Steeler Football Is A Religion Not A Sport !!!

 I had to pass along the following that was sent to me by our friend and former Duquesne kid, Barry Long! Barry currently makes his home in Honolulu, Hawaii for 7 months each year, and in Kirkland, WA for 5 months. (We feel for ya Barry! L.O.L.) I am certain you’ll enjoy it. I adapted it just a tiny bit to bring it even closer to the home we all love. THANK YOU BARRY!!!

Being a Steeler fan means so much more than football. It means being from a corner of the world unlike any other. 

It means being from a place where the people are so tough-minded that they have survived the Homestead strikes, the Johnstown flood and most recently the Etna Floods. These people have the DNA of hard work, in mills and mines, without the necessity of complaint. They live simply, with no frills. They don’t have movie stars or fancy cars.

Instead, they have simple traditions like kielbasa, Kennywood, and celebrations. They live in distinctive neighborhoods like Polish Hill and the Hill District and all of the surrounding counties. These people are genuine.

They don’t have chic internet cafes and cappuccinos, but they have Jim’s Hot Dogs, Paule’s Lookout, Eat n’ Park and Iron City Beer.

People from Pittsburgh don’t have sunny beaches or fancy boats, but the rivers roll gently, connecting the small towns of people whose histories have been built on strength and humility.

People from Pittsburgh don’t have the biggest shopping malls or the best nightclubs, but they’ll take Friday night high school football and Steeler Sunday over anything.

Steeler football means so much more than you think. It symbolizes a diaspora of generations who had the best childhood they could imagine.

They ran free without a care or concern in the valleys of those Allegheny Mountains . Their blue-collar world was easy … there was no one to tell them that they lacked material things. There was no one to tell them that they needed more.

As the steel mills closed and the jobs disappeared, some of these people had to leave. While the world benefits because they spread their Pittsburgh values, they long for their home where things were simpler and more pure.

They teach their kids about Jack Lambert, Lynn Swann, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Ham, and L.C. Greenwood, Joe Greene, and Myron Cope in hopes of imparting not just the knowledge, but the feeling that they represented.

They are everywhere, those Terrible Towels. They wave, not just for the team, but for the hearts they left behind.

They wave in living rooms in Nashville , TN , Fort Lauderdale and in the bars of Washington , D.C. They wave all the way to the Seattle Superdome! They wave for the Rooney family, whose values mirror our own – loyalty, grit, and humility.

They wave for football players like Jerome Bettis and Hines Ward, whose unselfishness and toughness have allowed sports to be about the game and the team.

Make no mistake that Steeler football is not just about football. I could not be prouder to be from the Pittsburgh area than I am right now!!

Even if you no longer live in the area, you have South Western Pennsylvania in your blood no matter where you go.

And deep down in your heart of hearts, you can still hear the Super Bowls of times past, the excitement in everyone’s voices especially our fathers, cousins, and anyone else who gathered around the TV on Football Sundays!

Make no mistake, it’s just as exciting right now! It’s not just about rivalries and who is better than the other, it’s about family, tradition and roots! It’s more than football, but its football at its finest! If you now live in Arizona , Colorado , Ohio , Indiana , California , Florida , Nevada , or Tennessee , be proud of where you were born and who your FIRST favorite football team was!

Go Steelers Picksburgh GO STILLERS! Ah yes! “Picksburgh”

Yunz is from the Picksburgh area or maybe you grew up there if:

1. You didn’t have a spring break in high school.

2. You walk carefully when it is “slippy” outside.

3. You often go down to the “crick.”

4. You’ve told your children to “red up” their rooms.

5. You can remember telling your little brother/sister to stop being so ” nebby.”

6. You’ve gotten hurt by falling into a “jaggerbush”.

7. Your mother or grandmother has been seen wearing a“babushka” on her head.

8. You’ve “worshed” the clothes.

9. I ask you to hand me one of those “Gum-Bands” an’ you actually know what I’m talking about.

10. You know you can’t drive too fast on the back roads, because of the deer.

11. You know Beaver Valley , Turtle Crick, Mars, Slippery Rock, Greentree, Brockway and New Castle are names of towns. And you’ve been to most, if not all, of them.

12. A girl walks up to three of her girl friends and says,“HEY,YENZ GUYS!”

13. You hear “you guyses” and don’t think twice. Example: “you guyses hause is nice.”

14. You know the three rivers by name and understand that “The Point” isn’t just on a writing instrument.

15. Someone refers to “The Mon” or “The Yough” and you know exactly what they’re talking about.

16. You remember the blizzard of 1993 (or 1976, or 1950, or 1939, or…) and remember not being able to go outside because the snow was over your head and you would have suffocated.

17. Someone starts the chant, “Here we go Still-ers!” and you join in. In the proper cadence, waving the appropriately colored towel.

18. Bob Prince, baseball commentator saying “There’s a bug loose on the rug.” hold special meaning for you.

19. You’ve either eaten a Farkleberry Tart or know someone who has.

20. You drink pop, eat hoagies, love perogies and one of your favorite sandwiches is chipped ham on white with mayo, all at room temperature!

21. You know what a “still mill” is.

22. You expect temps in the winter to be record-breaking cold and temps in the summer to be record-breaking hot.

23. You know what Eat ‘N Park is and frequently ate breakfast there at 2:00 AM after the bar closed and made fun of people.

24. You order “dippy eggs” in a restaurant and get exactly what you wanted.

25. You spent your summers, or a school picnic at Luna Park , Kennywood, Westview, Sand Castle, or Idlewild.

26. You’ve been to the Braun’s Bread Plant or Story Book Forest for a school field trip. We went to the Heinz plant and the Isaly’s plant for Cub Scouts.

27. “Chipped ham” was always in your refrigerator when you were growin’up.

28. You refuse to buy any condiments besides Heinz unless a Pittsburgh athlete’s picture is on the side of the container.

29. When you call the dog or the kids you shout, “Kum-mere” and they come.

30. Franco, Roberto, and Mario don’t need last names and you can recite their exploits by heart.

31. Food at a wedding reception consists of rigatoni, stuffed cabbage, sauerkraut and polska kielbasa.

You’ll send this on to family and friends who used to live in the Pittsburgh area as well as to those who have never lived there, just so they can appreciate how different western PA really is. Wonder how many of yinz guys actually understood all dat? Some folks just don’t.

Finally, from a wonderful IUP co-op teacher over in Johnstown:

 It’s winter in Pennsylvania

And the gentle breezes blow

Seventy miles an hour

At twenty-five below.


Oh, how I love Pennsylvania

When the snow’s up to your butt

You take a breath ofwinter

And your nose gets frozen shut.


Yes, the weather here is wonderful

So I guess I’ll hang around

I could never leave Pennsylvania

‘Cause I’m frozen to the ground!!


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22 Responses to Steeler Football Is A Religion Not A Sport !!!

  1. Frankie Yocopovich Jr. says:

    Born in coal mine town of Library Pa. —-way back in 1938——still above ground—–moved to Clairton Pa. . Football is king in Clairton Pa—–Now in Los Angeles —–but PITTSBURGH AREA WILL ALWAYS “BE HOME”

  2. Ninabi says:

    You made me smile today. I had forgotten all about the bread plant tour we took as Girl Scouts. I remember the dough hooks were going around and around when suddenly some bread dough worked itself loose and went flying out- SMACK!- hit my leg like a wet towel. Who would have thought that pre-baked bread could deliver such a sting? But the smell in the factory was so good and girls and leaders alike came home with an armload of samples, including delicious raisin bread.

    Way out here in the desert there’s an older guy we know at the boarding stables. He can never remember my name but he always recalls that we’re both from Pittsburgh and he always bellows out, “How ’bout dem Stillers? Yinz watchin’ the game today?”

    You have an awesome blog and I want to thank you for running it.


  3. Paul Duffy says:

    A couple-few years ago, my wife and I were on a short trip along the North Carolina coast. As we were randomly wandering around some remote back roads, we came across a historical site featuring a partially restored colonial settlement. Upon entering what they called a “museum”, a warm and smiling doyen engaged us to tell the stories of the relics. Mere moments into her spiel, I rudely interrupted and asked, “where’d you grow up in Pittsburgh?” Her eyes grew large and she said “Mount Washington”. Then she proceeded to go into a lengthy discussion of how much she was hoping the Panthers could somehow hire “Bill Cawher”.

    • Ronald J Mowry says:

      Paul, Where are you living these days. I’m in California. Been here since 69.
      Often wondered what happened to you. Been retired for 12 years. Hope to hear from you.
      Ron Mowry

      • Paul Duffy says:

        I’m in Virginia, just outside the swampland of DC. After grad school in IL, I ended up here in ’74. I’m still doing consulting, as well as teaching at Johns Hopkins, though I try to do those things at my own pace nowadays. Not truly retired, but coasting that way someday.

        Great to hear from you.

      • Jim says:

        Paul, did you attend Holy Name with my brother Steve Volk and cousin Paula Goldman????

    • Paul Duffy says:

      Yep, another proud Holy Name grad (’61). Sorry, I can’t say that I remember Steve or Paula.

  4. LEE EVANS says:

    You forgot to mention,”going dawn tawn”….

  5. Jack Schalk says:

    Since this blog has shown up, I have discovered just how observant Barry is. He can open up new interests and topics in a heart beat. Keep it up!

    Speaking of boats past and present. We had a boat in the 50s that we would take on the Monon.
    It was named for Vince Keiffers nickname for my sister, Chic-a-dee. The boat was white and that is where the problem was. When you got off the water the only thing that would clean the sides was gasoline. Tar and oil were rampant.
    Coleen mentioned the cleanliness of the river now and that is a great thing.

    On one 50s outing on the river, the towboat “Duquesne” was chained to shore near Dravosburg waiting to be scrapped and scuttled. I managed to climb aboard without getting chased and rremoved the brass placque from the Capts. door. In beautiful carving it said, CAPTAIN OF THE DUQUESNE. I cherished that placque but managed to have it come up missing during one of my moves.

  6. Bob Chermonitz says:

    Well then. A view from Thomas Wolfe and a view from Virginia Woolf. There’s a little of each within us all. But I vote for Thomas. Even after traveling to Oz, Dorothy realized there’s no place like home. And home is where the heart is.

  7. Colleen Byrne Travis says:

    It seems as though someone has been gone from the Pittsburgh area for a long time. Oh yes, we do have chic internet cafes and Cappucini. We have fabulous restaurants, too. Not to mention the arts and live theater,a world class ballet company (of which I am a trustee) , The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and opera. There are black tie events at least four times a month. We have a high end mall with Norsdtrom’s and designer stores like L.V., Tiffanys, Burberry, Kate Spade and Macys etc. etc. The rivers are so clean that a few years ago, Pittsburgh hosted the Bass Masters Classic. We’re high tec. There are great universities and hospitals. Have you ever heard of Carnegie Mellon University, the Software Engineering Institute ( supported by IBM, Bill Gates, Microsoft, and a host of “cloud” companies)?????? Of course, it is still all about family tradition and roots. But the “Burgh” has come a long way. We never want to forget the “Good Old Days” or our roots, but I haven’t seen a bubba in a bubuska since the 50’s and Paule’s Lookout has been gone for a long time, but, unfortunately, there are still a lot of “Yinzers and Seeners” and two little talking dolls named Chipped Ham Sam and Nebby Debby. Rand McNally voted Pittsburgh “The Most Livable City” in the country. We travel extensively, but it’s great to come home and look out the window of our condo on Mt.Washington high above The Point and my beloved city every day. Holy hovna, come to Pittsburgh and see more than the Eat n Park in McKeesport!!!! LET’S GO PENS!!!!

    • Jim says:

      Colleen, you are absolutely right about Pittsburgh and the outstanding metamorphesis that has occurred! I think we all look at it with a sense of pride. Perhaps the writer of the article sent to me was having a Thomas Wolfe moment. I certainly didn’t mean to offend by posting that piece, but only to further endear our beloved area to everyone!

      • Colleen Byrne Travis says:

        Jim, No offense taken. I’d rather have Sister Clementine come after me with a yard stick (some people thought she was so tiny and cute, NOT) than hear someone say “yinz” or “seen” without an auxiliary verb. Or, when they say “I” when they should say “me”. I could go on and on. We have come a long way, but every now and then a “dahn” or an “Aut” pops out of nowhere no mater how much we think we have shaken the accent. Keep on writing N@.

    • Paula N says:

      Don’t be gettin all uppity ‘n at.

  8. Joe Grossi says:

    Jim . . . that’s PERFECT!!! Thanks for sharing. I’m gonna “aquire” this repost it on my facebook page for my “jagoff” friends who don’t quite understand why I BLEED Black & Gold 24/7/365 and love the Burgh while living in the desert. YINZ ROCK!!!

  9. Vickie Brady says:

    Very well put Thank You

  10. Lou A. says:

    Steeler Nation is EVERYWHERE! Let’s have everybody check in now kinda like WHERE”S WALDO. Before Sue and I went to Rome in 2003, I found out there is taverna there called La Botticelli, just off the Piazza Navonna. Unfortunately time constraints on the tour kept us from dropping in, BUT – I do have a photo of Sue holding a TERRIBLE TOWEL in St Peter’s Piazzi, you can see the cornice with the portion of the Latin inscription showing:
    —-BURGHENSIS—- how cool is that! If I was as computer savvy as Jim, I would post it…
    Look up the taverna, the owner has friends in daBurgh and was here for a playoff game one year, Article was in the PostGazette.

  11. Bob Nelis says:

    Another great post from my favorite Duquesne Hunky.

  12. Diann M. Topley says:

    Life was grand in the old days!

  13. Karen Smith says:

    This is soooooooooo true! How very,very fortunate we were to grow up in such a wonderful place. No matter where life takes me, “da Burgh” will always be home.

  14. Gene Sabolcik says:

    That pretty much sums it up JIm! Anybody who grew up in the Pttsburgh area will understand every word of this wonderful homage to the area we all love. Thanks to you and Barry for capturing the essence of being a Duquesne Hunky!

    PS- Glad to hear that Judy’s surgery went well…hang in there buddy.

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