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Thread: Fans help fire up Steelers

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    Default Fans help fire up Steelers

    Fans help fire up Steelers
    By Teresa Varley -

    The atmosphere at Heinz Field on Friday night was electric, as fans turned for the team’s pep rally before they depart for Super Bowl XLV on Monday.

    Cold temperatures and a light snow didn’t seem to bother the enthusiastic crowd, who grew in numbers and volume as the evening wore on.

    [IMGR][/IMGR]“You know Steelers Nation is going to show up and be everywhere,” said wide receiver Antwaan Randle El. “But to have them show up here tonight is great. I love the way they yell for us. You get hyped tonight, but you have to be able to harness it and unleash it when it’s time.”

    Both Art and Dan Rooney were on hand to thank the crowd, as were Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

    “This is great for the city,” said Mayor Ravenstahl. “Growing up a Steelers fan and to have the opportunity to represent the city as the mayor is special. The wonderful publicity and good PR we get is hard to measure. It’s great for the city and we are proud of the Steelers.

    “I said two years ago when I had the chance to represent the city as the mayor at the Super Bowl I said it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Fortunately I was wrong. It never gets old. It’s a wonderful tribute to the Rooney family and everything they represent.”

    Shortly before the players took the field Styx hit “Renegade” blared throughout the stadium while hard-hitting video highlights from the playoffs were shown and the crowd went nuts.

    And then it was the moment everyone was waiting for as they welcomed their AFC Champion Steelers to the stage.

    Players high-fived fans, some threw Terrible Towels into the crowd and others just savored every moment of the fun night.

    [IMGL][/IMGL]“It’s definitely wonderful,” said linebacker LaMarr Woodley. “This is my second pep rally in four years. This is special, it’s nice and it’s great to hear the fans cheer one last time before we head to Dallas. It’s great to have so much support. Whether it’s on the field or off the field you always have Steelers Nation there to support you. I know we are going to have a lot of fans in Dallas next week too.”

    Players addressed the crowd, thanking them for their support all season and promising to give 110 percent next week against the Green Bay Packers.

    “It feels good,” said tackle Flozell Adams, playing in his first Super Bowl in his 13-year NFL career. “I was watching the news beforehand and people said the fans were there for a few hours already. It’s good to come out and support the fans because they support us. It was a no-brainer being here tonight. We can’t do anything but appreciate the fans.”

    Adams said he is enjoying the excitement around the city, but not losing sight for a minute of what the ultimate goal is.

    “To make it to the Super Bowl is an honor,” said Adams. “Everybody is excited to go, but more importantly a lot of people on the team want to win instead of just being happy being there.”

    The night fittingly ended with a crowd favorite when “Here We Go” was played, with many of the players singing along and thanking the fans some more.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Fans help fire up Steelers

    Heinz Field rocks in Steelers send-off
    Saturday, January 29, 2011
    By Dan Majors, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    LaMarr Woodley greets fans at a rally at Heinz Field on Friday before leaving for the Super Bowl.

    Brett Keisel fires up the crowd at Heinz Field.

    Bud Recktenwald of Whitehall cheers on the Steelers during a rally for fans at Heinz Field.

    Bridget Terranova is no stranger to pep rallies. She is in sixth grade, after all.

    Sitting with her mother and brother Friday night in chilly Heinz Field, Bridget talked of how such events get the fans -- and the players -- mentally ready.

    "They do help you get excited for the game. They get you to have more spirit," said Bridget, 11, of Lower Burrell. "It's kind of like a party, but it's also [something serious]. A little bit of both. I'd say it's important because now everybody's getting more excited."

    Bridget and thousands of other Steelers fans gathered at Heinz Field for the official pep rally to wish their heroes well in Dallas, where they will play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6.

    Friday night, as snow flurries and fireworks filled the evening sky, the fans waved their Terrible Towels, danced to live music and watched a replay of the AFC championship victory over the New York Jets.

    They cheered as the video board showed Jets coach Rex Ryan throwing down his headset. They cheered louder when the screen showed Steelers coach Mike Tomlin holding up the AFC trophy.

    They cheered loudest when the players were introduced on the Heinz Field stage.

    "We're sending these guys off in style," said Bridget's uncle, Steve Harlow, 31, of Garfield. "Most of these people can't afford to be in Dallas, so we're here."

    Mr. Harlow, who has been a season-ticket holder for 16 years, said he expects that the players might be in awe of the fans as much as the fans are in awe of the players.

    "In August, at training camp, all those people who go out and watch them practice, to this point now, six months later, I think that it's an amazing thing. How could you not have the passion and the drive to win for all these folks?"

    Lifelong Steelers fans Bruce Miller, 66, of Oil City, and his wife, Peg, 64, dismissed the notion that a pep rally might be something for kids.

    "We came because we wanted to be part of the camaraderie," Mr. Miller said. "We connect with the players. Especially Heath Miller, because he's a Miller, like us."

    Matt Kohuth, 44, and his daughters, Katie, 24, and Sara, 25, drove an hour and a half from their home in Cortland, Ohio, to attend the rally.

    "This is our Super Bowl. That's why we're here," he said, relishing the fact that they had arrived early enough to get front-row seats.

    In many respects, it was almost like being at a Steelers game. There were concessions and souvenirs. There was a dance team and a marching band. Fans got their faces painted and cheered replays. It was cold and exciting.

    And there were the players.

    Some of them took advantage of the opportunity -- and the open mike -- to express their feelings to the fans.

    "We have the best owners, and we definitely have the best fans," said linebacker James Farrior. "We've got the best coaches, the best players, and it's time to go get No. 7. Let's go!"

    And Steelers safety Ryan Clark indicated that the party wasn't over yet.

    "For all the rest of Steeler Nation that didn't get to come to this pep rally, we better see you at the parade," he said.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Fans help fire up Steelers

    Heinz Field rally sends Steelers off on high note
    Saturday, January 29, 2011

    Steeler defensive end Brett Keisel gets an estimated 18,000 fans fired up during a Steelers pep rally Friday night in Heinz Field before the team heads to Dallas on Monday in search of its seventh Super Bowl title.

    Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley greets fans at Heinz Field on Friday night during a pep rally for the team before it leaves for Dallas.

    Face paint? Check.

    Terrible Towel? In hand.

    Steelers beads? Got 'em.

    "We're here to send our team off right," said Mary Wright, 37, of the North Side before entering Heinz Field on Friday night with her small army of family and friends.

    No game? No matter. An estimated 18,000 fans flocked to the North Shore despite below-freezing temperatures for a Steelers pep rally.

    The Steelers are scheduled to depart Monday morning for Dallas, where they will go after their third Super Bowl championship in six years and seventh overall.

    "This never gets old. These fans are amazing," said Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, the U.S. ambassador to Ireland, as he stood on the sidelines with his wife, Pat. Moments earlier, Rooney received one of the most rousing ovations of the night and chants of "Roo-ney, Roo-ney" when he was introduced to the crowd.

    Fireworks, Jumbotron highlights, live music and Steelers anthems such as Styx's "Renegade" played over the stadium's PA system revved up the crowd inside Heinz Field. Outside, fans tailgated, started cheers and chants, and posed for pictures at the statue of Art Rooney, which was clutching flowers and a Terrible Towel.

    Players, however, were the night's main attraction. Twenty-seven of them — roughly half the team — appeared on a stage set up in the south end zone, at the open end of the stadium. Eleven players got on the microphone.

    Pro Bowl defensive end Brett Keisel, sporting his mountain-man beard, sang an a cappella version of the Steelers anthem "Here We Go" before thanking the team's rabid fan base and vowing to bring another Lombardi Trophy to Pittsburgh with a victory over the Green Bay Packers on Feb. 6.

    Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison, sporting a T-shirt that read "Hittsburgh," got on the microphone twice. The first time, Harrison played coy — "We're going to go on down there to, where is it, Dallas, and see if we can't get (Super Bowl) No. 7," he said — before hollering "Pittttssssburrrgghh," dropping the mic and walking away.

    Later, star running back Rashard Mendenhall stopped talking and started dancing when Harrison began beat-boxing into a microphone.

    Reserve defensive lineman Chris Hoke led the towel-waving fans into another version of "Here We Go" to close out the rally at 8 p.m.

    For some, the rally was a daylong affair.

    Chad and Amy Martin allowed their children Chase, 8, and Olivia, 7, to skip school so they could travel 4 1/2 hours from northwest Ohio to attend the rally.

    "We've always been Steelers fans, and now our kids are, too. We wanted them to experience this," said Chad, 39, wearing a No. 75 Mean Joe Greene jersey.

    The Martins do have at least one connection to the team: Amy, 32, works in the Lima, Ohio, hospital where quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was born.

    Bob and Chris Carmichael closed Princeton Auto, a Steubenville, Ohio, body shop they co-own, early to attend the rally with John Gentile, 43, and Denny Talamine, 60. They were tailgating in one of the lots surrounding Heinz Field by 4 p.m.

    "This is more important," Bob Carmichael, 45, said.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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