Being from Pittsburgh, naturally, I am a Steelers fan. America is full of football fans, but being a Steelers fan is something special. No team means more to the city it represents. These are the reasons that I am proud to be a Steelers fan:
#10 Monday Mornings: If you didn’t watch the NFL and you flew into Pittsburgh on a Monday, you would immediately know whether the Steelers won or lost by the mood of the people. The city lives and dies by the team. Monday mornings are the time to bask in the glory of a hard earned victory or to forget a heart-breaking loss.
#9 The Haters: You know that your team is successful by the number of “haters” it has. Browns fans, Bengals fans, Ravens fans, and other various Steelers haters constantly try to diminish the Steelers’ success. This is a good thing; it means they’re jealous. Raiders’ fans are still complaining about the immaculate reception thirty-eight years after the fact.
#8 Here We Go: What other team has such a catchy tune? “Here we go, Steelers, here we go. Pittsburgh’s going to the Super Bowl!”
#7 The Terrible Towel: Myron Cope created the Terrible Towel to excite the fans for a 1975 playoff football game against the Baltimore Colts. The Terrible Towel has endured and is one of the most recognizable collectible items in sports. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the towel benefits Allegheny Valley School in Pittsburgh.
#6 The Steelers Logo: The Steelers are the only team in the NFL to wear a logo on one only one side of the team’s helmets. The logo is based on U.S. Steel’s “Steelmark”. The logo was placed on the right side of the helmets as a test to see how it would look on the helmets. The result was so popular that it was decided to leave the helmets that way permanently.
#5 The Steel Curtain: Most football fans watch to see offense. Steelers’ fans take pride in the team’s defense. Pittsburgh is a blue collar town and defenders are the blue collar workers of the NFL. Defense is not glamorous; it’s not fashionable. Defense is hard work, and Pittsburgh appreciates hard work.
#4 The Rooney Family: Sports Illustrated named the Rooney Family the best owners in the NFL. The magazine said, “Through the years, one thing has remained consistent: the class with which the organization is run.” Forget all the championships; the Rooney family is what makes this team special.
#3 Six Super Bowl Victories: No other team can say that. No other city can say that. The Steelers are the fifth oldest franchise in the NFL. It took them 41 years to win their first championship. Now, no team has more championships in the modern era of football, America’s most popular spectator sport.
#2 Pittsburgh’s Team: When it was suggested that the moniker of America’s Team should refer to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Art Rooney dismissed the idea stating, “The Steelers are Pittsburgh’s team.” There has never been a truer statement.
#1 Mary Thomas: You are probably asking yourself, who is Mary Thomas? Mary Thomas was my single biggest influence in becoming a football fan. Shortly before she passed away at the age of 74 in December of 2004, she had been in and out of the hospital a couple times. I drove back home to Pittsburgh to visit with her in late October that year. The Steelers were set to host the Patriots on Halloween night. My mother wanted us to all go out on Sunday. I said, “As long as we’re back in time to catch the game, that’s all that matters” My mother shot a disapproving look at me. Mary replied without skipping a beat, “What? He didn’t say anything wrong.” Five weeks later, she was dead. I miss you, Grandma.