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Fans Won the Game

January 17, 2011 - Heather Ziegler
It was an experience of a lifetime to sit in the stands at Heinz Field on Saturday to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens. It was my first time to experience such a game in person and to be part of the crowd of fans unlike any I've witnessed for other sporting events including basketball, hockey and baseball. It was an incredible effort on the team's part to come back from a devastating halftime when the Steelers were down by two touchdowns. However, the team and fans came back at halftime re-energized. From the minute the team stepped on the field for the second half and until the last second ticked off the clock, the fans never let up on their support whether it was for the Steelers' awesome defense or the amazing performance-in-a-clutch-situation offense. We spent more time on our feet than in our seats as the noise level could be heard 60 miles away if you just listened for it! A sea of black and gold flooded that stadium. When the military jets did a fly-over before the game, the crowd went crazy. It was very moving, together with the huge American flag unfurled over the field. On tv you don't get to see all the extra stuff that goes on inside the stadium. TV doesn't hone in on players on the sidelines dancing and whipping the crowd into a frenzy. You can't smell the sausage and peppers cooking on the grills at the tailgate parties in the parking lots. And after the game, there were no strangers. Everyone was hugging someone. High-fives were exchanged everywhere. And as the wave of humanity exited the stadium, people chanted cheers and literally jumped for joy. I know it was just a football game in the world of some things more important, but for just one day all was right with the world for Steeler fans and that's a whole lot of people. On to Sunday... Here we go, Steelers, here we go!


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