March 13th 2009 7:48 am
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A Steelers game is a holy war, a fight for what is virtuous and right. To live here in Pittsburgh, where Heinz Field sits like a fat temple bursting with kielbasa-loving believers, is to know all there is to know. Unflinching, unconditional, ours is a faith handed to us from Grandpa or Great-Grandpa, the guy who first got the season tickets and passed them down through generations. (The waiting list for season tickets is ten years long- you have to wait until someone dies.) Divorcing couples have been known to wage custody battles over season tickets; ex-husbands give in and sit with ex-wives, sharing nachos and a cold Iron. Hey, it's the Steelers.
We are born into our religion, and we are baptized, and we receive our Communion. A Steelers fan never strays. You move to Denver, or to some fancy Sunbelt place, or even to California, you stay a Steelers fan. People say the Cowboys are America's Team, and we think that is so adorable. So very precious. Listen, people: The Steelers are God's Team. Hometown boy Bill Cowher having passed along to sainthood, we embrace a new messiah, Mike Tomlin, trusting in the guidance of our holiest family, the Rooneys(because they're from Pittsburgh). And now, of course, we have big Ben Roethlisberger, who can make us more than a tiny bit nervous , and Hine Ward, with his eternal smile(he smiles, we think, because he gets to play for Pittsburgh), and Troy Polamalu, who embodies the sort of humanity we expecte of our Steelers. Good people. Good people. Hey, they play for Pittsburgh- a rusty promised land where there is so little left to be proud of. So we will sit and wave our terrible towels and battle the gray chill that cuts to the bone, wave that towel, wave that towel in praise. We will do this because this is our life's work. We will continue to give birth to baby Steelers fans., and we will continue our charge to take over the world, to convert you and you and you. We are missionaries charged with leading you towards the light of Steeler Nation. It's probably a rule in the Bible Somewhere. Oh, it probably is...
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