I've never been a raging fan of football. I like the sport, I'll watch it and enjoy it, but I don't know statistics, who has to win so that someone else can advance, or not. I don't know player stats, line-ups, or even entire roster names. I don't know the politics of NFL coaches, win-loss records and what that means for the future of teams.
What I do know is this. I love living in a city so enamored of their team. I'll probably never paint my face black and gold, wear a crazy black and gold wig, or deck my front lawn with Steeler flags. But I love that others do. Just before the kick-off, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things and I'd say 90% of the folks I walked by, had on some kind of Steeler gear. Including myself. Yes, I own a Troy Polamalu jersey, and proudly.
I've said this before, and I'll say it again. This city is wonderful. It's big enough to be a legitimate "city," but small enough that you feel as though you are part of something, that you belong, and somehow what you do, say, and wear on the day of a Steelers playoff game, is important. Los Angeles offers so many unique and wonderful qualities to it's patrons, but it's just too big for my taste. You can get lost so quickly. No chance of getting lost here. Three rivers, like arms of a mother, keep you snug amongst the soft hills and trees and steel ghosts.
It's comforting. It's inspiring. It's Black & Gold.
Is 2011 the year for a seventh ring? I'll keep my #43 jersey ready...