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Former Pittsburgh Steelers placekicker Jeff Reed: "I'll always be a Steeler"

From North Carolina walk-on to two-time Super Bowl champion, Jeff Reed lived an unexpected dream.

Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Placekicker Jeff Reed spent nine years with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he helped lead the team to two Super Bowl victories. A fixture on the field, Reed made 213 out of 259 field goals, hitting two 53-yarders and finishing his career with an impressive 82.2 percentage.

In the wake of Josh Scobee's rough start (and, apparently finish) to his stint with the Steelers, fans clamored for Reed's return. Despite some colorful off-field moments, Reed was a consistent contributor to the Steelers cause. Reliable, healthy, and productive.

Though Reed has not been with the Steelers since 2010, he will always consider himself a Pittsburgh Steeler. Born in Kansas City and raised a Kansas City Chiefs fan in North Carolina, it took less than four quarters in the NFL for him to realize he'd found his home with the Steelers.

During his very first NFL game, against the Bengals at Heinz Field in 2002, he had never kicked in cold weather and his parents didn't own any Steelers gear. He remembers looking up into the stands at Heinz Field and spotting his parents and sister, wearing the UNC Tarheals baby blue. He waved to them, acknowledging, "We made it."  The crowd mistook his wave for a signal to cheer and went wild, echoing his name.

"It's something I'll never forget. When I'm 70 years old, I'll tell my kids," he shared.

That game he became a Steeler, an identity he has maintained to the present day. He still hopes he'll have another shot to run through the tunnel at Heinz Field.

"The fans are unreal," he said. "They live and die by a sport, but man it's great to play for them." He recognizes that trait is a double-edged sword. Play well, and the fans love you. Make too many mistakes, and their loyalty to the team trumps allegiance to a specific player.

"I'll always be a Steeler," he said. "The Steelers helped me win, and I helped them win. Two out of six wins. I spent a quarter of my life there. It was something so special. I still think it was a dream, and I lived it for a decade."