This Is Steeler Nation (Yinz)

5 Feb
  

 
 
One of the many incredible things about the city of Pittsburgh is that it is always  excited about the Steelers.  Regardless of whether or not we make it to the Super Bowl, we have shops all around town solely dedicated to the love of the big, hairy team and they are always busy.   I must admit that the thrill of tomorrow’s game got me in such a hype that I ventured into one of the most famous of the Steelers gear outlets in The Strip District for a few Terrible Towels.  Because a Pittsburgher – or any true Steelers fan for that matter – cannot be seen in a social setting where cheering for Pittsburgh is taking place without the use of the Terrible Towel.  It’s borderline treason.  There are guards on every bridge into the city (which is a lot for a city that holds the world record for most bridges), ready to take those whom have committed this near-crime to the Allegheny County Jail for questioning of their loyalty.
 
I am not a native Pittsburgher.  I moved here from Central PA for school and have lovingly hung out ever since.  It has a little to do with it being the Most Livable City in the nation, and a lot more to do with how lovable it is.   It’ s just big enough to do big things and small enough to make you feel like you live in a town.   It’s chock full of museums, art, theater, and community members who really, truly care about people – and has the enormous, free, often-used Schenley Park nestled inside.  It’s a very residential-based city – bustling with a variety of ma and pa shops.   Perhaps my favorite quality is that each neighborhood within the city’s reach has its own entirely unique culture: Shadyside for its luxurious flair, Southside for its earthy, party-hard approach, Oakland for its superfluity of hopeful, energetic college students, Squirrel Hill, for having so many practicing Orthodox Jews that the Dunkin’ Donuts is kosher… It really is a wonderful place to live, full of adventure and life.    Once you stay for any extended period of time, it’s difficult to not just settle down and make a life out of it.  It’s just so darn lovable.
 
So you have to understand that Pittsburgh fans are fans like no other.  They’re rowdy, in your face, and obnoxious about their steely loyalty.   I have a close friend – let’s call her Peach – who said she hated the Steelers simply because of their fans.  And you know what? I entirely understand where she’s coming from.  Because I was there for the latest Super Bowl win – I actually stood outside for 5 minutes straight listening to the collective screaming from inside every house in a 10 mile radius.
 
And then I swiftly made my way to Oakland to watch a couch be set on fire.
 
So I get it – we’re excitable.  But we’re just so stoked to have something to get behind together – the colors Black and Gold.
 
So I’d like to share with you a few glimpses of Pittsburgh’s pride.   The first is above – the marquee on my local movie theater.  I don’t believe it needs an explanation.
 
I could have easily taken snapshots of anyone on the executive floor at work today to share as the second glimpse- each one donned a very fashionable Steelers getup.  Because as much as it’s important to look professional, you best not show up the workday before the Super Bowl without your black and gold.
 
And then there’s the school system.  When I moved here for school, I was shocked at how my teachers would offer extra credit to students who wore a Steelers jersey the class before a game.  Unable to afford an official jersey, I was mostly ticked that I couldn’t get an extra half point.   But this year, the Pittsburgh Public School System has taken it even further – by making a preemptive call that Monday morning constitutes a two hour delay.
 
In addition, I’ve included a picture below of St. Clair Hospital’s newest additions to the world wrapped in Terrible Towels in celebration of the Steelers going to the Super Bowl.  It’s a tradition that started in 2008 and is proudly maintained.
 
 

Little Steeler Babies

 
So there you have it – my take on the lovable, hateable, always loyal Steeler fandom.   We don’t mean to be obnoxious; it’s just that we’re too into the Steelers to notice that we are.  I hope you can understand. 
 
 
 

Take a moment and check out Lynn Cullen’s take on the Green Bay / Pittsburgh match up.   He hails from Wisconsin but is firmly nestled in the ‘burgh and this article from the Pittsburgh City Paper painted Green Bay in a light that made me almost root for them.   Because they’re pretty darn lovable too.  

 

This is real.

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3 Responses to “This Is Steeler Nation (Yinz)”

  1. Lori February 5, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    It irritates me when people say that Steelers fans are obnoxious. Have they met Eagles fans?!

    I must admit, that while I support the Steelers, I will not be cheering for Roethlisberger. I realize it’s hard to separate the two, but when his own team isn’t willing to defend him, then why should we? (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/01/31/teammates-wouldnt-go-to-bat-for-roethlisberger-with-goodell/)

    PS – your post makes me want to spend some time in Pittsburgh and get to know the city. I’ve only visited a few times so I have not been enamored by the city yet.

    Like

    • Jackie February 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

      Hey, a lot of Pittsburghers aren’t behind Ben either. I mean we’ll cheer for him to perform and we’ll get excited about his great feats, but as far as “liking him”…

      Well suffice it to say that last year, a trip to Goodwill revealed several official NFL Jerseys with Roethlisberger on the back. 😉

      Like

  2. Faith A. Geek February 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    Pittsburgh here I come. You make it sound so amazing, I’ll put that on my list to live someday. Along with Maine and Maryland and Washington 😄

    Like

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