Confessions of a Diehard ‘STELRZ’ Fan

I’ve done crazy things over the years when it comes to my devotion to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I’ve done crazy things over the years when it came to my devotion to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Some say I’m dedicated; others say I’m insane. The seed for my passion was planted in 1973, when I was 5 years old and living in Davenport, Iowa. My best friend, Tim Hatfield, and his dad were Steelers fans, and I always watched the games with them.
In 1980, I moved to Texas, where my love for the black-and-gold was fueled even more by all the “Cryboy” fans I had to deal with through high school and beyond. Over those years I only attended Steelers games when they played in Dallas or Houston.

In May of 1997 that all changed when I became the proud owner of one season ticket to Three Rivers Stadium. I had put my name on the waiting list for a pair of tickets that spring. I figured a 10-year wait wouldn’t hurt me since I had never lived east of the Mississippi and I had only been to Pittsburgh once in my life! Imagine my surprise when I was offered the one seat. There was no way I could turn it down.

By the third week of the ’97 season, I moved to Johnstown, where I knew no one and took a job as a television promo writer/producer for WWCP-Fox 8, making less money so I wouldn’t miss any more Steelers home games.

In 2001, I met and married my lovely wife, M’Liss, and we moved to Cincinnati. My life goal remained the same: I wanted to live in Pittsburgh, and now had the added pressure of getting a pair of tickets. On game days, I left my house at 5 a.m. to drive 280 miles to Pittsburgh. Win or lose, I drove home. Night games were rough because I got home at 6 a.m. and was at work by 9.

I’ve done crazy things over the years when it came to my devotion to the team. I threatened to quit my job if they made me work during the Steelers pre-season game in Ireland. I had told my wife to pick a wedding date that did not interfere with the NFL draft.

And there’s more. I purchased a black-and-yellow Saturn and ordered a personalized “STELRZ” license plate just to irritate “Bungles” fans. I would travel to at least one away game each year, and I went to all three playoff games and Super Bowl XL in 2006. Most of my wardrobe consists of Steelers gear, and at any given time, I am wearing five or more Steelers logos. I got a tattoo marking our fifth championship. During Super Bowl XLIII, I sat in the corner end zone where Santonio Holmes caught the game-winning pass. I’m getting a new tattoo this month to celebrate Six.

I finally moved to Pittsburgh last June. The only two things standing in the way of my dream-come-true: I must sell my home in Cincinnati so my wife can move here with me, and I STILL NEED A PAIR OF TICKETS!

Mike Pearrow is on-air promotions producer for Fox’s Sports Network (FSN) Pittsburgh.