Kenny Pickett to Steelers: Can It Get More Pittsburgh than That?

We’re trying to conceive of a more Pittsburgh moment than the Steelers’ first-round draft selection.
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Last Thursday night, Franco Harris announced that University of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett was the first-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

A Steelers Hall of Famer told us that a Pitt star was going to Pittsburgh.

It was, to make an understatement, a very Pittsburgh moment. A young star staying in his adopted home, moving from the bright lights of Heinz Field to … the bright lights of Heinz Field, welcomed to the fold by a Steelers legend. It’s enough to make the grumpiest yinzer unleash a smile that could rival the biggest grin on an Eat’n Park cookie.

A very Pittsburgh moment, yes, but: Is this the most Pittsburgh moment? Could a more Pittsburgh occurrence be conceived?

We’ve checked in with scientists at the Institute for Advanced Burghonomics — which may or may not be a few guys hanging out in a back room at Penn Mac, we’re not telling — for the answer. Below, is a non-exhaustive list of potential events that would be more Pittsburgh than the #Pickettsburgh affair.

  1. The Pittsburgh Penguins introduce alternate jerseys modeled after Mister Rogers’ cardigan. When in use, pre-game music is replaced with “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” and any on-ice fights result in opposing players talking about their feelings while Jeff Jimerson sings “What Do You Do With the Mad that You Feel?”
  2. A mishap at the Fayette County Fair leaves the Pirates’ racing pierogies temporarily trapped on a carnival ride. They are saved by Michael Keaton, in full Batman costume.
  3. In a marathon performance, all 10 plays of August Wilson’s Century Cycle are performed aboard the Gateway Clipper, in a row. Somehow, Billy Porter plays every character.
  4. You know how they dye the Chicago River green for St. Patrick’s Day? That, but with Heinz Ketchup.
  5. A new Wholey’s sign, three times the size of the original, is erected on the side of Mount Washington, spanning the area between the two Inclines. When the cars happen to pass either end of the fish at the same moment, a current is generated that plays “The Pittsburgh Polka” throughout the Golden Triangle.
  6. Jeff Goldblum wins an Oscar — for playing Jonas Salk. (It’s a modern retelling. This Jonas Salk not only fights polio, he fights dinosaurs. The final battle is against the reanimated T-Rex skeleton from the airport.)
  7. A new food truck hits the scene: Patch-n-Dash, a roving Potato Patch. Mister McFeely is the permanent driver. It only travels to city neighborhoods accessible via surface roads and non-Interstate bridges, because “we gotta beat the traffic.”
  8. “We Are Family” is declared the new national anthem (it’s way easier to sing than “The Star-Spangled Banner,” for one thing). It is introduced to the nation via a live performance by Sister Sledge in the middle of the Point State Park fountain (the logistics are intimidating), with Donnie Iris on backing vocals. Wiz Khalifa contributes a verse. Joe Grushecky’s on guitar, somehow floating in mid-air. The ensuing fireworks display lasts 72 minutes.
  9. Andy Warhol comes back to life. (Someone shows him TikTok; “Told ya,” he says.) The Romero Foundation hosts international debates to determine whether or not this re-Warhol is, in fact, a Zombie. Warhol finds the discussion fascinating. He does move back to New York, but he claims the top floor of his museum as an additional residence. (He accesses it only by helicopter.)
  10. Five words: Primanti’s sandwich inside a pierogi.
Categories: Collier’s Weekly