Hempfield man among Terrible Towel twirlers for Steelers preseason game
George Muentzer was dressed in his finest black-and-gold regalia Saturday for his first foray onto Heinz Field for a Pittsburgh Steelers game.
Attending 49 consecutive opening days of Steelers training camp were instantly worth it when the Hempfield man said he found out he was selected by the team to participate in on-field festivities.
“It’s an honor to go and get these guys out on the field and get them playing,” Muentzer said.
He was supposed to be among a group of fans standing at the 20-yard line for the Terrible Towel Twirl at the team’s last home preseason game of the year. But a rain delay forced the cancellation of the pre-game event. Muentzer said he planned to bring his original Terrible Towel from the 1970s, in addition to donning a “real nice” handmade shirt for the occasion. The group twirled towels as the team took the field for the opening kickoff.
“I’ve been living high on a hog since they told me that,” he said.
Muentzer, 67, has been a mainstay at the opening day of training camp at Saint Vincent College in Unity since 1971. He typically is among the first in line, arriving before the sun comes up for a first glimpse of the new team at their 2:55 p.m. practice.
But football season lasts all year long in the “Steeler room” decorated with about $3,000 worth of memorabilia at his home. He has hats, shirts, unopened beer cans and photos of him with late broadcaster Myron Cope in 1983 and Art J. Rooney II, Steelers president and grandson of team founder Art Rooney.
Muentzer’s love for the team started when he was a young boy watching games at Pitt Stadium in the early 1960s with his father.
He was among the action Saturday, after years of watching other fans twirl the towel on-field and wondering how they got so lucky. Muentzer was featured on the team website this year for his early-morning arrival to camp.
“I never gave it a thought that I’d be down there,” he said. “I’m very, very grateful.”
Muentzer was a little worried this year after some health problems threatened his streak, but he pushed through and is looking forward to 2020.
“As long as I’m walking and breathing, I’ll be there opening day,” he said.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .