Steelers Valentine’s Day: A Love Letter to the Black & Gold

  1. The Steelers aren’t just a football team. For many of us in Steeler Nation they’re so much more than players on a roster.

I am a Super Bowl baby. A couple of years ago there was a commercial about the boom of babies born in cities following that city’s team winning a Super Bowl. My twin sister and I are the product of the Steelers’ 31-19 victory in Super Bowl XIV over the Los Angeles Rams in the Rose Bowl on January 20th, 1980.

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Our mother delivered the news to us when she caught wind of the commercial herself. It wasn’t a complete shock but further proof that my connection to the franchise wasn’t just something I copied from my dad and my Pap. This was something I was born into.

The Steelers taught me unconditional love. My first taste of heartbreak was the 1994 AFC Championship Game watching Stan Humphries and the San Diego Chargers celebrate as Neil O’Donnell’s potential game-winning pass got tipped away in the end zone.

That was my first lesson that you shake that loss off and you get right back into the next season. Of course my feelings were then absolutely crushed the very next January by Neil O’Donnell’s propensity to make Larry Brown famous but the point is after all these years I love this team just as much as I did the first day my parents dressed me in Steeler pajamas.

When my father was sent home to spend his last few days with us under hospice care it was the sight of a replaying of the 2002 AFC Wild Card Playoff game where Pittsburgh rallied from a 24-7 third quarter deficit to win the game where we got to change him from his hospital gown to his favorite ripped up Steeler t-shirt.

The Steelers are the longest and most complex relationship I have, especially considering it is mostly one-sided. I’ve met some players over the course of the years and I’ve even started a tradition of taking a selfie with Chairman Dan Rooney on Easter Sunday.

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So while Valentine’s Day is a day of romance I just wanted to take the time to officially recognize my one true love. Pittsburgh Steelers, I will love you till the day I die.