Editor’s Note: In an effort to make BTSC a closer knit community, all of the writers will be providing a writer profile for you to read. This will help you identify with their style, their fanhood and ultimately give you a glimpse of the writers behind the articles.
I’ve been a Steelers fan since January 20, 1980. That was the day Pittsburgh defeated the Rams, 31-19, in Super Bowl XIV, to capture the franchise’s fourth Lombardi in six years.
I didn’t just become a Steelers fan because they finally earned my acceptance by winning a fourth Super Bowl. I was seven and simply don’t remember watching any games before that day. But, rest assured, I’ve been at die-hard level ever since.
Growing up in the 1980s, I didn’t get to experience the construction of a dynasty; what I got to experience, instead, was the deconstruction of one, which, in a way that very few in Steeler Nation will understand, left me appreciative of all those great records, division titles, postseason appearances and playoff victories under Bill Cowher in the 1990s.
And, believe it or not, when the Steelers clinched the AFC Championship in January of 1996 after a heart-stopping 20-16 victory over the Colts at old Three Rivers Stadium, that was a dream come true. In-fact, Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl XXX appearance ranks up there for me as my fondest memory as a sports fan. No, the Steelers didn’t defeat the dynastic Cowboys team that day, but seeing my favorite football team play in the greatest sporting event in our country seemed impossible to me during all those mediocre seasons in the ‘80s. Just watching the defense get introduced before the game gave me chills.
Having said that, while making the Super Bowl is fun, there’s simply nothing like watching your team hoist the Lombardi on the big stage in front of the whole world. When the Steelers finally did that in January of 2006, after a 21-10 victory over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, it was the culmination of a 26-year journey of near-misses that I never thought would end.
That Super Bowl XL run, which started the week after Pittsburgh fell to 7-5 and looked to be dead in the water, was without a doubt the most fun I’ve ever had following any team in any sport.
I was 33 at the time, but the feelings I had during that two month stretch reminded me of my youth.
Of course, that’s the beauty of the postseason; it has a way of making you cheer and believe like a little kid again.
Anyway, while watching the Steelers for three decades and internalizing so many memories, I didn’t realize I was being prepared to one day write about the team on a wonderful site like Behind the Steel Curtain.
I stumbled upon BTSC in August of 2010, when I was doing some research for a story I was working on/for my own site and found a series of articles written by Maryrose, a regular contributor at the time.
I began commenting and, before long, I was writing fanposts on a continuous basis. I did this the entire season, as the Steelers survived Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension, James Harrison’s fines and a few key injuries to advance all the way to Super Bowl XLV.
I had a ton of fun writing that season (to tell you the truth, it may have been the most fun I ever had writing), and about a week after Super Bowl XLV, Michael Bean, the original creator and then editor of BTSC, asked me if I would like to become a weekly contributor on the front page.
As someone who grew up with a passion for writing and a passion for the Steelers, this was literally a dream come true.
While Michael was sort of my recruiter and champion, Neal Coolong became my coach when he assumed the role of editor in 2012. I can’t tell you how much I learned from him with regards to structure and style (in writing, style-points actually matter).
Today, with Jeff Hartman at the helm, guiding the ship and offering the advice and support, I feel like I’ve truly come into my own as a writer, and I certainly enjoy bringing my Steelers thoughts and perspectives to you on a weekly basis.
BTSC is a wonderful community, and just about the best and most popular Steelers site around. What I’ve learned from the other writers and readers is that if you don’t bring it each and every time you sit down to write something, they will let you know about it.
But that’s good, because the only way you get better at something is by being challenged and stretched.
Speaking of challenges, the Steelers will surely face many obstacles in 2016, but I feel as if they are truly equipped to take a serious shot at No. 7.
I’m looking forward to another great season of Steelers football, and I’m also looking forward to bringing you great insights all season long (hopefully into early February).
Go Steelers! Go football! And Go BTSC!