View Full Version : Steelers Nation, indeed, nationwide.

11-15-2009, 02:01 AM
Mehno: Steelers Nation, indeed, nationwide.
By: John MehnoBeaver County Times
Sunday November 15, 2009 12:12 AM
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... nwide.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2009/november/15/mehno-steelers-nation-indeed-nationwide.html)

The Pittsburgh Steelers were well represented last Monday in Denver, and not just on the field.

The stands at Invesco Field were packed with fans wearing black and gold and waving Terrible Towels, which prompted the ESPN announcers to make a mistake almost all network broadcasters make.

They talked about how well the Steelers fans travel.

No doubt there are some Pittsburgh people in the stands, more so when the game is a manageable drive away, like Cleveland or Baltimore.

But a lot of those people screaming for the Steelers haven’t been Pittsburghers in a while.

The math is pretty simple: When the Steelers were winning four Super Bowls in six years in the 1970s, Pittsburgh was the No. 9 television market in the country. The rankings are based on population.

Today it’s market No. 23.

This region’s population has shrunk like a $2 T-shirt, and people have relocated. Sometimes that’s where work has taken them. In other cases, it’s because winter is more manageable in Boca Raton than it is in Beaver Falls.

There’s another factor at work, too. When the Steelers were winning those Super Bowls, they developed a national fan base.

A lot of people who are in the habit of cheering for the Steelers have never been anywhere near Pittsburgh.

That didn’t keep them from falling in love with the team and the bigger-than-life heroes it featured: Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw, Jack Lambert, Joe Greene and all the others.

They’ve maintained that rooting interest into the current era and they’ve passed the Steelers devotion to their kids, too.

Although the Steelers are happy to sell officially licensed merchandise to anyone with a major credit card, they have otherwise never actively cultivated a fan base outside of this region. The Dallas Cowboys have, embracing the “America’s Team” identity.

But the Steelers Nation doesn’t take a back seat to any team’s fans.

Just look in the stands when they play on the road.

11-15-2009, 02:20 AM
Sniff. It's my story. Only been to Pittsburgh once, that was two years ago for training camp and a pre season at Heinz.

Raised my kids to be fans, and now have my wife and in-laws converted.

It's a beatiful thing!