Pittsburgh Steelers fans asked for it, so Dan Rugh delivered.
He whipped up a T-shirt design boasting: “Pittsburgh finished it,” and put it up for sale after the Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
“Who am I to keep them from having the shirt that they wanted?” said Rugh, co-owner of Commonwealth Press, which has a warehouse in Beltzhoover.
The shirt came in response to Cleveland-based GV Art + Design company’s tee that proclaimed “Pittsburgh started it,” referring to the fight between the Steelers and Browns during their Nov. 14 game.
Rugh said the pro-Cleveland shirt prompted people to reach out to him, asking for the T-shirt.
“It was funny,” he said. “It was literally people asking for it.”
Rugh was at work during Sunday’s game, listening to it via his car radio.
He posted the T-shirt on his company’s Instagram account with about a minute left in the game.
“People started going bonkers,” he said.
“I just put it online and went back to work. Before I left, I checked and sales started coming in. It was pretty awesome to see that instant of a reaction,” he said.
Rugh couldn’t say exactly how many T-shirts have been sold, but said it’s “a lot.”
Oakland-based Steel City Brand is also selling shirts that say “Pittsburgh finished it.”
The impetus behind theirs was the pro-Brown shirt.
“It was kind of a given that we were chomping at the bit that if we were going to win this thing, that that was going to be our response,” owner Brandon Grbach said. “They accused us of starting it, and so we were going to end it.”
The store sold a “few hundred” shirts from the time the game ended until Monday morning, Grbach said. It probably didn’t hurt that Steelers fan and comedian Seth Meyers tweeted about the shirts after the game.
“That helped push the sales kind of over the top,” Grbach said.
Where can I order my “Pittsburgh Finished It” T-shirt? Attn: @SteelCityBrand (also life is so much better when this rivalry is humming!)
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) December 1, 2019
If the game had gone the other way, both men had plans in place.
Grbach said his company would continue to sell a shirt released by local celebrity “Pittsburgh Dad” that says “Cleveland Never Rocked.”
“We’ve been selling that one pretty regularly. As far as we’re concerned, we had a shirt that was going to cover either way,” Grbach said.
Rugh’s was a bit more comical.
“(I would have) not posted that shirt, got in my truck, drove home and probably went to bed, cried myself to sleep,” he joked. “That last five minutes, it might have done some permanent damage to me.”
Commonwealth’s $20 shirt is available in six sizes from small to 3XL. Shipping is free. The shirt is available only online at compressmerch.com.
Steel City’s version is $29.99, but it is 20% off because it’s Cyber Monday. Steel City has seven sizes, from x-small to xxx-large. It’s also only online at shopsteelcity.com.