View Full Version : Black n Gold Fever on the Rise

01-17-2006, 01:14 AM

Win over Colts fans the fires of Steelers fever
Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Steelers fans barely are over the short-term health effects of Sunday's too-close game vs. the Colts -- indigestion, chewed fingertips, near cardiac arrests.

They're vulnerable to the epidemic that's been unleashed:

Black-N-Gold Fever.

"It's on fire!" whooped Donna LaScola, as she led two nephews yesterday through the Strip District. They and hundreds of others were exhibiting the classic symptom: Uncontrollable urges to buy Steelers stuff.

"Crazy busy," muttered one street vendor as the throng sacked piles of black and gold T-shirts, hats and feather boas.

Many shoppers already had that distinct yellow cast to them. Ms. LaScola's condition seemed particularly acute, as she danced a jig and sang, "Hear We Go."

As in, "Pittsburgh's going to the Super Bowl."

That hopeful refrain is playing all over the Strip, all over the radio, and all over stricken fans' minds now. But before the Steelers' second underdog playoff win Sunday, "You wouldn't know we had a football team," said Marcia Feinberg Hellman of the Mike Feinberg Co.

Quiet last week, that souvenir store was getting so slammed yesterday that she was glad her daughter, Zia, was off school so she could help at the register.

Ms. Hellman figures the tension of Sunday's win made fans extra inflamed. Hot sellers include beaded necklaces and party supplies, but, "When it gets to this point, they just grab anything."

The store was all out of "Here We Go" CDs before their creator, Roger Wood, delivered more, based on an "if win" understanding he has with retailers. He agreed that the collective temperature of the Steelers Nation was relatively cool for the start of this year's playoffs, in part because of the Steelers' three-game losing streak, which included a loss to the vaunted 13-0-starting Colts.

"It's going now," he said, over his song blaring from speakers on the crowded sidewalk. "This is how it usually is in the playoffs."

The playoffs are nothing new for Steelers fans. But, alas, neither are playoff losses.

"We all hated to put too much heart and soul into it," admitted Billie Whorl. But as soon as her team broke the Colts, she decided to head to the Strip. She made the trip all the way from Johnstown with her three daughters and her mother, all of whom were covered heads-to-toes in Steelers gear.

Including face tattoos.

Ms. Whorl's mom, Emily Law, was buying boxes of Steelers stuff to sell to other sick people at the gift shop at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. "We were all holding off this year, waiting for the Big One. It's here!"

So is Black-N-Gold Fever, and it's spreading. Some might say going to the Super Bowl is nothing more than delirium at this point, but others now are more seriously preparing for it.

"Our biggest problem is to figure out how to go to Denver" for Sunday's AFC championship game, said Sewickley's Cliff Benson, as he took his son, Greg, and his friend to Heinz Field's Sideline Store for a couple of hats.

Mr. Benson thinks that for the past decade, fans have been too sure of going to the Super Bowl. This year's playoff games being against such good teams, and away rather than home, lowered the hype. But now, "I think these guys are a special group."

Yesterday, while friends hunted tickets, he started to research airfares, which he found dauntingly high -- $800 to $900.

The good thing about the Steelers making the Super Bowl in Detroit? He and his friends could drive there, leaving more to spend on the tickets.

The unknowns and the intricacies are enough to give any fan a headache -- which Jessica Hill, who works at the North Side's The Pittsburgh Fan store, still had yesterday -- hours after the game that gave it to her.

But all cleared up was the malady that had plagued her:


"I think we're starting to feel it," she said. "This is it!"

01-17-2006, 01:14 AM
I think we outta sue the post gazette for using our name in their article :laughing:

01-17-2006, 01:18 AM
I would love to be there...

Justin Otstott
01-17-2006, 01:23 AM
lol. This was nice to read...

01-17-2006, 04:55 AM
Some front runners I see. I would think most of us here, have our Steelers stuff already. The more fans the better though

01-17-2006, 01:48 PM
My Dad hauls some of those T-shirts and always gets a couple :P Only problem is they're always XL and white, but they're always good if someone shows up without a Jersey or a Steelers Shirt for the game...

01-17-2006, 06:14 PM
"We all hated to put too much heart and soul into it," admitted Billie Whorl. But as soon as her team broke the Colts, she decided to head to the Strip.

that's what Steelers football is all about IMO
I mean obviously the playoff games are more exciting, but Steelers football is all about being confident our guys are gonna go in there and get the job done...if they lose, we lose with them. if they win, we win with them. that's my definition of Steelers football.