Friday, February 20, 2009


People from outside of Pittsburgh often wonder what it is that makes this team so special in the eyes of its' adoring fans. Make no mistake about it, there is a TREMENDOUS love affair that's been going on here for years. The best part about it is that it's not one sided. This is not just a case of player worship. The fans here give their full love to the Steelers and the team gives it right back to the fans.

Here's just another example of this courtesy of "P.B. & G." reader and best buddy, Dave W. He wrote:...

"Hi Ang, I thought you would like to know about this. There is a 10-year-old little girl - Heather is her name - who has Ewing's Sarcoma. She had surgery on Monday to remove part of her lung, three ribs and part of a few other ribs. She is recovering now but Troy Polamalu has been an angel in her life. She has been in and out of the hospital and when Troy can be there, he goes to see her.

Above: Heather, in proper attire, poses with her favorite Steeler, Troy Polamalu. Positive moments like this will hopefully speed along her recovery from recent serious surgery.
Below: Troy plays guitar hero in the hospital with Heather. Am I just old or can anyone else remember when there used to be signs a block away from a hospital that said "QUIET, HOSPITAL ZONE"?

They play Guitar Hero and when he's not there, he texts her. Before Monday's surgery, Heather got a surprise from him... he sent her his jersey - signed - that he wore in the game against the Ravens. I am forwarding you pictures of him playing guitar hero with her. I thought your readers might enjoy it. This is a very special guy, taking time out of his busy schedule to bring sunshine into this little girls life....."

You really said it all Dave. Troy Polamalu is a fine example of the good character people that the Steelers insist are a part of the equation when they draft a player. They, more than probably any other team in the NFL, value integrity and what's inside a player's heart as much as how fast he can run, or how high he can jump. When he can do all of those things AND is a great character guy, you trade up to get him which is exactly what the Steelers did to acquire Troy Polamalu as a first round draft choice.

Above: Troy even enjoys chocolates (when he's not drinking Coke that is).

I've always loved when our city's athletes do this kind of thing (Mario, for example, has done this for years) and in the case of Troy Polamalu, he's doing this because he's a great guy and for no other image reason. Troy is genuine. Troy is a Pittsburgh Steeler, Troy is one of OUR guys.

Again, now you know why the Steelers are so beloved in this town.