Friday, January 16, 2009

AN ODE TO PITTSBURGH


This anonymous email was first circulated in 2005. It's back now and once again making the rounds. We've jazzed it up a bit and are publishing this for all of you displaced Steeler fans around the country who wish you were here for the big game Sunday. We wish you were here too!!!

SO What' s the big deal about Steeler football you ask?

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.



Above: Pittsburgh, the city we all love. Among the most beautiful cities in the world.

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 live like movie stars or drive fancy cars. Instead, they have simple traditions like kielbasa and Kennywood Park.

Above: View of Heinz Field from Mt. Washington, high above Pittsburgh. If you've never had a chance to visit Pittsburgh, put it on your "bucket list". It's a "must see". But we live here and we already know that.

They live in distinctive neighborhoods like Polish Hill, Mt. Washington 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 do have "The Original Hot Dog" joint , 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.

Above: Hine Ward, Hines Jr. and "The Bus", Jerome Bettis celebrate winning SuperBowl XL in Motown. Bettis was honoray captain last week, this week Rod Woodson and Dermontti Dawson will represent the Black & Gold at the coin toss.

People from Pittsburgh don' t have the biggest malls or the best night clubs , but they' ll take Friday night high school football and Steeler Sunday over anything else. Steeler football means so much more than you think .It symbolizes 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 to have 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 about Jack Lambert and Joe Green in the hopes of imparting not just the knowledge, but the feeling that they represented.They are every where, 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 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 here, you have 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 every one' s voices especially our fathers, cousins, and anyone else who gathered around the TV on Football Sundays!!

Above: Bill Cowher with Hines Ward.

The best part, its just as exciting right now if not more as it was back then ! 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, its football at its finest!! If you now live in San Diego, Colorado, Ohio, Indiana, Chicago, Florida, Iowa, Texas, California or any other place, be proud of where you were born and who your FIRST favorite football team is!! Go Steelers!!

Above: Steel Curtain member, the late Ernie Holmes.

Above: A sea of "Terrible Towels" awaits the Baltimore Ravens. Tennessee desecrated a towel recently and quickly exited the playoffs against the Ravens. Someday they'll learn.