Being a Steeler fan is not something that is taken lightly. We aren’t fans because it’s cool, convenient, or hip. We don’t cheer for the black ‘n gold just because they win, or because everybody else does it. We don’t jump off the bandwagon when they lose. We don’t stop wearing our jerseys just because our team has a bad game. Being a Steeler fan is more than just t-shirts, terrible towels, and Heinz Field. It’s a way a life, it’s something to be proud of. Something that is passed down from generation to generation. We hold onto our pride in the Steelers in good times and in bad, and we don’t waiver no matter how bad it gets.
We were fans in the 80′s when the Steelers went through the lean years of seeing the dynasty players retire or leave for other cities. A proud team fresh off 4 super bowl titles now struggling to have winning seasons. A decade filled with the likes of Quarterbacks named Cliff Stoudt and Bubby Brister. We stayed with our team during the 90′s when a young, upstart, and excitable coach named Bill Cowher took over. A more successful era to say the least, but still one where the Steelers just could not get over the hurdle to finally get that “One for the Thumb”. Now in the 2K era we’ve seen our Steelers go to 3 Super Bowls since 2005 and win 2 of them. By far the most successful time for our Steelers since the 70′s, and the fans who have been there before are still here.
Sure we have our down times, which include heartbreaking losses in the biggest of games but the fans stay strong. We welcome back our team with our towels and Steeler pride, no matter what. The loss in Super Bowl XLV is still fresh in our minds, a game that will stick in our memories as the one that got away. We watched our Steelers overcome obstacle after obstacle, triumphant in every necessary situation to finally arrive in Dallas last week. They stuck together, gave it their all, never stopped believing in themselves or their coaches. They weren’t perfect, but they never gave up. The fans came out from all over the country to show support. We would expect nothing less from our team and they expect nothing less from us. Even in the wake of a loss as big as this, knowing how close they came to grabbing that 7th Lombardi we know that we will be back.
The Rooney’s will make sure that they give Coach Tomlin the tools he needs to field a competitive team in the future. The Steeler Nation will survive and we will thrive. We will be there for the NFL Draft in the spring, we’ll be there for Training Camp this coming summer, and we will be there opening day 2011 (assuming there is one). Yes, we lost the Super Bowl,and to be honest the feeling just sucks. However, being a Steeler fan is not just about Super Bowls, it’s deeper than that. It means being a fan through thick and thin, supporting our team no matter what happens. It’s a way of life that others outside of the Steeler family just don’t understand. We do though, we know what it means to be part of the Steelers and we will be back!