I firmly believe there is an unspoken level of commitment amongst Pittsburgh’s sports fans that makes them stand apart from the rest. And keeps me completely isolated.
According to my sports guru Faith, the sports culture of the city can’t be talked about without mention of icons like Mario Lemieux or Sidney Crosby. “People name their dogs after these men. They are not athletes; they are worshipped.”
Being a fan in Pittsburgh means you love your team and players unconditionally. “Even when they lose for 20 years straight, you are a fan.” Pittsburgh-based fans make a “commitment like a marriage to [their] Pirates, Pens, and Steelers. We're scary, but we're loyal.”
About that time they flipped a car...
Since moving here, I’ve heard stories about Steelers fans being violently faithful to their teams -- i.e., setting the nearest object on fire in a fit of rage or glory. What I have seen is the small but constant gestures Pittsburgh fans make to prove their loyalty. Like the horrendous (and overpriced) Steelers purses I used to sell when I was working at a boutique in the South Hills. A store, I should mention, that considered itself upscale, yet still carried a slew of Made in China sports-themed accessories, including Penguins earrings. These flew off the shelves.