I've been listening to a lot of Philly sports radio lately. Actually, I listen to it more often than not throughout the year as I am a Flyers and Sixers fan. But lately, I find myself drawn to all the Eagles talk about who needs to be fired and whose fault certain losses can be pinned on and who's going to start screaming for more money (cough, DeSean Jackson, cough). I openly admit that it's therapeutic to listen to all this as it eases the sting of the end of our season. Realizing that another team has it worse helps me put things into perspective.
Last week on the Mike Missanelli show on 97.5 The Fanatic, he was calling all Dallas fans in the Philly area frauds as they didn't actually live in Dallas. I figured it was mostly stirring the pot due to the bitter rivalry, but then someone called in and asked if he considered Steelers fans frauds pointing out how well they "travel". To my surprise, he labeled all those Steeler fans the same. Honestly I think he's trying more and more these days to be like Howard Eskin (if you don't know who I'm talking about he's the most hated radio personality in the area), therefore my dislike for this guy grows. He's turning into a real crumb. It really ticked me off, but I decided not to call in because there's no talking to these people out here - not much objectivity.
So I instead decided to channel my anger into thinking about why it is I'm a Steelers fan. I get the question from time to time and I usually respond by talking about my parents being from Western PA and growing up with them cheering the hell out of the Steelers. Some people still discard that as a bogus reason and label me a frontrunner or say I can't think for myself - probably out of jealousy. Next time I'm asked, I'll have this printed out and maybe it will be a worthy explanation.
Answering that question leads to searching for one specific reason - one I do not have as there are many. As far as I'm concerned, I've always been. I don't remember anything other than the black and gold in my 34 years. First, I am a Steelers fan because of my family. I am a Steelers fan because I remember the disappointed yet encouraging tone in my dad's voice when he'd say "we'll get'em next year" through most of the 80's and all of the 90's (he was the same way with the Bucs in the early 90's...still hate the Braves and Reds to this day). I am a Steelers fan because every year I am counting the days until I travel to Pittsburgh with my brothers to see a game. I am a Steelers fan because when we beat the Broncos to go to Super Bowl XL, I called my mom to tell her how much I loved her...in tears wishing my dad were here to share it with...yea I cried, whatever. Chewie has a pic of me 2 weeks later in total bliss in the middle of an instant parade on Carson Street after we spent all day at Jack's. I was in an even greater state of bliss later that night as I destroyed a Pittsburgher at Primanti Bros. I cried after SB XLIII too.
Every time I watch them, I think about my family. Every time I hear Renegade or Thunderstruck I visualize being at Heinz waving my towel like a lunatic...or my brother Jim waving his towel so maniacally that he hit himself in the eye....or Chewie and I doing a triple chest bump, sandwiching my brother Mike and knocking him silly only to have the emergency staff come rushing to our seats (now that was an epic chest bump). I am a Steelers fan because I hate Mondays (and Tuesdays and Wednesdays and quite honestly most of the week) after we lose. I avoid all national media during that time (or focus in on local media if they lost too...see above).
I am a Steelers fan because I have the sweatshirt, the boxers, the Bettis jersey, the coffee mug, the carafe, the neon light, the key chain, the screen saver, the license plate bracket, the picture of Santonio and "the catch", the coasters, the mousepad and dry erase board from the Gateway Clipper, the "Ben at Work" sign on my fridge, the 2005 schedule on my fridge, the dreadlocks, my dog's bandanna, the stationary kit, the autographed pic of the Steel Curtain, a framed piece of turf from Three Rivers, the tickets from every game I've been to, the tree ornaments, the black and gold peanut M&M's, the baseball hats, the thong I bought my girlfriend (holla), the endless amount of T-shirts....it goes on and on.....
I am a Steelers fan because they remind me of all that was and is good in my life. Players come and go, but the Steelers are forever. These are the reasons I am a Steelers fan.
So now I ask you, why are you a Steelers fan?