From a Packers Fan to Steelers Fans: Thank You For Being Such Good Sports

I am a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan and just want to let everyone know that having your team win the Super Bowl is even sweeter when the opponent has a strong fan base as well.

And when that opposing fan base is as classy as Steelers fans were before Super Bowl XLV, and as gracious as they have been since, it makes the experience even more rewarding and special for the victors.

The last time Green Bay won the Super Bowl, back in 1997, they defeated the New England Patriots. I lived in Wisconsin at that time and never really felt the wrath of the Patriots fan until moving down south during the following spring. Once the 1997-98 season began, and I started donning my Packers gear, the Patriots fans started coming to the forefront.

My first encounter occurred the morning of the first week of the season. I was at a local grocery store picking up some essentials for a Sunday in front of my television. In the beverage aisle, a burly gentleman in a Patriots jersey slammed into me and let me know how he felt about the Packers (i.e. that Brett Favre and the whole team cheated) and informed me that I was an a-hole. I was just amazed; I could hardly believe that this guy could still be harboring those feelings.

The encounters continued. Every time I wore anything Green Bay, I would hear from someone.
I eventually got used to it and just shrugged it off, hoping the Pack would win it again.

The Packers did make it back, that following season, playing the Denver Broncos. Their fan base was no different. The game hadn’t even been played, yet I was hearing how bad the Packers were from the Broncos fans. After they defeated the Packers, in an awesome game, the retorts just got stronger. All I do is wear the Green and Gold, support the Packers, and I hear it from everyone.

steelers-packers-fansFast forward to present day.

In the days leading up to the Big Game, like I do most every day during the season, I wore my colors. Every Pittsburgh fan I ran into had nothing but great things to say.

We would actually talk about the teams, their players, and how the game would play out. I even had conversations about how there was no way the Steelers could stop the Packers. As each day passed, another great conversation would take place. From coworkers, friends, or just someone I would run into who I never met before. We would have a quick conversation, the longest one lasting maybe sixty seconds, all of which ended with “Good luck on Sunday.”

As the last pass of Super Bowl XLV fell incomplete, and Aaron Rodgers took the final snap to clinch victory, my cell phone started buzzing as message after message came in, mostly from my friends and family, my Packer faithful. The ones that were most satisfying, however,  were those from Steeler fans saying, “Great game, congrats,” “Wow, what a game, congrats, they deserve it,” “Congrats champ,” and “Aw, we almost came back, couldn’t have lost to a better team, you deserve it.”

In the days since, I have run into more Steelers fans, many of whom were also still wearing their colors. I have received handshakes and had more great conversations with the same coworkers, friends, and other new faces along the way. The most memorable new face has been Tom, working a toll booth, who mentioned he enjoyed the game. “It was truly a wonderful game” he said. “That Rodgers is just something else,” he continued. As he handed me my change he pointed to his watch, which had a Steelers Logo, and finished by saying, “Congratulations, that kid Rodgers deserves it, I enjoyed watching him play. Good luck next year, I hope we get another chance.” As I drove away, I was even happier than I was before.

I am taking the time to write this post because having your team win the Super Bowl is truly an awesome feeling, but being able to talk it about with another fan base makes it even sweeter.

Thank you Steeler Nation, for being great fans, true football fans, and even more, great people.

Hopefully we will be able to enjoy football next season.

To the owners and the members of the players association: Let’s get this done, meet and finalize this issue. Football must be played!

**********

Packers & Steelers fan photo: AP via Syracuse.com



Comments

  1. Citizen Steeler says:

    Thanks, man. The loss still hurts. But most Steeler fans acknowledge that the Packers played the better game and deserved to win. It's hard not to like Packer Nation. I just wish the Steelers didn't have to be the victims of your return to glory this year.

  2. FunkInPalmHarbor says:

    I know the feeling. Some of the loses the Pack had this year were tough, but there was always next week. They peeked at the right time, winning 6 in a row and 3 road playoff games. The matchup could happen again, as soon as next year.

  3. As a Steeler fan I want to thank the Packers fans. You guys embody true class as both players and fans. It would be an honor to be matched up again next year. Congrats and good luck next season!!

  4. Inattendence says:

    Unfortunately being at the game in the upper section it was a different story. Steeler fans giving giving the jumbotron and Packer fans the finger. In the Bathroom speaking on and on how "God hates the packers!". Hanging banners at the top of the escalators cheering other Steeler fans and telling cheese heads they wern't welcome with degragatory comments about their sexuality. I am not saying all Steeler fans were bad met a lot who were fine but upper deck game day they were less then civilized or classy. Granted they took the loss well they shut up and left, but pregame they were as nasty as if they had already lost.

  5. SteelerChick says:

    Thanks so much, we feel the same way about your fans! We Steeler fans are so spoiled, we expect a Super Bowl every season. Losing this one was a shock and disappointment and still hurts, but nearly everyone I've talked to said, "Thank God it was the Packers." Here's to a great game and congratulations. Enjoy it! You deserve it.

  6. I was in attendance also and noticed to trash talk whatsoever. It was a good clean game by the players and likewise in the stands. Packers were the better team. They deserve it 100%.

  7. As a Steelers fan living in Baltimore (and there are many of us), I can tell you the treatment you receive from Patriots fans on a regular basis isn't displayed just by them. I get flicked off and yelled at while driving down the highway. I get snowballs thrown at my car by teenagers across the street. I get disrespected by people at work and church on a constant basis; it's pathetic, really. And, like you, all I'm guilty of is supporting my team; never cheering against another team. Meanwhile, most Ravens fans around here are more thrilled that the Steelers lost than they are that the Packers won. I, on the other hand, am disappointed at our loss, that's true; but I am extremely grateful that we lost to a terrific team, a great organization, and some world class fans.

    • When the Ravens won, I never heard the end of it and when they lost, they always had an excuse. Whatever happened, they always blamed the Steelers and begrudged any wins we had. As a Steelers fan in Baltimore, when my co-workers expected me to complain or to excuse, I told them that "someone had to win, there were only 2 teams left. This year the Packers won. It was a good game and I wish the Steelers had won instead, but there's always next year." I will say, though, that my co-workers (Ravens fans) were respectful while my family (mostly Ravens fans and one Cowboys fan) were rude and sometimes even vicious during football season. I've always respected the Green Bay Packers and know they truly earned the trophy this season.

    • i second that, I live in fed hill, they hate us here

  8. I'm a Steelers fan who was born and raised in Cleveland. I wish Browns fans had the same grace as the Steeler Nation. Most folks here root for anyone other than the Steelers. I truly appreicate this and am proud to be in the Steeler Nation!

  9. THANK YOU sooo much for your post & kind words!!!! Steeler Fans just LOVE the game and are True to our "boys". There is a "connection" like We are Family in Pittsburgh. Green Bay deserved the Win…so enjoy it

  10. Thank you! I am from Virginia and went to Pittsburgh to see the AFC Championship game. The Jets fans were really cool; and they commented as well how gracious we were as fans to them in our own city. Sure there are exceptions to every rule; and I find that very unfortunate. Most of us just love our team, love the game, and are glad to watch them. I love being a Steeler fan, I love the players like they're family. Today is our first Sunday in a long time without them…and it's been hard!
    –Krista Rudd, Virginia

  11. I am a Steeler fan living in Va. Beach and I am originally from Ohio. Our fans are so down to earth. Now I now there are some jerks out there but the majority are respectful and love the game. We come from a hard working area of the country and have been taught to take losses and other disappointments and learn from them. I lived in New London, Conn. for about a year and I do not like to say this but New England people in general are rude and think they are better than others. But that is fine I am glad the Packers won and only 2 teams make it to the Big Game and only one leaves with the Lombardi Trophy

  12. CheeseBurgh says:

    I was born & raised in Wisconsin and a lifelong Packer fan who happens to live in Pittsburgh. The reaction here is mixed, but media coverage has been very civil and respectful. Mike Tomlin coukd not have handled the loss with morw class.

    I think the Steeler fans had no idea they could actually lose! Packer fans were on the edge if their seats, holding their breath and REALLY hoping the Packers would win. I know a lot of fans were saying/thinking: " it is their first Super Bowl, I hope they win, but if not they will soon.". The fan bases are similar, however I am certain the Packers would have been welcomed home by a huge crowd even if they had lost. Once the Steelers lost it got very quiet in Pittsburgh.

    That surprised me the most.

    • FunkInPalmHarbor says:

      The GForce would have been out for sure. They were there after the Pack lost to Denver to welcome them home. I am surprised to hear the same isnt true in Pittsburgh.

  13. CheeseBurgh says:

    FYI, the Steelers are my second favorite team! :).

    Please pardon my typos above.

  14. ''BIG PAUL'' says:

    I am married to a GREAT STEELERS FAN,who really loves her team.She wasn't happy when they lost THE SUPER BOWL,but she congratulated me with a HUG and KISS for our win.Before the big game,she put out all of her STEELER memorabilia all over the living room to SALUTE her GREAT PITTSBURGH STEELERS,only to see them lose to the PACKERS."WHAT CLASS".I think both of these teams have "GREAT CLASS".We have friends and neighbors who ask us,ARE YOU STILL MARRIED? ONE A PACKERS FAN AND ONE A STEELERS FAN.She has attended 35 STEELERS games,while I have attended 104 PACKERS since 1957.

    • Paul, 104 Packer games, YOU ARE MY HERO. You must live in Green Bay or there abouts? I've been to Lambeau 3 times, all Pack victories, the last in 07' when Favre tied Marino in TD passes. I have attende 3 more in Tampa, and one in Miami, all with Favre. I hope to see ARodge play one day soon.

  15. As a Packer fan i agree that you Steeler fans are some class acts , and it was a pleasant surprise the day after the game to hear complements about the Packers instead of hate filled remarks about how one team was favored or the NFL had some grand plan for the Packers to win. I personally hope this turns into a Packer/Steeler Superbowl rivalry for years to come and it would be great for both teams to meet at 100% health because Pouncy and Aaron Smith were huge for you guys.
    Best of luck next season

  16. Even though my team lost, overall I still enjoyed the Super Bowl. Two teams that both represent the blue collar worker; it doesn't get much better than that. Hopefully we'll get to meet up again in another Super Bowl sometime in the future (it is possible, we've already been in 3 against Dallas).

    • The Packers are set to make a run for a few years. Hopefully the owners and players union can get the CBA firgured out. I predict they meet again next year.

  17. The Pack deserves respect.
    I cry every time i think of the loss.
    But we couldn't have lost to a better team.
    Steelers Nation
    Packers Nation
    2 of the best ever

  18. SteelerFaninCA says:

    Well, I am a die hard Steeler fan who is still trying to cope with the emotional loss. Bottom line it was the difference of QB play that determined the outcome and the team that made the least mistakes esp with the turnovers. However I do respect the packers and yes they are a great team with classy fans, but it was just a close game is what made this game special. The steelers lost with dignity and even during the gam you saw hand shakes and what not. It is almost as if the packer had more WILL to want to when which is the ULTIMATE factor in my book. What I also like is the fact that the fan(s) are not rubbing it in which shows RESPECT and that like the most.

    It would be nice to see a rematch with the Steelers winning of course, but only time will tell!!

    • That, would be awesome. Hopefully the CBA will get figured out.
      Thanks for visiting MSF, hope you hit us up again.

  19. I'm still hurting…but the rightful team that day won the game. Painful, very painful…but I absolutely refuse to do anything that could be compared to Seahawks fans after Super Bowl XL. That's not my main reason for saying congratulations to every Packers fan I know (grew up in Pittsburgh but live in Minnesota, where there are plenty of Packers fans) the first minute the game was over.

    The main message I extended to them was "congratulations, enjoy it, I know how it feels to see your team win a Super Bowl. You'll never forget it."

    • FunkInPalmHarbor says:

      Thanks for reading, hope you visit MSF again in the future.
      I just hope the CBA gets figured out and we can enjoy football again soon.

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