Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Steelers Nation Again

Author Holly Brubach, a Pittsbugh native, offers one of two New York Times columns discussing in one form or another Pittsburgh and its Steelers. And if it weren't already clear that the Steelers were the sentimental favorites in the big game, this pretty much clinches it -- that the NYT Op-Ed, foregoing its usual absurd contortion to provide point-counterpoint commentary on issues and events of the day (for example, naming Tierney a colmnist to begin with), has dedicated more column inches to the Steelers today than any other Op-Ed topic, and absolutely none to Seattle.

Anyway, while Tierney's column is facile and only illuminating insofar as it identifies him as yet another Pittsburgh ex-pat, Brubach's is fantasic, and her status one of repatriation. I have often said Pittsburgh natives apologize for this lovely city all too often, and Brubach makes a similar obsrvation, with far more insiht.

At the airport, where the Carnegie Museum has installed on loan a specimen from its renowned dinosaur collection, the T. Rex is holding a Terrible Towel. Sitting at the gate waiting to board a flight to Newark, I overheard a man on his cellphone telling somebody back home, "You can't believe how seriously these people take their football."

Pittsburgh needs the Steelers in a way that few, if any, other cities need their teams. The Steelers are our mirror: they tell us who we are. When they win, we walk a little taller. I say "we" because I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and now, after 30 years in New York, Paris and Milan, I'm moving back. The locals are mystified: they want to know what Pittsburgh has to offer in comparison to these so-called capitals of style.

For several years in a row back in the 80's, Pittsburgh was ranked the No. 1 place to live in the country, to the incredulity of its own citizens. Despite historic architecture, a distinguished cultural heritage, a scenic location and an ethnically diverse community, most Pittsburghers are remarkably lacking in civic pride. The city's inferiority complex is chronic, and its roots run deep.

I recommend the whole column. It's lovely.


Anonymous suns82yanks said...

"Offical Nation" Those players in the black and white won your last two championships. You know the referre's you wannabe New Yorkers. Duh

11:11 PM  

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