I was in high school on Dec. 23, 1972, the Immaculate Reception made me an instant Steeler fan. Being a teen-ager it was acceptible to switch teams, up to this point I was a NY Giants fan, my favorite player was Carl Lockhart, the Spider Man. I got a Terry Bradshaw jersey for Christmas, the rest is history. I have seen every superbowl, the first 9 with my dad, his last year was 1975 he got to see the Steelers beat the Vikings, he passed away that May. My dad was white collar, real smart guy, could manage people easily, always had respect. Me, I am educated but I like working with my hands and my mind, so I never went into management, I sat on the fence and found jobs where my body and mind both worked equally, I never wanted to sit at a desk or be forced to work outside for 8 hours, I do a little of both.
It's funny how you change as you get older, my temper subsided, my patience grew, but my love for the Pittsburgh Steelers never dropped off. As hard as I try, if they lose I am miserable and a real SOB if you start talking about the game to me in a negative sense. I was going to Sports Bars for 12 years, then in 2004 I went to direct TV. I missed the commodory with my Steeler buddies, but I certainly do not miss the DUI battle. There were times where I gambled, eventually I got married and my wife became the designated driver. I have nothing against having a few beers, but if you count pre-game, and sip a beer at a half-hour/12 ounce rate, you have 9 beers in you by the end of the game. I weigh more than I want, so I am not a lightweight, and not short by any means, but still getting buzzed around rabid Patriot and Cowboy fans nearly led to brawls. I got into it a few times verbally, but eventually cooler heads prevailed and we shook hands instead of throwing, it may sound wimpy but looking back it was the better of the two options. I am not the type to back down, especially after drinking, but something clicked in my head once I hit 40 something and stopped pumping iron, you learn to rationalize before you get irrational and get thrown in the tank. It also has something to due with having a mortgage. Hey if I kick this guys azz will he sue me, or if I get pummeled how am I going to work?
I also love the city of Pittsburgh, the yellow bridges, Station Square, and Primanti Brothers down in the Strip District. I noticed that when I was there, if I was a few cents short, the cashier would reach in her purse so I would not have to break a big bill. Where I come from you would never see that. I have a theory that if you plotted a map and connected DC/Balt., up to Boston, over to Albany, then down to Philly, you would find the most self-centered bastages in the country. Look I live here, road rage, hate, taxes, people are mostly in it for themselves. I wish more people were like the Burghers and also Nashville has some really really nice folks. Hey it's not a crime to be nice to people, but in general, this whole northeast corner needs an attitude adjustment. I am no saint either, I am a product of my Environment, but I still try to hold open doors for strangers and to bless them when they sneeze. (unless we are in Church, then "bless you" is understood).
I rooted for the RedSox all these years, I remember 1967 the year Yaz won the triple crown and Longborg won the Cy Young, still was no match for Bob Gibson. I never hated Bob Gibson for beating the Red Sox, I respected him too much as a baseball fan. That same feeling held over in 1975 when Johnny Bench and Tom Seaver beat the Sox, again as a baseball fan I did not hate the Reds. ALong comes 1978, Bucky F. Dent, this is when my hate started. I became a hater that day. never liked the Yankees anyhow, now I hated several players. But also in 1978 along comes Jack Delloplane, good old number 35, talk about a career in a big game, he was "hyrdoplane" and the Steelers beat the Oilers 34-5, I was in college. 1986 Bill F. Buckner, don't hate the guy but WTF MacNamara, you had Dave Stapleton on the bench. 1995 Neil Frieking O'Donnell, glad you went to the Jets buddy, you cost us our 5th ring and our shot at being undefeated in Super Bowls. 2001, we had 9-1-1 so I did not hate the Patriots, until the Tuck Rule, man that was bad, even the team walked off the field and Bellicheck's head sagged, but wait in the back of the book there is this rule.......... oh brother....... hey holding is a rule too, but you don't call it with the season on the line, just my opinion. 2003 Aaron F. Boone and Grady F. Little........... thank you for 2004 and 2007 though. Got my first tatoo in 2006 one week after SB XL, a chain of hypocloids around my bicep. (red, blue, yellow stars), like the barbed wire thing, only Steeler style. As much as I root for Uconn and the Red Sox, no tatoos, only the Pittsburgh Steelers mean that much to me.