I am no different from many locals. I’ve been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan since I grew up on South Wells Street in Sistersville listening to games with my dad on KDKA radio and later watching TV. My wife, whom I used to tease and didn’t own a single pair of tennis shoes until she met me, has also become a loyal fan over the years. We both cheered in the ’70s for Terry Bradshaw, Joe Green and that brutal Steel Curtain, still considered the greatest defensive unit in NFL history. We are just a small part of what is known as one of the most dedicated fan bases of any NFL team in the country. The majority of this fan base is made up of hard-working blue-collar workers. Although the steel industry has taken its beating in recent decades, when you think of Pittsburgh, images of the working class celebrating their football team always come to mind. Pittsburgh is known for its steel mills, local pubs, meandering rivers, many bridges, and a busy and hardworking fan base.
Heck, even the name of the team reflects the kind of work that was done in the area at the time. Although initially referred to as the Pittsburgh Pirates when the football team was founded by Art Rooney in 1933, it later became the Steelers in 1940 when fans were invited to participate by sending in their suggestions for a new name for the ‘team.
And maybe you remember the history of the team logo? The Steelers got their Republic Steel of Cleveland insignia from all places! It is the home of our hated rival, the Cleveland Browns. The company suggested that the team use the Steelmark which was and is three diamonds with inverted and curved edges in yellow, orange and blue as their logo. It also happens to be used by the American Iron and Steel Institute. Team leaders weren’t sure what the logo was used for, so in case it wasn’t well received by fans, they only printed enough for one side of the Steelers helmets – the right side – just in case they need to replace this. The rest is history. With the logo stuck, the Steelers finished 9-5 and became the most successful team in franchise history.
Today’s helmet reflects the way it was originally designed and has never been modified. The Steelers remain the only NFL team to sport their logo on one side of the helmet. I didn’t know this story until I started writing the Press Box and found it by doing some research.
It’s amazing what you can find on the internet.
Although the Steelers and other NFL teams like the Green Bay Packers, named for workers in the meat packaging industry, were originally associated with the worker, that doesn’t ring a bell. also true today. When did the costs to go to a game skyrocket to the point that participation was out of reach for many average Americans? The costs for your ticket, parking, and one or two adult drinks inside the stadium are so high that it’ll cost you around $ 350- $ 400 to take your family of three to a game at the Heinz. Field, according to Value Penguin’s Katherine Ross. for the loan tree.
If you ask me, the cost is well worth it, but it wasn’t that long ago that I lived in Pittsburgh with two young children.
My career was only taking off, and being able to make money like that, even with inflation in mind, we should have just watched the game on TV. The reality is that the cost to attend a professional football game is simply too high for the average American and their family.
Why is that? Each franchise faces salary costs of over $ 100 million, so to get their money’s worth they want as much money as possible for each seat in the stadium… and for parking… and for your trip to the stand. concession. Going to a professional football game is more like a mini-vacation. You need to plan well in advance if you’re taking the family, and you’re better off putting money aside months in advance, especially if you’re planning on buying souvenirs like a Big Ben jersey. do I love him? No. Would I go if I could get my hands on some good tickets for the Steelers? In a heartbeat.
Even though I would complain about the costs to attend a game, it would be difficult to find someone willing to generate sympathy for the athletes who play the sport professionally. We, the average fan, perceive gamers as superstars pulling astronomical wages down. So what is the reality? The median salary of all NFL players is $ 860,000. Not too shabby but still well below the 2 million which are often reported in the press. Much of the media attention is focused on the very high salaries of senior quarters. A few have contracts that pay between $ 25 and $ 30 million per year! Opposite are the ball carriers. They get fucked hard every game and only last about three years in the league with a median salary of $ 630,000. Again, not too bad, but consider this: yes, these incomes seem to win the lottery on an annual basis, but they pay a 37% tax rate and 6-10% of their salary goes to their agent. For many, they never completed college. The average NFL career lasts 3 years due to the high number of brain and leg injuries. Here’s a sobering fact: According to Working Class Perspectives, up to 78% of most NFL players who leave the league prematurely go bankrupt within two years.
Like most flashy and over-the-top institutions, there is often a belly. Professional football is no different. The league continues to clean up its act, from drug testing to player protection by establishing penalties for improper player conduct and dangerous games. Do they have more work to do? Sure, but I don’t see the franchise owners or the fan base changing their feelings about the high ticket costs or the rate of pay per player as the stadiums continue to be packed every Sunday.
And this Steelers fan has a place for a promising Steelers coach. Blaine Stewart is the son of West Virginia’s own football coach, the late Bill Stewart. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was first hired by coach Stewart during Bill’s time with William and Mary. Bill Stewart and I played football together at Fairmont State and even shared an apartment for a few years. My wife and I have followed Bill and his family every year trying to get to at least one of the games where Bill was on staff. We watched Bill and Karen’s son Blaine grow up looking forward to the card each Christmas showing Blaine sitting by their Christmas tree. To say I’m proud of Blaine and everything he’s accomplished is an understatement, but I also feel protective of this fine young man. There are several others like me who were part of this same Fighting Falcon team. Every Sunday, while cheering on the Steelers, Mary Ann and I keep our eye on the sidelines in hopes of catching a glimpse of that same young man and our favorite coach, Coach Stewart. Go Steelers!