First Down: Six Rules for the Road to 7

Steelers Nation is loud and proud, yet because of the team's greatness, opposing fans often develop a strong hatred for supporters of the Black and Gold.



I've attended Pittsburgh Steelers games in 13 hostile cities (including Cleveland and Baltimore), and this year I plan to hit Chicago (first time), plus make return trips to Cincinnati, Denver and Miami. Along the way, I've managed to meet some really great people, and by following these six simple rules, I have managed to stay out of trouble.

1. Always travel in pairs. Going to a game with a buddy is a great way to explore a strange city with a fellow Steelers fan. Your partner in crime also can be your spotter on the road and can split the cost of a hotel. Plus, this person can provide you with added protection when surrounded by the enemy.

2. Get a ticket without giving up your firstborn. Ticket holders always circle the Steelers on their schedules because they know they can make top dollar when Steelers Nation invades town. Many people will buy tickets from licensed brokers such as Stub Hub, but you'll pay a premium price! Personally, I prefer eBay. The key is to find sellers that accept Paypal for your protection and have outstanding feedback ratings. Another option is to purchase from a scalper on the street. The goal is to find a licensed scalper near the stadium. The farther out, the higher the price you pay. Also, if you don't mind missing the opening kickoff, you can save a bundle and get great seats (often below face value) in the process.

3. Find a Steelers bar near you. Practically every NFL city has at least one Steelers bar where fans of the Black and Gold can partake in a cold beverage. These are great spots for you to meet local Steelers fans and to network with others from across the country. You also can use these places to locate tickets, to learn about the best food options in town and to ask about the "must-see" places and those you need to avoid.

4. If you drink, don't overdo it. You always have to remember you're in hostile territory. With that in mind, not only should you avoid becoming overly intoxicated, but you also should avoid getting into arguments with opposing fans who have been drinking. I've had drunk Cincinnati Bengals fans, of all people, come up to me after a game talking smack about how if we hadn't cheated, etc., they would have won the game. In fact, they pretty much blame us for every loss in their team's history. Instead of taking the bait, I just ignore them and walk away with the knowledge that we have six Lombardi Trophies in our case.

5. It's OK to wear your team colors if you know how. I had a friend - I'll use that term loosely since he is a Dallas Cowboys fan - come to a game in Pittsburgh afraid to wear his team's jersey. I told him the key to wearing your colors is to expect some friendly ribbing. You may even hear some not-so-kind comments. Just take it all in stride. And most important: Whatever happens during the game, don't go rubbing it in the face of the home team's fans. That doesn't mean you can't cheer for your team; you just don't want to be obnoxious about it, especially since you're going to be severely outnumbered.

6. Make friends with the enemy. A little flattery will go a long way in enemy territory. This has often helped me turn opposing fans into helpful allies. Start a friendly conversation with those around you. Compliment them on their city, even their team. This gives them the impression that you are not cocky and arrogant. Also, give the opposing team its props when it makes a good play. The home fans will eventually start treating you as a football fan and not just a hated Steelers fan.

The above listed road rules will help you survive a game in hostile territory, but there is one other golden rule. Before you go on a road trip, get the OK from your spouse, or you may find you're going to spend a lot more time away from home than you expected. GO STEELERS!

Mike Pearrow works in the FSN marketing department as promotions manager. Since 2001, he has been senior producer in the creative- services department at WLWT, the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati, where his work has been nominated for multiple Emmy awards. Before that, he was a promotions producer at WWCP (Fox) and WATM (ABC) in Johnstown and KFXK (Fox) in Longview, Texas. Pearrow is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan and has been a Steelers season-ticket holder since 1997. He also volunteers his time as a PIAA football official.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

The Best Bars in Pittsburgh Right Now

The Best Bars in Pittsburgh Right Now

Many Pittsburgh bars have solid beer lists, well-mixed cocktails or a bartender who's handy with a shot and a story. We need more than that. What makes these bars the best?
View Pittsburgh & Its People From The 1850s Through Today

View Pittsburgh & Its People From The 1850s Through Today

#pixburgh: A Photographic Experience features images from the Sen. John Heinz History Center vault, which contains close to one million images. The show features a sampling of 400 images from the 1850s through today — including landmarks, fun, folly and floods.
In Concert: What's Next for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra?

In Concert: What's Next for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra?

Melia Tourangeau, CEO and president of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, looks to lead the ensemble forward after a discordant strike.
Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Umami sets the bar for izakaya openings in Pittsburgh. But its owners still have steps to take to keep raising the standard.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

AFC Championship: What We’re Betting for a Win

AFC Championship: What We’re Betting for a Win

Rhode Island Monthly and Pittsburgh Magazine are making a friendly wager over the outcome of Sunday’s game, and we can’t wait to taste their quahogs.
See How Chess Made Le’Veon Bell a Better Running Back

See How Chess Made Le’Veon Bell a Better Running Back

Watch the video that reveals Bell’s talents that go beyond the football field.
Viral: Steelers' Most Famous Fight Song Synced to Lights

Viral: Steelers' Most Famous Fight Song Synced to Lights

See how a Leechburg man has transformed his home into the ultimate Pittsburgh Steelers shrine, but we must warn you, the song will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
RMU President Named to College Football Playoff Committee

RMU President Named to College Football Playoff Committee

Chris Howard will help decide which four teams will vie each year for college football’s national championship.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

The Best Bars in Pittsburgh Right Now

The Best Bars in Pittsburgh Right Now

Many Pittsburgh bars have solid beer lists, well-mixed cocktails or a bartender who's handy with a shot and a story. We need more than that. What makes these bars the best?
View Pittsburgh & Its People From The 1850s Through Today

View Pittsburgh & Its People From The 1850s Through Today

#pixburgh: A Photographic Experience features images from the Sen. John Heinz History Center vault, which contains close to one million images. The show features a sampling of 400 images from the 1850s through today — including landmarks, fun, folly and floods.
In Concert: What's Next for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra?

In Concert: What's Next for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra?

Melia Tourangeau, CEO and president of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, looks to lead the ensemble forward after a discordant strike.
Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Restaurant Review: Umami in Lawrenceville

Umami sets the bar for izakaya openings in Pittsburgh. But its owners still have steps to take to keep raising the standard.
Daytripping: Have Musket, Will Travel

Daytripping: Have Musket, Will Travel

The rest is history at ye olde Colonial Williamsburg, the former capital of Virginia and now a restored revolutionary war-era village.
Talk of the Tahn: The Consequences of Trespassing

Talk of the Tahn: The Consequences of Trespassing

I snuck into a steel mill. Bethlehem, Pa. I’d been bragging about how big Pittsburgh’s industrial ruins were when a woman in a bar told me, “Bethlehem’s are bigger.” Size matters.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


AFC Championship: What We’re Betting for a Win

AFC Championship: What We’re Betting for a Win

Rhode Island Monthly and Pittsburgh Magazine are making a friendly wager over the outcome of Sunday’s game, and we can’t wait to taste their quahogs.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Restaurant Industry Fundraiser to Aid Injured Chef

Restaurant Industry Fundraiser to Aid Injured Chef

Zach Behm was chef de cuisine at Cure in Upper Lawrenceville at the time of a July car wreck.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The quiet rise of Pittsburgh's tea scene gives us a few favorite gems.

Comments


The Trendy New East Liberty Hangout ... Primanti's?

The Trendy New East Liberty Hangout ... Primanti's?

The latest outpost of the popular local chain is housed in the former Verde space in Garfield.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Tomlin Needs to Be Tomlin Against Brady, Belichick

Tomlin Needs to Be Tomlin Against Brady, Belichick

The Steelers are going to have to attack the game to survive it, to grab it by the throat and choke it to the desired conclusion.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Tantalizing Textiles for the Table

Tantalizing Textiles for the Table

Check out the chic decor from Pittsburgh-based artist and designer Janice Nelson.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Shyamalan's Split is Troubling For the Wrong Reasons

Shyamalan's Split is Troubling For the Wrong Reasons

Reviews of "Split," "20th Century Women" and "The Founder," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Pittsburgh Romance: How Their Love Survived Long-Distance

Pittsburgh Romance: How Their Love Survived Long-Distance

From coast to coast and continent to continent, these couples showed that absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Urban Fit Co. Opening Flagship Shop in Sewickley

Urban Fit Co. Opening Flagship Shop in Sewickley

The locally owned active wear boutique is slated to open in March. Plus, get all the details on Pittsburgh’s new luxury residential real estate firm, Piatt Sotheby’s International Realty.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Pittsburgh Artist’s Work to be Featured at Thiel College

Pittsburgh Artist’s Work to be Featured at Thiel College

Benedict Oddi’s collection “Scouts and Nomads” will be on display in a campus gallery.

Comments