Not Even in the Top Five?
A man with a name seemingly invented for writing about football, Lang Whitaker, recently posted a list of the Five Best Cities For Watching Footaball. To post here in order to say that Pittsburgh was included on the list would be silly – of course Pittsburgh would be on that kind of list. It’s like finding a list of cities with the most stylish mall bangs and not seeing our City of Champions on it.
Having not watched much football that didn’t involve either a black and gold or blue and gold color scheme, let alone traveling to other cities for that specific purpose, I can’t say whether Atlanta deserves the number one spot on Mr. Whitaker’s list.
I can say, however, that Pittsburgh should at least replace Las Vegas on the list, since he admits that Vegas has only one football team. He further justifies his decision by noting that one can gamble on the results of the games there and, get this, because football is on lots of television sets.
I’d like to suggest that perhaps football is on a lot of television sets here, too.
Using Mr. Whitaker’s logic, Pittsburgh’s exclusion is even more detestable. Pittsburgh has a major college football program, and WVU is only an hour away – not to mention the proximity of dirty, filthy Cleveland and Cincinnati. In fact, you might say that Pittsburgh occupies a veritable pigskin nexus.
The most overriding, obvious, unavoidable reason for including Pittsburgh as the best city for watching football is the fact that your humble blogger cared not one whit about the sport until moving here five years ago. Even my rock-hard resistance to organized sports of any stripe was easily demolished by the irresistible force of Steelers Fever. Other expats might not agree, or might not have felt the early symptoms of it (the earliest of which being a small tug of joy when Troy flies, frog-like, at a loose ball).
The Steelers infuse everything in this city, and I think they even put something in the drinking water. Even if you don’t really care about sports, you can still probably notice when the Steelers lose – a malaise settles across the city, clingy and oppressive like Pittsburgh before a thunderstorm.
I would offer one last bit of evidence to Mr. Whitaker, in the hopes of getting our city its due: this kind of thing doesn’t happen just anywhere.