What’s the Big Deal about Steeler Football?

Info for anyone who just crawled out from under a rock:  the Super Bowl  will be held in Dallas (really in Arlington) at Cowboy Stadium (also known as Jerry World) on Sunday, February 7, 2011.  The featured teams will be the Pittsburg Steelers 

and the Green Bay Packers

(both arch rivals of the lowly home team – the Dallas Cowboys.)

Big Al was born and raised in Pittsburg.  He received the following e-mail from a friend he grew up with, so I’m giving him (and the unknown author of the forwarded e-mail) a GUEST POST to talk about the Steelers.  (If I know anyone who is from Green Bay who would like to have a small soap box from which to extol the virtues of his/her team, please let me know, and I’ll give equal opportunity to you.)

From: Al Watters
Sent: Thursday, January 27, 2011 11:54 AM

Happy New Year and thanks for the memories below.  In reading this it seems that the writer was a bit younger than we are.  I say that as there is no mention of Bobby Layne or John Henry Johnson and how could the writer forget to mention Terry as s/he talked about LC or Mean Joe Greene.  I must say that I remember the blizzard of 1950.  It was not a pleasant time as we had to cut back on the amount of coal for the furnace as no one knew when the truck could get in with another load and while one could mush to the store after a couple of days there was very little left to buy because the delivery trucks couldn’t get through.  And who can forget that there was another local beer at one time – Remember “Fort Pitt, that’s it.”

 I guess I’ve been a Steeler fan for about as long as I can remember, first listening to games on radio and reading about them in the Pittsburgh Press and then watching them on TV.  Living here in Dallas I’ve adopted the Cowboys as a back-up but still keep up with Big Ben and Hines and thought it a shame they allowed Santonio to escape. I’ll be pulling for the Steelers in the big game but I’ll not be going anywhere near the madhouse that will be going on at “Jerry World.” (our nickname for Cowboy Stadium.) So welcome Western PA, WVa, and parts of Ohio and all of the rest of the Steeler nation and party nicely with the “Cheeseheads” that will be running around with you.

Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 4:17:59 PM


Being a Steeler fan means so much more than football. It means being from a corner of the world unlike any other.

It means being from a place where the people are so tough-minded that they have survived the Homestead strikes, the Johnstown flood and most recently the Etna Floods. These people have the DNA of hard work, in mills and mines, without the necessity of complaint. They live simply, with no frills. They don’t have movie stars or fancy cars.

Instead, they have simple traditions like kielbasa, Kennywood and celebrations. They live in distinctive neighborhoods like Polish Hill and the Hill District and all of the surrounding counties. These people are genuine.

They don’t have chic internet cafes and cappuccinos, but they have The Original Hot Dog joint, Primanti’s, Eat n’ Park and Iron City Beer.

People from Pittsburgh don’t have sunny beaches or fancy boats, but the rivers roll gently, connecting the small towns of people whose histories have been built on strength and humility.

People from Pittsburgh don’t have the biggest shopping malls or the best nightclubs, but they’ll take Friday night high school football and Steeler Sunday over anything.

Steeler football means so much more than you think. It symbolizes a Diaspora of generations who had the best childhood they could imagine.

They ran free without a care or concern in the valleys of those Allegheny Mountains. Their blue-collar world was easy…there was no one to tell them that they lacked material things. There was no one to tell them that they needed more.

As the steel mills closed and the jobs disappeared, some of these people had to leave. While the world benefits because they spread their Pittsburgh values, they long for their home where things were simpler and more pure.

They teach their kids and grandkids about Jack Lambert, Lynn Swann, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Ham, L.C. Greenwood, Joe Greene, and Myron Cope in hope of imparting not just the knowledge, but the feeling that they represented.

They are everywhere, those Terrible Towels. They wave, not just for the team, but for the hearts they left behind.

They wave in living rooms in Fort Lauderdale and in the bars of Washington, D.C. They wave all the way to the Seattle Superdome! They wave for the Rooney family, whose values mirror our own – loyalty, grit, and humility.

They wave for football players like Jerome Bettis and Hines Ward, whose unselfishness and toughness have allowed sports to be about the game and the team.

Make no mistake that Steeler football is not just about football. I could not be prouder to be from the Pittsburgh area than I am right now!!

Even if you no longer live in the area, you have South Western Pennsylvania in your blood no matter where you go.

And deep down in your heart of hearts, you can still hear the Super Bowls of times past, the excitement in everyone’s voices especially our fathers, cousins, and anyone else who gathered around the TV on Football Sundays!

Make no mistake, it’s just as exciting right now! It’s not just about rivalries and who is better than the other, it’s about family, tradition and roots! It’s more than football, but its football at its finest! If you now live in Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Indiana, California, Florida, Nevada, or Texas, be proud of where you were born and who your FIRST favorite football team was!

Go Steelers – Picksburgh- GO STILLERS!

 Ah yes! “Picksburgh”

Yunz is from the Picksburgh area or maybe you grew up there if:

1. You didn’t have a spring break in high school.

2. You walk carefully when it is “slippy” outside.

3. You often go down to the “crick.”

4. You’ve told your children to “red up” their rooms.

5. You can remember telling your little brother/sister to stop being so ” nebby.”

6. You’ve gotten hurt by falling into a “jaggerbush”.

7. Your mother or grandmother has been seen wearing a “babushka” on her head.

8. You’ve “worshed” the clothes.

9. I ask you to hand me one of those “Gum-Bands” an’ you actually know what I’m talking about.

10. You know you can’t drive too fast on the back roads, because of the deer.

11. You know Beaver Valley, Turtle Crick, Mars, Slippery Rock, Greentree and New Castle are names of towns. And you’ve been to most, if not all, of them.

12. A girl walks up to three of her girl friends and says, “HEY,YENZ GUYS!”

13. You hear “you guyses” and don’t think twice. Example: “you guises hause is nice.”

14. You know the three rivers by name and understand that “The Point” isn’t just on a writing instrument.

15. Someone refers to “The Mon” or “The Yough” and you know exactly what they’re talking about.

16. You remember the blizzard of 1993 (or 1976, or 1950, or 1939, or…) and remember not being able to go outside because the snow was over your head and you would have suffocated.

17. Someone starts the chant, “Here we go Still-ers!” and you join in. In the proper cadence, waving the appropriately colored towel.

18. Bob Prince and “There’s a bug loose on the rug.” hold special meaning for you.

19. You’ve either eaten a Farkleberry Tart or know someone who has.

20. You drink pop, eat hoagies, love pierogies and one of your favorite sandwiches actually has coleslaw and French fries ON it.

21. You know what a “still mill” is.

22. You expect temps in the winter to be record-breaking cold and temps in the summer to be record-breaking hot.

23. You know what Eat ‘N Park is and frequently ate breakfast there at 2:00 AM after the bar closed and made fun of people.

24. You order “dippy eggs” in a restaurant and get exactly what you wanted.

25. You spent your summers, or a school picnic at Luna Park , Kennywood, Westview, Sand Castle , or Idlewild.

26. You’ve been to the Braun’s Bread Plant or Story Book Forest for a school field trip. We went to the Heinz plant and the Isaly’s plant for Cub Scouts.

27. “Chipped ham” was always in your refrigerator when you was growin’up.

28. You refuse to buy any condiments besides Heinz unless a Pittsburgh athlete’s picture is on the side of the container.

29. When you call the dog or the kids you shout, “Kum-mere” and they come.

30. Franco, Roberto, and Mario don’t need last names and you can recite their exploits by heart.

31. Food at a wedding reception consists of rigatoni, stuffed cabbage, sauerkraut and polska kielbasa.

 You’ll send this on to family and friends who used to live in the Pittsburgh area as well as to those who have never lived there, just so they can appreciate how different western PA really is.

Wonder how many of yinz guys actually understood all dat? Some folks just don’t.

It’s winter in Pennsylvania and the gentle breezes blow

Seventy miles an hour at twenty-five below.

Oh, how I love Pennsylvania when the snow’s up to your butt

You take a breath of winter and your nose gets frozen shut.

Yes, the weather here is wonderful so I guess I’ll hang around

I could never leave Pennsylvania ’cause I’m frozen to the ground!!

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