View Full Version : Steelers fan for 60 years enjoys Super Bowl win

02-05-2009, 04:59 PM
Steelers fan for 60 years enjoys Super Bowl win
Thursday, February 05, 2009
By Margaret Smykla

Decked out in a Steelers shirt with a black-and-gold feather boa around his neck, Jack Peterson said his neighbors at Fair Oaks, an assisted living facility in Beechview, knew he meant business.

Mr. Peterson, 83, is in a wheelchair and speaks in a near whisper because of a progressive disorder of his nervous system.

Still, reflecting on the 60 years he has been a season ticket holder, he was ready to celebrate Sunday.

"We'll win, but Larry Fitzgerald scares me,'' he said before the game, referring to the Arizona wide receiver who did go on to score two touchdowns.

Mr. Peterson predicted a 17-13 win. His four point lead was on the money though: The Super Bowl final was a four point difference, 27-23.

Mr. Peterson, who served in the U.S. Navy during WW II, said his Steeler mania began around the time he married his wife, Mary, in 1949.

She liked sports, so the pair purchased two Steelers season tickets so they could spend time together.

After years of the team losing at Forbes Field and at then at Pitt Stadium, the team's fortunes began to change, recalled Mr. Peterson.

He cited the hiring of Chuck Noll as head coach in 1969, followed in 1970 by the move to Three Rivers Stadium.

He said his most memorable moment in all those years in the end zone was watching Franco Harris race for a touchdown during the legendary Immaculate Reception play in 1972.

Today, the retired lithographer watches all the games on television with his wife, who also lives in the facility.

They especially enjoy cheering on their favorite players, Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu.

These days the Petersons give their grandchildren their Steeler tickets often tucking them in a box of candy along with a $20 bill.

"He told me after the Super Bowl win, 'It will probably will be my last,' '' said daughter Jackie Thomas, of Green Tree.

They know their father is failing and use a quote from Coach Mike Tomlin to describe faithful fans, such as their father, who rallied to watch this season and especially Sunday's Super Bowl.

Last month, in a press conference after his team won the AFC Championship, the coach paraphrased poet Robert Frost.

"We've got miles to go before we sleep."
Freelance writer Margaret Smykla can be reached in care of suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.

02-05-2009, 05:03 PM
too great

02-05-2009, 05:51 PM
Old folks rock. That is all. :cool:

02-05-2009, 07:05 PM
purely awesome

02-05-2009, 07:37 PM
I love old people. I hope he lives long enough to see us get 1 more.

02-05-2009, 08:29 PM
That is awesome, especially since he stuck with the team despite a pretty bad era from 1949 to the greatness of the 1970's, my grandmother used to live in Fair Oaks as well...