Yinzers in the News #6 – Joe Starkey is Putting Us Out of Business

Joe Starkey, of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, has written a great article on what it would be like if fans owned the team as a public entity, much like the Green Bay Packers. While it is against league rules, Joe speculates on what the 40-part mission statement would be.

40. We shall provide free beer at Heinz Field.

39. We shall provide free beer at Heinz Field.

38. We shall provide free beer at Heinz Field.

37. We shall tear down Heinz Field and rebuild Three Rivers Stadium.

36. We shall provide free beer at Three Rivers Stadium.

35. We shall change the name of the Coca-Cola Great Hall to the IC Light Great Hall.

34. We shall hire Chuck Noll as head coach.

33. We shall hire Terry Bradshaw as quarterbacks coach.

32. We shall hire Lynn Swann and John Stallworth as wide receivers coaches.

31. We shall revert to the beloved block numerals on players’ jerseys.

30. We shall petition the NFL to send the Baltimore Ravens back to Cleveland so we can beat the Browns four times a year.

29. We shall hire Greg Lloyd as head of community relations.

28. Donnie Iris shall sing the national anthem.

27. We shall not run scoreboard replays of the game in progress but rather a continuous loop of the Immaculate Reception.

26. We shall hire Franco Harris as running backs coach.

25. We shall overcome.

24. We shall hire Roy Gerela as kicking coach.

23. We shall hire Mean Joe Greene as defensive line coach.

22. We shall petition the NFL to allow us to gamble at the new North Side casino (Hey, they allowed the Rooneys to have gambling interests all these years; why not us?)

21. We shall hire Joey Porter as White House liaison.

20. We shall beat the living snot out of Steely McBeam and bar him from the stadium.

19. We shall invite Cliff Stoudt to a December game and pelt him with snowballs.

18. We shall hire Jack Lambert as linebackers coach (he shall moonlight as the office linebacker and deck unsuspecting slackers all day long).

17. We shall hire James Harrison as director of on-field security.

16. We shall declare the entire Downtown area a parking lot. Tailgate parties shall commence on Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. and continue until, um, the following Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m.

15. Halftime festivities shall periodically include a ceremonial burning of the resident offensive coordinator.

14. We shall petition the NFL to make the New England Patriots give us two of their Super Bowl rings.

13. We shall hire Mel Blount as secondary coach.

12. We shall offer a Sunday morning church service, at which we shall fervently pray to Ben Roethlisberger.

11. We shall not have Bobblehead Dolls but Voodoo Dolls, in the likenesses of Jerry Glanville, John Madden, Al Davis, Kordell Stewart and Neil O’Donnell.

10. We shall petition the NFL to enshrine every member of the ’70′s Steelers — including Jack Deloplaine and Ernest Pough — into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

9. Rocky Bleier shall deliver a motivational speech before every game.

8. We shall not provide sprinklers at training camp but hire Bill Cowher to shower fans with spittle all day.

7. We shall hire Tommy Maddox as trash collector.

6. We shall expunge any record of having drafted Huey Richardson, Troy Edwards, Tim Worley and Jamain Stephens.

5. We shall replace our stadium’s turf with a replica of the Terrible Towel (talk about terrible turf) and dispense transistor radios that play nothing but Myron Cope-isms.

4. We shall hire Bennie Cunningham as tight ends coach.

3. Smoking shall be encouraged in all parts of the stadium.

2. We shall allow fans to reserve parking spots with lawn chairs.

1. Did we mention free beer?

That is about as good as it gets. Way to nail Yinzer nation.

Read it here: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/mostread/s_578474.html

#12 Talking About the Time They Met Franco Harris

For non-Yinzers, Franco Harris is simply a retired football player of some notoriety. For football-as-religion Yinzers, he is the leader of “Franco’s Italian Army” and the man upon whom the football gods bestowed the blessing of the Immaculate Reception, an improbable play that resulted in a walk-off Steelers playoff victory. While he sustained a successful Hall of Fame career, that one play has defined his place in football history.

Despite a brief stint with the Seattle Seahawks in the twilight of his playing days, Franco Harris has remained a presence in Pittsburgh. His legend status and continued involvement in the community has led to a great deal of interaction with Yinzers, and you can guarantee that every Yinzer has a story about the time they met Franco Harris.

Yinzers will not hesitate to tell anyone who will listen that Franco “ain’t a jagoff,” “is good people,” “is dahn to earth,” and “is good to talk at n’at.” Whether it be at a Democratic rally with Barack Obama, an autograph session at the Union hall, or just walking the streets, Yinzers always make it a point to tell Franco how much they love him. While that chance encounter would become a nice anecdote for most people, it becomes a center of conversation for Yinzers. “Yeah, I know Franco,” a Yinzer will say, as if Franco Harris was a neighbor that once fed the dog while the Yinzer was at camp at lake Pymatuning. The Yinzer will then recount every glorious detail of the interaction. He will work himself into an absolute frenzy if Franco happened to be wearing his Super Bowl rings that day as well. “Oh my gosh,” he will say, “those rings were so beautiful it almost made me cry.” Usually, the story ends with, “Franco’s not as big as I thought he was.”

Listen intently to a Yinzer as he speaks of his run-in with football glory. It is impolite to sneer at anyone’s dream come true, especially when it involves meeting a personal hero. And, in the event that you have a chance encounter with Franco Harris, simply shake his hand and say “nice to meet you.” He has heard it all already, and he probably respects anyone that does not wag their tail in his presence.