I have never been a football fan at all. Whether it was the National Football League, the Canadian Football League or any of the university, college or high school football teams in North America. I never really watched the game for more than a quarter at a time and found that the hype always over shadowed the actual play on the field. I will admit something though, I have been a closet fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This all started back a few years back when the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Pittsburgh Steelers started to publicly show support for each other. The Penguins started waving “The Terrible Towel” when they were chosen as the first star of the game, although Marc-Andre Fleury took it a step farther by wearing a Steelers Helmet and the players from both organizations were spotted at each other’s games.
This all intrigued me as I had never seen two sports teams from different leagues support each other like this before. You will see the odd hockey player at a baseball game or things of that nature, but usually never from the same city. It showed me how tightly knit the city of Pittsburgh was and I started to root for the Steelers, because if the Penguins believed in them, I would too.
I am slowly learning the game but have a lot more resources than I did when I first started noticing this with the two teams. I have the good people of the PENS-BURGH!!! Facebook group and my younger sister’s boyfriend. I first met Tola at the beginning of November and the first thing I noticed about him is that he was wearing a Steelers jersey. I put the game on that the Steelers were playing that Sunday night and Tola and I talked shop.
I explained to Tola that I am a life long and hardcore Penguins fan and he told me that he was a hardcore Steelers fan. As we sat there and talked over a few drinks with my sisters, I realized that I knew very little about football and Tola was learning about hockey. It was kind of surreal to sit there and be discussing two sports that each of us loves and also see how they are directly intertwined with each other.
I used to swear I would never be a football fan. I said I found the game boring and I could not find a player that I could rally around. I still haven’t found “my” player to label my favorite but I did find a very interesting relationship between two franchises that share the same fan base and thought it was an amazing chance to try again to become a football fan.
I borrowed Paul Kuzma’s Facebook picture, hope it is ok Paul!