So You’re Gonna Root for the Steelers?

Posted: January 27, 2011 in Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’m glad! But I’m concerned for you. I don’t want people to call you a bandwagon fan, ya know? 

I was born and raised in South Florida. So many people didn’t understand how I could be a Steelers fan. I must have just jumped on the fan train they said.

Nay, sir.

Both parents were from the Steel City, and raised me proudly as a ‘Burgh fan. I grew up rooting for the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. (Luckily I’m old enough to remember a winning season from the Pirates) 

 I’ve been engulfed in Pittsburgh and Steelers cultural memes my entire life. With the help of my brother Colin, we’ve put together this “Must Know” fact sheet to help you root on “Dem Picksburgh Stillers”.

1. The slang. Pittsburgh slang is hilarious. I was lucky enough to work with a native Pittsburghian, and our UPS guy was also from Pittsburgh. Everyday they would try to outslang each other. There should be a Rosetta stone just for Pittsburghese (or a blog post from Kevin Calabro). So, for lack of time I will give you two words to use at your Superbowl Party.  Yinz and Jagoff. Yinz is used in place of “you all” or “y’all”. Fairly simple. I have an Uncle who uses “Yinzes” if there are four or more in the party. Now Jagoff. My favorite. Use it in place of “asshole” and reap the benefits. You must call the officials and Troy Aikman a jagoff at least twice while watching the game.

2. The Terrible Towel.  Debuting in 1975 during a playoff game against the Baltimore Colts, the Terrible Towel is a staple of the Steelers Fan Base. The towel was created as a marketing gimmick–reluctantly–by Myron Cope, radio personality in Pittsburgh. The “gimmick” is still going strong more than 30 years later. The towel is sacred to us fans. When Tennessee disgraced it last season, Colin and I felt like someone was burning the American Flag. When my mom gave me my late father’s Terrible Towel, she threatened me with death if I had ever lost it or damaged it. My mother “rescues” them from thrift stores. It’s that important to us. 


And my favorite Terrible Towel inspired poetry

He ran ninety-three
like a bat out of hell,
And no one could see
How he rambled so well.
“It was easy,” said Andy

And he flashed a crooked smile,
“I was snapped on the fanny
By the Terrible Towel!”

3. The Coaching Core. God, they’re awesome. Mike Tomlin, Dick LeBeau, and Bruce Arians. Gods amongst mere mortals. Tomlin is the youngest coach to go to, and win, a Super Bowl. He can also rock a pair of aviators like no one’s business. Dick LeBeau continues to  run a productive and destructive defense every season. And Bruce Arians? Just look at him. He could eat you.

4. The Team. What’s to say about a team this good? #1 Rushing Defense. A slew of amazing rookies. Playmakers like Polamalu, Wallace, Mendenhall. Linebackers who will eat you for lunch. They play meticulous football that eats away at the other team and puts wins in the record. While they may not be the most exciting team to watch, they win. This is what Colin sent to me when asked about what to talk about.

Talk about the rookie receivers, Sanders and Brown, and the impact they had. The center, Pouncey, how he made the pro bowl. Talk about Tomlin being 38 and going on his 2nd Super Bowl. Wallace, how he’s such a deep threat. Fastest receiver in the league. Talk about how we have the best linebacker corps, best rush defense, number one in scoring. Oh yea, and how Harrison will eat you if he gets the chance.  
5. The Cope. Mentioned earlier as the creator of the Terrible Towel, Myron Cope was the voice of Steelers football for 35 years. His iconic voice and ‘burgh accent brought life to the Steelers broadcast, and he became a character of himself. The true pep-leader of the Steeler Nation. He also came up with this:


6. The “Here We Go“.  Our unofficial fight song. Finally updated. Note it’s not “Black and Yellow”. I hate that song.


I’m glad you decided to root for the Steelers. At the time of this writing, we’re the underdogs. We need all the help we can get. I’m lucky to be raised a Steelers fan. There’s so much rich history in Pittsburgh and the franchise. Despite not being a resident of Pittsburgh, I am still a proud member of the Steeler Nation. We’re glad you are too.

[Edit] Can’t believe I forgot this. Thanks, Colin.

7. The Beard. No words, just this.

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