Not strictly about the Steelers, this 2008 video will make any Pittsburgher proud.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY IMMACULATE RECEPTION! 37 years old today.
Generally when I see Polamalu running behind a guy I expect to see that guy hitting the ground. Hard. Since the someone in this video is President Obama, I’m glad he made an exception.
Come see the G20 Leaders act like the Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers in a come-from-behind victory over global poverty, Thursday September 24 @ 10am in the Lawn Area between the 6th (Roberto Clemente) and 7th Street Bridges, in Pittsburgh’s North Shore.
Great photo opp for Steeler fans to see internationally renowned nonprofit Oxfam showing the Steelers saving the planet. Perhaps we should be calling ourselves “Steeler Planet” instead of “Steeler Nation.”
CONTACT: Helen DaSilva, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-331-2984
Steel City of Champions (commercial) (via j22skillz) Very similar to the last one I posted, but different enough to watch in addition—i.e. awesome 2.
It’s shaping up to be a good year for Pittsburgh, with its Steelers winning the Super Bowl, its Penguins making it into the Stanley Cup finals, and the G20 economic summit being held there in September. It doesn’t get much better than that for a city many considered to be long past its glory days.
It just goes to show, as sports fans know, you can never count Pittsburgh out.
You’ve heard the story: Pittsburgh, smoky city behind the steel that built a nation, lost its industry to “progress.” Between 1950 and 1990, 61% of its steel jobs and half of its population left. Then over the course of the next two decades Pittsburgh reinvented itself as a 21st-century city of higher education, medicine, and technology.
Today Pittsburgh enjoys an unemployment rate far below the national average and in recent years has been named by various national publications “America’s Most Livable City,” the 10th cleanest city, and the 13th best city for young professionals to live—truly a model for what’s possible when people actively embrace change. Which of course is why the city was chosen for the summit.
But who knows anything about Pittsburgh?
Like most early American cities, Pittsburgh grew up along navigable trade routes, in its case the point where the Allegheny and the Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio. (You can actually see the differently colored rivers meeting in the waters just off the city’s point.) Although there are lots of other ways to ship things today, Pittsburgh is still the second busiest inland port in the United States, moving more tonnage than Philadelphia or St. Louis. Because it spans three rivers, Pittsburgh has more bridges than anywhere else in the world—three more than Venice, Italy, the so-called “City of Bridges.”
Pittsburgh was settled and built by immigrants and, like many American cities, ethnic heritage is a source of great pride. The University of Pittsburgh’s vaunted Cathedral of Learning has 27 nationality rooms to celebrate the immigrant groups that contributed to the city’s growth, and many nationalities have their own local radio programs and their own nationality day at the local amusement park. You can hear Pittsburgh’s unique assortment of immigrants — Scots-Irish, German, Italians, Croats, Poles, Slovaks, and other Eastern Europeans — in the local dialect. In Pittsburghese, “yinz” is the plural of “you,” you take the bus “dahntahn” instead of “downtown,” you “redd up the haas” instead of “tidying up the house,” and you definitely wave your “Terrible Tahl for the Stillers.”
The Terrible Towel is a sort of household pompom fans wave to cheer the Steelers on. Pittsburghers love their sports teams. They’ll tell you everything you want to know about the 1909 Pirates, who went to the first World Series, or Bill Mazeroski’s Series-ending homer to beat the Yankees in 1960. When a Penguins game is sold out, they’ll set up their lawn chairs outside the arena to watch the game on the giant screens.
But with the Steelers, it’s like a religion. During Pittsburgh’s heyday, when its steel built the skyscrapers and battleships that made America great, its Steelers were absurdly awful. But during the city’s long decline the team became ascendant, becoming a unifying point of pride that lasts to this present day. In this ethnically, religiously, and politically diverse city, you’ll see Catholics, Presbyterians, and Greek Orthodox rushing out of church to watch the games; CFOs and cashiers wearing Polamalu jerseys to work; men and women debating whether Swann’s or Holmes’ was the better catch; Obama buttons and McCain buttons squeezed together in a touchdown hug.
Today, because of the long post-war exodus of its citizens, there are Pittsburghers in every state of the union. And they all hold a special place in their hearts for the city of their youth — or of their parents’ youth — ecstatically waving their Terrible Towels when the Steelers come to their far-away towns to play. America has become “Steeler Nation.”
If you visit
Isaly’s Klondike bars are local favorites, now available nationwide, but Primanti Brothers sandwiches and Mineo’s Pizza are still strictly local delights you’ll have to get while you’re there. Sandwiches and salads frequently have French fries inside them, and if you get no response ordering soda, try asking for pop instead. Or see if you can score a home-cooked delicacy: “barbeque” made with an ultra-thin-sliced (“chipped”) ham in a slow-cooker.
Shopping and eating
- The Strip District - a neighborhood near downtown that is home to farmers’ markets, wholesale vendors, bars, and clubs
- Shadyside - nice shops and restaurants
- Squirrel Hill - where you’ll find that Mineo’s Pizza
- South Side - home to many bars, cultural events, historic churches, eateries, and entertainment
- Heinz Field - Where the Pittsburgh Steelers football team plays
- PNC Park - Where the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team plays
- Mellon Arena - Where the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team plays
- Andy Warhol Museum - Warhol was born in Pittsburgh
- Kennywood/Idlewild Park - Amusement park, and setting for this year’s comedy Adventureland
- Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
- The University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning - the tallest educational building in the Western hemisphere
- Frick Museum and Cafe
- Driving out of the Ft. Pitt Tunnels, the skyline is breathtaking
- Atop Mt. Washington, looking down on the Golden Triangle and all of downtown — that’s the view at the top of this page, with the incline you should ride to the top
Finally, if you’re going to Pittsburgh for the G20 in September, and you somehow missed Super Bowl XLIII, do some homework. Here’s a five-minute summary of the game:
Article about how Parker misses Bettis starts out with an interesting observation: “Tape review shows that his first step has slowed by a tangible amount, while more importantly, he’s been giving away play direction.”