Ultimate Fan Guide: Fantast-ink

Think you're passionate about the black and gold? Wait until you meet Ron and Denny.



In sports terms, “fan” is short for “fanatic,” and who better to illustrate this month’s “Ultimate Fan Guide” than two of our city’s finest. Ron Vergerio and Denny DeLuca were recently named among “The Craziest Sports Fans Ever” on BleacherReport.com. This list is the gold standard of fandom, and these sports aficionados make Pittsburgh proud.

If pain is a measure of adoration, Springdale native Vergerio is the most faithful fan of all — he bleeds for the Black and Gold. Since 1999, Vergerio has spent more than 200 hours getting inked. Across his back, chest, arms and legs are Steeler greats past and present.

“After my second tattoo, I was hooked,” he says. Vergerio credits Chris Blick, owner of American Tattoo in Verona, for his Steeler-themed tats. “Chris is a creative visionary. He’s a huge Steelers fan, and his passion for the team comes through in his art.”

In 2010, DeLuca’s epic Steelers shrine, packed with decades of memorabilia, was moved from his basement and reconstructed as part of “Whatever It Takes,” a six-month art exhibit at Carnegie Mellon’s Miller Gallery.



His man cave includes a steel beam from Three Rivers Stadium, a chef’s hat signed by former Steelers wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, a hand painted Steelers vs. Cardinals Super Bowl chess set, a bust of Bill Cowher donning a Steelers hat and sunglasses, a mannequin of Troy Polamalu, and two stadium seats that were offered as prototypes for Heinz Field.



“No ceiling, floor or wall is visible in my basement,” says DeLuca. “And there’s very little that is bought. Everything in the collection has a sentimental meaning. There’s a story behind each item.”

Click here to see more of Vergerio's tattoos

Hot Reads

Top 10

Top 10

Your 10 best bets for October.
Made in Pittsburgh

Made in Pittsburgh

The city of steel always has been known for its industry – what we make. Today, that defining characteristic expands beyond manufacturing into every aspect of modern life.
Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

Comic-book artist Ed Piskor continues to win critical acclaim and international fame with his “Hip Hop Family Tree” series of graphic novels.
Review: Istanbul Sofra

Review: Istanbul Sofra

Head to Istanbul Sofra, one of Regent Square’s new additions, for assorted lamb dishes, vegetarian starters and well-executed desserts.

The 412

NPR Blog Team Tries, Critiques Primanti Bros. Sandwich

NPR Blog Team Tries, Critiques Primanti Bros. Sandwich

The group behind the station's Sandwich Monday blog series orders the iconic sandwich and writes a review.
Pittsburgh Has 'America's Ugliest Accent'

Pittsburgh Has 'America's Ugliest Accent'

The results of the Gawker poll are in: We’re No. 1.
'Yinzer Goosebumps' Series Parodies the Horrors of 'Burgh Life

'Yinzer Goosebumps' Series Parodies the Horrors of 'Burgh Life

The great Benstonium is at again with this set of faux book covers.
The Great Pittsburgh Protractor Mystery

The Great Pittsburgh Protractor Mystery

Hundreds of protractors have been placed throughout the city. No one seems to know why.

Hot Reads

Top 10

Top 10

Your 10 best bets for October.
Made in Pittsburgh

Made in Pittsburgh

The city of steel always has been known for its industry – what we make. Today, that defining characteristic expands beyond manufacturing into every aspect of modern life.
Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

Comic-book artist Ed Piskor continues to win critical acclaim and international fame with his “Hip Hop Family Tree” series of graphic novels.
Review: Istanbul Sofra

Review: Istanbul Sofra

Head to Istanbul Sofra, one of Regent Square’s new additions, for assorted lamb dishes, vegetarian starters and well-executed desserts.
Review: Sienna Mercato

Review: Sienna Mercato

Matthew Porco, one of our Chefs of the Year, designs the menus at Sienna Mercato's downtown establishments.
An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

PittGirl has had enough of the criticism of fanatics and asks the media to stop labeling everyone.