It always amuses me when watching a telecast of a Steelers away game and the commentators mention something about the Steelers fans traveling well. As if when the Steelers go out on the road the entire region of Western Pennsylvania just empties out onto the Turnpikes and runways to follow them. The reason why you see so many Steelers fans filling up the stadiums in places like Jacksonville and Arizona is because they’re already there.
Former Steelers punter Josh Miller realized that when he and his buddy Shawn Allen went on a journey to visit 100 Steelers bars across the country. They have collected their stories from their adventures and complied them into a book which is to be released next month titled, “Always a Home Game: Our Journey Through Steelers Country in 140 Days.”
The pair actually got approval from the Rooney family before embarking on their journey. As a result, they were able to hand out 100 certificates to those establishments directly from the Rooney family, officially verifying them as a ‘Steelers bar’.
Steeler Nation is everywhere because people of this area remain loyal and prideful of where they came from. In the 70s and 80s the city of Pittsburgh’s population declined by nearly 20% as a result of the closing of the steel mills across the area. People left town to find better work elsewhere but they didn’t leave the city of Pittsburgh behind them at all. You come across anyone in any city in America who is wearing a Steelers t-shirt and you’re guaranteed to hear a story about which of their family members originally came from Pittsburgh. Sure there are bandwagon fans sprinkled in across the country just like any other team. There are fans that live in cities across the country with no familial or geographical ties to the area at all but for one reason or another root for the Black and Gold as passionate as the next fan.
The majority of the Steelers bars outside of Pittsburgh I’ve been to were in Florida and there were some great places. Nothing better than being with a group of Steelers fans to take in a game and feel at home no matter how far away from Pittsburgh you might be. It’s a great test of fandom to always be rooting for the “visiting” team even though Miller and Allen hit the nail right on the head by using the term “Always a home game” in the book. Miller and Allen had a standard checklist of information to take when they went on their search for Steelers bars including finding out what the connection back to Pittsburgh was and if they serve Pittsburgh-style food and drink. Be sure to check out their book when it comes out next month and maybe you could retrace some of their steps and go visit those “Official Steelers Bars” all across the country.
If you’re not in the area of Pittsburgh tell us about your Steelers bar or any Steelers bar you’ve been to around the country!