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mesaSteeler
10-07-2009, 11:21 PM
http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/article/2009-10-07/pittsburgh-lives-you-even-when-you-live-elsewhere
Pittsburgh lives in you, even when you live elsewhere

Mike DeCourcy

Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009 - 1:44 p.m. ET

There will not be a parade down the Boulevard of the Allies to celebrate the selection of Pittsburgh as the nation's Best Sports City. There already have been two such celebrations in this calendar year, so no need to squeeze the city budget harder. Besides, there wasn't nearly the level of suspense involved in this outcome as in the Steelers' Super Bowl victory and the Penguins' triumph in the Stanley Cup.

As even my sister Colleen said: "Oh, yeah -- tough choice."

You win two titles in a year, Best Sports City is a given.

For a city that has enjoyed more than its share of sporting success, it is possible 2009 was the most glorious year in Pittsburgh's history. The Steelers won the Super Bowl with perhaps the greatest last-minute drive in the game's XLIII-year history. The Penguins won the Stanley Cup on the road by surviving a third-period siege from the favored Detroit Red Wings.

This wasn't the first time Pittsburgh claimed two major championships in the same year, but this one beat 1979 because by the end of the 70s championships had begun to feel almost Ė almost -- routine. The titles won by the Pirates and Steelers in the '79 seasons were the city's sixth and seventh of the decade, counting Pitt's 1976 national title in college football. It began to feel it would always be that way.

And there's another reason this time seemed greater: perspective. My view of Pittsburgh's sports teams, like that of so many others who grew up in the region, was indelibly altered when professional circumstances forced me to leave the city I always will call home.

There are three kinds of people who leave their hometowns as adults. There are those seeking opportunity, taking the best job wherever it lands them. There are those that seem to inspire so many Hollywood stories: young people convinced their dreams are too big for the towns where they were born and determined to "get out." And there are those who leave by force.

There are so many true Pittsburghers jammed into that last category. Thousands went elsewhere when the steel industry collapsed and their jobs disappeared in the '70s and '80s. Others followed their jobs as major companies relocated their operations, mostly in the South and West.

I suspect many of the most passionate Steelers fans are those who took the team with them to new homes as a souvenir of youth. It takes more work for those people to remain loyal, but they can feel proudly subversive as they wear their gear in cities where other teams are supported, where their team might even be loathed. They can talk about wins and losses with friends and family members who were fortunate enough to stay home.

My dreams never seemed bigger than Pittsburgh. Writing for The Pittsburgh Press not long out of college, I covered the Olympics, three Final Fours, two national championship football games and something like 20 world title fights. Pittsburgh felt like part of the dream. And then it was gone. The Press was killed by a newspaper strike in 1992, and the surviving paper found no room for me. So I moved on.

It was the best thing that could have happened to my career. It all eventually led me here, to Sporting News, the best job I could imagine. But part of me lingers in Pittsburgh, and watching its teams compete always makes that connection less remote. Especially when the games are in HD.

Mike DeCourcy is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at decourcy@sportingnews.com.

The_WARDen
10-08-2009, 08:04 AM
yup... I am nicknamed Pittsburgh Carl here at work. No one mistakes me for an Eagles fan that's for sure.

stlrtruck
10-08-2009, 08:51 AM
Great article but the guy does fails to mention those attached to Pittsburgh not by location but by heart.

I've never lived in PIttsburgh but I have endeared myself to it. I never stayed there longer than 2 days/3 nights during football season, but I can get from my hotel to the strip district, to Vento's pizza, to Bettis', to the stadium, etc. I don't know all the 'hot spots' but in less than a dahn tahn minute I can get the information I need to find it. I like where I live but there's a part of me that urns to get a wonderful career in Da 'Burgh. My daughter, at the age of 4, has never seen snow, doesn't know much about the city (except the Steelers and Penguins), and one day she will know the feeling of the wintery blasts coming off the rivers chilling your face to beyond numbness, and next year she will begin the annual pilgrimmage to the mecca of the sports world and soon, she too will be endeared to a city in which she most likely will never live!

stillers4me
10-08-2009, 08:58 AM
I said something at work the other day about being from Pittsburgh is the best part of me. My Bungle coworkers said they think it's the worst part part of me.

Farve them to all hell.

steelballs
10-08-2009, 09:17 AM
I'm one of the fans that live in a town that loathes the Steelers....Baltimore.

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh and like so many others, left for employment reasons in the mid 80's. My wife is also a Pittsburgh native and although our 3 boys were born and raised here, they're all devout Steeler fans just like their parents.

My family proudly displays our black & gold and we could care less what the neighbors think. I'm not alone, as there are plenty of Steeler fans here in B'More and quite a few Steeler bars as well. I don't go out of my way to flaunt the Steelers, but if they want to talk trash, I'm more than willing to oblige.

I'm asked quite often why the Steelers are STILL my team after living away from the burg for so long. I find it difficult to explain to them why as there was never a question....it just is what it is. As all of SteelerNation knows, once a Steeler fan always a Steeler fan.

Growing up in Pittsburgh during the 70's was a magical time and being from Pittsburgh was and still is a badge of honor in my book. My family has owned season tickets since the 70's and I make the trip for all home games and haven't missed any but one (birth of my son) in over 25 years.

I'm not unlike any other Steeler fan, whether they live in Pittsburgh or southern California or Georgia or wherever.....I'm just part of the greatest fan base of any team in any sport there is and damn proud of it.

oldschool
10-08-2009, 09:50 AM
Great posts! As a transplanted Yinzer living in Saints Country, I can relate to a lot of the comments made.
I summed it up to a buddy of mine that is a long suffering diehard Saints fan,Ē we can go to New Orleans and find a Steelers bar, (which we did), but you canít go to Pittsburgh and find a Saints barĒ. I think someone should have pointed out this fact to Neon Dieon, during the opening game telecast on the NFL channel as he debated who had the best fans ( Dallas or Pittsburgh), with Rod Woodson. You can find a Steelers bar in Dallas, but you would be had pressed to find a Cowboy bar in Pittsburgh. The Steeler Nation is a part of who you are and where you came from, watching a Steelers game or the Pens is like going home. Iíve lived away from the Burgh for over 25 years and anytime I meet a Steelers fan anywhere it's an instant connection, like running into an old neighbor or a childhood friend.:tt03:

steelballs
10-08-2009, 10:02 AM
Great posts! As a transplanted Yinzer living in Saints Country, I can relate to a lot of the comments made.
I summed it up to a buddy of mine that is a long suffering diehard Saints fan,Ē we can go to New Orleans and find a Steelers bar, (which we did), but you canít go to Pittsburgh and find a Saints barĒ. I think someone should have pointed out this fact to Neon Dieon, during the opening game telecast on the NFL channel as he debated who had the best fans ( Dallas or Pittsburgh), with Rod Woodson. You can find a Steelers bar in Dallas, but you would be had pressed to find a Cowboy bar in Pittsburgh. The Steeler Nation is a part of who you are and where you came from, watching a Steelers game or the Pens is like going home. Iíve lived away from the Burgh for over 25 years and anytime I meet a Steelers fan anywhere it's an instant connection, like running into an old neighbor or a childhood friend.:tt03:

Well said old school. I constantly run into Steeler / Penguin fans who I don't know, but you have an instant connection because of our beloved Pittsburgh and the fond memories of a shared past.

Your point about Steeler bars in every corner of this country is well documented. I have childhood friends that have dispersed all over the US and every single one of them have a local Steeler bar to watch the Steelers play. This is true of only one franchise and that's the reigning Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

Indo
10-08-2009, 10:23 AM
Great posts! As a transplanted Yinzer living in Saints Country, I can relate to a lot of the comments made.
I summed it up to a buddy of mine that is a long suffering diehard Saints fan,Ē we can go to New Orleans and find a Steelers bar, (which we did), but you canít go to Pittsburgh and find a Saints barĒ. I think someone should have pointed out this fact to Neon Dieon, during the opening game telecast on the NFL channel as he debated who had the best fans ( Dallas or Pittsburgh), with Rod Woodson. You can find a Steelers bar in Dallas, but you would be had pressed to find a Cowboy bar in Pittsburgh. The Steeler Nation is a part of who you are and where you came from, watching a Steelers game or the Pens is like going home. Iíve lived away from the Burgh for over 25 years and anytime I meet a Steelers fan anywhere it's an instant connection, like running into an old neighbor or a childhood friend.:tt03:

I, too, went from The Burgh to NOLA----and I do like the Saints, but it ends there. I'll cheer for them when the outcome of the game in no way affects the Steelers. But if it does they can all get Farved. It's all about The Black and Gold---the correct Black and Gold (not the Saints costume jewelry gold!).

I'm guessing the Steelers bar in NOLA that you are talking about is Parasols. I spent many a Sunday there sporting my Steelers gear along with everybody else. The owner is apparently from Pgh.

Now I live in Alabama and everybody is trying to convert me into either a Crimson Tide fan or an Auburn fan or, perish the thought, a Falcons or Titties fan. Sorry. Won't happen.