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Good luck finding tickets to the game, Ravens fans

| Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009

They can be hard to detect, but make no mistake:

Ravens fans live in Steeler Nation.

"It's kind of like you got dropped behind enemy lines," said Brooke Seward, 36, of Leechburg. "But I'm not going to flip. I'm a Ravens fan."

There are others.

Bill "Wibs" Woodard, 54, is a public relations specialist at Penn State New Kensington. Born in Baltimore, he moved to Pittsburgh 15 years ago, married a die-hard Steelers fan, but loves the Ravens.

"It galls her; it tears at her," Woodard said. "But I didn't grow up with the Steelers. No, I'll never switch."

Woodard added devilishly: "I might have to break out my Ravens sweatshirt. Ooohh -- I'll wear it Friday here at school. Yeah, I think I might just might have to do that, just to make them think a little bit!"

Neither Ravens fan planned to attend Sunday's AFC Championship game at Heinz Field.

Good thing, because even if they wanted to go, they might not find anyone willing to sell them tickets.

"No Ravens fans," said Dale Haluck, 47, of North Huntingdon, who is hawking two tickets in Section 133 for $600 each on Craigslist. "Absolutely not. I want to see black and gold down there."

Indeed, Steelers fans are selling thousands of tickets to the game, according to online ticket-selling Web sites.

But most said they refuse to sell to Ravens fans.

"The crowd is the 12th man, the reason it's called 'home-field advantage,' " said Rob Hauser of Point Breeze. "I don't want to be the one responsible for making that point moot."

Said Dave Williams of the Hill District, who is selling his tickets in Section 131: "I want to keep Ravens fans out of the Steelers section."

They might have a tough time outing a Ravens fan.

Some, such as Seward, said they try to keep their foreign allegiance quiet, lest it provoke Steeler Nation.

"I don't wear my Ravens gear out -- no sweatshirts, no jerseys, nothing like that," said Seward, a guidance counselor at Greensburg Central Catholic High School. "That's just inviting hostile behavior.

"I'm 36," he said. "I don't really have any room in my life for getting into altercations over which team I root for."

That's not to say he is any less dedicated to his team than a Steelers fan. Seward is a Ravens season-ticket holder, and he drives 270 miles to Baltimore for every home game. Before he got the NFL cable package at home, he drove from Leechburg to a Monroeville sports bar to watch every road game.

"Once in awhile I'd run into Ravens fans there," he said. "I'd know, because the game would be on one screen and people would gather around it."

Scott Pieto of Cranberry takes pity on such misfits. He's even willing to sell his AFC Championship game tickets to a Ravens fan.

"My heart tells me no," he said. "My wallet tells me yes."

But if a Steelers fan bids the same price as a Ravens fan?

"They're definitely going to a Pittsburgh fan," Pieto said.

Additional Information:

Need tickets?

The AFC Championship game Sunday at Heinz Field is sold out. But fans can buy tickets online -- for a price.

• More than 1,500 tickets were available Tuesday morning through , which directs fans to the Steelers' ticket exchange Web site. Tickets ranged in cost from $258 for seats in Section 522 to about $2,300 for club seats.

• More than 600 tickets were for sale at , from $245 in Section 541 to about $2,300 for club seats.

• On , tickets were as low as $240 in Section 513 and as high as $977.50 for seats in Section 111.

• More than 1,700 tickets were available at , from $220 in Section 541 to $2,135 for club seats.

• Another 1,800 tickets were available at , from $230 in Section 518 to $2,231 for club seats. posted tickets for sale between $170 to $2,500.

Source: Tribune-Review research

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