Friday, February 4, 2011

Pittsburgh Has Steelers Fever. And the Only Prescription Is More Steelers

Today I had a bunch of errands to run. My first stop was the bank, where my teller was decked out in a Heath Miller jersey and Heath Miller earrings. She loves Heath, she told me. (And I'll tell you, just from my anecdotal research, the ladies love them some Heath Miller.) I was not surprised that she (and the other staffers at the bank were wearing Steelers jerseys - three staff members - one Troy, one Hines and one Heath) because for too many years, I worked downtown where most offices relax their dress code to allow for the ubiquitous and inevitable Steelers jerseys on Fridays before games. Attorneys who have to appear in court cannot adorn themselves in such manner (though a few do), so they opt for Steelers earrings or ties or something along those lines. That's just during the regular season, mind you. Steelers fever is viral when the team advances to the Super Bowl. The hypocycliods. They are everywhere. Terrible Towels become decorating rage de rigueur.

Of course, after my transaction, my teller and I parted ways with a mutual, "Go Steelers!" I had to think that, although Pittsburgh is a city which loves and respects idle chit-chat between strangers year round, we take it to heretofore unknown heights during the playoffs, particularly Super Bowl week. Instead of passing the time with comments about the weather (always popular) or some idiotic politician or some idiot driver, etc., the idle banter goes all-Steelers, all-the-time. Productivity must fall into a veritable crevasse throughout Western Pennsylvania on a day like today.

If a person landed in Pittsburgh today, understanding not a drop of English, they would surmise based on the circumstantial use of the phrase, "Go Steelers," that it meant "good-bye" or "have a nice day."

Then it was off to Waterworks to hit a few stores (chief among them, Bed, Bath & Beyond because the g-d supermarket never has parchment paper or butcher's string and, really, why is that?) and a few other stores. As I walked from one end of the strip mall to the other, nearly every store had a sign in the door to the effect of, "We are closing at 6:00 on Sunday. Thank you for your understanding. GO STEELERS!"

It's a sickness.

Tomorrow, a dispatch from the Strip District, the epicenter of Steelers ridiculousness and fun.

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