sit,” Amato said.
Amy Mathieu, principal at McIntryre Elementary, said the children enjoyed the experience. “Plus, it really helped build excitement for that night's North Hills football game,” she added.
“I saw a TV and some games in there,” said Hope Diller, 5.
“It was cool when my friends wore a football helmet.”
Laurie Rees is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.