Jarvis Jones can’t wait for Pittsburgh’s game day atmosphere

Justin K. Aller

Steelers first round pick Jarvis Jones is learning the sights and even the culture of his new city. His efforts in doing so, as mentioned to a reporter from outside Pittsburgh, could be enough to draw fans closer to the city’s newest star athlete.

Perhaps it's a cliché for native Yinzers to stand on Mt. Washington and stare down on the city of Pittsburgh. The three rivers, Heinz Field, PNC Park, the whole experience.

For those outside Pittsburgh, it's an awe-inspiring sight. Before the Steelers hosted the Philadelphia Eagles in a preseason game in 2007, then-coach Andy Reid spoke with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin before the game. Reid started the conversation by saying how much he enjoyed driving out of the Fort Pitt tunnel to see the city's skyline.

Jarvis Jones, the Steelers first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, must share some of that feeling.

"Every Sunday, I go up to Mt. Washington to a pier and look down at the city," he recently told Albany Herald guest columnist Loren Smith. "You see the three rivers and all the buildings, PNC Park and Heinz Field. I can't wait to experience the atmosphere on game day."

For all the learning Jones must do in order to get on the field, he's a quick study when it comes to connecting with fans. That kind of understanding - even if it is a bit on-the-nose for someone new to the area to suggest - is the kind of endearing qualities fans want in their athletes. Humor also helps.

"This is an exciting city, but it is different. Everywhere you go there is a bridge or tunnel."

Is this tantamount to a band's lead singer mentioning a local restaurant or attraction as stage crews fix microphones between songs? Possibly, but one thing to remember, too, is the publication from which this article came is based in Athens, Ga., not Pittsburgh.

Perhaps he's just telling local Athenians what bridges are like.

Either way, fans rightfully get excited about the idea of a pro athlete really being "one of them." My grandmother used to tell stories frequently about Franco Harris living down the street, and how often she'd talk to him in the neighborhood. That sort of charm left probably around the same time Harris moved somewhere else, and perhaps it's impossible to have again.

Jones at least shows he is already working on creating a personal connection to the city in which he now lives. That act in and of itself could be enough to win the football-ravenous fans of that city.

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