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Old 01-20-2009, 10:00 AM   #1
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Default The stampede is on for Steelers stuff

The stampede is on for Steelers stuff
By Chris Togneri, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Let the insanity begin.

With the Steelers Super Bowl-bound, Steeler Nation is officially nuts with anticipation.

"The recession is over!" bellowed Jim Coen, owner of Yinzer's, a Steelers merchandise shop in the Strip District where fans stood shoulder-to-shoulder Monday snatching up Steelers gear. "This started at 8 a.m. I expected it to be busy, but not this busy."

Among the Terrible Towel-buying masses were the Hardy family, who drove from Wheeling, W.Va., with one purpose: Buy more Steelers gear.

"I want a Troy Polamalu jersey," shouted Lindsey Hardy, 10. "I love the Steelers!"

The Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens, 23-14, Sunday for the AFC Championship. They will play the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1 in Tampa.

The Steelers are hoping to win a record sixth title.

The prospect of yet another ring is simply too much for some fans, said Dr. Paul Friday, head of clinical psychology at UPMC Shadyside. He offered this diagnosis of Steeler Nation:

"We're in a manic phase of a bipolar disorder right now. If we lose, we're going to become bipolar. If we win, we'll just keep the mania going."

He added a grim prognosis for the Cardinals and their fans: "Those poor guys, they don't know what's coming. Imagine what's going to happen to them when Troy (Polamalu) dashes their dreams. I could move to Arizona and open up a corner clinic."

Polamalu's fourth-quarter interception of a pass by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and touchdown return all but sealed the Steelers' victory.

Afterward, many fans rushed to Dick's Sporting Goods stores to buy newly minted AFC Championship merchandise. Dick's opened after the game until about 2 a.m. Monday, then closed briefly and reopened at 6 a.m. People were waiting outside, a store spokesman said. Shirts sold for $20 or more; hats $22 and up; a fleece hoodie, $50.

Others are seeking Super Bowl tickets.

Shane Pollock, 26, of Bullhead City, Ariz., spent about $1,000 to fly to Pittsburgh with his brother for the AFC Championship game.

"It was incredible," he said. "To be out there with 65,000 other people, I mean, it was amazing. And when Polamalu made that interception, we were hugging strangers, high-fiving people we'd never seen before. It was absolutely worth it."

Pollock -- who named his son after Ben Roethlisberger because he was conceived during the Steelers' last Super Bowl run in late 2005 -- was born here but moved west at age 10 when his dad, a steelworker, lost his job. He said he is trying to convince his dad to go to Tampa with him for the Super Bowl.

Tickets at online auction sites start at $1,600 -- twice the lowest face value -- and go as high as $139,664 for luxury boxes.

Moments after the Steelers secured their seventh trip to a Super Bowl, Joe Weigler's phone at Shadyside Travel started ringing. His and other travel agencies opened early yesterday to accommodate people looking for Super Bowl packages.

"I got here at (7:45 a.m.), and there were already phone calls," said Weigler. The agency sold 45 of its 330 Super Bowl packages even before the Steelers played, he said. He expects the trip will sell out by midweek.

Fans who want to go will find it costly: Packages offered by Pittsburgh travel agencies range from about $1,000 to $4,700. The Travel Authority, based in Jeffersonville, Ind., describes itself as the Steelers' official travel partner. It is offering a three-night air package without tickets for $1,725.

To help fans get to the game, JetBlue Airways announced it will offer nonstop flights between Pittsburgh and Tampa late next week. AirTran Airways, one of two other carriers flying nonstop between Pittsburgh and Tampa, has sold three charter-flight bookings, said Tad Hutcheson, the carrier's vice president of marketing.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and County Executive Dan Onorato plan to attend the Super Bowl, their offices confirmed. Super Bowl rallies are planned, but the details weren't finalized.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_607923.html
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: The stampede is on for Steelers stuff

Just like the 2005 SB. I remember reading articles about how Steelers stuff became fast-selling items.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: The stampede is on for Steelers stuff

Yep. I blew a few hundred bucks on AFC Champs and SB gear already.

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Old 01-20-2009, 08:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: The stampede is on for Steelers stuff

I never saw the point in buying Conference Champions gear when the Super Bowl is less than 2 weeks away and Super Bowl Champions gear is a possibility. But that's just me.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: The stampede is on for Steelers stuff

I'll be headed down to the Strip on Friday to buy up some AFCC merch. I'd better get down there at the azz crack of dawn, as there probably will be very little parking available with all of the people down there.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: The stampede is on for Steelers stuff

Damn, with the Cardinals barely selling out their games I think Tampa is going to swallowed by Black and Gold in a couple weeks.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: The stampede is on for Steelers stuff

Nic BTW #43 jerseys was the 4th best selling on NFLshop.com
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: The stampede is on for Steelers stuff

The only AFCC thing I get is the hat. Winning the AFC is great, but it don't mean shit if we ain't raising that Lombardi two weeks later.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: The stampede is on for Steelers stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoethlisBURGHer View Post
The only AFCC thing I get is the hat. Winning the AFC is great, but it don't mean shit if we ain't raising that Lombardi two weeks later.
Agree, plus the hat design is pretty cool this year.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: The stampede is on for Steelers stuff

Got my hat, big ben sb jersey, and my new tt to add to my already big collection.
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