Steelers' fans after SB Win in State College
The reason I’m writing this post is because of the article and subsequent comments that Don over at Mondesi’s House brought to my attention in one of his “News” segments. (Sidenote: “The News” is slowly replacing The Daily Show as the source of most of my need to know information.) The article was about as anti-Penn State as you can get, and entirely based upon opinions on message boards and blogs. In other words, the ND homer took whatever he felt like off the web and said this represents Nittany Lion nation. Adam the Penn State Fan wrote an effective rebuttal which washed away most of the arguments in my eyes, other than one major error. Contrary to his report that the student section did not turn their back to the dotting of the “I” in the game against Ohio State in 2005, we actually did. Many while extending their middle finger. I was in the student section that game, and looking back I am not exactly proud of that moment, although I don’t find it all that embarrassing either. The fans overwhelmingly made up for it the rest of the game, as even the Buckeyes were talking about how the student section took them out of their game. It was easily the greatest game I have ever attended, in terms of the energy from the fans and they way we willed the team to victory. I still get chills just thinking about certain moments.
During my freshman year at Penn State a few years back, I remember walking past Canyon Pizza, ground zero for drunkards by around midnight every Friday and Saturday night, and listening to the battling "Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go!" and the disgusting "E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!". One of the members of the Steelers' contingent just walked up to an Eagles' fan and dropped him. The police, who watch that area like a hawk, came running in and stopped the fighting before it got out of hand. At that moment, I was never more proud to be from Pittsburgh. Which (finally) brings me to why I wrote this article...
I don't mind at all when Pittsburghers criticize the football team. The play book is antiquated, JoePa doesn't really coach, the past ten years has been pathetic, etc... All of those arguments have some validity, the amount of which I'm sure we'd disagree on. No, what bothers me is the attacks on State College or the Penn State faithful by other Pittsburghers. While there have been a few (1 2) comments in posts on Mondesi's house that attacked the fans or community, mostly I have to say that the commenters there keep to football, or just try to get a rise out of Adam. The most blatant hate came from the article and subsequent comments on PittBlather a few months ago. Why does this irk me so much? Because if there is one other area and fan base that has the most similarities to the relationship between State College and PSU football, it's the Steelers and Pittsburgh. There are few areas more proud of their traditions and blue collar culture, more willing to take it personally when they feel like they've been slighted or insulted, or more ardent in their belief that the team is going all the way this year, no matter what the circumstances. I know that people can find many instances of Penn State fans overreacting (this article being one of them), but look at how Pittsburgh reacted to a B-list celebrity calling our city a derogatory name, or when a no-name cartoonist said we smelled. Go ahead and ask Pete Prisco where most of his hate mail comes from. And in terms of devotion of the fans, does this look familiar?
50,000 out of the 77,000 in attendance for the Orange Bowl were wearing blue and white, and this at a stadium just down the road from the competition. I never thought I would find anything like Steeler Nation, but I did. Go ahead and bash the team, say our players suck, and that we'd be better of without JoePa. But leave the fans and the town out of it, because if you're a Steelers' or city of Pittsburgh fan, you're only really making fun of yourself.
Am I wrong here? Do you really think that Penn State fans are crazier and more willing to jump all over a negative comment than Steelers' fans? That there is a cow walking down College Avenue right now? Please, explain, because I don't get it.