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Lyn
01-19-2006, 05:26 PM
Nation Building
January 18, 2006

Scott Paulsen



Think about this the next time someone argues that a professional sports franchise is not important to a city's identity:



In the 1980's, as the steel mills and their supporting factories shut down from Homestead to Midland, Pittsburghers, faced for the first time in their lives with the specter of unemployment, were forced to pick up their families, leave their home towns and move to more profitable parts of the country. The steel workers were not ready for this. They had planned to stay in the ?burgh their entire lives. It was home.

Everyone I know can tell the same story about how Dad, Uncle Bob or their brother-in-law packed a U-Haul and headed down to Tampa to build houses or up to Boston for an office job or out to California to star in pornographic videos.

All right.

Maybe that last one just happened in my family.

At this same time, during the early to mid-eighties, the Pittsburgh Steelers were at the peak of their popularity. Following the Super Bowl dynasty years, the power of the Steelers was strong. Every man, woman, boy and girl from parts of four states were Pittsburgh faithful, living and breathing day to day on the news of their favorite team. Then, as now, it seemed to be all anyone talked about.

Who do you think the Steelers will take in the draft this year?

Is Bradshaw done?

Can you believe they won't give Franco the money ? what's he doing going to Seattle?

The last memories most unemployed steel workers had of their towns had a black and gold tinge. The good times remembered all seemed to revolve, somehow, around a football game. Sneaking away from your sister's wedding reception to go downstairs to the bar and watch the game against Earl Campbell and the Oilers - going to midnight mass, still half in the bag after Pittsburgh beat Oakland - you and your grandfather, both crying at the sight of The Chief, finally holding his Vince Lombardi Trophy.

And then, the mills closed.

Damn the mills.

One of the unseen benefits of the collapse of the value systems our families believed in ? that the mill would look after you through thick and thin ? was that now, decades later, there is not a town in America where a Pittsburgher cannot feel at home. Nearly every city in the United States has a designated ?Black and Gold? establishment. From Bangor, Maine to Honolulu, Hawaii, and every town in between can be found an oasis of Iron City, chipped ham and yinzers. It's great to know that no matter what happened in the lives of our Steel City refugees, they never forgot the things that held us together as a city - families, food, and Steelers football.

It's what we call the Steeler Nation.

You see it every football season. And when the Steelers have a great year, as they have had this season, the power of the Steeler Nation rises to show itself stronger than ever. This week, as the Pittsburgh team of Roethlisberger, Polamalu, Bettis and Porter head to Denver, the fans of Greenwood, Lambert, Bleier and Blount, the generation who followed Lloyd, Thigpen, Woodson and Kirkland will be watching from Dallas to Chicago, from an Air Force base in Minot, North Dakota, to a tent stuck in the sand near Fallujah, Iraq.

I have received more email from displaced Pittsburgh Steelers fans this week than Christmas cards this holiday season.

They're everywhere.

We're everywhere.

We are the Steeler Nation.

And now, it's passing from one generation to the next. The children of displaced Pittsburghers, who have never lived in the Steel City, are growing up Steelers fans. When they come back to their parents' hometowns to visit the grandparents, they hope, above all, to be blessed enough to get to see the Steelers in person.

Heinz Field is their football Mecca.

And if a ticket isn't available, that's okay, too. There's nothing better than sitting in Grandpa's living room, just like Dad did, eating Grandma's cooking and watching the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Just like Dad did.

So, to you, Steeler Nation, I send best wishes and a fond wave of the Terrible Towel. To Tom, who emailed from Massachusetts to say how great it was to watch the Patriots lose and the Steelers win in one glorious weekend. To Michelle, from Milwaukee, who wrote to let me know it was she who hexed Mike Vanderjagt last Sunday by chanting ?boogity, boogity, boogity? and giving him the ?maloik?. To Jack, who will somehow pull himself away from the beach bar he tends in Hilo, Hawaii, to once again root for the black and gold in the middle of the night (his time), I say, thanks for giving power to the great Steeler Nation.

All around the NFL, the word is out that the Pittsburgh Steeler fans ?travel well?, meaning they will fly or drive from Pittsburgh to anywhere the Steelers play, just to see their team. The one aspect about that situation the rest of the NFL fails to grasp is that, sometimes, the Steeler Nation does not have to travel. Sometimes, we're already there.

Yes, the short sighted steel mills screwed our families over.

But they did, in a completely unintended way, create something new and perhaps more powerful than an industry.

They helped created a nation.

A Steeler Nation.

tony hipchest
01-19-2006, 06:13 PM
"And now, it's passing from one generation to the next. The children of displaced Pittsburghers, who have never lived in the Steel City, are growing up Steelers fans. When they come back to their parents' hometowns to visit the grandparents, they hope, above all, to be blessed enough to get to see the Steelers in person.

Heinz Field is their football Mecca."

good article that i can definitely relate with, literally.

RoethlisBURGHer
01-19-2006, 06:21 PM
Heinz Field for damn sure is MY football Mecca.

Statik
01-20-2006, 08:50 AM
Wow.....i was moved reading that.....

clevestinks
01-20-2006, 04:26 PM
Heinz Field for damn sure is MY football Mecca.
Agreed and Mr.Art Rooney is King!

SteelCityMan786
01-20-2006, 04:41 PM
This ain't any nation. THIS IS STEELER NATION!

drizze99
01-20-2006, 04:56 PM
Great post Lyn!

I wish I still lived near the 'burg!

Mamaduck43
01-20-2006, 05:53 PM
I have lived lots of places in my time, but the one thing that stays constant in my life is my love for the Steelers.... Through good times and bad, it has been a rollercoaster ride - - sometimes you just gotta scream, but you always have that great feeling when the ride is ending..... And you always run back for more...

No matter where a Steeler fan hangs his/her hat - - the place in that fan's heart that is reserved for the Steelers will be sending out support for the team on Sunday...... This has been a good year, and it will end as a Super year!!!!!!

Mr. Clean
01-20-2006, 08:03 PM
A piece of somewhat boring history - many Pittsburghers, and by that I mean anyone from within an hour's driving distance of Pittsburgh, have been leaving the Tri-State Area to find work long before the mills closed. My parents and I left in 1964.
Some leave because they want to live in warmer weather. Others because many job opportunites are limited or nonexistent in Pittsburgh.

When September rolls around and it's Sunday, none of that matters. It doesn't matter that you are a lawyer in DC or a surgeon in Dallas or a CPA in Denver - your roots are firmly planted in the Golden Triangle. Sure as hell, your 85-year old grandma in Dormont or Uniontown or Little Washington is watching the Steelers. The Pittsburgh Steelers are family, and we stay loyal through thick and thin. There are Steeler clubs all over the world - none of that Browns' nonsense that have a "fan club" in every stupid Cleveland suburb.

PisnNapalm
01-20-2006, 08:16 PM
I copied the first post here and emailed it to my family and friends. Very well spoken.:sign10:

My wife and I grew up in Plum Boro not far from Monroeville. I wish I could afford to move back. We live near Philly now. I tell ya. Eagles fans are quite the bandwagon jumpers. We've been here for about 10 years now. Maybe once the kids are grown we'll move back. For now though... My kids proudly wear their Steelers shirts, jerseys, sweaat, etc.. to school.

Last year when the Eagles made the Super Bowl, the school asked the kids to wear Eagles stuff. Not my kids dammit. LOL!!! Thankfully this year one of my daughter's teachers is a diehard Steeler fan. He's got his basement done up as a bar. http://www.steelcitytavern.com

Anyway... HERE WE GO STEELERS!!!!! :sign08:

SteelCityMan786
01-20-2006, 08:58 PM
Nation Building
January 18, 2006

Scott Paulsen



Think about this the next time someone argues that a professional sports franchise is not important to a city's identity:



In the 1980's, as the steel mills and their supporting factories shut down from Homestead to Midland, Pittsburghers, faced for the first time in their lives with the specter of unemployment, were forced to pick up their families, leave their home towns and move to more profitable parts of the country. The steel workers were not ready for this. They had planned to stay in the ?burgh their entire lives. It was home.

Everyone I know can tell the same story about how Dad, Uncle Bob or their brother-in-law packed a U-Haul and headed down to Tampa to build houses or up to Boston for an office job or out to California to star in pornographic videos.

All right.

Maybe that last one just happened in my family.

At this same time, during the early to mid-eighties, the Pittsburgh Steelers were at the peak of their popularity. Following the Super Bowl dynasty years, the power of the Steelers was strong. Every man, woman, boy and girl from parts of four states were Pittsburgh faithful, living and breathing day to day on the news of their favorite team. Then, as now, it seemed to be all anyone talked about.

Who do you think the Steelers will take in the draft this year?

Is Bradshaw done?

Can you believe they won't give Franco the money ? what's he doing going to Seattle?

The last memories most unemployed steel workers had of their towns had a black and gold tinge. The good times remembered all seemed to revolve, somehow, around a football game. Sneaking away from your sister's wedding reception to go downstairs to the bar and watch the game against Earl Campbell and the Oilers - going to midnight mass, still half in the bag after Pittsburgh beat Oakland - you and your grandfather, both crying at the sight of The Chief, finally holding his Vince Lombardi Trophy.

And then, the mills closed.

Damn the mills.

One of the unseen benefits of the collapse of the value systems our families believed in ? that the mill would look after you through thick and thin ? was that now, decades later, there is not a town in America where a Pittsburgher cannot feel at home. Nearly every city in the United States has a designated ?Black and Gold? establishment. From Bangor, Maine to Honolulu, Hawaii, and every town in between can be found an oasis of Iron City, chipped ham and yinzers. It's great to know that no matter what happened in the lives of our Steel City refugees, they never forgot the things that held us together as a city - families, food, and Steelers football.

It's what we call the Steeler Nation.

You see it every football season. And when the Steelers have a great year, as they have had this season, the power of the Steeler Nation rises to show itself stronger than ever. This week, as the Pittsburgh team of Roethlisberger, Polamalu, Bettis and Porter head to Denver, the fans of Greenwood, Lambert, Bleier and Blount, the generation who followed Lloyd, Thigpen, Woodson and Kirkland will be watching from Dallas to Chicago, from an Air Force base in Minot, North Dakota, to a tent stuck in the sand near Fallujah, Iraq.

I have received more email from displaced Pittsburgh Steelers fans this week than Christmas cards this holiday season.

They're everywhere.

We're everywhere.

We are the Steeler Nation.

And now, it's passing from one generation to the next. The children of displaced Pittsburghers, who have never lived in the Steel City, are growing up Steelers fans. When they come back to their parents' hometowns to visit the grandparents, they hope, above all, to be blessed enough to get to see the Steelers in person.

Heinz Field is their football Mecca.

And if a ticket isn't available, that's okay, too. There's nothing better than sitting in Grandpa's living room, just like Dad did, eating Grandma's cooking and watching the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Just like Dad did.

So, to you, Steeler Nation, I send best wishes and a fond wave of the Terrible Towel. To Tom, who emailed from Massachusetts to say how great it was to watch the Patriots lose and the Steelers win in one glorious weekend. To Michelle, from Milwaukee, who wrote to let me know it was she who hexed Mike Vanderjagt last Sunday by chanting ?boogity, boogity, boogity? and giving him the ?maloik?. To Jack, who will somehow pull himself away from the beach bar he tends in Hilo, Hawaii, to once again root for the black and gold in the middle of the night (his time), I say, thanks for giving power to the great Steeler Nation.

All around the NFL, the word is out that the Pittsburgh Steeler fans ?travel well?, meaning they will fly or drive from Pittsburgh to anywhere the Steelers play, just to see their team. The one aspect about that situation the rest of the NFL fails to grasp is that, sometimes, the Steeler Nation does not have to travel. Sometimes, we're already there.

Yes, the short sighted steel mills screwed our families over.

But they did, in a completely unintended way, create something new and perhaps more powerful than an industry.

They helped created a nation.

A Steeler Nation.


Good Post Man. Points To You. We're Everywhere.

Mr. Clean
01-20-2006, 09:34 PM
I wanted to add more onto my earlier post.

My dad would not have permitted myself or my brothers to be anything but a Steeelr fan. It would have been the end of us if we wanted to wear anything with "Browns" on it.

SteelerFanInATL
01-21-2006, 09:14 AM
Nation Building
January 18, 2006

Scott Paulsen


.

And now, it's passing from one generation to the next. The children of displaced Pittsburghers, who have never lived in the Steel City, are growing up Steelers fans. When they come back to their parents' hometowns to visit the grandparents, they hope, above all, to be blessed enough to get to see the Steelers in person. .


This is so true. At about the age of 10 to my suprise I found out my sons favorite team was the Steelers. It was never forced on him. but when thats all dad talks about and watchs on sunday I realized he couldn't help it. Due to being in the military we have lived in MA, CO, and now in Atlanta and have always proudly represented our Steelers. I'm sure
when the time comes the grandchildren will surely follow suite.

dibdeb2
01-21-2006, 10:06 AM
WTG Scott Paulson I was so moved!
Little did Art Rooney Sr. know when he won the Steeler franchise in a poker game-what a great nation he would create-not only for Pittsburgh but for true football fans everywhere!
What a class act!!
thanks Rooney family!!:heart:


:sign04:

BlitzburghRockCity
01-21-2006, 10:27 AM
Agreed and Mr.Art Rooney is King!


The Chief would be proud. :tt:

SteelerzGirl
01-21-2006, 12:06 PM
The Pittsburgh Steelers are family, and we stay loyal through thick and thin.

That's the bottom line, Mr. Clean. There is nothing better or stronger than the ties that bind. It's all about family. :bouncy:

Thanks for the post, Lyn. It gave me goosebumps and stayed true to our Pittsburgh roots. :smile: