Home > Friends of SMP, Sports > A shout out to my Steeler friends out there

A shout out to my Steeler friends out there

Congrats to the Seahawks, Panthers, Broncos and the Steelers for getting to the conference championships. After a tepid start to the playoffs, it would be hard to say that yesterday was anything but thrilling. OK, I was actually at Carmax buying a new ride, but the highlights looked stupendous. The recap of the Steelers game almost stopped my heart… had I watched it live, I’m not sure what would have happened. And I’m a frustrated Cowboys fan.

Like anyone in America, I have friends who love the Steelers. Seriously, wherever you go, there are a bunch out there. All you have to do is say, “Jack Lambert wasn’t all that great!” in a crowded room… and wait. Whoever tries to slap the teeth out of your jaw, that’s your Steelers fan.

I’m lucky enough to have a few of them hanging around… a couple at work, one in the neighborhood, and a bunch in my circle of friends. One is Nipsey, who blogged about his love of the Steelers recently (if only briefly… he also had a “dead pool” to comment on as well as his undying hatred of Mike Patrick… it was a busy weekend). Nipsey once met Lynn Swann while working in sports information at Georgia Tech; Swanny was the sideline reporter at a GaTech game, and Nip played his male groupie. No restraining orders were necessary — quite a surprise when I heard the whole story.

Nipsey is typical of the “born and raised” Steeler fan. He hails from Erie, Pa., so he got his love of the black and gold naturally. My other favorite Steelerhead is a guy who came by the magic of Pittsburgh through the magic of TV.

My boy Chuckie is one of the millions of kids out there who became addicted to the Bradshaw-led squad in the late 70s. Chuckie grew up near me in eastern NC, and he gravitated to Pittsburgh. There was no local team unless you counted the Redskins or the Falcons — and an eight-hour drive doesn’t count as local to a five-year-old. Chuckie is renowned for watching Steeler games in a fit of pent-up angst, often changing positions (from the couch to the floor to a chair), thinking that the change helps his team. Watching a game with Chuckie is like watching a toddler after a chocolate binge. But with more cussing.

You know, it’s hard to beat Steeler fans. They’re not as crass as Philly fans. Not as ambivalent as Atlanta fans. Not as freakin’ scary as Raider fans. Just unbelievably loyal. Back in September, I attended the epic Houston-Pittsburgh game in H-town. Beyond the fact that it was 95+ degrees — and they left the roof open (don’t get me started) to help give the Texans an edge over the black-shirted Steelers — the one thing I’ll remember is the number of black-and-gold shirts in the crowd. It was amazing. Now, I didn’t expect that the Texans had that great of a following as they reach the “prime” of the David Carr years. But, over a third of the crowd were Steeler fans. UNC alum and unlikely NFL success story Willie Parker ran for a bunch of yards, and Pittsburgh went on to an easy win.

So, Pittsburgh hits the AFC championship. And seemingly half of the people I know will be queasy, anxious… possibly piss drunk. Even as a Dallas fan, I know good fans when I see them. But, because Chuckie and Nipsey will kill me (quite literally) if I jinx their team, I’m predicting a Denver win. A big one. 66-3, maybe. Everybody happy? Good.

Categories: Friends of SMP, Sports
  1. Chuckie
    January 18, 2006 at 12:34 am

    Well, you knew “Chuckie” would have to reply. I must admit, I was wondering how the game would turn out this past Sunday, since I was at my mother-in-laws and not in my favorite chair, which I had been sitting in with my right leg crossed over the left during Pittsburgh’s latest winning streak. I was REALLY worried. The only thing I had going for me was that I did have my lucky Steelers long-sleeved t-shirt to wear. I was hoping that might get me through one week away from my lucky chair. About 5 minutes before kickoff, I was wondering where I would sit for the game. Then, out of the blue it hit me. I would not sit, but I would stand about 5 feet from the TV in the guest room and watch the game only to sit down during commercials. Boy, did that work or what? I now have a “favorite spot” to watch the game even at the in-laws. LET’S GO STEELERS, LET’S GO!!

  1. January 13, 2008 at 10:42 pm

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