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Old 07-19-2009, 03:25 AM   #1
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Default Do as the Romans do: Go to a Steelers bar

Do as the Romans do: Go to a Steelers bar
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/...3979809594.txt
By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff
Published: Saturday, July 18, 2009 11:15 PM EDT
ROME — The Vatican, Trevi Fountain and a Steelers bar.

That was my itinerary the other day while touring the Eternal City.

Yep, I threw down a few colds ones at a Steelers bar no less than 4,650 miles from Pittsburgh.

The Steelers Nation extends all the way to Italy.

“You are in Steelers Country,” said Giovanni Poggi, the owner of a pub named La Boticella that’s located off a cobblestone alley near the Piazza Navona, a famous public square in the heart of Rome.

Banners recognizing many United States colleges hang from the walls at La Boticella, but black and gold Steelers items dominate the decor.

There’s a No. 43 Troy Polamalu replica jersey and Terrible Towels and a collection of other Steeler paraphernalia ranging from signs, license plates and hats. There’s even a Sidney Crosby sweater hanging next to the Polamalu jersey.

I told Poggi that I’d send him a jersey depicting the Steelers’ Super Bowl win and the Penguins’ Stanley Cup championship this year, but he turned down the offer.

“Thanks, but I already have one,” said Poggi, who was wearing a Steelers’ T-shirt when I met him. “People keep bringing me so much stuff that I don’t know what to do with it. I must have 50 Terrible Towels.”

Hardly a day goes by, Poggi said, that someone from western Pennsylvania doesn’t stop by.

Recently, he’s entertained a contingent from Robert Morris University, including president Greg Dell’Omo; Dave Petett, one of the Steelers’ scouts; and Frank Condino, the athletic director at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

On the night I visited La Boticella, patrons included a group of tourists from Latrobe and a guy from Johnstown who was on his honeymoon.

A native of Rome, Poggi lived in Toronto, Canada, for 12 years as an adolescent and teenager. That’s when he first developed an appreciation for the way the Steelers played football.

Since returning to Italy 18 years ago and opening his bar, Poggi has found that a lot of Americans, particularly pilots and flight attendants, patronize La Botticella. But in the past four or five years, he noticed an increase in students from Penn State and Duquesne who were studying abroad. It’s from them that he learned even more about the Steelers.

During football season, Poggi’s clients with western Pennsylvania ties want to watch Steelers games on TV. He’s installed a satellite dish and found that his bar is jammed packed with black and gold clad fans on game day.

Night games — like the Super Bowl — pose somewhat of a problem because of the six-hour time difference. In Italy, bars must close by 2 a.m.

But with night games starting at 12:30 a.m. or 1:30 a.m., Poggi allows Steelers fans to enter and then locks the doors.

“They party until the sun comes up,” he said.

Last season, Poggi experienced Steelermania firsthand by attending the Nov. 20 Steelers’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He also went to State College for Penn State’s Nov. 22 game against Michigan State.

Now, he’s thinking about relocating to Pittsburgh and opening up an Italian restaurant.

But in he meantime, he’s delighted to entertain Steeler fans in Rome.

And as I left La Boticella, Poggi offered up this familiar chant, “Andiamo, Steelers! Andiamio!”

Translated, it means, “Let’s go, Steelers! Let’s go!”

Mike Bires can be reached online at mbires@timesonline.com.
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: Do as the Romans do: Go to a Steelers bar

We are everywhere you don't see no other team in the nfl that has that kind of support.
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Do as the Romans do: Go to a Steelers bar

I was watching a special on Egypt a while back, and while some expert was talking to the camera, there was some guy working in the background wearing a Steelers shirt. Right there in front of the Great Pyramid, way off in Africa. I dont know if he was Egyptian or American or what, but it was pretty cool to see either way. It seems we do get around.
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Do as the Romans do: Go to a Steelers bar

WE ARE EVERYWHERE!

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Old 07-20-2009, 10:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Do as the Romans do: Go to a Steelers bar

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Originally Posted by Kittyfish View Post
I was watching a special on Egypt a while back, and while some expert was talking to the camera, there was some guy working in the background wearing a Steelers shirt. Right there in front of the Great Pyramid, way off in Africa. I dont know if he was Egyptian or American or what, but it was pretty cool to see either way. It seems we do get around.
I'll have to see if I can find the picture again. But there was a guy in a Polamalu jersey during the Iran riots.

Found it: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=c13_1245542623&c=1
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: Do as the Romans do: Go to a Steelers bar

Cowboys may be America's Team, but it's a Steelers World!
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:45 AM   #7
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Cowboys may be America's Team, but it's a Steelers World!
And everyone is just living it.
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