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mesaSteeler
01-22-2011, 11:06 PM
Steelers fans go all-out to ensure win
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2011/january/22/steelers-fans-go-all-out-to-ensure-win.html
By: Patti Conley
Beaver County Times

Saturday January 22, 2011 10:07 PM

Brad Meredith, (seated in center with 56 jersey and hat) installed “stadium seating” in his living room so everyone at his playoff party last Saturday in Ohioville could see the Steelers destory the Baltimore Ravens. Tonight, the same folks will be in the same seats.

Three times George Crivelli went to an AFC Championship game. Three times the Pittsburgh Steelers lost.

The Hopewell Township season ticket holder did what he had to do. He sold his tickets to tonight’s bash at Heinz Field.

“I do not want to jinx them,” Crivelli, 45, said.

The renegade won’t be seated in Section 130. He’ll be on the corner of his couch doing what he feels he must to make sure that the Steelers will be jetting to Dallas next week.

The man in Steelers black from mock turtleneck and Woodley jersey to the good-luck boxer briefs beneath his blue jeans will rub the Steelers helmet set on his TV three times before the game and wave his blood- and beer-stained Terrible Towel when all is going well.

It’s what he does, what Steelers fans have done and will do today, what winning demands.

“It’s normal,” Crivelli said. Six Lombardi trophies prove that.

HERE WE GO

So here’s the game plan at Brad Meredith’s living room in Ohioville.

His crew of friends will be assigned the same seats they had when the Steelers downed the Baltimore Ravens last week.

“Stadium seating” on a two-foot platform behind his sectional couch assures an optimum line of sight for “cheap seat” fans and, therefore, fewer squabbles.

So it must go: same food, same slop, same clothes.

Meredith’s throwback Jack Lambert jersey stays, he said, because he chose that over his throwback Polamalu jersey last week. No offense, Troy.

And though it’s falling apart, his friend Jessica Janicki of New Brighton will have her “playoffs” Steelers sweat suit on.

Plasti-Brad won’t be wearing much, but fashion has never been a statement for this former Ken doll (as in Barbie’s boyfriend). His big hair says it all.

It looks like Meredith’s hair does when he wakes in the morning. That’s why friends bought him the doll at a thrift store several years ago and why Plasti-Brad casts his charm at Steelers’ games.

Before each Steelers game begins, each crew member rubs Plasti-Brad’s hair for good luck. During the game he’s passed around from friend to friend, always there, ready to be rubbed.

A dog named Rocky chewed off Plasti-Brad’s homemade No.7 jersey and his right arm during Ben’s terrible “accident and appendectomy” summer. But Plasti-Brad is doing well. He has own fan page on Facebook, has gone on vacations and is planning a trip to Disney World in February, Janicki said.

And he’s seems confident about this game.

“He knows that the Steelers are going to win,” Janicki said. “It’s Myron Cope’s birthday.”

JUST YOUR MOJINATION

“Yoi!” Myron Cope would probably say if he heard former Steeler Craig Wolfley talking mojo on the radio.

Better make that a “Double Yoi!”

No doubt, the late Steelers broadcaster would understand what being “mojininated” is because Cope was often in full “mojination.” Purists and New York Jets fans might call an offside penalty on Wolfley’s word usage, but any Steelers fan who has felt the mojo knows what it is.

“It’s your life force. It’s the vitality and energy you bring,” the offensive lineman turned sidelines reporter said. During a game, it’s a feeling that summons the Steelers’ faithful to personal strategies aimed at affecting what’s happening on the field.

“If your mojo calls on you to wear a certain outfit, you do it,” Wolfley said

Thirty-five years ago, mojo moved Cope to come up with the Terrible Towel, which twirlers insist has helped the Steelers win a record-setting six Super Bowls.

No believer will forget what happened to the San Diego Chargers, the Tennessee Titans and the Cincinnati Bengals when players on each team waved, stomped or burned Terrible Towels.

On Monday, callers to Wolfley’s talk show on ESPN-970 AM explained how mojo helped the Steelers come back from a 21-7 deficit against the Baltimore Ravens.

“One of my callers thought he was going to throw up, so at halftime he had to go and walk the dog,” Wolfley said. The walk kept fueling his mojo. The Steelers won the game and sent the Ravens on a long flight back to Baltimore.

Every man or woman’s mojo is unique, Wolfley stressed.

“It walks alone,” Wolfley said. “When you’re feeling it, all is right.”

You’re in a zone. You become aware of what you can do. You understand it. You help the mojo percolate, Wolfley said,

The caller walks his dog. Wolfley eats candy on the field. At away games, it’s Peanut M&M’s. At home games, he traipses the Steelers’ sidelines and shoves assorted flavors of Jolly Rancher hard candies into his mouth.

“I go with the melon when things get bad,” Wolfley said. Which is what he did last Saturday, and what he doesn’t want to do tonight.

WHATEVER IT TAKES

There are reasons for all this Steelers madness besides the joy of winning and showcasing six coveted Lombardi trophies

As the season opened, so did an exhibit in Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University called “Whatever It Takes: Steelers Fan Collections, Rituals and Obsessions.”

Co-curators Jon Rubin, an artist and associate professor of art at CMU, and Astria Suparak, Miller Gallery director, interviewed fans, culled through a potpourri of Steelers stuff, then assembled an exhibit that exudes the city’s culture and its peoples’ creativity and devotion.

Interestingly, Rubin found that Steelers fans’ obsessions cross all demographics.

“It’s not based on race, class, neighborhoods, and not on jobs,” Rubin said. And most Steelers fans, he contends, don’t live in Pittsburgh.

More than 2,000 fan clubs and Steelers bars dot the United States and abroad, he claimed. The exhibit features a live site feed to a Steelers bar in Rome that Rubin said is filled with Pittsburghers on vacation there. The exhibit addresses why.

As the Steelers’ success was rising 30 years ago, the area’s steel mills were dying. Hard-core fans left the area. “They took their love for the city and the team with them,” Rubin said.

Back then, Denny DeLuca, 57, began collecting Steelers stuff. The basement of his South Hills home is crammed from ceiling to floor with items he made or altered. DeLuca’s “Steelers Room,” except for his bed, was moved to Miller Gallery. Visitors, DeLuca said, think he’s eccentric.

He said he simply loves the Steelers, “And it’s just fun.”

The exhibit continues through Jan. 30 and will take place over through the Super Bowl if the Steelers down the Jets tonight, Rubin said.

Here we gladly go again.