PDA

View Full Version : Arizona looks like the headquarters of Steelers West



JAR
01-25-2009, 08:19 AM
:tt2 :tt1

Sunday, January 25, 2009
By Chuck Finder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/200901/image666_500.jpg

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- The same as so many others of his brethren, Randy Waters isn't hiding his Steelers enthusiasm behind enemy lines this week.

He propped up a huge black-and-gold sign pointing customers along North Arizona Avenue to his gourmet hot dog store inside an eastern-Phoenix antiques mall. He adorned his shop with Steelers and Pirates paraphernalia. He put a Point-view photograph ofDowntown Pittsburgh on his menu, where the fare includes a meatball sandwich, The Great One (for late Pirates star Roberto Clemente), and Klondike Bars ("a Pittsburgh 'n Isaly's original"). And he nailed to the back wall a sign that reads, "Pittsburgh Willy's reserves the right to refuse service to Cleveland fans."

For weeks during this NFL season, he draped a banner above his seating area, to stimulate business: "The Ultimate Super Bowl -- Steelers vs. Cardinals."

Did he believe that dream would come true?

"Hell, no," said Mr. Walters, 55, born in Monongahela but now a 34-year Arizona resident and Cardinals season-ticket holder who one day last week was wearing a smile and a Steelers.com T-shirt. "But I knew Pittsburgh would be there."

Funny how it worked out.

Super Bowl XLIII next Sunday in Tampa's Raymond James Stadium is placing a few displaced fans of the Steelers (14-4) between desert rocks and a hard Superstition Mountains place deep inside Arizona. But you can hardly call this Cardinals (12-7) country, because, as Mr. Walters said, "so many people move out here" and hold onto their hometown allegiances. Another factor is that the Cardinals, the losingest franchise in NFL history, won only two postseason games in 89 years, the past 20 spent in the Valley of the Sun, before dashing off three victories in a row this month to reach its inaugural Super Bowl.

"The Arizona Cardinals are no one's team," said Mike Rossman, 69. The East Liberty native runs a business called Pittsburgh Souvenir and Novelty out of his Scottsdale, Ariz., home, which he bought in 1997 to spend eight months in the desert and four back in Southwestern Pennsylvania. "And I don't sell [Cardinals] stuff at all. In all the years I've been doing this, I've been asked for Cardinals stuff maybe five times."

Sherry Snyder is even more pro-Pittsburgh.

"Yes, it has been so hard these past few days, dealing with people -- the bandwagoners -- around me at my office, and even my so-called friends who are sending me nasty jokes and e-mails... and such. It's ridiculous," she wrote in an e-mail. "I am trying to laugh it off, realizing that these people don't have a clue as to what it means to be a Steelers fan, or sadly a fan for that matter.

"But I'm willing to take the heat. I will never, ever back down from my support. I'm a 'Burgh girl until I die."

Ms. Snyder, 36, a banker, moved from Baldwin Borough to Arizona four years ago and bought Cardinals season tickets to "see my Steelers play here.

"Phoenix is a Steeler town. ... Now, the past two weeks have created the largest grouping of bandwagon members I have ever witnessed in my life. I am embarrassed for them, and I am embarrassed to say I am from Arizona right now.

"I laugh daily when I see the one or two red hats and/or flags on a car. Maybe, just maybe, they will change and be more supportive of their team, even after they lose the Super Bowl. But I doubt it."

It's hard to pin down an accurate number of transplanted Pittsburghers in the Valley, though Mr. Rossman not long ago heard that Allegheny County sent more residents to Phoenix's Maricopa County than any other in America. There are at least 14 establishments that claim to be Steelers' bars. And one of them, the accepted local leader, expects to seat 3,500 Sunday for Cardinals vs. Steelers.

Harold's Corral, in a far-north-suburban outpost of Phoenix called Cave Creek, is owned by Seton-LaSalle High graduate Danny Piacquadio. His father, Dan, who is back in the restaurant business in the South Hills, bought it from the real Harold about the time his son joined him in the desert in 1987. Mostly, they corral Steelers fans -- natives who moved west, people who relocated for work, folks who merely jumped aboard the Steelers' victory train in the Super '70s or later.

"I'm a Steeler fan, so I love this Super Bowl because of that," Danny Piacquadio said. "But I get a second bonus, too" with the local team making it.

His restaurant seats 650, and he sells out those seats for the Steelers' season broadcasts. Some, he said, come from far-flung Tucson or Lake Havasu. Imagine if he sold personal-seat licenses.

To handle the rest of the Super Bowl crowd, Harold's Corral will erect a couple of tents.

Brent Milburn, 34, owns Barwinkle's, another Steelers bar four miles from the Cardinals' University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. He grew up in Mount Joy, Clearfield County, and lived all around the country before settling in the desert and buying the bar three years ago.

"I'm getting a lot of crap" from non-Steelers fans in his bar, Mr. Milburn said. "Not too fun. But I got big shoulders."

He has a big bar, too: 200 seats fill on NFL Sundays, mostly with folks garbed in black and gold.

"Last Sunday was crazy," he said of the pre-NFC Championship game crowd. "We had Cardinals fans in here early, and they were peering at the Pittsburgh fans. I loved it."

One guy truly torn down the middle is Kevin Walter. He's from Clarion and moved to Arizona in 1991 for semiconductor work.

At his Chandler home, he has a 4-by-4-foot Cardinals logo hanging from his garage and the "Steeler Nation" and "Here We Go" cheer signs in his front window.

"I say, I can't lose this Super Bowl," said Mr. Walter, a Cardinals season-ticket holder who considered stitching together half his No. 7 Matt Leinart Cardinals jersey to half his No. 7 Ben Roethlisberger one. "I'm rooting for the Cardinals [because] the Steelers have five Super Bowl rings, and this is the Cardinals' first dance. If the Steelers get No. 6, though, I'm not going to be sad. I just can't lose here."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09025/944378-66.stm

Flasteel
01-25-2009, 11:52 AM
Kevin Walters = Douchebag :lol:

proudpittsburgher
01-25-2009, 12:08 PM
Kevin Walters = Douchebag :lol:

My thoughts exactly. You are either with us, or against us. There is no down the middle.

stlrz d
01-25-2009, 12:59 PM
What I don't get about this story. This dude is from Monongahela but gave up his die hard status because he's been in AZ for 34 years???

I became a Steelers fan in SoCal in 1972. In 1979 we moved to WI and I remained a Steelers fan...and would have nothing to do with the Packers. In 1982 we moved to MI and I remained a Steelers fan...and would have nothing to do with the Lions. In 1983 we moved back to WI. Same story. In 2006 I moved to MD and remained a Steelers fan...no question that I would have nothing to do with the Rats. In 2007 I had to move back to WI. Still a die hard Steelers fan and that won't ever change regardless of where I live!

I suspect this guy is doing this for business reasons somehow. Doesn't want to give up his Pittsburgh roots but doesn't want to piss off the locals.

Eff him.

buckeyehoppy
01-25-2009, 02:54 PM
What I don't get about this story. This dude is from Monongahela but gave up his die hard status because he's been in AZ for 34 years???

I became a Steelers fan in SoCal in 1972. In 1979 we moved to WI and I remained a Steelers fan...and would have nothing to do with the Packers. In 1982 we moved to MI and I remained a Steelers fan...and would have nothing to do with the Lions. In 1983 we moved back to WI. Same story. In 2006 I moved to MD and remained a Steelers fan...no question that I would have nothing to do with the Rats. In 2007 I had to move back to WI. Still a die hard Steelers fan and that won't ever change regardless of where I live!

I suspect this guy is doing this for business reasons somehow. Doesn't want to give up his Pittsburgh roots but doesn't want to piss off the locals.

Eff him.

That would be like me being a Steelers fan here in Cleveland, but sucking the @$$es of Clowns fan just to play both sides of the fence and play nice with the locals.

These desert people who are playing both sides of the fence just to get along p!ss me off.

If I relocated anywhere, I would be a Steelers fan anyway. Even a place like Chicago. I've always liked the Bears. But if the Steelers played the Bears in the SB, I'd still be p!ssed if the Steelers lost, period. I'd be OK with the Bears winning, but not at the expense of the Steelers.

proudpittsburgher
01-25-2009, 04:27 PM
What I don't get about this story. This dude is from Monongahela but gave up his die hard status because he's been in AZ for 34 years???

I became a Steelers fan in SoCal in 1972. In 1979 we moved to WI and I remained a Steelers fan...and would have nothing to do with the Packers. In 1982 we moved to MI and I remained a Steelers fan...and would have nothing to do with the Lions. In 1983 we moved back to WI. Same story. In 2006 I moved to MD and remained a Steelers fan...no question that I would have nothing to do with the Rats. In 2007 I had to move back to WI. Still a die hard Steelers fan and that won't ever change regardless of where I live!

I suspect this guy is doing this for business reasons somehow. Doesn't want to give up his Pittsburgh roots but doesn't want to piss off the locals.

Eff him.

That would be like me being a Steelers fan here in Cleveland, but sucking the @$$es of Clowns fan just to play both sides of the fence and play nice with the locals.

These desert people who are playing both sides of the fence just to get along p!ss me off.

If I relocated anywhere, I would be a Steelers fan anyway. Even a place like Chicago. I've always liked the Bears. But if the Steelers played the Bears in the SB, I'd still be p!ssed if the Steelers lost, period. I'd be OK with the Bears winning, but not at the expense of the Steelers.


:Agree But there are entirely too many "fans" out there who don't seem to get this.

Djfan
01-25-2009, 04:45 PM
Sounds like you all are getting a picture of a Chargers fan. That is what they do. It's strange.

buckeyehoppy
01-25-2009, 11:27 PM
Sounds like you all are getting a picture of a Chargers fan. That is what they do. It's strange.

I have the picture to be sure, DJ. But the Lightning Dolts have been a playoff team for the last few years. The playoffs have the bandwagon hitched like a caboose. Are they the same bad when they suck ballz?

The Clowns have been to the playoffs twice since my niece was born in 1991. Yet, they are even larger and more insufferable douche nozzles after 17 years than I can ever remember them being when Diminishing Skills Koslob was leading his team to repeated AFCCG losses to the Bronc-Hos. They don't have a team worthy of their attention and time. But the Clowns have a fan base that honestly believes that they can do no wrong.

Djfan
01-25-2009, 11:54 PM
Sounds like you all are getting a picture of a Chargers fan. That is what they do. It's strange.

I have the picture to be sure, DJ. But the Lightning Dolts have been a playoff team for the last few years. The playoffs have the bandwagon hitched like a caboose. Are they the same bad when they suck ballz?

Deep inside every Chargers fan is the sinking feeling that their team will choke. They are all bandwagoners for other teams. They just have other teams lined up by preference so that they can participate in the post season.

The doom and gloom around here over the pending loss of LT, and next year Merriman is thick. It's better this way. They let it get too their heads when they win. I was pulling for the Broncos just so that I don't have to deal with this nonsense I hear now.

Today at church this couple was visiting. She was a Steelers fan and he was a Chargers fan. He was NOT happy that she sat them behind us. Yes we were representing, as always. He was still angry. Kind of funny!

steelsun7
01-26-2009, 12:02 AM
I live in AZ been here since 76.I am steeler thru and thru.screw all the bandwagoners and and fenceriders.I BLEED BLACK AND GOLD!!!!

buckeyehoppy
01-26-2009, 12:11 AM
Sounds like you all are getting a picture of a Chargers fan. That is what they do. It's strange.

I have the picture to be sure, DJ. But the Lightning Dolts have been a playoff team for the last few years. The playoffs have the bandwagon hitched like a caboose. Are they the same bad when they suck ballz?

Deep inside every Chargers fan is the sinking feeling that their team will choke. They are all bandwagoners for other teams. They just have other teams lined up by preference so that they can participate in the post season.

The doom and gloom around here over the pending loss of LT, and next year Merriman is thick. It's better this way. They let it get too their heads when they win. I was pulling for the Broncos just so that I don't have to deal with this nonsense I hear now.

Today at church this couple was visiting. She was a Steelers fan and he was a Chargers fan. He was NOT happy that she sat them behind us. Yes we were representing, as always. He was still angry. Kind of funny!

The TDs probably could have used Merriman this year. Sucks 2 B Them!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I don't know how many more productive years LT is going to have anyway. That guy has been rode hard and put away wet one too many times.

The church story is great. I didn't think provoking wrath was a virtue. But if he was still p!ssed, that doesn't reflect well on him, either, especially in church.

Djfan
01-26-2009, 12:39 AM
Sounds like you all are getting a picture of a Chargers fan. That is what they do. It's strange.

I have the picture to be sure, DJ. But the Lightning Dolts have been a playoff team for the last few years. The playoffs have the bandwagon hitched like a caboose. Are they the same bad when they suck ballz?

Deep inside every Chargers fan is the sinking feeling that their team will choke. They are all bandwagoners for other teams. They just have other teams lined up by preference so that they can participate in the post season.

The doom and gloom around here over the pending loss of LT, and next year Merriman is thick. It's better this way. They let it get too their heads when they win. I was pulling for the Broncos just so that I don't have to deal with this nonsense I hear now.

Today at church this couple was visiting. She was a Steelers fan and he was a Chargers fan. He was NOT happy that she sat them behind us. Yes we were representing, as always. He was still angry. Kind of funny!

The TDs probably could have used Merriman this year. Sucks 2 B Them!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I don't know how many more productive years LT is going to have anyway. That guy has been rode hard and put away wet one too many times.

The church story is great. I didn't think provoking wrath was a virtue. But if he was still p!ssed, that doesn't reflect well on him, either, especially in church.


LT will be productive for whatever team he goes to, but it will be on a diminished level IMO. I doubt a team will pick him up for the $8 mill he is due, but he will probably settle for less if a ring is looking promising.

True on the church thing. Don't see that relationship lasting. Bummer. She was VERY good looking.

RuthlessBurgher
01-26-2009, 12:53 AM
Speaking of church stories, this morning, I get personally mentioned within the first 5 minutes of the service out of the blue. The pastor is talking about the schedule for next week, stating that he had planned to finish service next week in time for the start of the Super Bowl pre-game show, until he found out that the pre-game show started on Wednesday. That was his little joke for the week, but then he just blurts out in front of the whole congregation how I will be there, mentioning me by name, of course. Now, I haven't been to church in 2 weeks (Chargers and Ravens were being sacrificed at the alter of Heinz Field those days, and I was en route during our church's service time), and my wife missed last week as well, since she was away in Dallas on a business trip. I had no idea how he found out, since I just learned about it on the Friday before the Raven game and no one in my family had any contact with the church since then. News travels fast, I guess. Then, during the ol' "peace be with you" portion, the pastor makes it a point to come down my aisle to shake my hand and tell me that he took the liberty of putting together a list of replacements in case either of us can't go. My wife had to explain that even she was 4th on the ticket totem pole this year, and it would be my brother who would be accompanying me to Tampa. I now have to make sure that I bring a game program back for our pastor.

Djfan
01-26-2009, 12:56 AM
Speaking of church stories, this morning, I get personally mentioned within the first 5 minutes of the service out of the blue. The pastor is talking about the schedule for next week, stating that he had planned to finish service next week in time for the start of the Super Bowl pre-game show, until he found out that the pre-game show started on Wednesday. That was his little joke for the week, but then he just blurts out in front of the whole congregation how I will be there, mentioning me by name, of course. Now, I haven't been to church in 2 weeks (Chargers and Ravens were being sacrificed at the alter of Heinz Field those days, and I was en route during our church's service time), and my wife missed last week as well, since she was away in Dallas on a business trip. I had no idea how he found out, since I just learned about it on the Friday before the Raven game and no one in my family had any contact with the church since then. News travels fast, I guess. Then, during the ol' "peace be with you" portion, the pastor makes it a point to come down my aisle to shake my hand and tell me that he took the liberty of putting together a list of replacements in case either of us can't go. My wife had to explain that even she was 4th on the ticket totem pole this year, and it would be my brother who would be accompanying me to Tampa. I now have to make sure that I bring a game program back for our pastor.

Great story! I hope his wishes of peace towards you were genuine! j/k - I'm sure they were.

Mrs. Fan and I are in leadership at our church, and they were told by us at the begining of it all that the Steelers and our club were very important to us. I told the pastor at the beginning of our play off run that I would be back to Earth after the SB win.

He just laughed.

RuthlessBurgher
01-26-2009, 01:23 AM
Speaking of church stories, this morning, I get personally mentioned within the first 5 minutes of the service out of the blue. The pastor is talking about the schedule for next week, stating that he had planned to finish service next week in time for the start of the Super Bowl pre-game show, until he found out that the pre-game show started on Wednesday. That was his little joke for the week, but then he just blurts out in front of the whole congregation how I will be there, mentioning me by name, of course. Now, I haven't been to church in 2 weeks (Chargers and Ravens were being sacrificed at the alter of Heinz Field those days, and I was en route during our church's service time), and my wife missed last week as well, since she was away in Dallas on a business trip. I had no idea how he found out, since I just learned about it on the Friday before the Raven game and no one in my family had any contact with the church since then. News travels fast, I guess. Then, during the ol' "peace be with you" portion, the pastor makes it a point to come down my aisle to shake my hand and tell me that he took the liberty of putting together a list of replacements in case either of us can't go. My wife had to explain that even she was 4th on the ticket totem pole this year, and it would be my brother who would be accompanying me to Tampa. I now have to make sure that I bring a game program back for our pastor.

Great story! I hope his wishes of peace towards you were genuine! j/k - I'm sure they were.

Mrs. Fan and I are in leadership at our church, and they were told by us at the begining of it all that the Steelers and our club were very important to us. I told the pastor at the beginning of our play off run that I would be back to Earth after the SB win.

He just laughed.

Does your pastor realize that your "club" refers to itself as the "mafia"? Just wondering... :lol:

stlrz d
01-26-2009, 01:25 AM
Speaking of church stories, this morning, I get personally mentioned within the first 5 minutes of the service out of the blue. The pastor is talking about the schedule for next week, stating that he had planned to finish service next week in time for the start of the Super Bowl pre-game show, until he found out that the pre-game show started on Wednesday. That was his little joke for the week, but then he just blurts out in front of the whole congregation how I will be there, mentioning me by name, of course. Now, I haven't been to church in 2 weeks (Chargers and Ravens were being sacrificed at the alter of Heinz Field those days, and I was en route during our church's service time), and my wife missed last week as well, since she was away in Dallas on a business trip. I had no idea how he found out, since I just learned about it on the Friday before the Raven game and no one in my family had any contact with the church since then. News travels fast, I guess. Then, during the ol' "peace be with you" portion, the pastor makes it a point to come down my aisle to shake my hand and tell me that he took the liberty of putting together a list of replacements in case either of us can't go. My wife had to explain that even she was 4th on the ticket totem pole this year, and it would be my brother who would be accompanying me to Tampa. I now have to make sure that I bring a game program back for our pastor.


He knows.

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/rbjesus.jpg

RuthlessBurgher
01-26-2009, 01:38 AM
Speaking of church stories, this morning, I get personally mentioned within the first 5 minutes of the service out of the blue. The pastor is talking about the schedule for next week, stating that he had planned to finish service next week in time for the start of the Super Bowl pre-game show, until he found out that the pre-game show started on Wednesday. That was his little joke for the week, but then he just blurts out in front of the whole congregation how I will be there, mentioning me by name, of course. Now, I haven't been to church in 2 weeks (Chargers and Ravens were being sacrificed at the alter of Heinz Field those days, and I was en route during our church's service time), and my wife missed last week as well, since she was away in Dallas on a business trip. I had no idea how he found out, since I just learned about it on the Friday before the Raven game and no one in my family had any contact with the church since then. News travels fast, I guess. Then, during the ol' "peace be with you" portion, the pastor makes it a point to come down my aisle to shake my hand and tell me that he took the liberty of putting together a list of replacements in case either of us can't go. My wife had to explain that even she was 4th on the ticket totem pole this year, and it would be my brother who would be accompanying me to Tampa. I now have to make sure that I bring a game program back for our pastor.


He knows.

http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l50/ropewalk_2006/rbjesus.jpg

I played dashboard jesus last weekend after the Raven game. At 4:00 a.m., my dad spun the pick-up on some black ice on I-80 while doing 60 mph. We ended up backward in a ditch on the side of the road, but both of us were fine and there was no damage to the truck other than the fact that both tires on the passenger side were deflated. Although it took us nearly a half hour to get the truck up the snowy embankment because we kept sliding back down, we were able to make it home around sunrise after we re-inflated those tires (they got us home just fine after that...plus we slowed down a bit and put the ol' girl in 4WD HI for the remainder of the trip, even though that was probably overkill). My Dad bought some new tires the next day (he was due for them anyway) but there is not a scratch on the truck and we are no worse for the wear. We didn't even bother calling the wives and waking them up at that hour. It is good to be the dashboard jesus. :D

stlrz d
01-26-2009, 10:19 AM
Whoa...it really works! :shock:

Glad you guys are ok and there was no damage!