The Pittsburgh Steelers mean a lot to most Pittsburghers…This is for anyone who’s not from Pittsburgh when they ask “why are you so obsessed with the Steelers?”
- The Pittsburgh Steelers mean to me — Gridiron Geography in elementary school, where we got a worksheet every week that taught us about the geography of the team we were playing. Perhaps this is where I first learned that Cleveland is also called “The Mistake on the Lake.” 🙂
- The Pittsburgh Steelers mean to me — Being six years old, sitting curled up in my dad’s big leather chair while it was covered in plastic as he stripped wallpaper in the new house we moved into. The game would be on our old RCA television and it was there I’d learn what every position in football was called, what every down meant, and how many points equaled a touchdown, field goal and safety.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers mean to me — As the oldest of five, I always felt so grown up when my dad let me stay up to watch Monday Night Football, only when the Steelers were on. He’d make his signature homemade popcorn and we’d watch the game while we waited for my mom to return home from Giant Eagle. She would always return home exclaiming how empty the store was since everyone was home watching the game.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers mean to me — The very special games were at my grandparents’ house in Clairton when we were little. We’d all pile into their little living room and the house smelled of tomato sauce and kielbasa. My cousins and I would sneak away to steal some Nutter Butters in grandma’s special cookie tin. She always pretended not to notice.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers mean to me — The 1996 AFC Championship Game vs. The Indianapolis Colts when your dad invited you along with his two friends to attend. At 11 years old, I was too short to see the last play but got so swept up in the excitement it didn’t really matter. I remember thinking my dad would surely lose his 1970s era original Terrible Towel as he frenetically waved it out of his friend’s pickup truck.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers mean to me — Listening to Myron Cope and Bill Hillgrove crackling through the car radio on those rare Sundays when we weren’t home. Those were the few car rides where there were absolutely no arguments.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers mean to me — In college in D.C. when my friends and I pulled out all the stops to rent a car to get home for the AFC Championship in 2006, driving through not the greatest weather on the Turnpike. We just had to get home to see our Steelers, even if everyone else thought we were crazy.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers mean to me — Putting on that black and gold and going to my parent’s house. Walking through the door and being hit with the smell of my dad’s homemade popcorn again and whatever else my mom decided to make that afternoon. Our dogs would be outfitted in special Steeler collars or bandannas and for the playoffs, the Steeler flags for both the house and car would come out.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are not just a football team to us. They’re our memories, our nostalgia, our hopes and our dreams because after all, as they say, anything can happen on any given Sunday.