Wave it loud, wave it proud

I love this.

I will admit it. I watched this 17 times after I found it on Twitter. It’s another piece of evidence of why Steelers fans are the best in the world.

(And, yes, I am biased. And I know I’ll hear it from my friends who are Packers fans. Cowboys fans, too. So spare me the argument. We all will win that one.)

We will take our allegiance anywhere – to UNESCO Heritage sites, to weddings, to the tops of skyscrapers, to sandy beaches half a world away.

The Terrible Towel has a story behind it. In 1975, Myron Cope implored Steelers fans to bring a yellow kitchen towel to Three Rivers Stadium to wave – a gimmick. But it became a good luck charm of sorts and it’s a true phenomenon of fan-dom. Plus, each sale of a Terrible Towel goes toward a cause – the Allegheny Valley School receives the profits from sales of each Terrible Towel. Cope gave the organization the rights to the Terrible Towel in 1996.

But each Terrible Towel is not just a token that represents a team. It’s the emblem of a fan base. It’s a sign of what unites us.

My parents are from Pittsburgh and I joke that “in the end, all roads will lead back to Pittsburgh.” But I think about what drew me to so many of my friends: the Steelers. Heck, it’s how I met my husband – talking about the 2005 Steelers. We have our friends from Pittsburgh who we watch Steelers games with. I became friends with another reporter who is a Steelers fan. One of my best friends from college makes a point to call my husband and I from Hawaii during Steelers games. I talk Steelers with one of the NHL coaches I keep in touch with. Everywhere I go, I meet people from Pittsburgh.

Like I told my friend from Hawaii, “This whole thing, it’s bigger than us!”

Pittsburghers are proud of where we came from – and I consider myself “Pittsburgh,” even though I grew up in Maryland and went to college in Pittsburgh. We’re the children of mill workers and coal miners, children who had to leave home to make better lives – because there were no opportunities to make a new life in Pittsburgh. When we came back, we saw our city transformed from a place of  industrial blight to a high-tech, educational and medical epicenter. A cool city.

If you ever hear the song “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa, take a moment to listen to the words of the song. It’s about swag. It’s about confidence. It’s about continuing to work to be successful – and showing off the fruits of that labor.

It’s about us. It’s Pittsburgh.

You know what it is.


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