Fellow Citizens, as you all know we travel very, very well. Wherever the Steelers go, they are supported by a passionate fan base. In my humble opinion, the Steelers have the best fan base of any team in major professional sports.
I have traveled across this entire world and there are two things I know.
One: The Steelers are one of the finest organizations in all of sports. They are well owned, well run, and have a solid reputation as what a sports franchise should be.
And, two: There are people everywhere who do not like the NFL and can’t stand the Steelers.
The Auburn Tigers vs. The Steelers
Everywhere I have been, whether it was an Air Force base in Korea, or the American Embassy in Buenos Aires; be it the cold of Omaha or the heat of Panama, there are people who love the Steelers and an equal number of people who hate them.
Just this past season, I was sitting in a sports bar watching a Steelers game. There was a woman there with her 17-year-old son. This future brain surgeon had the audacity to tell me that the Steelers weren’t that good. He said the Auburn Tigers could give the Steelers a good game and might be able to beat the Steelers.
When I stopped laughing and cleaned up the water that had geysered out of my nose, I asked this young man, who I assume was just awaiting his acceptance letter to Harvard Law, how many players are on the Tiger’s roster. He said about a hundred. Then I asked how many of the Tigers would play in the NFL one day. He thought for a moment and said maybe twelve, on the outside.
I then explained to him, as you would a toddler asking why the sky is blue, that the Steelers have 53 men on their roster and every one of them is in the NFL.
Also, I explained, the men the Steelers play against are in the NFL. The Tigers, on the other hand, are playing against maybe a few guys with the chops to make it to the big time, and 90 other guys who will be selling insurance or kitchen counter-tops after they graduate.
I told him that the Steelers have been in existance since 1933 and have won six championships. The Tigers have been in existance since 1892 and have won their championship thrice.
Three-quarters the length of history, twice as many championships.
He didn’t have much to say after that.
Ravens Fans, Much Like Their Team, Love to Talk Smack
As you know if you are a regular reader of mine, I recently moved to Alabama after living in the football Pit of Despair known as Baltimore, Maryland. To say I was happy to leave Baltimore is like saying cheetahs are good a running.
After the Ravens won their one and only championship, I had to endure a few years of Ravens fans telling me that their team had at least won a championship recently, unlike the Steelers who hadn’t won a title in more than 20 years.
All that talk ended on Feb. 6, 2006 when the Steelers beat the Seahawks for thier fifth Super Bowl win.
I made it a point to talk with every Ravens fan I could find who had taken so much pleasure in the fact that the Ravens had won a Super Bowl more recently than the Steelers. I asked them what they had to say and the best they could come up with was that the Ravens have never lost a Super Bowl.
Reed Richards couldn’t stretch that much. (Google him. You’ll get it)
Usually, I would just walk away leaving the Ravens fan to wallow in their one and only remaining bright spot where the Steelers are concerned. Of course, you can’t lose if you are not in the game.
This is the same argument I get from my brother-in-law who is a San Francisco 49ers fan. He’ll say, “We’ve never lost a Super Bowl.” Admittedly, they haven’t, and they have protected that record by steadfastly refusing to win regular season football games for the last two decades. Good job, San Francisco. I guess you really showed us.
I Love Being a Steelers Fan.
I do. I love it. Whenever some shlep-rock comes up to me when I am wearing my Bettis jersey and starts in about how terrible the Steelers are, I just smile and wait for him to say who is his team.
Chances are very good that he is a fan of team that has done nothing for years, or if they have, they still don’t have the “cred” the Steelers have.
The only fans who can really say anything to a Steelers fan are Patriots fans. For some reason, the Steelers struggle against them, but even they don’t have the pedigree the Steelers have. Plus, they haven’t exactly been setting the world on fire in recent years.
The Steelers have played in two Super Bowls and won one of them since the last time the Pats played in one.
And that is the beauty of being a Steelers fan: They continue to play well and win, giving us fair Citizens of the Nation plenty to use in our defense against the throngs of people who believe their team is better.
I have news for all of you poor, poor people who are not Steelers fans. Your team isn’t better and chances are they never will be.