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How was the Steelers Championship Parade? (1 Viewer)

nerangers

Footballguy
I have gone to all three of the Patriot Parades, and was always glad I did (especially since in live in PA). Was going to tape the Steelers Parade today, but guess I live on the wrong side of the state!

How was it....anyone see it on TV? Anyone actually go?

 

Godsbrother

Footballguy
I watched part of it -- looked like about 50,000 fans were there.

I have a feeling some Bengal fans are going to be PO'ed because Cowher did his "Who DEY/We DEY" chant with the crowd.

 

nerangers

Footballguy
I watched part of it -- looked like about 50,000 fans were there.

I have a feeling some Bengal fans are going to be PO'ed because Cowher did his "Who DEY/We DEY" chant with the crowd.
50,000 would seem like a small crowd...the ones for the Patriots were huge, and the Steelers have a bigger following I would assume. I am sure they will tell the number of attendance on the news tonight.Maybe not many showed up because the Steelers do not have Cheerleaders! lol

 

Godsbrother

Footballguy
I watched part of it -- looked like about 50,000 fans were there. 

I have a feeling some Bengal fans are going to be PO'ed because Cowher did his "Who DEY/We DEY" chant with the crowd.
50,000 would seem like a small crowd...the ones for the Patriots were huge, and the Steelers have a bigger following I would assume. I am sure they will tell the number of attendance on the news tonight.Maybe not many showed up because the Steelers do not have Cheerleaders! lol
Hey that's not an official count, that's just me eyeballing it. The city was absolutely packed but Pittsburgh is a lot smaller than Boston. I was just taking a guess.
 

nerangers

Footballguy
I watched part of it -- looked like about 50,000 fans were there. 

I have a feeling some Bengal fans are going to be PO'ed because Cowher did his "Who DEY/We DEY" chant with the crowd.
50,000 would seem like a small crowd...the ones for the Patriots were huge, and the Steelers have a bigger following I would assume. I am sure they will tell the number of attendance on the news tonight.Maybe not many showed up because the Steelers do not have Cheerleaders! lol
Hey that's not an official count, that's just me eyeballing it. The city was absolutely packed but Pittsburgh is a lot smaller than Boston. I was just taking a guess.
Oh I thought when watching it, it was the newscasters estimated about 50,000. My Bad. I think you will find out it is A LOT more than that. (the Red Sox parade was the largest one Boston saw though. The first Patriots one I went to they estimated about a Million - then again, six states lay claim to the Pats). I am hoping they show clips on ESPN....

 
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Steel City

Footballguy
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06038/651566.stm

Champion Steelers parade through clogged Downtown

Fans, team thank each other in Super Bowl afterglow

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

By Ed Blazina, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Super Bowl champion Steelers today paraded through Downtown streets choked with screaming fans standing up to 30 deep and shouting from office windows and the tops of parking garages.

Led by a flag-bearing city police honor guard, Allegheny County mounted police and the black and gold uniformed North Allegheny High School band, the parade stepped off from the Mellon Arena just after 11 a.m. Cars and trucks bearing players and local officials slowly headed toward the reviewing stand in Gateway Center, with fans surging forward occasionally to shake hands with their heroes.

At major intersections such as Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street, the crowd was so deep that fans were pushed into the path of vehicles and the parade had to stop until police and escorts cleared the way. Several people reported feet or ankles were run over.

City Pulic Works Director Guy Costa estimated the crowd at 250,000.

Coach Bill Cowher took the reviewing stand at noon, shouting, "How great it is!" He saluted the fans, owner Dan Rooney and the city.

Then Rooney took the microphone. Holding a copy of the sign that many fans were waving to the team, he said the sentiment also went out from the team to the fans who didn't abandon them during a rough patch in the season. The sign said "Thanks."

So many fans headed for the parade route this morning to celebrate Sunday's victory over the Seattle Seahawks that rush hour traffic never really ended and major arteries that usually clear by 9 a.m. were backed up long after that. Buses were caught in detours and overloaded trolleys had to pass up revelers at South Hills stations.

Kevin Walsh of Whitehall and his wife and three school-age children waved from a sidewalk.

"I got my three kids out of school because I think this is an important family event," he said. "I don't think missing one day of school is going to matter that much when they're going to have memories of this for a lifetime."

Near the front of the parade, Rooney, Mayor Bob O'Connor and county Chief Executive Dan Onorato waved to the crowd.

North Catholic High School's band, and the band from Cowher's Carlynton High also marched.

Before the parade began, quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Tommy Maddox signed autographs for fans gathered at the Mellon Arena staging area. Roethlisberger, whose beard was shaved on the David Letterman show last night, and Maddox were on the back of a pickup they were to ride in the parade.

Most of the players were wearing gray, hooded sweatshirts with a Super Bowl emblem. Fans politely approached the lined up motorcade for autographs or handshakes, and players took their own photos and videos of the scene.

Daidra Younger of the North Side brought her 7-year-old son, Amaraie Benning.

He's a really big fan," she said of her son, whose school she would not divulge. "He's so excited to be here."

At Candy Rama at Fifth Avenua and McMasters Way, manager Sharri Schrader was thrilled with the amount of business the event was generating. Fans were lined up six deep in front of the store, which was supplementing its sugary offerings with Steeler paraphernalia.

As a vehicle bearing defensive coordinator **** LeBeau passed, someone began the "Dee-fense" chant and LeBeau pumped his fist. A big cheer went up for the defensive backfield, including star Troy Polamalu, who occasionally had to tie up his long hair to keep it from blowing in the stiff breeze.

Fans didn't seem to mind the cold weather or the occasional snow flurries.

At Liberty and Fifth, little-used special teams player Rian Wallace held up a sign with his name and "#54, Pottstown, Pa."

Such a sign wasn't necessary for the next player, star linebacker Joey Porter. He was greeted by chants of "Tap them out," a reference to his comment that the Steelers wanted to "tap out" or wear down the Seahawks, who would be tapping their helmets to show their coaches they needed a rest.

Mounted police had to clear a way for the car carrying Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward, who was introduced to the crowd by a fellow MVP from Steeler Super Bowls past, Lynn Swann.

Retiring running back Jerome Bettis, whose story of returning to his hometown of Detroit for his last game captured the nation, held the Lombardi trophy during the parade and then carried it to the stage, where he was greeted with chants of "Thank You, Bus."

"This is ours, but it's also yours," Bettis told the fans.

The formalities ended with fireworks at 1 p.m., but the crowd stayed around to continue cheering.

The number of Steelers fans converging on Downtown overwhelmed the Port Authority.

On the light-rail system, "We're getting crushed," authority spokesman Bob Grove said. Not only is the system delayed, but operators have had to pass up people crowded at stops and stations because inbound trolleys were already filled.

"We're running two-car trains, calling in extra operators, asking the morning shift to stay overtime, doing everything we can," Mr. Grove said. "It's a capacity issue."

The impact on the Port Authority's bus system was about comparable. Ridership was said to be "very, very heavy" and bus drivers as well were being asked to work overtime.

Meanwhile, buses were having difficulty getting around because of Downtown streets closed or blocked for the parade and by the heavy pedestrian traffic at intersections.

"We're dealing with detours on top of detours and making adjustments on the fly," Mr. Grove said. "We're doing the best we can."

Parking spaces in the Downtown area were at a premium -- both in terms of availability and price.

Some parking lots, such as the lot at Point State Park, hiked their rate for the parade, increasing daily parking from the normal $12 a day to $15 and then $20.

Alco Parking opened an additional lot on the North Side to accommodate fans who wanted to park there and walk to the Golden Triangle.

Fans arrived early to line the parade route that began at the Mellon Arena and flowed down Centre, Sixth, Fifth and Liberty avenues into Gateway Center. There, a reviewing stand was set up for KDKA-TV sports anchor Bob Pompeani and Steelers broadcasters Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley to lead the rally.

Initially, the city set up the reviewing stand at the Hilton Hotel and Towers, as it would for a Labor Day parade. But in anticipation of a huge throng, the reviewing stand was moved to the grassy area along Liberty Avenue in Gateway Center.

Motorcycle officers had to drive down Liberty Avenue and try to force fans back up onto the sidewalks because people kept spilling onto the street.

As expected, the crowd was decked out in black and gold, and those who hadn't bought shirts and other items proclaiming the team's win found plenty of vendors along the parade route willing to fill their needs.

"It's a great day for vendors," said Frank Battle of Washington, D.C., who was selling $10 T-shirts featuring a montage of Steelers.

Although many school districts said they would not grant excused absences to students who attended the parade, thousands of youngsters apparently came down with Black-and-Gold flu.

In addition to hundreds of handmade signs, such as "1 town, 1 team, 1 for the thumb," fans displayed thousands of placards distributed by the Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau that read "Super Bowl XL CHAMPS!"

 
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nerangers

Footballguy
Another Parade Article

By Dan Nephin, Associated Press Writer | February 7, 2006

PITTSBURGH --Thousands of Steelers fans, some holding signs that simply said "Thanks!", crowded downtown streets Tuesday for a parade honoring the team's Super Bowl win.

Coach Bill Cowher and the players, dressed in gray Super Bowl champion sweat shirts, slowly rode along the route. Retiring running back Jerome Bettis, sitting in a convertible with the top down, carried the Vince Lombardi trophy.

"I was here with you in the '70s and all we kept hearing was how great it was," said Cowher, referring to the team's four Super Bowl wins. "All I can say to you now -- how great it is. We don't have to hear from anyone else anymore. We are living it, baby."

Many fans twirled Terrible Towels in the air as they stood in chilly temperatures and snow flurries. Several held signs with a photo of Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr. and the words "We remember." Others wore black-and-gold hard hats.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger echoed the feelings of many fans.

"This has been a dream come true for all of us," Roethlisberger said.

Team owner Dan Rooney held up a sign saying "Thanks."

"This sign says it all and it's for you. Thank you," Rooney told fans at the end of the parade route. "The press, they had their doubts, but you never did and we thank you."

Mayor Bob O'Connor rode along too, sporting a white Bettis jersey. Even Gov. Ed Rendell, a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan, came to cheer on the team.

Crowds lined the mile-long parade route, where police officers riding on horseback swirled the Terrible Towel above their heads. Sightseeing boats crowded with fans in Steelers gear ferried people from the city's South Side to downtown for the parade.

Jeff and Stacy Krieger traveled 3 1/2 hours from York County to Pittsburgh on Monday night to be at the parade with their 9-year-old son, Dylan, and 6-year-old daughter, Makensey.

"It's been 25 years or however long it's been," said Jeff Krieger, a construction foreman and lifelong Steelers fan. "It might be another 25 years. You never know."

Pete Paolello, 37, staked out a nice spot on a traffic island next to the parade route. That was the reward for making the 12-hour drive from Boston and getting into town at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

"I gave my bosses a heads up last week, 'If we win, I'll be out,'" Paolello said. His sister, Josie, 24, of Erie, carried a sign that read "We came from Beantown to Bus-town," referring to retiring running back Bettis.

But Paolello's 20-year-old son, Ryan Fernandez, didn't look happy to be in the crowd. He stood out in the sea of black and gold wearing a Red Sox jersey.

"He dragged me out," said Fernandez, who admitted he is a New England Patriots fan.

The plaza near Point State Park was packed with people standing shoulder to shoulder, at least nine rows deep. There was the usual assortment of popular Steelers jerseys in the crowd -- Bettis, Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward and Roethlisberger, to name a few -- along with office workers dressed in suits and overcoats wearing Steelers knit hats or black-and-gold scarves.

The plaza was rocking as an assortment of hip-hop music blared over the loud speakers, and it soon got louder when the unofficial Steelers anthem and the Pittsburgh Polka started playing.

By late morning, business in downtown Pittsburgh came to a standstill as workers gathered in front of high-rise windows in offices lining the parade route.

Luigi Piianni, 34, who works downtown, said he got an extended lunch hour to watch the parade.

"After all the AFC championship games, it's hard to believe it's all over," he said.

The parade was also a chance for people to show off their new Super Bowl T-shirts and hats.

Jim Disilverio, 53, a postman from Dillsburg, bought a hat, Steelers shirt and Super Bowl edition of the Terrible Towel.

To get to the parade, Disilverio left his house at 3 a.m. Tuesday in a black Volkswagen Beetle that he fashioned to look like a Steelers helmet. He said he was at the Steelers victory parade in the 1970s when they won their first Super Bowl.

"I was surprised that they got this far, the way they played the beginning of the season," Disilverio said.

The Steelers won their fifth Super Bowl title Sunday, beating the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in Detroit, in the team's first Super Bowl win since 1980.

"It's the beginning, we hope, of a new dynasty for the Pittsburgh Steelers," former Steeler star Lynn Swann, now a candidate for Pennsylvania governor, told the crowd.

:thumbup: - good job Steelers

 
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Godsbrother

Footballguy
I watched part of it -- looked like about 50,000 fans were there. 

I have a feeling some Bengal fans are going to be PO'ed because Cowher did his "Who DEY/We DEY" chant with the crowd.
50,000 would seem like a small crowd...the ones for the Patriots were huge, and the Steelers have a bigger following I would assume. I am sure they will tell the number of attendance on the news tonight.Maybe not many showed up because the Steelers do not have Cheerleaders! lol
Hey that's not an official count, that's just me eyeballing it. The city was absolutely packed but Pittsburgh is a lot smaller than Boston. I was just taking a guess.
I guess the estimate is closer to 250,000. I was only off by 200,000 !!!
 

2112

Footballguy
population figures from 2000 census:

Boston: 589,141

Pittsburgh: 334,563

Pretty wild that the Pats parades drew 1 million

 

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