There We Went!

Yeah, it’s always a sad day after in Pittsburgh when the Steelers lose. But I have to agree with several friends’ blogs that it’s not really any worse than any other loss. Maybe it’s because I don’t hate the Packers. Maybe it’s because we have won Super Bowls recently (the loss in SB XXX was SO much worse). Maybe it’s because I wasn’t really expecting them to win, and they still did pretty well except for the turnovers. Maybe it’s because the whole “event” seemed rather blah this year — no stand-out commercials, snow and seating glitches, ho-hum announcers and game presentation. I didn’t think the half-time show was that bad, but I did notice Christina Aguilera flubbing the National Anthem. Seriously…for a mega-million-dollar professional to do that was terrible. How about next year they forgo the soloist and just let the stadium full of fans sing it loud and proud.

It took a really, really long time to get our “one for the thumb,” and it may take us just as long to climb that stairway to seven. But it was great we got this far in a year when no one expected us to. (And, frankly, any SB New England isn’t in is pretty OK in my book!)

So, we’ll get ′em next time, guys! Thanks for a great season and for making Steeler Nation possible. And congrats to the Packers and their fans. Enjoy your championship year!

Defeat is not bitter unless you swallow it.
~ Joe Clark


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Here We Go!

If I could start my life all over again, I would be a professional football player,
and you damn well better believe I would be a Pittsburgh Steeler.

~ Jack Lambert, 1990 HoF Introduction

Remember that Cold War era song by Sting that wonders “if the Russians love their children too”?

That came to mind Saturday as I was wondering if Green Bay fans have a place to gather that’s anything remotely as glorious as the Strip District 8 days before a Steelers Super Bowl appearance.

If they don their colors and brave the cold and snow to line up 10 or 15 deep, waiting to get in a half-dozen stores selling all things green and gold, singing along with any number of fight songs that blare from loudspeakers.

If on every corner they hear the Packers equivalent of things like, “Oh my God, it’s a Joe Greene!” accompanied by a squeal of delight over simply seeing a #75 jersey for sale.

If they stand in still more lines for their version of Pamela’s pancakes or dippy eggs at DeLuca’s or a Kolbassy & Cheese at Primanti’s and compliment one another on their NFC Championship attire.

If they can revel in the unique situation of being surrounded by hundreds of perfect strangers on a city street but feeling like they’re in the bosom of a big happy family that doesn’t bat an eye when they say Wiscahnsin in that nasally way.

Frankly, I never questioned if the Russians love their children. And I have to believe that Packers fan have their own “sacred” places to gather and revel beyond their Field on game day. They’re great fans. They have a great team. They’ll give us a run for our money on Sunday. They’re even close to wearing the right colors. With a little mud on those jerseys (which I’m sure our defense would be happy to supply, if the turf weren’t fake), they might even pass for black and gold.

I’m expecting a 50-50 mix of Packers fans and Steelers fans in the stands on Sunday. Of course, we’re the only ones that have the right to be waving towels, even though they’re copy-catting like all those other teams. (That’s flattering. Thanks!) Theirs don’t have Myron’s mojo though, so good luck with that.

Funny, I’d be rooting for the Packers in any other situation. Instead, I’ll just offer my congrats to the team and their fans for making it all the way to second place.

Photo by Jenny Kane

They say that when you’re the champs, everybody will try to beat you.
Well, I′m glad we′re champs, so bring ′em on, bring ′em all on.
If we die, we ain′t gonna die running. It′s gonna be a fight.”
~ Joe Greene

Nielsen schmielsen

I noticed this story on wsj.com with the provocative headline: “The NFL’s Most Popular Team.”

Seems that the famed arbiter of TV show popularity, Nielsen, recently turned its attention to the NFL. And I quote:

In a first-of-its-kind study performed this summer, Nielsen Co., the media-research firm, developed a system for ranking the popularity of NFL teams based on each team’s local and national TV rankings, how often they’re mentioned on the Internet and how many visitors they attract to their official websites. The report, dubbed the Nielsen Sports Media Exposure Index, is the company’s first attempt to classify pro-football teams in this manner.

So, who won?

Well, not the team responsible for this:

But rather, the team responsible for this:

Yes, the Dallas Cowboys “out-populared” the Steelers by a whopping 19 points: 100 to 81.

I have yet to see any mention of this by the local media — maybe tonight on the news. But it sure gave me cause for pause.

Especially when I saw that a related WSJ story, How The Cowboys Got to be the Star, includes this nugget:

The team is as popular as ever. BloggingTheBoys.com, a popular Cowboys fan website, gets about 1,500 visits every day from international fans in places as far flung as Hungary and the Cayman Islands, says David Halprin, who started the site in 2005 after being a fan for almost 40 years. He says when the team went through playoff embarrassments and heavy turnover during the past few seasons, website traffic actually increased. “They get rabid and try telling the team how to fix things,” Mr. Halprin says. “They start caring even more.”

I chuckled at this. My goodness! Hungary even! And then I went and found this: A list of Steeler fan bars around the world (preceded by a list of hundreds of such bars across the U.S. — 61 in Texas alone).

International
Beast Bar T-2 Camp Ramadi, Iraq
Belvedere Club 54 John Street Thorold, Ontario Canada
Big Bamboo Behind the Ritz-Portman Shanghai, China
Boix Noix Steelers Place Calle 3 #6 Valentin Gomez Farias Mexico DF
Buffalo Bronco Rua Joao da Cruz Vitoria, Espirito Santo, Brazil
Champs 3956 Saint-Laurent Street Montreal, Canada
Coco’s Outback Pub Thorbeckeplein 8/10, Rembrandtplein Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Desert Eagle Lounge Al Udeid Al Udeid AB, Qatar
Dickens Inn Rathbone Street Whangarei, New Zealand
Dos Locos Main Street Quepos, Costa Rica
El Torrito Old Town Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Fort Christian Brew Pub 55 A&B Kings Alley Walk Christiansted, St Croix U.S.V.I.
Garden Bar Nana Plaza Sukhumvit Soi 4 Bangkok, Thailand
Gringo Dave’s   Puerto Aventuras, Mexico
House of Hussh 101 Alderwood Trail Mississauga, Ontario Canada
Iroquois Seefeldstrasse 120 8008 Zurich Switzerland
J.R. Rockers Ramstein Enlisted Club Ramstein, Germany
Jay’s Sports Bar   Johnsonville, New Zealand
Joe Champ’s American Sports Bar Hohenzollenring 1-3 on Rudolfplatz Cologne, Germany
KBR MWR South Central Al Hillah, Iraq
Legends Sports Bar 3-16-33 Roppongi Mintao-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Logan’s Pub Rd #1 Urbanizacion Caribe Rio Piedras
Lupis Avenida Isla Verde San Juan, Puerto Rico
Mayor Cell Building 104 Camp Taji, Iraq
Mezquite Stop Ave. Garza Sada 2338A Monterrey, Neuvo Leon, Mexico
Mona’s 510 Ponce de Leon Ave San Juan, Puerto Rico
Mulligan’s Dundas Street Mississauga, Onatario Canada
Prime Time Sports Bar Lakeshore Rd Toronto, Canada
Public House In the center of Florence Forence, Italy
Shannon’s Pub Road No. 1 Guaynabo San Juan, Puerto Rico
Shark Club Bar & Grill 180 West Georgia Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Sid’s 114-A Jupiter St. Bel-Air II Makati City, Philippines
Skinny Legs 12 Emmaus Coral Bay, St. John, Virgin Island
Stormy Weather 46-50 D’Aguilar Street (Lan Kwai Fong) Hong Kong, China
Tequila Barrel Avenida 5 @ Calle 12 Playa del Carmen, Mexico
The Black Bull Queen Street Toronto, Canada
The Corner Bar & Grill Av. Jose Larco – Miraflores Lima, Peru
The Famous Three Kings Pub 171 North End Road London W149NL, England
The Goose and Duck Chaoyang Gongyuan Ximen – Chayong Park West Gate Beijing, China
The Great Canadian Near Notre Dame Paris, France
The Office Sports Bar & Grill 3313 Bloor St W Toronto, ON Canada
The Palomino 109-7 Ave SW Calgary, Alberta
The Pittsburgh Bar & Diner 333 Crumlin Rd Belfast County Antrim, Northern Ireland
The Pomegranate ShunYi Beijin, PR China
The Squealing Pig The Diamond Monaghan Town, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
Thermae Soi 15 Sukhumvit Bangko, Thailand
Top of the Rock Lajes AFB Azores, Portugal
Walkabout St Mary’s St Cardiff Wales (UK)

And this. (another list of HUNDREDS of Steelers bars nationwide)

I tried to Google “Dallas Cowboy Fan Bars”…I got nuttin’. I did find this: meetup groups in 12 (count ’em 12) cities and 1 country (well, that would be 2 countries actually: the U.S. and Germany). A whopping 1151 members. (By the way, we have this in Germany.)

Again, I laughed.

And then I silently (and now publicly) thanked the Rooneys, on behalf of all the millions of females in Steeler Nation, for giving us the likes of this:

And this…

And this:

2010 Ladies Night Out

Posted Aug 29, 2010

The Pittsburgh Steelers are excited to host an evening of Steelers football and fun at Heinz Field for ladies only.

Registration is now open for the “2010 Ladies Night Out Event” at Heinz Field on Wednesday October 13 from 4-10 p.m.

The evening will include a Prime Rib dinner in the spectacular West Club Lounge with two current Steelers players on hand as special guests, providing insight into what life is like for them during the football season.

All attending will receive a tour of Heinz Field and be part of the audience in a live taping of the new PNC Steelers Huddle TV Show in the Coca-Cola Great Hall.  The show will be hosted by Steelers wide receiver Antwaan Randle El.

Participants will also receive a gift bag featuring a ladies cut long sleeve Steelers t-shirt,  2010 Steelers Yearbook and a 2010 Team Photo signed by the two current players appearing at the West Club Lounge.

Registration will be on a first received, first served basis and expects to sell out fast.  The cost of the event is $110.

Please click on the link and print out the 2010 Ladies Night Out Registration Form and return with a check or money order for $110 payable to the Pittsburgh Steelers and mail to the following address:

2010 Steelers Ladies Night Out

Pittsburgh Steelers

Heinz Field

100 Art Rooney Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15212

For more information, please call 412-697-7713.

The Steelers are grateful to have the number one female fan base in the NFL and we hope to see you on October 13.

2010 Ladies Night Out Registration Form

Without ever, ever, not once subjecting us to this:

(Although, just so you know dear Rooneys, I’m sure I speak for many of your fans [not just women] when I say I really, really, really wish you’d done this: )

Nice try Nielsen. But we know exactly who “America’s Team” is (and it ain’t wearin’ no stinkin’ blue and silver…or hot pants).

On second thought, make that “The Universe’s Team.”

Are you ready for some football?
~ Hank Williams Jr.

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