When I was given the opportunity to give away 2 tickets to the Steelers first preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one stipulation both editor Jeff Hartman and myself agreed on was the winner had to be willing to go to the game. With it being a preseason contest where several Steelers superstars were likely to sit out, we never expected the winner to come from somewhere outside of the general Pittsburgh area.
Boy, were we wrong.
BTSC user Derek Chadwick, known on the site as Dchad72, was the first person to correctly identify the exact stat we were searching for with an answer of “88.” While Derek was one of many users who submitted a correct stat which totaled 88, he used his second chance each person was given to dig a little deeper and find the number. For those of you who are interested, the correct answer of 88 was the number of receptions by Steelers running backs in 2018.
When I contacted Derek to make sure he had a BTSC user ID and was eligible to win the contest, I was surprised to find out he lives in Canada! Even with a 5-hour drive to the game, Derek thought it was a great chance for him and his wife to come spend a weekend in the Steel City.
I asked Derek to give me some information about himself and a little history about his Steelers fandom.
“I heard about contest through the BTSC site, I’ve been following the site for at least 5 years now and have found it to be a great all-in-one spot for all things Steelers. I’ve been a Steelers fan since 1977-78. The Steelers were always on TV in the area and because I was a young kid I recognized a lot of players from my morning kids shows. Good or bad, its Steelers always.”
Like many others who entered, Derek had been reading the site for a long time but never signed up for an ID until he heard about the contest.
Derek also offered up some information about his trip. “I would just like to thank BTSC for the contest, and I’m looking forward to my first visit to Heinz Field and a chance to eat an authentic Primanti Bros. sandwich!”
Discovering this would be his first trip to Heinz Field, I naturally asked Derek where he was from. “Windsor, Ontario. Across from Detroit,” he answered. “We had NFL events for Superbowl XL. Windsor and Detroit were little Pittsburgh that whole week. It was great.”
Although it is Derek’s first game at Heinz Field, it wasn’t his first scheduled trip to see the Steelers.
“The only time I had tickets I had to give them away. November 1995 a buddy and I purchased Bengals-Steelers tickets in Cincy for a trip with our dads. My oldest daughter was less than 2 months old and my wife at the time was sick. That was the huge second half from “Slash” game. I watched on TV seeing the fans take over Riverfront Stadium. My buddy comes back and couldn’t believe the number of fans there and all the Steeler tailgating.”
While Derek is grateful to get the tickets, he’s hopeful this will not be his last game.
“I’ll still look to get in a regular season game soon.”
Make sure you check back to Behind The Steel Curtain to see the rest of Derek’s journey to Heinz Field.