Monday, February 06, 2006

The City of Champions - A Good Memory

Well the Pittsburgh Steelers won Superbowl XL last night. I'm not a huge sports fanatic but I DO enjoy football and I watch the Steelers faithfully. The Steelers defined the city I grew up in. Between 1975 and 1980 (ages 9 through 15 for me), the Steelers won 4 Superbowls. That kind of dominance in a game that has been a national obsession for 4 decades had a huge effect on the city I grew up in and thus on me. As a kid, as a Pittsburgher, it was impossible NOT to be influenced by the media hype, the bigger than life players like golden boy/maveric QB Terry Bradshaw, and Lynn Swann, the ballet-taking wide receiver great, and Franco Harris whose Immaculate Reception is a single moment in time that this city will forever have imprinted in its memory. There were so many others....all household names that came up daily in conversation at home, at school, among friends: The Steel Curtain - Dwight White, Ernie Holmes, Mean Joe Green, L.C. Greenwood - considered by many to be the best defense ever in professional football; and a just as impressive offense with running back Rocky Bleier and wide receiver John Stallworth among many others.

The Steelers hadn't been to a Superbowl since 1995 (losing to Dallas) and hadn't won since 1980, so last night was an exciting night. Yeah, the Steelers didn't play the best game they've ever played, but the won, and they brought the Championship back to Pittsburgh for the first time in 25 years. In place of all those names I mentioned above this year it was Ben Roethlisberger and Jerome Bettis, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu, Joey Porter and Antwaan Randle El - but it was the same old Steelers. It was great to watch and the nostalgia felt good.

I don't have many memories of my childhood. And when I say I don't have many, I really mean I have next to none. I truly have almost 0 memories of specific events or occasions and only even a few lasting impressions. Nearly all of my specific memories and my impressions are bad ones - abuse at the hands of my father are at the center of most of them. But my memories of the Steelers in the late 70's - mostly names and impressions, are good. I do recall feeling very proud to live in the City of Champions. So last night was one of those rare times when I could look back on growing up and feel good. For that one little gift I'm so thankful. Last night was a really good night.


At 2:29 PM, Blogger Ship Creak said...

Hey man, for someone who's not "a huge sports fanatic" there was a lot of love there for the Steelers. I'm no sports freak m'self, but last night over here Scotland beat France in international rugby, which is a good result, apparently. It seems last night was one for the comebacks, eh?

So many great names for those old guys, too. Spesh faves are the Immaculate Reception and the Steel Curtain. Stuff like that is what keeps the old legends alive, I think. Makes 'em (or at least what they achieved) immortal in a lotta ways.

Anyway, that's far too grown-up for me, I'm off to play with me Batmobile...

At 2:38 PM, Blogger garfer said...

I believe the Strolling Bones had some of their Lyrics 'toned down'.

Fair enough. Who wants to listen to a prancing geriatric referring to his cock anyway.


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