Ask anyone who was there, they will tell you that it was like the city of Pittsburgh relocated to San Diego for one night. The 60,000+ members of Steelernation had a huge impact on what happened on the field during the Steelers victory over the Chargers on Monday Night Football. Jon Gruden was amazed by the number of towels waving, Philip Rivers was forced to go to a silent count on multiple occasions, and several Steelers players, along with Mike Tomlin, thanked the “home crowd” for the support. As much as people seemed surprised, out in San Diego, how Steelernation took over their stadium, this happens all the time. There is a reason it has been said that the Steelers are the only NFL team with 32 home stadiums. Baltimore and Denver have already issued threats to their season ticket holders if they sold their tickets to invading Steelers fans. Try as they might, they can’t keep Steelernation out, because Steelers fans are a determined lot that will resort to many various tactics to take over your stadiums.
Steelers fans will wear your team’s jersey long enough to get your tickets in their hands. Once they have your tickets, off comes the Manning jersey, with a Harrison one staring back at you. You might even get sacked yourself for the inconvenience of it all, and for the cost of the jersey. Steelernation will use their families, who live in the cities they will be traveling for the Steelers game, to purchase tickets, to ensure that a proper Steelernation invasion takes place. Steelers fans also travel in large packs, such as the Stiller gang and the Steel City Mafia, they will be the ones in your tailgating spot and having the kind of fun that you wish you could in your team’s name. These guys get former all-pro receiver Yancey Thigpen to come hang out with them.
Jealousy abounds when it comes to just how large and dominant Steelernation is. Don’t be jealous, be thankful there are seats left for you to watch your team, in your own stadium. From the moment the new schedule comes out each year, Steelers fans plan their vacations accordingly, while every transplanted Pittsburgher anticipates the Steelers arrival. To Steelernation, these aren’t just games, they are truly events to be celebrated, that are well planned and organized far in advance. That’s what separates us from every other fan base. Throughout the country, numbering in the millions, we live in your neighborhoods, we work with you, and we marry into your families, and in some cases, divide them.
To reward Steelernation for it’s passion and loyalty, the Pittsburgh Steelers have created a way to bring the fans and the Steelers closer together through Steelers Nation Unite. As a member, you have opportunities to take part in conference calls with present and former Steelers. When you attend home games, and inform Steelers Nation Unite of where your seats are, there is a chance that a random prize could be delivered to your seat. One lucky fan had an autographed Rocky Bleier jersey delivered to him…by Rocky Bleier. They also recognize fans on the road, a.k.a. home games outside of Pittsburgh. As fans earn more badges, the rewards increase, but it’s rewarding enough just being a part of Steelernation. Several former players also feel the same way, as they enjoy hanging around fans at gatherings, and host tailgates. As one former player put it, as much fun as it was to play for Steelernation, it’s even more fun to hang out with them on game day.
There is no denying the loyalty, passion and dedication of Steelernation. The reputation for traveling from coast to coast, including to Mexico and London, is legendary. If you Chiefs fans thought Qualcomm Stadium looked like Heinz Field, wait until you see what Arrowhead looks like on Sunday. I hope you got your tickets already, because I don’t see too many being available now that Steelernation has rolled into town.