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Old 01-24-2009, 11:44 PM   #1
A Son of Martha

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Mesa, Arizona
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Default Black And Gold For All Pittsburgh, Not Just Steelers

Black And Gold For All Pittsburgh, Not Just Steelers
All Three Teams Sport Black And Gold

PITTSBURGH -- Black and Gold. It decorates Pittsburgh's hilly neighborhoods and adorns the city's flag. Steelers fans in Heinz Stadium turn winter days brighter with black and gold Terrible Towels.

And in a national oddity, all three of Pittsburgh's sports teams use the colors.

For more than 100 years, black and gold have symbolized Pittsburgh almost as much as the iconic images of the smoky steel town. Drawn from the family coat of arms of William Pitt, the Lord of Chatham, for whom the city was named, the colors have evolved into a source of pride for Pittsburgh's residents. (I grew up in the burg and never knew that. - mesa)

Unlike other cities nationwide in which each team has its own colors, the Steelers, the Pirates and the Penguins - who are deeply connected to Pittsburgh - all sport the black and gold.

Each adopted the colors at a different time, finally coalescing in 1980 after the Pirates clinched the World Series and the Steelers the Super Bowl. The victories made Pittsburgh the city of champions just as it suffered debilitating economic losses caused by the collapse of the steel industry.

"It's just another thing that makes the city of Pittsburgh unique," said Jim Trdinich, spokesman of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pittsburgh was officially named in 1758 for William Pitt, who as secretary of state made key decisions that helped British forces in the colonies successfully capture from the French the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers.

Just over 140 years later, Pittsburgh's council decided that the city flag would use the black and gold - really more of a yellow - from the Pitt family's coat of arms.

In 1933, a new football team adopted those colors as its own, even emblazoning Pittsburgh's crest - also borrowed from William Pitt's coat of arms - on its jerseys. The only year the team's players wore different colors was in 1943, when they wore green and white during a brief merger with the Philadelphia Eagles that also saw them renamed the Steagles.

In 1948, the Pirates make the switch from their red, white and blue uniforms to black and gold, and in 1980 the Penguins followed suit.

Today, the colors are not only associated with the city, but characterize it as well, said Anne Madarasz, director of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh.

"The black comes to the root of our character, we're hard workers ... we're jobs that you can see the result of," Madarasz said, referring to the pride native Pittsburghers have for the heavy industries that put their city on the map. "It becomes the aura of those teams, but also the character of the city."

(As a Civil Engineer I am proud of the Steelers colors as they are perfect for my profession.

I build roads and freeways for a living.

What are the colors of a road?

Black - asphalt, Gold and White - striping, which are of course Steeler colors. Every time I look at a new piece of freeway I know I'm Steeler country. Note Here in Arizona the top layer of a freeway is rubberized asphalt so they are black.

Also Steel is something all Civil Engineers know a lot about since we use it to build everything. - mesa)
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