Oooh. Sporty!

Remember when I wrote this in my first G-20 post?

Our city is regularly showcased on the national stage through sporting events, conferences, etc.  We rank high on just about any list you can come up with that rates various aspects of city awesomeness, and yet still, we have a self-esteem issue as a city. “Hi, I’m from Pittsburgh! I know what you’re thinking …”

Proving me right, Pittsburgh was rated the Best Sports City by Sporting News today for several reasons including the Lombardi, Lord Stanley, and [eyeroll] Lukey Steelerstahl.

Over here—where an elected official changed his name temporarily to “Steelerstahl,” just so, y’know, there was no question of which team he supported when Baltimore came to town for an NFL playoff beatdown in January—you’ve got two titles, basketball tournament teams aplenty, and a bowl-bound and Backyard Brawl-winning football team.

And sitting over here in the corner wearing tar, feathers, spit, and a dunce cap are the Buccos of Suckitude.

But let’s not taint this post talking about that pile of trash.

Quite possibly the best part of the post over at Sporting News are the comments readers are posting.  Some of my faves:

  • With the Pirates in town??? Are you kidding!!
  • Just because PIT intentionally tanked it two years in a row to get Crosby and Malkin, and just because you love to hype them TSN, doesn’t make PIT the #1 sports city in America.
  • I’ll give the Steelers their due but the Pens had to be the worse Cup-winner in years. The Wings totally choked and they STILL alomost beat the Pens! I’ll bet that the Pens don’t even make the playoffs this year! Then it is pathetic that this writer would even mention the U of Pitt. football! (what the F!) Playing a bunch of lame teams in the Big East??? Yeah..right! Now I remember why I don’t subscribe to this mag.!

Here’s why we’re The Best Sports City … it’s because we wear our jerseys year-round and not only that, we wear them to work and to church and to weddings and no one thinks twice about it.  We’re  fans who love our sports teams like they’re our family, or in the case of the Pirates, like our bastard love child that no one talks about, but instead just throws money at hoping he’ll eventually make something of himself.  We’re a football town with a hockey problem or maybe a hockey town with a football problem or maybe a hockey town and a football town with a really really scary baseball problem.  We sell out every game, we know every player, we show up a quarter of a million strong for every championship parade, and it doesn’t matter where we move to or where we’ve moved here from, we’ll stay Pittsburgh sports fans until we die and even then, bury us in our Malkin jersey, put a Terrible Towel in our fist, and go ahead, slip a Pirates ball cap in there somewhere just so long as its not visible when the casket is open, and play Renegade as we’re lowered into the ground.

Also, suck it loser cities.  We are better than you.

Stanley Cup Red Wings Penguins Hockey


  1. red pen mama
    October 8, 2009 6:34 am

    I am proudly sporting a Pittsburgh Penguins t-shirt right now, at work. So, suck it other cities.


  2. Jagoff
    October 8, 2009 6:53 am

    “Just because PIT intentionally tanked it two years in a row to get Crosby and Malkin”
    I don’t see how we could have tanked to get Crosby. His draft came after the lockout, so technically we were tied for first. We got Malkin because all we could afford to dress was an AHL team. For some reason I never hear people bitch that Washington tanked to get Ovechkin.

    “the Pens had to be the worse Cup-winner in years. The Wings totally choked and they STILL alomost beat the Pens! I’ll bet that the Pens don’t even make the playoffs this year!”
    This is just straight up whining! I’m willing to be this came from Detroit. I’ll take that bet.

  3. Sofa King
    October 8, 2009 6:54 am

    Kudos, Ginny, great post.

    Amen, Magus, I couldn’t agree more. I spent 6 years in DC and just moved back 6 months ago. I’ve never been happier…I love this town.

    That being said, it has taken some adjusting to get used to all of the people in my office that wear Steelers and Pens jerseys the day before a game. You don’t see that sort of thing elsewhere.

  4. luvs51
    October 8, 2009 7:15 am

    I am getting misty just looking at that pic of Tomlin and his son. I have seen him at several Pens games and he really gets into it. He truly is a class act. What other NFL coach would be out supporting the city’s other sports teams the way Tomlin does? You would never see that douche bag Belichick at a Bruins game.

  5. chrys
    October 8, 2009 7:25 am

    Beautiful post!! Standing ovation for you here in the South Hills!!


  6. Steelman
    October 8, 2009 7:40 am

    I was on vacation last week in the Caribbean so I had no idea how the Bucs were doing. I learned they won 6 of the last 10 games. That’s .600 baseball! Wait til next year! Can you say “pennant”, baby?

  7. butcher's dog
    October 8, 2009 8:11 am

    @ Cathy: give that “didn’t lose 100 games” an asterisk. One got rained out near the end of the season.

    Ginny, this post was timely and well-written, but some of us want to know what you thought of the Cirque du Soleil opening last night, too. Please include that soon.

    The Pirates are going to be better soon. Be safe and don’t try to jump on the bandwagon if it’s up to top speed. You could get hurt.

  8. LW
    October 8, 2009 8:42 am

    the pirates were winning in that rain out. granted it was only the 3rd and the score was 3-0, but there were winning… :)

  9. Toad
    October 8, 2009 8:43 am

    @ aDerek — Amen, brother, amen.

    And, for the record, I have a Pitt t-shirt on today at work :-)

    And to add to the “wear Steeler jerseys to church” comment (which is totally true), a priest who used to be pastor of my parish has a Steeler stole that he wears only on a special occasion: at Mass the Sunday the Steelers are playing in the Super Bowl — he’s worn it 7 times. Now, THAT’S church.

  10. Drew Damico
    October 8, 2009 8:47 am

    I left the Burgh 22 years ago when I joined the US Navy. Like everyone else who has ever left, I still love the teams I cheered for before I left (even the Pirates). I live in Virginia Beach and there are TONS of ex-Burgh people and fans all over the place.

  11. Kimmer
    October 8, 2009 9:03 am

    I have chills, I really do… and i think… yep there it is, a tear of pride for my beloved city! Also HAPPY NATIONAL PEIROGI DAY YINZ!!!!!

  12. No Princesses Here
    October 8, 2009 9:06 am

    As I was reading this post for the second time today, OAR’s “This Town” started playing on my iTunes. How appropriate. :)

  13. RAD
    October 8, 2009 10:44 am

    Remember the kid who thought up “The Steel Curtain” and entered it in Myron’s radio contest back in ’71? Five or six other people thought of the same name for the Front Four, but the 14-year-old (Greg Kronz) won and got to send his parents on the prize trip to Miami to see a Steelers-Dolphins game.

    Now he’s an Episcopalian minister in Hilton Head and wears a Steelers poncho when he preaches during play-offs. Cool.

  14. Matt
    October 8, 2009 10:52 am

    Vote from another expat — not only do P fans wear their gear to work, church, and weddings, they do it no matter where they are. I’ve even seen some of the afore-mentioned bastard child jerseys in Mumbai. Let’s face it, most Eagles fans in Philadelphia would rather wear black and gold on Green Day, too.

  15. facie
    October 8, 2009 10:52 am

    The priest at my church tries to incorporate the Steelers and Pens into his homily whenever he can. One day, I was sure there was no way he could work it in, but, somehow, he found an opening.

    For the 2006 SB, a woman in our choir made us Steelers buttons that we proudly wore on our yellow stoles (yellow was not liturgically correct that time of year, but we made an exception).

    That’s Pittsburgh church!

  16. Matt
    October 8, 2009 11:03 am

    Reading through the comments, I can’t believe how many people still think the Pirates are ever going to do anything substantial. The team that won 4 of 30 games at the end of the season is going to be the team you see next season and the season after that, at least until the players who are good want to finally get paid. Then they’ll get traded for more prospects that will “turn this team around” and the few remaining fans will say “next year” and show up for their bobbleheads and fireworks and Nutting will be smiling the whole time. As for the Pirate fans that are gonna get mad at bandwagon fans, deal with it. After 17 years of losing seasons, we as Pittsburgh sports fans have every right to jump on the bandwagon.

  17. Kathy
    October 8, 2009 11:12 am

    Great post. I had to laugh about the wearing jerseys to church comment. My aunt works closely with a Pittsburgh convent and even the nuns break out their Steeler gear on Sunday afternoons. I have a picture of her sitting among the sisters all of whom have Steelers T-shirts over their habits and Terrible Towels — LOVE IT!

    I live in OH now and when I tried to wear my jersey to church I got a whole lot of strange looks. I certainly didn’t see any Browns jerserys in church here.

  18. Laura
    October 8, 2009 11:31 am

    I worked in a courtroom in Central PA (okay, so not Pittsburgh, but Steeler Country all the same) that was having a capital homicide trial. We told the family members of the victim to wear “clothes that are appropriate for church” to Court and several of them showed up in Steelers jerseys.

    Not exactly what we were thinking, but it was definitely our mistake to use that description.

  19. AZNBurgher
    October 8, 2009 11:37 am

    don’t forget Pitt Basketball Coach, Jaime Dixon. The 2009 Naismith Coach of the year. I totally saw him yesterday walking around downtown, wanted to give him the highest of 5’s lol

  20. Pingback: Seattle v. Central PA « Hollidaysburke

  21. Deb
    October 8, 2009 1:11 pm

    Before the last few years you couldn`t give away Pens tickets- I`ve been a Philly since before I was born, and I`ve loved me some Phillies ever when they did stink (I`d expect the best sport city to say the same, but alas, everywhere I go here the people complain and moan about the Pirates).

    You have to admit -bandwaggoning here- it happens. If you can`t, then you don`t deserve the title anyway. BTW-I was theatened and harrassed at the last Steelers/Eagles game I went to at Heinz Field- Thanks Pittsburgh.

  22. Steelerslover
    October 8, 2009 1:30 pm

    Ummm @Deb can I suggest proofreading? Anyway, you’re right those young boys who worked their tails off playing hard all season don’t deserve the cup because you claim we have bandwagon fans. Funny I was tripped when I went to an Eagles game..guess it happens EVERYWHERE.

    Great post! :)

  23. Matt
    October 8, 2009 2:18 pm

    You act like Eagles fans are perfect saints. You’re talking about fans who cheered when a player was almost paralyzed and laid motionless on the field. These are the same fans that boo Santa. Don’t come here and spit your “Eagle fans are holier than thou” garbage. Watch the Pens game tonight and count how many times Philadelphia fans chant “Crosby Sucks” or chant obscene language. There’s a reason Philadelphia sports fans are voted some of the worst fans year after year.

  24. justagirl
    October 8, 2009 3:58 pm

    Let’s be honest–you can always find a jackass fan somewhere for any team, especially when they’re excited and drunk. Sorry to hear you were harassed and threatened, Deb. The best thing to do is stay calm, tell them to knock it off, and call security if they keep it up.

    As to giving Pens tickets away, I know people who would have taken them any time in the past 20 years. Apparently you weren’t trying very hard. ;)

  25. Sooska
    October 8, 2009 5:40 pm

    ..and we have a world-class renown symphony that waves Terrible Towels and plays Let’s Go Pens or Here we Go Steelers before or during a concert. where else do they have that?

  26. sleepgh
    October 9, 2009 6:19 am

    any other girls feeling a slight girl crush right now? thanks, PittGirl. You totally deserve that nickname and the legions of followers.

  27. Sofa King
    October 9, 2009 7:58 am

    Deb, when was the last Steelers-Eagles game you went to? I go to games all the time, and the only time I EVER see opposing teams’ fans harrassed above the level of a genial ribbing is when those fans act like total @ssholes and taunt the Steeler fans. I can see it back in the ’90s, when we were perennial runners-up and everyone was frustrated, but not now.

    No Philly fan has the room to ever talk bad about Pittsburgh fans. Philly has long been considered as having the most classless sports fans around…as they displayed at the Pens-Flyers game last night. We may bitch about the Pirates, but that’s just because we still care and we want to see them win. Fans in lesser sports towns, like DC, just turn their backs and forget that they even have a team.