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Fun Notes: Pittsburgh passes Steelers fan's test
Special to The Seattle Times
Editor's note: Dan Possumato is a lifelong fan of his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Last week he visited Seattle, and found people to be "congenial," as he strolled around in his Steelers jacket. This week, for fun, he wore Seahawks gear in Pittsburgh.
PITTSBURGH — When I got home and explained to my dad why I was wearing the Seahawks jacket and cap of the Steelers' Super Bowl opponent, he said, "What? Are you out of your mind? You'll be lucky some nut doesn't shoot you walking around like that!"
My 14-year-old nephew said, "Uncle Dan, I never thought you'd be a traitor."
Hmmm. This idea didn't seem as intriguing as it did when I was in Seattle. I was, truthfully, becoming a little concerned. What if I had guessed wrong, and found out that Pittsburghers are not as accepting as the people in Seattle had been?
I went to my favorite diner, where there were about 25 people having breakfast, about two-thirds of them displaying Steelers jackets, hats and/or sweaters. In fact, there is no comparison between here and Seattle in that regard. You can't go anywhere without seeing loads of people wearing Steelers stuff.
I sat at the counter close to the cash register so the back of my jacket, which read "Seattle Seahawks," could easily be seen. Almost immediately two women approached me. One tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me; we just wanted to tell you you're a very brave man."
I said, "Not really, he'll protect me," nodding toward the police officer sitting a couple of stools down. He looked over and said, "Anything bad that happens to you wearing that jacket in this town might not be a crime this week. I'll have to check."
Later, at Krispy Kreme, the manager points me out to his cashier and shouts, "Hey, that guy has to go!" A workman fixing something looks up and adds, "You're in the wrong city, pal." Luckily, both these guys were smiling.
I pointed to some doughnuts, and was asked by the server if I knew they were covered in black and gold "Steelers Sprinkles." I inquired with a grin if they had any with Seahawks Sprinkles, whereupon a woman nearby said, "Don't push it."
At a sporting-goods store at a mall, a man named Buzz Yakshe was truly shocked to see me wearing Seahawks gear. He stopped in his tracks, looked at the manager and said, "How can you let him in this store?"
My conclusion is that Steelers fans in Pittsburgh treated a supposed Seahawks fan just as courteously as I had been treated in Seattle. The difference is Steelers fans are a lot more visibly numerous, intense, vocal and spontaneous.
While walking with a friend around Green Lake last Sunday, we came across a family in Seahawks jerseys. "OK, everybody say, 'Boo, Steelers,' " said the father when he saw my Steelers jacket. My friend said the difference in Pittsburgh is the kids wouldn't need to be told to boo.
Oh, by the way, anyone want to buy an almost-new Seahawks jacket?
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company