January 23, 2006

Oh, Pittsburgh's going nuts right now.

The Steelers are going to the Super Bowl! After beating the first, second, and third seeds in the AFC, the Steelers have defied all odds and are going to face the Seahawks -- where for the first time this postseason they're actually favored to win. The streets all over the city erupted in triumph yesterday after the game was final. Couches were torched in South Oakland. Reporters for KDKA and WTAE-TV were overwhelmed by fans (click "Fans Mob Jake Ploeger" in right sidebar) on live television. Despite all of the jubilation there were no reports of injury, major property damage, or rioting.

The celebration is still on in full force in the Strip District. Today along Penn Avenue fans blocked off sidewalks while clamoring to spend up to $25 on a t-shirt reading "AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers," or much less for a t-shirt reading "PITTSBURGH AMERICAN CHAMPIONS." (Ah, the gray market.) Now is about the worst time to hop on the bandwagon. I clearly saw one stall with a sign that used to read "Shirts $15," but the enterprising vendor put a slash through the 5 to make the sign read "Shirts $18." Cash only, no refunds, and satisfaction not guaranteed... it's truly a seller's market in the Strip. The Mike Feinberg Company, one of the few brick-and-mortar establishments that sells Steelers paraphernalia in the Strip, had a line to get in at lunch hour today.

I had a very hard time believing Paul Allen, billionaire owner of the Seahawks, when he claimed that the Seattle fans would be out in force in Detroit. The Super Bowl site is only about 4 1/2 hours away from Pittsburgh and there are already convoys of Steelers fans organizing. Tickets for the game start at $2500 and run up to $75,000 on-line. I'm already planning a Super Bowl party. The city's going to go absolutely nuts if the Steelers win it all. Maybe we'll get a company holiday for the parade.