Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Here we go Pittsburgh, Here We Go

 I promised a Steelers post, so here it is, a whole week and a half after the big game.
My favorite Dino... In Aspinwall.

So many of you know that the Steelers went to the super bowl this year. If you were here in PGH, this would be blatantly obvious if you ventured outside of your house between the playoffs and the big game. I think the easiest way to do this is to bullet this list with observations. There is a lot and none of it really goes together.

Before I start, let me throw out a big thank you to my parents, I got my birthday present a little early this year. I received a 'YINZER' Steelers Jersey in the mail a few days before the game. I sported it with pride.

-It is not uncommon to see people completely dressed in Black and Gold, from giant socks pulled up over their pants, to ladies' nails to beanies. Of course, on game day, everyone had a terrible towel hanging from their back pocket of hung on their shoulder (but more of that later).
Even Carnegii gets a Scarf! The other side says 'Steelers!'
- Obviously the buses had 'GO STEELERS' messages flashing, and people put up signs in their front windows (but this is no different from the 'GO ZAGS!' things in Spokane).
Gigantic house in Shadyside... throwing up some Black and Gold!
- I walked past a house that had a flag that was molded after the American flag, but with Black and Gold stripes, and 3 red, blue and yellow stars in the shape of the steelers logo.
-Students asked if classes on Monday would be canceled if the Steelers won, and professors considered it. I heard that some of the school districts would be canceled on Monday in the event of a Black and Gold win. It is crazy.
-At church, If I had to guess, 50% of the congregation was wearing black and gold colors, and 30% were wearing outright Steelers gear. But most of them had ties, or scarfs, or something classy. I just wore my jersey and terrible towel. I think I was the only one over the age of 10 wearing a jersey, still awesome.
- I have heard stories of people being refused service for wearing the opposing teams colors.
Special Steelers Edition Fence.
And the right side.
The back side.
If you don't know what it is, you should.

The Terrible Towel
For those of you who do not know about this awesome piece of sporting flare, I point you here. I am not going to go in to the traditions, there are a lot of them, some are hilarious...
- So I bought my very first towel at Giant Eagle in Squirrel Hill, the Thursday before the play off game against the Jets.
-The week before the big game I tied it to my bag, it sort of draped over it. Interestingly, I was criticized that it was tied down and I would not be able to 'throw it up' if I needed to... I quickly removed it and placed it in my back pocket. It is true, that you need to have quick access.
- Andrew (a curator at the Fort Pitt museum) showed us a picture of Chief Beaver (who is the first thing you see when you walk in the museum) holding out a terrible towel.
- The Towel showed up in church! The pastor, Rev. Leach, Started his sermon with a 'So there is a big game today, I am sure you all know about... (*as he is draping his terrible towel over the lectern*)  and sometimes pastors incorporate it in to their sermons. But we are not going to do that today. We have better things to talk about. Join me in prayer....'  While he was praying he removed it, a little sad.
- I drove from my house to the church (where I was meeting up with people) with my hand out the window, waving my towel. Let me tell you, it was difficult. Both because it was 20 degrees outside, and the mini-spaceship is a stick. I got at least 20 honks in 10 minutes... Then from church to downtown where I was watching the game, I was not driving, so I had the opportunity to fully dedicate my attention to waving. Just walking down the street in Black and Gold caused cheering from passer-buys. It was awesome.
-Now my Towel is hung proudly over my bed. Waiting to be pulled out for next years season.

The Big Game
-There were about 9 of us that met at Elaine's apartment downtown to watch the game. In a very small space, Mike set up a projector. It kind of reminded me of college living with Jake. We had Tacos, Hummus and Pitta Chips, Yuengling (local beer), Stuffed Mushrooms, Chips and Salsa, Cake, Brownies... lots of food. It was great.

Mr. Schwerin, man of the night.
Making Food. Notice the 'Tiny Terrible' on Tracey's shirt...
Post Game. Notice the tired looks...
- Sam (who, like me, is new to this whole Steelers thing) was not with us. She was with her own 'family,' the family she lives with here in PGH. They have a belief that your physical exertion as a viewer of the game has a great effect on the team. So in their house, after half time, ever Steeler's first down and touchdown, everyone has to do 10 push ups. They have a spinning bike set up in their living room, someone has to be on it all the time. If the Steelers are making a big play, the resistance has to be turned up. If the Steelers fall behind, who ever is on the bike, has to get off... As an extension, when cheering, people cheer for the Steelers and the biker. So, out of solidarity, we took on such a task. We pushed up, and had one person doing jumping jacks the whole time. Let me tell you, my calves were shot the next week. I did more jumping jacks that night than I have in my entire life.
- In the past there have been riots after a wining game. When I met up with Andrew, he pointed out that he was wearing Steel toed boots 'just in case.' One of my life long goals is to witness a riot (and sporting ones are relatively peaceful...) Skanda was telling me of the chaos that occurred after the last win, couches were torched, cars were flipped, streets were filled with people... Unfortunately, with a loss there were no exciting events.
There were Hundreds of these all over Oakland
The Aftermath
It is interesting to see an entire town mope. Really, people were sad. Sam told me a story about one of the little girls she lives with, I think the little girl is 8 or 9. On Monday when she and her mom walked to the bus stop, she noticed all of the other kids having fun, and throwing snow balls. She turned to her mother and asked 'Why are they so happy? Don't they know we lost?'
Monday morning... someone took the fence... Notice the crossed out letters :)
If you want to see more pics, go here.

1 comment:

  1. Great post!!! Frodofest and Steelers all in one day! You were busy. Love the pics... especially the sign for students celebrating!!! What an experience. Thanks for helping us to feel what it is like in the 'burgh!!!