Steelers Week Rituals

Larry French

What do you and your friends do for the best/worst weeks of the year for Ravens and Steelers fans?

I have a poker buddy that is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and every year when our two teams meet up we all get together at his house for the big games, all of us that don't have tickets anyway. The night usually consists of several exchanges of trash talk as the two teams usually end up in a back and forth, drag 'em out, dogfight that isn't settled until the final minutes of regulation, if we are lucky.

Everything usually starts out cordial enough but as the beer cans empty and the game starts getting intense someone's feelings are bound to get hurt along the way. There have been several uncomfortable moments that we all wondered would end up it fisticuffs or shoulder-hugging laughter. I'd say we usually have about a 50/50 shot.

The crowd is usually a somewhat equal mix of my poker friends,' "proud to be redneck" Pittsburgh relatives and several of our local college buddies. Nothing against Pittsburgh fans in general however, it is just this particular group that purposely presents themselves in this manner. Anyway, both sides are prone to getting loud and derogatory towards the other team, undoubtedly causing the other to voice their displeasure in whatever means they feel necessary. As you can imagine things get good an interesting and it becomes quite hard to actually follow the game at.

As I'm sure you have been in a similar situation or can at least imagine the scenario, I will spare you from any specific standout moments and just get straight to the point. Since things do tend to get pretty heated at times, we devised a way to remind every one that we are all just watching a game and there is more than just football in life for those other six days of the week. So, as a way of keeping things even, we have bets made before the game between each Baltimore Raven fan and each Steeler fan. The bets must be made before the game so no one can get crazy and out-of-hand in the heat of the moment. The bets always start as " If your retarded bumble bees beat my Ravens then....". Or "If your rat birds beat my Steelers than you have to..." The fan being proposed the bet then has to agree, usually by saying "fine if you win I'll do that" or "fine but if you lose you have to....etc"

Over the years those that have lost have ended up doing laundry for a month, walking dogs, homework, baby-sitting and things I probably shouldn't mention on this blog. The bets very differently mostly due to the relationship of the bettors. Two guys who have never met aren't going to bet each other laundry duty. So those types of bets usually end up in some sort of immediate retribution like beer bonging Jack Daniels or something. Nothing like adding violently ill insult to injury, aye?

Well, that's just a little taste of the fun of Ravens, Steelers week in our little area. I feel bad because I actually haven't gone in a while and the last few games I could have gotten some people good and I know just who they would have been too. I think I may have to make an appearance this year though, I just decided that a few days ago...

So, share some of your 'Steelers Week' stories if you feel so inclined. We would love to here what others are doing in preparation to rub this one in for a long time! Oh yeah, since I'm sure we will any way, let's hear some from the Steeler fans too!!

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