Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Say what?

Ted Leonsis is at it again too..

Pittsburgh has a great fan base. Fans will travel from the city to DC-based games or they actually live here and break out the terrible towels and go to games here. They are Skins fans except when the Skins play the Steelers. We experienced that phenomenon with the Capitals too and same with the Orioles when they play the Yankees or Red Sox or the Nationals when they play the Mets.

As we've explained to Mr. Leonsis before, being a fan of a particular team is not a fluid decision for a lot of fans. We'd invite Ted to go to the Pour House or to our usual haunt; the Bailey's in Ballston right below his practice arena on a Sunday afternoon and see all that the only accompanying color to the gold in the crows is black, not burgundy. No self respecting Steelers fan we know would ever cheer for the Redskins, barring some sort of playoff implication that would benefit the Steelers.

If anything, hearing the annoying commentators and fans talk of an impending Super Bowl after every win, and then the “sky is falling” rants after losses give non-Redskin DC area fans nothing but malice to the local team…In fairness, this loathe of homer-ism undoubtedly applies to fans in Pittsburgh that don’t like the Steelers, Philly area non-Eagle fans, etc, etc.

He is right that Pittsburgh fans travel well, though. A lot (like our family and our friends' family) will come from Virginia Beach or Richmond to watch a rare Steelers game in DC. I suspect that is the case for a bunch of other Virginia/Maryland area ex-Pittsburghers. And because the team has been so successful and popular over the past 30 years factored into the large number of scattered ex-Burghers, you see why the Steelers "travel well" to basically any opposing city.

The enthusiasm of the black-n-gold clad fans also goes to disprove Mr. Leonsis' idea that these are Skins fans 364 days of the year and Steelers fans just when they play....The willingness to folks to drive from Richmond, or Maryland, or PA for a Monday game shows just how rabid and loyal they are. These people (blog's editor included) will not go to another Skins game this year, and certainly will not be cheering for the Redskins. Except for Clinton Portis and anyone else who might be on a fantasy team.

1 comment:

Doc Nagel said...

There's something about Pittsburgh, I think. Couple with that how incredibly sports-mad and team-loyal Pittsburghers are, and you have a magic formula for generating long-time, long-distance fandom. I spent 8 years there, and even after 10 years, it's still home to me.

And I'm not the only Penguins fan in Turlock, California (population ~70,000, average temperature range in January 30-65). Plus, there's a Steelers bar in Milbrae (near the San Francisco airport) where faithful gather for every game.