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





77 Comments


  1. kdiddy
    October 7, 2009 11:27 am

    oh my god, I LOVE that picture of Tomlin. how adorable is he?

    haters will always hate and Pittsburgh has always been an easy target (partly because we are so insecure) but anyone who denies how freaking amazing the Penguins (esp. Crosby and Malkin) and the Steelers are is just fooling themselves. I hate Tom Brady with the fire of a 1,000 suns, but I will admit that he can play some football.



  2. L-A
    October 7, 2009 11:35 am

    Yay for us and for the Tomlin and son picture. love love love.



  3. Dave
    October 7, 2009 11:36 am

    OHH MY GOD…this line “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.”….I lOVE IT…so true! Great Blog Ginny!



  4. Ashley
    October 7, 2009 11:41 am

    AMEN!!



  5. anywho
    October 7, 2009 11:42 am

    should have been your artical. THAT’S CHURCH!



  6. Scott
    October 7, 2009 11:46 am

    Friggin’ A.



  7. Swoosh
    October 7, 2009 11:46 am

    i really hope none of you jump the pirates bandwagon when Pedro Alverez makes his debut next summer



  8. Tara
    October 7, 2009 11:48 am

    Preach on sister, preach on.



  9. bucdaddy
    October 7, 2009 11:54 am

    As the manager of the Pirates, I take umbrage at your depictzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    — John Russell



  10. Lauren
    October 7, 2009 11:55 am

    “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!”

    Silly Red Wings fan. The Pens won because Gary Bettman wanted them to and had the refs make all the calls and had the puck bounce just the right way to make it happen. Everyone knows that : )



  11. Glowczewski
    October 7, 2009 12:00 pm

    Amen to that. Great post. And the crowd goes wild…



  12. Jtown
    October 7, 2009 12:07 pm

    My entire wedding party had Terrible Towels hanging out of the back pocket of our tux.

    The whole time.

    And, BTW, Caps fans can suck a dickup till they hicup.



  13. Jen
    October 7, 2009 12:14 pm

    I snorted at the bastard love child analogy. Oh those Pirates.

    Also? You rock.



  14. unsatisfied
    October 7, 2009 12:18 pm

    I love the haters. it means that pittsburgh and its sports teams (except the succos) are doing their job.

    a couple of years ago, one of my best high school buds was killed in a car accident. in his casket was a terrible towel. I know he’s twirling that thing as hard as he can wherever he is.



  15. Dave P.
    October 7, 2009 12:24 pm

    You go, Ginny! My wife and I always say we are a definite (proud) sports town “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.” (ESPECIALLY that no one thinks twice about it.)

    And all those haters are just jealous that they can go to nearly ANY major city in the world and find a Steelers/Pittsburgh bar but can’t find a bar!



  16. MN
    October 7, 2009 12:27 pm

    This is all totally true…I have lived in 10 different states in my life and NO PLACE COMES CLOSE to Pittsburgh in the support of its sports teams. Where else do you see little old ladies with black and gold shoes carrying Steeler handbags and wearing Peguins dangling earrings? I had to laugh a couple of years ago when the kid working at Wendy’s during a Steeler game said they all should be getting overtime pay just to be working that shift! You can travel anyplace in this country almost and see someone with some kind of Pittsburgh jersey or T-shirt on. I will be a Pens fans forever…greatest bunch of guys to play the ultimate sport….HOCKEY!



  17. reluctant veggie
    October 7, 2009 12:29 pm

    our best friends got married a few years ago and had terrible towels as wedding favors.

    we’re also going to another in a few weeks that has made a steeler’s tailgate the sunday brunch.

    and yes, that makes us the best sports city in the country.



  18. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    October 7, 2009 12:34 pm

    Ginny — The final full paragraph (as opposed to the awesome last sentence) is 100% Church!



  19. dave
    October 7, 2009 12:37 pm

    when my wife and i got married when it was time to throw the garter instead of pulling off the garter i pulled out a pair of steelers boxers.



  20. Aliza
    October 7, 2009 12:57 pm

    One of your best posts ever! A hockey town & a football town with a really, really, scary baseball problem about covers the Burgh. Only thing missing is the picture of the Duke of Fug & the O line after SUCK IT loser cities. But as Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl said 100% Church.



  21. Bobbo
    October 7, 2009 12:58 pm

    None of my not-from-Pittsburgh friends understand this. But you, my friend, are so right. This post make me tear up a little.

    I love my black and gold.

    The other cities can suck it.



  22. Russell Dunkin
    October 7, 2009 1:04 pm

    If it makes you feel any better, I’m from Wheeling, so when I’m out of town, I just say I’m from Pittsburgh (much easier to explain than where Wheeling is). Even when lying, I get the same odd look you describe….



  23. Leah
    October 7, 2009 1:15 pm

    I love that picture of Mike Tomlin and his son. Great post.



  24. lisa
    October 7, 2009 1:17 pm

    I’ve read most of what you’ve written. I think this post is my favorite.



  25. Magus Patris
    October 7, 2009 1:17 pm

    I lived outside of DC for 22 years. There were more people with Steelers and WDVE bumper stickers on their cars than any DC team. When the Crapitals and Penguins played, it was full of black and gold. The announcers were always pissed that “Washingtonians sold their tickets to Penguins fans” not realizing that we were the Washingtonians but were Pittsburghers first. Some people ask me why I ever moved back to Pittsburgh and I tell them I wonder why I ever left in the first place.



  26. spoon
    October 7, 2009 1:21 pm

    “Just because PIT intentionally tanked it two years in a row to get Crosby and Malkin,”

    Dear dumbass, “tanking” in the NHL got us Mario, not Sid. The lottery structure only increases your chances but doesn’t guarantee. Quite frankly I’m glad we have Malkin over Ovie (you know we picked 2nd that year right? of course you do). Do you know why the Pens were so bad all those years and why I sat in F balcony with enough room to stretch out for a nap? The team was ready to say farewell and leave. Management did in 5 years what the Pirates have tried in 17, start from scratch and build through the draft, trades and in your minors.

    Go back to watching your Caps, Flyers or whatever team has their panties in a wad about Crosby.

    We have the Cup and you don’t.

    suck it beautiful!



  27. eileen
    October 7, 2009 1:29 pm

    My all-time favorite post.
    I’ve sent the link on to many ex-burgers.

    People schedule major events around Steeler games.
    I laughed to myself this past Sunday when I realized there were so many neighborhood house tours scheduled. Why all on one day?
    Steelers didn’t play until 8:20.



  28. bucdaddy
    October 7, 2009 1:42 pm

    Management did in 5 years what the Pirates have tried in 17, start from scratch and build through the draft, trades and in your minors.

    Actually, the Pirates have only begun really trying that in the past two years.



  29. bucdaddy
    October 7, 2009 1:44 pm

    Also, although I don’t pay any more attention to the Steelers and Penguins than I have to, I think it’s pretty cool that Tomlin goes to Penguins games and Bylsma goes to Steelers camp.

    John Russell never seems to think outside the box like that /sarcasm



  30. Mike
    October 7, 2009 1:48 pm

    If you check out yesterdays Post-Gazette engagement announcements there is a picture of a couple and the groom-to-be is wearing a Steeler shirt!!

    Where but in the burgh can a guy get away with that….and she is smiling!!

    Pittsburgh sports is the bond that holds us together.

    There is an email going around today with a picture of the Pens championship ring, the Steelers ring and for the Pirates a picture of onion rings.

    The Pirates suck but they are OUR Pirates and I love them regardless of the red hair.



  31. Martin Silenus
    October 7, 2009 1:53 pm

    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.

    Sentences like this are why it’s so great to have you blogging again, Ginny. Standing O.



  32. PittinDC
    October 7, 2009 2:14 pm

    I love this post so much. It makes me miss home! This is so true about Burghers all over the world. I can’t wait to show this to all of the Ravens and Caps fans down here and remind them how great we are!!!



  33. AndyTheo
    October 7, 2009 2:22 pm

    Dear Every Other City That Thinks They’re So Great:

    What a bunch of jealous, whiney bitches yinz are. Stop by and visit sometime and get churched up. You’ll go home all inner peaced up n’at.



  34. Still A, Fan
    October 7, 2009 3:21 pm

    I’m in the Philly suburbs. Come playoff time when my daughter’s school has “Green” day….1 out of every 6-7 kids coming out of school that day is wearing a Steelers jersey. I love it.



  35. Steelman
    October 7, 2009 3:34 pm

    This is not even debatable. Pittsburgh deserves to be rated #1. I was in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic when Steelers played the Chargers. There were 15-20 people in our hotel alone watching on the big-screen at $15 per head. I did not see one Charger fan.

    Jimmy Leyland’s Tigers bit the dust. Another Detroit team chokes.



  36. bluzdude
    October 7, 2009 5:36 pm

    That last paragraph shows why you are a big deal. Very well put, and a big A-freakin-Men.

    I was just in Pittsburgh for the game last weekend (just finished a post about it) and while there, just marveled at how everyone there had some Steelers gear on. Everyone. Except the occasional stray Chargers fan, but they were the very definition of “statistically negligible.” But it’s like that whenever and whoever they play.

    Thank you for being such an eloquent ambassador The Burgh. An AmBurghador!



  37. Johnaz6312
    October 7, 2009 6:35 pm

    I live out here in Tempe Az and when we went to the Super Bowl I was suddenly the scurge of my office. Anyhow, there was a woman selling T shirts, blankets and so forth commerating the pending Super Bowl near my apartment a few months back. I approached her and asked her if she was selling any Steeler merchandise. She laughed a little bit & replied that “I would need to go back east to get that stuff”. I told her that ” it was too bad because there were more Steeler fans here then Cardinal fans” And I walked away. Some people just don’t get it.



  38. Cassie
    October 7, 2009 6:44 pm

    Sing it sister!

    Like my Mom always says, I may not always like you, but I alaways love you. I apply this to the Pirates.



  39. Allie K.
    October 7, 2009 7:19 pm

    Love that picture. Mini tomlin! So cute!



  40. DrDrama
    October 7, 2009 7:47 pm

    That’s church. Pittsburgh is probably one of the only cities where the Children’s Hospital ER will have no patients during a game because all of the parents with sick children will wait until the game is over to bring them in. Sad, but true.



  41. USCMike
    October 7, 2009 8:40 pm

    Ginny, kudos for a spot-on post!

    Secondly, Pittsburghers, both current and transplanted, pat yourselves on the back! You support your teams like no other city I’ve ever seen and that support is shown all over the world and even outer space! Other folks may laugh at (or stomp on) our Terrible Towel, but we know what it truly stands for, our loyalty to the Steelers AND a living testament to Myron Cope and the AVS charity. Other teams may sell towels, but they’re not being sold to aid a charity; those profits are lining someone’s pocket.

    The TV folks continue to say that the local fans are selling their tickets to Steeler fans whenever we play on the road. They just don’t understand that WE truly are a Steeler Nation and we are EVERYWHERE. Jerry Jones and the Cryboys might claim to be America’s Team, but I, and millions of other Steeler fans beg to differ!!

    So even if people like the White House press corps sniggle at the thought of Pittsburgh handling something like the G-20, we know in our hearts and souls what makes Pittsburgh special and it’s the people, plus the craziness that we exhibit while cheering our teams on to victory.

    So as others have put it so bluntly, the other cities and their fans can go cry in their beer, while we take pictures of the Lombardi trophies and Stanley Cups!!

    And lastly, we can only hope that the World Series will visit PNC Park sometime soon!



  42. Pensgirl
    October 7, 2009 8:51 pm

    Scene: Penguins’ front office, circa 2001.

    Penguin Scouts: So, there are these 12-16 year olds who are looking like they’re gonna be really great when they’re older. Who cares that banking on kids that age retaining their perceived talent is a total crapshoot? We should go for these guys!

    Craig Patrick: I’m in. We’ll need to lose…a lot. Whaddaya think boss?

    Mario Lemieux: Hey it worked when you wanted me. Plus, we have Gary Bettman to fix all the drafts for us. I have these crazy pictures of him…[mumble]…who [mumble] with a manatee?…anyway….let’s just say he’ll do whatever we want. But let’s make it look good, y’know, lose just enough to get into the lotteries. Get rid of all our decent guys and let’s suck up the joint for awhile. Tell the fans, but do it in Yinzer. That shit’s like “Windtalkers”; nobody outside of the tri-state area will have a clue what the hell you’re talking about.

    Patrick: You got it Mario. Good thing we have the whole getting out of bankruptcy thing to blame all this on! Anyway, I’ll keep selling off our players for buckets of pucks. I guess that’s it then. OK, thanks everybody, great meeting!

    end scene
    ——

    The above is my way of saying that there is no bigger moron, no more spiteful ignoramus than the sports-site-commenter.

    Of course we’re the best sports city. You know who to ask about that? The athletes. How many former players on Pittsburgh teams still live in the area? They come, they see, they stay forever. That’s a pretty solid indicator right there, I think.



  43. Ang
    October 7, 2009 9:34 pm

    I couldnt agree more with you! I even know and have been to several different viewings/funerals which the deceased has requested not only to be buried in a Steeler/Pens jersey themselves, but also requested anyone who came to the viewing/funeral to wear their respective Steeler/Pens jerseys. Thats love. Thats what makes us the best sports city EVER. Suck it, Phili.



  44. Christine
    October 8, 2009 5:07 am

    Preach on sister!



  45. Cathy
    October 8, 2009 5:31 am

    Oh yeah the Succo’s – They didn’t lose 100 games!!



  46. bluzdude
    October 8, 2009 5:36 am

    @ Pensgirl:

    That’s brilliant. Thank you for pointing out just how stupid those whiners sound.

    It’s always easier to point fingers than it is to admit that your team just wasn’t good enough.



  47. Tim
    October 8, 2009 5:43 am

    USCMike Says:
    October 7th, 2009 at 8:40 pm
    Ginny, kudos for a spot-on post!

    . . . Other folks may laugh at (or stomp on) our Terrible Towel, but we know what it truly stands for . . .

    Hey Mike – here is a fun fact. Tennessee has not won a game since the LenDale stomp. Hahaha No team has a towel with that kind of POWER.

    Ginny . . .you ROCK



  48. aDerek
    October 8, 2009 5:47 am

    I think we’re the best sports city because, I’ll bet that most of the Pittsburghers (current, former and honorary) who read this post got a little misty-eyed just like I did.



  49. USCMike
    October 8, 2009 6:16 am

    @Tim

    I’m hoping the Titans go 0 for 16 to teach them a lesson about stomping on the Towel!!



  50. facie
    October 8, 2009 6:28 am

    Love it. And the haters can kiss it.

    I got misty-eyed when I read Magus Patris’s comment: Some people ask me why I ever moved back to Pittsburgh and I tell them I wonder why I ever left in the first place.