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Steelers' tattoos popular during Super Bowl season

| Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011

Pittsburgh Steelers' fans are some of the most dedicated in the country, showing their support in various ways.

With black and gold Steelers' attire, car clings, decorated yards, flags, and even pets clothed in Pittsburgh colors, Steelers' fans are proud of their hometown team. Some even go that one extra step to show their staunch support by having their team motto, logo or favorite played tattooed permanently on their bodies.

Several tattoo shops in the area reported that following the Steelers' Super Bowl win two years ago, there was a big demand for anything black and gold.

"I actually did a Super Bowl party," said Mike Riggins, owner of Sharper Image of Connellsville. He went off-site to do tattoos for a group of people. "I did 13. They were getting Steelers' logos."

Riggins said that the excitement for this year is already at a high. He is expecting to be busy if the Steelers bring home a win.

"I've already had some calls, "Riggins said. "I have some really dedicated fans come in here."

Riggins said that although the interest in Steelers' tattoos is at its highest when the team is in the Super Bowl, he does the black and gold tattoos all year round."It's a way for them to show their support," he said.

Riggins has done a variety of tattoos including Vince Lombardi trophies and several other unique Steelers-based tattoos.

"Just this year I had a guy come in who was in a band," Riggins said. "He had this elaborate design that was the band's. We took out the band's name and put in Steelers."

Alex Piscittelli of Black Star Tattoos in Belle Vernon said he is already busy doing black and gold work.

"We've seen a lot of Steelers' logos and Vince Lombardi trophies," Piscittelli said. "We even have a friend who is coming in to have a seven times Super Bowl trophy winner tattoo done on his leg. He says that if he doesn't get it done that they'll lose."

Jeff Lasich of Mt. Pleasant proved that he is a dedicated fan and one who is big on the nostalgia of the game.

"Growing up, I remember him as being tough," Lasich said as he had a tattoo of Jack Lambert being added to his thigh. "He reminds me of growing up."

Lasich said he had an appointment to get a tattoo in October and decided that if the Steelers made it to the Super Bowl he would get a Steelers-themed tattoo.

Heavy Hand Tattoos in Greensburg is also busy with Steelers' fans. They've been working on Steelers' tattoos for weeks.

"We've done a lot of Steelers' stuff," said tattoo artist Justin Schultz. "Right now, we're doing a Vince Lombardi trophy."

Schultz said fans have requested everything from small logos to sleeve-length tattoos.

"We did one guy that was a whole half sleeve," Schultz said, adding that the tattoo included Heinz Field. "We also did a Steely McBeam."

And if the Steelers win on Sunday, Schultz expects more customers.

"It's a commitment, it's love," Schultz said. "It's just like when they love their children and they get their names tattooed on them, only some guys just love the team more than their kids."

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