For some reason today I was compelled to start writing, I guess I can thank the NFL Network for showing a few of the great “America’s Game” series shows this afternoon. Today they showed several stories on our Pittsburgh Steelers. The teams of the 70’s, the Super Bowl XL and XLIII teams as well. I have to say first off, that when NFL films puts that epic music to the highlights, it’s all I can do to not grab my Terrible Towel and start waving it right in my living room even now in the offseason. I get chills when I hear that music. To watch these guys play and talk so passionately about their experiences is wonderful. When you listen to guys like Mean Joe Green, L.C. Greenwood, Mike Wagner, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, and Jack Lambert you just can’t help but swell up with pride in being a Steeler fan. Not only did they talk highly of each other and the Steelers organization as a whole, but also the fans too. They know how much the Steelers mean to us; it’s part of persona that they dawn when they become a Steeler.
Just to touch on the players of the 70’s for a minute. The pride that all of these guys exuded when they talked about their teammates and the atmosphere of comradery they felt for one another was just amazing. One message that was clear virtually every time they spoke was the fact that, you don’t intimidate the Pittsburgh Steelers, period! These guys would rally around a cause like you wouldn’t believe. All it took was one opponent to shoot their mouth off the week before a game, or one set of events unfold in a game and these guys would take that and run with it. There was a sense of pride that you were not going to outdo them on the field. Even if they lost, you would come away hurt and beat down forever remembering who you played that week. Each and every player took it upon themselves to do their part and when necessary pick up the slack for a downed teammate. One thing that I believe L.C. said was that, if you couldn’t pick up the slack for a teammate that wasn’t 100% then you didn’t deserve to be on the field. That speaks volumes for the way that these guys felt for one another. That attitude carried them to 4 Super Bowl victories in the glorious dynasty era of the 1970’s. Being a Steeler meant that above all else, you were never going to “out tough” the Black ‘n Gold. Teams like Dallas, who tried to finesse their way to Super Bowl wins could never get past the Steelers. They always carried the mentality that pure, brute, force was going to prevail on gameday.
We as fans feel a great sense of pride in being part of the Steeler family too. Oh, we may not have been on the field and 99% of us will never know what that feels like but we are all part of the Steelers just the same. There is no team in all of professional sports that exemplifies it’s hometown better than the Steelers. Each week these players take the field with the hopes and dreams of the millions of Steelers fans all over the world. It’s not something they take lightly and not something the fans take lightly either. It’s more than just buying jersey’s, t-shirts, hats, and tailgating. It’s about being a part of something bigger than yourself. No matter whether you tune in at a bar, your living room, or you are there at the game; being a Steeler fan knows no boundaries. It’s a feeling that no matter where you go, you see a fellow fan wearing a Steelers shirt and instantly feeling a kinship to them. You walk into a bar and see Black n’ Gold fans and you instantly get a smile on your face, high fiving complete strangers because of your devotion to the same team. We’re all different people on this planet, but the bonds of being a fan of Pittsburgh unite us all for a common cause. To cheer for a team that believes in integrity, hard work, discipline, and core values. A team that won’t stray from it’s morals in the face of adversity and takes responsibility for it’s actions each and every week. The Rooney’s have built an organization that is a mirror of what they believe in, a franchise and business that is known the world over as one of the very best.
As fans, we can relate to the Steelers in so many ways, and that’s what makes it so special. The players know how important the fans are, the owners realize it too. Sure they may not always do what we think is best but they appreciate and support us 100% nonetheless by putting out a winning team every season, capable of being successful all the way to the championship. We can be proud of our football hero’s, they are us and we are them. From the owners, to the players, to the memorable Myron Cope. Guys like Craig Wolfley, Tunch Ilkin, who are united to this day because of the Steelers. Players from days gone by to the newest draft picks just entering the family. We are all Steelers, and that’s something we can be proud of.