It’s a cliche that we hear nearly every away game: “Steelers Nation travels well.” But the black-and-gold faithful took it to the next level this past weekend when Pittsburgh fans showed up in Nashville to root against the Jacksonville Jaguars, whose loss ensured a Steelers trip to the postseason.
Jawuan Williams and Trey Campbell were two of those fans who went viral during the Titans game. They say they had been waiting for this day since the end of October.
“I went to the Jags/Steelers game in Pittsburgh,” Williams says. “I saw (the Jaguars) grabbing the Terrible Towel and waving it. So I already was thinking of revenge.”
“I believe in the Terrible Towel,” Campbell says. “As soon as they did that, I knew it would come back and bite them someway, somehow.”
Williams and Campbell host a Steelers podcast with Junnie Riddle called Steel’n with the Boys. The three of them knew they had to see a potential Jacksonville collapse in person.
“We had been talking about it all week,” Williams says. “We decided that if the Steelers were up at the two minute warning in Baltimore, we were gonna get the tickets.”
However, Williams was forced to put the plan in motion a little earlier than expected, when other fans seemed to have the same idea.
“As the Steelers game kept going along, the ticket (prices) got higher,” Williams says. “So I just went ahead and got them, and we actually ended up in the Jags section. That was a plus.”
When the trio arrived at Nissan Stadium, the Titans were in serious need of a morale boost. Cheap seats were as low as $9, and Jacksonville fans appeared to be taking over.
“It was actually was crazy to see,” Campbell says. “There were a lot more Jags fans than I anticipated, and a lot less Titans fans than I expected as well.”
Williams wanted to make sure the Jacksonville players were aware of their arrival.
“When I first got there, I went straight to the bottom level, and I was just talking straight to them,” Williams says. “Everybody around us was shocked. They were like, ‘What are y’all doing here?’ I was just going right at 42 (Jaguars safety Andrew Wingard). I was going right at him.”
As the game progressed, a familiar symbol emerged from a sea of teal jerseys.
“You started to notice it on third down,” Campbell says. “You’d see Terrible Towels. I would say upwards of probably 50 from just what we could see from the lower sections. There were Steelers fans everywhere. It was kind of insane to see them.”
“During the whole game, the Jags fans were pretty (angry),” Williams says. “Every third down, we were just in their face and we were just talking the whole time.”
The CBS broadcast crews were quick to notice all the Steelers jerseys in the Tennessee crowd.
“I think we all got, like 50 texts right in a row,” Campbell says. “A bunch of my friends were calling me. I couldn’t answer all their calls. Then, they were sending videos over. I was like, ‘Wow, we were really just on TV for the towels and getting that going.’ Now, I have a video that has over 100,000 views. It was really cool to see.”
The moment in Nashville serves as a nice juxtaposition to earlier in the season, when a “Fire Canada” chant could break out at any random sports event.
“It’s been kind of a wild time to be a Steelers fan,” Williams says. “We’re trying to bring some positivity back. And now we’re on a roll. We got to keep it going.”
The icing on the cake: Saturday was Williams’ birthday.
“This is, like, the best weekend ever, for real.”