ShareThis Page

Steelers fans don't conduct themselves by the code

| Monday, Nov. 24, 2008

Went to the Steelers game the other night. First one as a fan in probably 15 years. Maybe 20.

It wasn't quite what I remember.

Times have changed. But not necessarily for the better.

Let's just say the NFL's fan code of conduct isn't having much effect.

At least not in Pittsburgh. Not Thursday night.

Don't get me wrong -- I had fun.

I fell into a deep freeze along with the other 60,000 Black-and-Gold crazies that filled Heinz Field.

Marveled at the beauty of the swirling snow in the night sky.

Wished I hadn't forgotten my gloves.

Or split nachos with the wife. I don't remember heartburn accompanying the jalapeno-flavored cheese sauce and footlong Kosher hot dog when I was a kid going to Three Rivers Stadium with my dad in the 1980s and '90s.

Then again, I didn't wash them down back then with a large, frothy Coors Light -- I only later learned that vendors sell Yuengling.

But I also don't remember the obsessive swearing, badgering to "have another" and heckling of those leaving early.

This from fellow Steelers followers.

Don't even ask what they did to the poor soul who dared to wear a Cincinnati Bengals' Chad Johnson -- Ocho Cinco -- jersey and who, in good nature, signaled first down the few times his team managed to move the ball.

Let's just say it didn't take long for those in my section to pick up on a clever hand-held sign that read "Where's Ocho Stinko?"

Which would have been fine had they eventually left it alone, say, after the 50th time of screaming "O-cho, Stin-ko!" along with other choice phrases.

It got so bad, the dude got up and left.

And to think my lovely bride, born in Brooklyn and ever the die-hard New York Giants fan who wears an Eli Manning jersey every Sunday, wanted to scalp tickets to the Steelers-Giants game earlier this year.


I'll eventually return to Heinz Field. Continue to cheer on Fast Willie and Hines Ward and James Harrison.

I'd even like to take my kids.

But unlike some parents I saw with theirs, I can't imagine doing so anytime soon.

The Steelers and the league can tout their fan policy -- and phone number fans are supposed to call or text if they're bothered by unruly fans.

But let's not kid ourselves that it's having any serious impact on behavior.

It wasn't from where I was sitting.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.