First, thanks for taking the time to read your emails. In today’s society, it is unusual and well appreciated by your fans. I am a long time listener, but never took the effort the reach out. Seems the passion to respond to any of your commentary usually fades with the busyness of the work day. Anyway, your Pittsburgh fan comment this morning really hit home so I thought I would offer a little insight.
As a lifelong Steelers fan who has many friends who are also Steelers fans, I can tell you those from or living in Pittsburgh are die hard Penguins and Pirates fans also. For a small market town, Pittsburgh is a great sports city with a very loyal, knowledgeable, vocal fan base. While usually the first to complain about how poorly the teams performed, even when they are winning, they are loyal through and through to the black and gold no matter what the sport. Although before the 1979 Championship for the Steelers and Pirates the Penguins wore blue.
My story is a bit different. Growing up in Rockville, Maryland, yes Rockville, the home of your broadcast studios but I will save the nostalgia for another email, my family was from the Pittsburgh area so despite having local teams like the Redskins and players like Sonny J., I grew up a Steelers, Pirates and Penguins fan. There was no hockey or baseball in DC and to be honest, the Penguins idea was just a tag on as it was really tough at that time to get Penguins news pre-internet and cable TV. About all you had was the box score in the Washington Star. That was actually a bummer because I loved hockey growing up and spent time reading anything I could about the greats of the game like Bobby Orr and others. When the expansion team Capitals started in the 70’s, I was like a kid in the candy store. Finally, home town hockey, and I spent many a night with my Mom and older brother in $4.50 seats at the top of the Cap Center watching them get killed by the Bruins, Flyers and just about everyone else. The place would go crazy when the just scored a single goal. The Esposito’s playing for the Habs, Gordy Howe and his two sons playing for the Hartford Whalers made for great memories. It was a fun time and to this day, despite having my May evenings off from hockey, I am a Caps fan. As for baseball, getting cable TV in the early 80’s changed all that. It was tough not to move over to the Orioles when you could watch them every night. This was made even harder when I began dating and eventually married a lifelong Orioles fan from Hartford County. My love of the Orioles was cemented with season tickets to Memorial Stadium that then transferred to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Watching Cal tie the record in person, and even watching attendance plummet under the mismanagement of current ownership.
Anyway, I go on to long for a short answer to the question today. I can say though that while my baseball and hockey allegiance has changed from my youth, good luck trying to pry my terrible towel from my cold dead hands when the time comes. Thanks for listening and keep up the great work.