The cafeteria at Pittsburgh Steelers training camp is much like one you remember from high school — except the rich, popular kids here are really rich and popular.
After the morning practice at St. Vincent's College in Latrobe, reporters assemble outside the chow hall in hopes of cornering players and getting some inside scoops.
On any given day there are two dozen reporters from local and national news outlets gathered outside. Theirquestions range from topics suitable for the sports pages — rookie running back Le'Veon Bell's knee injury and who will replace Mike Wallace — to those more suitable for publications like Teen People: "Do you use the Twitter much?" or "Is it true that David DeCastro has become a jokester?"
Once inside the cafeteria, however, reporters are barred from interviewing players, who must get down to the business of eating.
They have a host of healthy items to choose from, including a salad bar and entrees like baked chicken or broiled fish. There are also some higher-calorie items like pizza, desserts and hand-dipped ice cream. Calorie counts are prominently displayed.
And here, much like in high school, cliques are enforced by strict rules – both written and unwritten:Some tables are reserved for players and coaches, while reporters seem consigned to the back corner — just like when they were in AV club. There, they partake in another time-honored journalistic tradition: eating a meal that someone else paid for.