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By Mandelman

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Reposted in honor of Steeler’s fans everywhere…

It’s a terrible thing, but truth be told, I’m not much of a sports fan anymore. Haven’t been since 1980, the year I turned nineteen and left my childhood home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to join the United States Air Force. It’s not that I don’t like sports, I do. I love to play just about all of them. (I can do without ice hockey, so sue me.)

But watching them… well, it’s just never been the same as it once was, back in the days when the Pittsburgh Steelers dominated the NFL, and commanded the attention, respect and adoration of a city to such a degree that no one who was there could ever possibly forget it even for a moment. Pittsburgh was a single city, but it was still a case of the best of times, and the worst of times.

Between 1972 and 1980, the Pittsburgh Steelers, under the leadership of Coach Chuck Noll, won eight divisional championships and four, count them, four Super Bowl championships. I was eleven years old in 1972 when they won the AFC divisional playoffs for the first time ever. It was the first time I remember hearing the unforgettably nasal voice of Pittsburgh’s most famous and beloved sportscaster, Myron Cope, who passed away last year, and so didn’t live to see his team win their sixth Super Bowl championship. That was the year of the “immaculate reception,” the play that some call “the greatest play of all time”.

The year 1972 was the beginning of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ dynasty. Franco Harris caught the ball that bounced off of Jack Tatum, who played for the Oakland Raiders, the team we hated more than any other by far. He ran for a touchdown and Raiders fans have been whining about it ever since. Raider’s coach, John Madden has said that he’ll never get over that play. (As a Steelers fan, all I can think to say is: So?)

I was almost nineteen when, in 1980 against the Los Angeles Rams, they became the first team to win four Super Bowls and Terry Bradshaw became the first to win back-to-back MVPs since Bart Starr in Super Bowl’s I & II. The Steelers beat the L.A. Rams 31-19 that year, coming from behind twice. Bradshaw threw for over 300 yards that day, and two touchdowns. He completed 14 out of 21 passes. He …read more

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