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Old 08-01-2009, 10:52 PM   #1
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Default Six Rules for the Road to 7

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Six Rules for the Road to 7

http://www.wqed.org/mag/seasonprevie...-hostility.php

Steelers Nation is loud and proud, yet because of the team's greatness, opposing fans often develop a strong hatred for supporters of the Black and Gold.

By Mike Pearrow

I've attended Pittsburgh Steelers games in 13 hostile cities (including Cleveland and Baltimore), and this year I plan to hit Chicago (first time), plus make return trips to Cincinnati, Denver and Miami. Along the way, I've managed to meet some really great people, and by following these six simple rules, I have managed to stay out of trouble.

1. Always travel in pairs. Going to a game with a buddy is a great way to explore a strange city with a fellow Steelers fan. Your partner in crime also can be your spotter on the road and can split the cost of a hotel. Plus, this person can provide you with added protection when surrounded by the enemy.

2. Get a ticket without giving up your firstborn. Ticket holders always circle the Steelers on their schedules because they know they can make top dollar when Steelers Nation invades town. Many people will buy tickets from licensed brokers such as Stub Hub, but you'll pay a premium price! Personally, I prefer eBay. The key is to find sellers that accept Paypal for your protection and have outstanding feedback ratings. Another option is to purchase from a scalper on the street. The goal is to find a licensed scalper near the stadium. The farther out, the higher the price you pay. Also, if you don't mind missing the opening kickoff, you can save a bundle and get great seats (often below face value) in the process.

3. Find a Steelers bar near you. Practically every NFL city has at least one Steelers bar where fans of the Black and Gold can partake in a cold beverage. These are great spots for you to meet local Steelers fans and to network with others from across the country. You also can use these places to locate tickets, to learn about the best food options in town and to ask about the "must-see" places and those you need to avoid.

4. If you drink, don't overdo it. You always have to remember you're in hostile territory. With that in mind, not only should you avoid becoming overly intoxicated, but you also should avoid getting into arguments with opposing fans who have been drinking. I've had drunk Cincinnati Bengals fans, of all people, come up to me after a game talking smack about how if we hadn't cheated, etc., they would have won the game. In fact, they pretty much blame us for every loss in their team's history. Instead of taking the bait, I just ignore them and walk away with the knowledge that we have six Lombardi Trophies in our case.

5. It's OK to wear your team colors if you know how. I had a friend - I'll use that term loosely since he is a Dallas Cowboys fan - come to a game in Pittsburgh afraid to wear his team's jersey. I told him the key to wearing your colors is to expect some friendly ribbing. You may even hear some not-so-kind comments. Just take it all in stride. And most important: Whatever happens during the game, don't go rubbing it in the face of the home team's fans. That doesn't mean you can't cheer for your team; you just don't want to be obnoxious about it, especially since you're going to be severely outnumbered.

6. Make friends with the enemy. A little flattery will go a long way in enemy territory. This has often helped me turn opposing fans into helpful allies. Start a friendly conversation with those around you. Compliment them on their city, even their team. This gives them the impression that you are not profanityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityfilterprofa nityfiltery and arrogant. Also, give the opposing team its props when it makes a good play. The home fans will eventually start treating you as a football fan and not just a hated Steelers fan.

The above listed road rules will help you survive a game in hostile territory, but there is one other golden rule. Before you go on a road trip, get the OK from your spouse, or you may find you're going to spend a lot more time away from home than you expected. GO STEELERS!
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: Six Rules for the Road to 7

Going to a NFL game is nothing like attending a soccer game in Scotland. Never ever had a problem at an away game. I try to attend a game a year and have attended numerous road games with buddies, with my wife and solo. A Steelers jersey is always on my back all weekend long and never had an issue. In Denver there was more Black-n-Gold on 16th Street then Bronco attire. The STL metro was a Steelers party train before and after the game. Last season while tailgating in Nashville, my buddy and I were swapping food and drink into the evening with Steelers and Titans fans alike in parking lot B. This year my wife and I are already looking forward to our drive to Arrowhead.

The worst thing that ever happened to me was at the RCA dome in November 2005 after our loss to the Colts. Some guy in Manning jersey ran towards to me yelling profanities about the Steelers. Before I could even fully react, his buddies grabbed him and apologized for their drunken friend.
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Six Rules for the Road to 7

There are some stadiums where it's just not safe to wear your colors. Jax is one. Cinci is another. The Browns stadium used to be that way, but it's 50/50 with Steelers fans now, so...
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Six Rules for the Road to 7

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There are some stadiums where it's just not safe to wear your colors. Jax is one. Cinci is another. The Browns stadium used to be that way, but it's 50/50 with Steelers fans now, so...
I disagree, I've been to both and never had a problem, and I can be a very vocal .

The 6 rules are basic common sense, but based on the volumn of beverages consumed are quickly forgotton by some.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Six Rules for the Road to 7

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There are some stadiums where it's just not safe to wear your colors. Jax is one. Cinci is another. The Browns stadium used to be that way, but it's 50/50 with Steelers fans now, so...
... and if you go to a Raiders game cheering for the other team, you can pretty much expect to get your ass kicked in the parking lot. I've seen plenty of that going on -- not that I really go to Raiders games, but I can't even begin to count how many times my friends have come back all beat up after getting into some idiot fistfight with Broncos fans or Chiefs fans or whoever. It sucks, because when the Steelers are in town, you can't really even go to see them. If you did, you'd have to keep to yourself and be super under-the-radar the whole time, which basically takes the fun out of going to the game in person.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Six Rules for the Road to 7

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There are some stadiums where it's just not safe to wear your colors. Jax is one. Cinci is another. The Browns stadium used to be that way, but it's 50/50 with Steelers fans now, so...
I've never had a problem at Jax. The only time I've ever had a problem was in Atl in 2006.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Six Rules for the Road to 7

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I've never had a problem at Jax. The only time I've ever had a problem was in Atl in 2006.
We sat with the team players folks at a Tampa game in Tampa. We got our tickets from Farrior. We had a Bucs fan amongst us, we treated them nice but they left anyhow as they were having a hard time cheering for the bucs amongst the black and gold.

in 1979 in Cleveland we sat in the dog pound seveth row back, we were in full Black and Gold garb. my brother had his afc championship penant with him, he turned around at looked up and it was on fire.. but we never had any real fight problems. the dog pound was still civil, i guess maybe they wanted to start a fire and roast some hotDOGS. We still have the burnt penant on the wall.
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Six Rules for the Road to 7

Yeah, Cleveland Browns Stadium isn't as dangerous as people think. You're going to get a lot of trash talked towards you (I just remind them that they haven't beat us in ages, we have won more game in the series, and we have six Super Bowls)...but the muni parking lot where a lot of them tailgate, the city streets, and inside the stadium are pretty well patrolled.

The city doesn't want another tire slashing incident like years ago.
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Six Rules for the Road to 7

I was at the first ever Jax MNF game...looked like the drunken rate amongst the rednecks was close to 100%. We got destroyed 24-3 and I was STILL in harms way.

Maybe it's gotten better over the years, but I'll never forget feeling a lot like Ned Beatty in Deliverance, waiting for some effed up group of hilljacks wanting me to squeal like a pig.
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Six Rules for the Road to 7

Cinci is just bad...ignorant drunken idiots.
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