A Man in Enemy Territory

The Seattle Seahawks are in the super bowl, I am happy that they are going. But there is one small problem – I am a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I moved to Seattle almost 10 years ago, and before my move I was born and lived about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh. So while I cheer on the Seahawks any other time of the year, about half way through last week’s Seattle – Carolina game, sides started forming at the friend’s house where a few of us were gathered to watch the game. It was now everyone in this state vs. me. Well, almost everyone, I have noticed a small but growing number of Steelers jerseys in the past week. I have been wearing mine more frequently, which has resulted in finding a few new Pittsburgh-natives that are in the same situation I am in. Oh sure, I get lot of people whispering and talking behind my back. There was one drunk guy when I was out to dinner a few days back that tried to heckle me but didn't do it very well. There was even one little boy that started crying when his mom told him, using her exact words “He wants the Seahawks to lose”, but overall it has not been that bad.

While I will not be back in Pittsburgh for the large festivities when the Steelers win (and they will win), at least I get some of the atmosphere living here in Seattle. Although I must say, football in Pittsburgh is completely different than it is in Seattle. Like I said, I used to live about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh. Even that far away, when I was back home for Christmas, every street corner had a booth setup with somebody selling something with the Steelers logo on it. Everybody that you saw was wearing black and gold. Here, there are some people who are wearing something with the Seahawks on it, but not in the quantity or quality (a t-shirt is not the same as a real, authentic jersey) like they do in Pennsylvania. As I recently read in a news article, Steelers clothing is the Armani and Prada of Pittsburgh. And I saw the effect in December when they were saying the Steelers may not even make the playoffs; I can only imagine what it must be like now.

So nine days from now at the “Big Game” (can you even say that now without getting in trouble?) party I am going to, I will be sitting on one side of a large screen TV. I will be wearing my Bettis jersey, with a Terrible Towel in one hand and some sort of snack food/beverage in the other. And because the party I go to always has the fans of one team on one side of the room and the fans of the other team opposite, looking back at me on the other side of the TV will be many, many angry looking Seahawks fans. But that’s OK, at least I will have one couch to myself.