Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: dcsportsbog and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Steelers Fans Force Redskins Into Silent Count

(By John McDonnell - TWP)

So about those terrible towels. Lots of 'em, right? Loud, right?

"We actually went silent count one or two times out there," Chris Samuels said. "I mean, Jason called it so we had to basically obey it."

(Much, much more on this issue here, with better quotes and Casey Rabach explaining why they turned to the silent count.)

Wait, that was the home team? Using a silent count? Because of the noise from fans rallying behind their defense?

"Uh huh," said Pete Kendall, who said that had happened to him elsewhere but admitted he was a tad surprised last night. "I mean, that's not the reputation or the expectation I had of the fans here," he said, "but who am I to begrudge somebody from making a profit by selling their tickets? I'm playing for money, and they're watching, and it's their right to do what they want with their tickets."

How many Steelers fans were there last night? Unclear. A lot. Enough that, after walking from the parking lot to the press box, everyone was talking about it, hours before kickoff. Enough that when Antwaan Randle El ran out before the game, the boos were obvious. Enough that, in the final minutes, when Pittsburgh got an interception, a writer who couldn't see the play guessed that something bad must have happened to Washington, judging by the roar of the crowd.

My original guess was 15 percent, but I was mocked for going too low. Was it 20 percent? Was it 25 percent? Some writers guessed as high as 30, and the Washington Times went with 33 percent, although I still say that's way too high. Your guess on the percentage?

And as long as I'm asking questions, why does this happen? Why does it happen with Penguins games? Do Pittsburgh fans have more money? More passion? Fewer outside interests? Fewer job responsibilities? If a Redskins fan isn't going to hold on to his tickets when his team is 6-2 and playing a home Monday Night Football game for the first time in six or seven years, exactly when is he going to hold onto his tickets? Or is this just an inevitable part of playing Pittsburgh? Here's what Cincy columnist Paul Daugherty wrote after a Bengals game this year:

Nobody wearing a POLAMALU jersey had to worry about getting his face smashed in. The black-and-gold-clad visiting home crowd twirled its Terrible Towels for three hours, shooting a figurative middle finger at the Bengals fans, as they have the last eight times their team has played at Paul Brown Stadium, all Pittsburgh wins. It's disgusting, really, but what else is new?

So, is this exaggerated? Was it a middle finger? Were you embarrassed? Proud?

"You know, I'll be honest with you, it was kind of surprising there were a lot of Steelers fans in the crowd," Jim Zorn said. "It reminded me of the Super Bowl in '05 when they were giving out those yellow towels and stuff like that. I don't think it affected us any, but it was unusual to see so many yellow towels."

"Hey, I watched those little yellow towels up there," Samuels said. "They had a lot of people here. But they're right down the highway. I didn't expect that, but they had a lot of people show up."

"I was surprised to see as many Pittsburgh Steelers fans in our stadium tonight," Jason Campbell said. "You know, there was a LOT of them and I was definitely surprised to see that many of them in our home stadium. But our fans was loud when our defense was out there, they gave us a lot of opportunities, [they were] behind us. And if we could have just kept them in the game so they could feed off it it really could have went in another direction."

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 4, 2008; 10:26 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning Look: FedEx Cars Go Up in Smoke
Next: Redskins on the Fan Turnout: "Disappointed"


There are no jobs in Pittsburgh.

Posted by: inchesfromyourface | November 4, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Season ticket holder for decades, but rarely if ever go. Why?
1. Drunken louts at the games (search "Dead Tree Crew redskins" on you tube)

2. 3-hr round trip in beltway traffic (no public transportation to speak of)

3. 60,000 drunk drivers on the road afterwards.

I long for the days at RFK. Those Steeler fans bought games from season ticket holders and from corporate accounts. The Redskins organization seems to be money first, fans second. If game day experience was even close to he price tag, I'd be there every home game...pre-season, too. Check any unbiased account of NFL game day experiences, and FedEx consistently ranks near last.

This doesn't have anything to do with "fair weather" fans...this has to do with the fact that going to FedEx is mostly a miserable experience for sober fans of football.

DC is particularly vulnerable to opposing fan presence for these reasons and because
DC is full of transients and transplants.

While Steeler fans are great, I won't be surprised to see the same at the Dallas, Giants and Philly games this year.

Posted by: philreed1231 | November 4, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

If you have tickets and don't like going...don't get tickets.

Thanks for screwing it up for the real fans

Posted by: moo21 | November 4, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I put the number at around 20%. The fact that they have those yellow towels and swing them around make it look like there are more people than there are. I hard heard that this was anticipated and that the skins might hand out maroon towels to counter, but I guess that didn't happen. I think this happens for a number of reasons:

- A heck of a lot of Pittsburgh fans don't live in Pittsburgh anymore because there are no jobs there. A lot live in our area. So they don't have Steelers season tickets and so when a game is here they are willing to pay a premium a couple of times a decade to go to the game.

- This is a product of the price of tickets in general. Many season ticket holders pay for tickets knowing they can't really afford the entire season and will have to sell a few games. With the ticket selling market mostly online you don't know who you are selling too. In this case the transplanted Steeler fans living in the area (and some that traveled) were the higher bidders it looks like.

Let's not get crazy though and recognize that there will still a lot of us Redskins fans there are we cheered loudly hoping for a better outcome. Zorn could have quieted those towels and ignited the home crowd by showing some confidence in the offense and going for a couple of 4th and inches in the first quarter, but chose against that. I wish we had played better, but time to rest up and get ready for Dallas week.

Posted by: jogill | November 4, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse


Where did you sell your tickets, which site?

Posted by: joeblazin | November 4, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

From where we were sitting, it was more like 40%. They were everywhere.

Posted by: leeh11281 | November 4, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I agree with phil. And I'll add the fact that Snyder and other NFL owners have given up on the notion that tickets should go to home fans. They just stopped caring and starting a deal with StubHub - if you can't beat the scalpers, join 'em. And then the wonder why behavior is so bad in NFL stadiums?! There is no sense of community or consistency in your section. You could be sitting next to a drunk from Waldorf one game and Sal from South Jersey the next.

Also, we don't need a 92,000 seat stadium here. We just don't. It's never full, unless Eagles or Steelers (etc...) fans make up the numbers.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 4, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse


I agree, it was more like 40%. I had 4 Steeler fans in front of me, and 4 to the left of me. Both waving that f-ing towel. I couldn't believe how the crowd look like salt & pepper with black Steeler jerseys and white Skins jerseys.

Posted by: joeblazin | November 4, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I'd be utterly embarassed if I were a Skins fan / affiliated with the Skins today. You would NEVER see opposing fans taking over a stadium in Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Philly, etc… I understand wanting to make some bank by selling your tix for 3-4 times face value, but c'mon. Your team is 6-2 and on MNF for the only time this season, The Commish is in the house…show some pride! If you're willing to pay, Skins tix are incredibly easy to get.

Posted by: Steelers36 | November 4, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse


I guarantee you, most of those tickets were sold before the first couple of games. The tickets were on sale on all the ticket sites (stubhub, ebay, tixnow, etc...) in preseason. That being said, I agree, they're shouldn't of been that many visitors in the crowd.

Posted by: joeblazin | November 4, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

re: "If you have tickets and don't like going...don't get tickets. Thanks for screwing it up for the real fans".

Not that I have to justify myself to anyone but since this might shed light on the travesty that is the FedEx field experience:

I buy the season and sell most of them (on StubHub) but keep a few for myself because:

(a) some games are worth the hassle,
(b) someday we'll host a playoff game and I want a crack at tickets
(c) I can't afford to throw unused tickets in my drawer or give them away
(d) someday Snyder will build a stadium in DC within sight of a Metro stop
(e) someday someone will care enough about fan experience to curb the despicable behavior in the parking lots that carries into the stadiums

I want to remain a season ticket holder for when that day comes so I pony over my hard earned dollars in April (so that Snyder can earn the interest) and I sit and will bide my time until The Promised Land comes again and the days rocking upper decks, metro-accessibility and civility return to DC.

If I could guarantee that they were going to a Skins fan (they may have after all) I would gladly sell them at face value instead of at a premium to anyone else.

If the waiting list is so long and Skins fans so rabid, why aren't they snapping up the available inventory on Stubhub and elsewhere? Instead of blasting me (and the tens-of-thousands of others like me) why not look to the root causes and demand some change? Steeler fans don't make such a statement in Baltimore to my knowledge (closer to Pittsburgh and a division rival). Why is that?

Posted by: philreed1231 | November 4, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

It's well known that Steelers fans travel well, but they're not all coming from Pittsburgh.

After the mills closed, Yinzers went everywhere, and a ton of transplants came to the Baltimore/DC metro area, my family included.

Couple that with the fact that they have probably the second-largest fanbase in the NFL (behind the Cowboys), who became fans during the '70s and have passed their love to their children, and you have a lot of fans throughout the country.

The Redskins just make it easier. As Kev29 said, there's no need for a 92,000 seat stadium here. That's why the Redskins have to send out emails every week saying that there are tickets available.

Posted by: bdkelly | November 4, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse


The reason I ask where you sell is because you could be selling those tickets to Skins fans. Stubhub is where most visitors go to get their seats.
If more Skins fans sold their tickets on Craigslist or even on ebay, they could control more of who they sell it to. I understand folks not going to all the games and selling their seat, especially when it gets cold. I just wish they would make a better attempt to sell them to the home teams fans.

Posted by: joeblazin | November 4, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Phil -- My brother and I were able to get tix pretty easily for the Ravens-Steelers game last year, as were many other Steelers fans. I would put the percentage of Steelers fans at 15-20% for that game. Granted, the weather was miserable, it was the last game of the season and the Ravens were awful -- not a huge MNF game with a national audience. Part of what makes Steelers fans great is their willingness to travel / pay to see their team.

Posted by: Steelers36 | November 4, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

First of all, anyone who sold their tickets to a Steelers fan is low life scum. But Danny Boy Snyder and his greed gets part of the blame because FedEX is just too damn big. The 78,000 seats when Cooke built is was plenty but Snyder had to ensure that there are ALWAYS plenty of tickets available for opposing fans by cramming another 14,000 seats in.

Posted by: poguesmahone | November 4, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

100% agree with the comments about the parking lots and fan behavior. philreed hit the nail on the head - some games are worth the hassle, most aren't. My family had season tickets for 31 seasons, but I stopped going to Fedex about 3 years ago and I don't think I'll ever go again unless I get free tickets to the club section or a private box. Or, the stadium (and parking lot) goes dry, which will never happen.

The stadium is too big, plain and simple. Everything about it - parking, bathrooms, concessions - was built with 78,000 people in mind, not 92,000. And ownership is too concerned with making a money to care about the fan experience. If The Danny cared about the fan experience at Fedex he could address it, but he won't. Fan behavior is an equal complaint. Being obscenely drunk (especially in public) isn't a right, it's an embarrassment. I believe Fedex Field is private property, so this could easily be addressed as well. But it won't be.

Season ticket holders keep the tickets for playoff games and the games they want to deal with all the crap. They don't keep the tickets because they *have* to see the Rams come to town (ok, some do, but not most). If you change the game day experience, less tickets will be available.

25-40% is not an unreasonable estimate for visiting fans at the game last night, and I would expect similar numbers for Dallas, New York, and Philly.

Posted by: kingrob76 | November 4, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to point out that those little yellow towels that all the Steeler fans are waving are called "Terrible Towels". Someone should also point out that they are not a free giveaways at any of the games. Every Terrible Towel you see is bought and paid for by a Steeler fan. They are sold at the stadium, department stores and discount stores, with all the profits going to a charity to benefit Autistic children. The inventer of the Terrible Towel was Steeler Broadcaster Myron Cope who had an Autistic child. Myron Cope passed away this summer. Don't feel too bad Redskin fans the Steeler fans usually invade the opposing teams stadium anywhere they go.

Posted by: SteelerFan1 | November 4, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

As a Giants just can't let the visiting team come up in your spot like that.

Wearing a jersey is one thing. But waving the towels.

Soft is the only word for it.

Posted by: keithrjackson | November 4, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

fyi, a quick check of ebay shows 225 posting for tickets for the steelers next home game, a thursday night affair against cincy. about 245 posting for skins "tickets" (some are for parking passes, etc) for the sunday cowboys game. given that fedex holds 20K more people than heinz field, as a percentage basis, there are more tix available for pitts than in dc.

the bottom line is the stadium experince, particularly on a weeknight, is a disaster. there are also WAY more steeler fans living here (and in other cities) than there are skins fans in pittsburgh. so they will pay and deal with the hassle for one game. pittsburgh fans "travel" well because they live everywhere but pittsburgh.

the stadium is too big and too poorly located. you never saw that at RFK, did you?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 4, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Selling our tickets to a few of the games is what helps make the tickets affordable for us. We love the Redskins, but that's the way it is. If you think that makes us "low life scum," so be it.

Posted by: gburggal | November 4, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

To answer philreed1231 Steeler fans do invade in Baltimore. It got so bad a couple of years ago departed head coach Brian Billock sent out a plea to the Ravens fans to not sell there tickets to Pittsburgh fans. Back in the 70's during a Steelers/Colts playoff game in Baltimore, Steeler fans actually took down a Colts flag in the upper deck and raised a Steeler flag.

Posted by: SteelerFan1 | November 4, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

This is not unique to Steelers. Ever went to Verizon Center to see the Caps game when the Penguins are in town? The very first time I did, I was overwhelmed because I didn't expect it (I moved to DC from Europe some 6 years ago). But, it was ridiculous and I also felt a bit ashamed because I was a minority and it was supposed to be a home game.

While it is not my business to judge who are people rooting for, the bond between people from Pittsburgh and their teams is really amazing. I mean, they have Penguins logos on paddy wagons in Pittsburgh! I know people who are living in DC area longer than they have lived in Pittsburgh yet they are still Pittsburgh fans (and teach their kids to be the same).

Ultimately, if the Redskins were able to whip Steelers' ass yesterday on the field, all those P fans would have kept their mouth shut and those towels would have been used for a totally different purpose. Do that a couple of seasons in the row, and you'll notice the difference on the stands.

phillreed1231, with all due respect, but after reading your posts, are you trying to go to a football game or to see a ballet?

Posted by: StanislavNS | November 4, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I am with Phil...season tickets have been in my family since 1972...sell individual game tickets (section 121) on Craigslist and go to a few each season myself. The hassle of getting to FedEx combined with the miserable stadium experience (e.g., way too loud, drunk "fans") make it hard to justify an entire day away, especially when I have a home theater with 60" HD, 7.1 surround, NFL Sunday Ticket and a kegerator of cold Dominion Lager. My buddies can smoke a cigar and enjoy the day without padding Danny's pockets.

When we were at RFK we knew the families (FAMILIES!) who sat nearby and celebrated many birthdays and anniversaries in the stands. Now, you never know who is going to be sitting next to you, but it is as likely to be a Cowboys or an Eagles fan as a Redskins fan. I think that many of us would gladly keep our tickets week to week if there was an 80K seat stadium at Potomac Yards in Alexandria.

Posted by: skipper7 | November 4, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The drunken lout phenomenon is pretty serious. No way do I want my kids anywhere near some of these idiots. The RFK experience growing up left an indelible impression and made me a fan for life, but my kids are much less tied to the team. Fedex Field is a miserable, soul-less place in the middle of a three hour traffic jam. Small wonder it has become a half-way house for morons and fans of opposing teams.

Snyder is a passionate fan and one would think that all this would bother him, but I can't blame him for recognizing that sophomoric drunks are more easily parted from their money than parsimonious family fans. The games aren't bad on TV. Oh well.

Posted by: WaltShauer | November 4, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

fyi, a quick check of ebay shows 225 posting for tickets for the steelers next home game, a thursday night affair against cincy. about 245 posting for skins "tickets" (some are for parking passes, etc) for the sunday cowboys game. given that fedex holds 20K more people than heinz field, as a percentage basis, there are more tix available for pitts than in dc.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 4, 2008 12:14 PM

But check the official rip-off ticketing partner of the Washington Redskins... StubHub

For the Redskins-Eagles game on 12/21, there are 5587 tickets available. Compare that with the Steelers-Browns game at Heinz a week later - 1304 tickets available.

How many of those 5587 will end up being Iggles fans? For a game that will have massive playoff implications.

And people thought last night was bad.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 4, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but you ARE low life scum if you are selling to opposing fans. And don't give me the affordability nonsense. Instead of buying season tickets and selling half the games to opposing fans why not give up your season tickets and BUY a few games on EBAY or Stubhub? That way you still go and you are helping keep the tickets in Redskins fans hands. This ain't rocket science.

Posted by: poguesmahone | November 4, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I'd say very few tickets are sold from Redskins "fans" to opposing fans. It's more like "ticket broker/speculator/transient with no interest in the Skins" to opposing fans.

What's needed is a crackdown on second hand sales, which teams tried a few years back. But it was hard to do and actually bad for PR (remember the Patriots revoking that guy's season ticket). So as I mentioned above, the league just decided to make money with StubHub on resale.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 4, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

kev, good point. i wonder how many of those tix on stub hub are unsold club seats being unloaded by the team...

pogues, why dont you put your money where your mouth is and buy up all those tickets on ebay and resell them to your friends.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 4, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks poguesmahone. I really appreciate your advice on how to live my life. Maybe you can post your contact information so I can contact you with child-rearing questions, too.

Posted by: gburggal | November 4, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Most in the know have it right. DC was a top destination for the great dispora of displaced and newly educated workers from Western PA in the 1980s. The Steelers also have a huge national following which show up at every NFL stadium that the steelers visit. Steeler fans are no different then Skins fans that sell their tickets on-line but since there is such a huge national following our tickets ususally end up going to other Steeler fans. Actually from a local economy standpoint Steeler games are very good business for host cities. The Steelers at Cincy game is the second largest convention/tourism event in Cincy every year. 30,000 Steeler fans eating and drinking and staying in hotels is great for the local economy. Skins fans have nothing to be ashamed of for selling tickets but instead they should try to return the favor when/if the Skins ever come to Pittsburgh. Like all of our sons and daughters that left in the 1980s we would welcome you back and show you a great time in one of America's best cities.

Posted by: srurocker | November 4, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

There is one main reason why this happens and it is the price of tickets and all the other fees associated with them.

Redskins Season ticket holders can't afford all the games so they have to sell a couple of the games. And if you are going to sell tickets to a game, this one makes perfect sense.

1) If there was any game I would prefer to see from home, it would be this one. Instead of getting home around 2am only to have to waking up at 6am the next morning for work (maybe even earlier than usual to vote), I'd gladdly watch this from my couch and be asleep by midnight.

2) This is the 2nd highest demand game of the year (after the Cowboys game), so I can make a decent profit and sell fewer games to afford my seats.

Basically it comes down to this: Someone willing to pay a bunch of money to relieve you of the terrible experience of attending a MNF game at FedEx Field. I can't blame anyone [ticket holders] for that cause I'd do the same thing.

Posted by: HokiePaul | November 4, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I was stunned to see so many towels last night. It's a real shame that ticket holders would give away tickets for a MNF game.

To Steelers fans, Bravo! Good job following your team during the good and the BAD!

I really think some of our ticket holders are fair weather fans or just doing it for the money. I would bet that these are the same fans that leave early in the 4th quarter. Wether the game is close or not. It's sad!

I've been a loyal Skins fans for decades and will not stop!

If you are a ticket holder and are going to whine about FedEx. Just don't renew the tickets next year. Let a REAL Redskin fan buy them. Because a real Redskin fan would have been there last night on MNF.

Posted by: hardcoco | November 4, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

kev, good point. i wonder how many of those tix on stub hub are unsold club seats being unloaded by the team...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 4, 2008 12:43 PM

Well there's 20 tickets available to Eagles fans in my nosebleed section alone. That'll be fun.

But I think you're right, there are certainly many unsold seats available. I don't know how they can list games as sell-outs (though I think clubs and suites don't count, or something). My family never seem to have trouble adding or moving a seat - we've done it a couple seasons now. Which means there are seats sprinkled around that are not sold.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 4, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Funny little side note to the large numbers of Steeler fans nationwide - aside from unemployment, diaspora, Yinzer pride, blah, blah... They've won 5 Super Bowls.

No one talks about the great exodus of ding-a-lings from Dallas. They've won 5 Super Bowls too. People pick up on winning teams - like the Steelers, Cowboys and Packers.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 4, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

club seats and suites dont count. thats why i get solicitations all day long to buy them. there are also some folks who have accumulated 6, 10, 12 seats to each game which they dont want to give up. i also know there are many seats which the team controls in the lower bowl too. on top of that, there are many people who maintain their tickets even though they have moved away. the rights to season tickets are so hard to get, nobody wants to give them up even though they don't intend to go to the games. in some twisted logic way, the skins are a victim of their own success...

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | November 4, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

First of all, no Redskins fans are allowed to make fun of the amount of out-of-town fans that come to Verizon Center for Caps games (which, of course, was just a trickle in the playoffs last year.)

As for an explanation of why this happened, I think there are a couple reasons. First, as noted above, there are so many seats at FedEx, compared to what there were at RFK, that lots of tickets do go to corporate interests instead of actual fans. If you ever went to a game at RFK, it seemed like everyone you'd see in the stands was an real fan who'd had their tickets for years. Not so anymore.

Second, I've heard season-ticket holders say they often sell their tickets to Monday night games because they don't want to be out all night when they have to work in the morning and don't like the more drunken crowd that shows up.

Finally, as Washington has grown in population in recent decades, it seems to have grown in sports fans from non-Washington teams. When I went to Caps-Flyers games in the 1980s, there would be Flyers fans there but they had mostly come down from Philly for the night. Now, it seems many of the opposition fans at games are usually people living here. I don't know if this is explained by simple population growth, or the ability on the Internet and with cable TV to keep up with your favorite team much more closely than you could in the past while living in another city--but something does seem to have changed.

Posted by: TheFingerman | November 4, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse


I agree. I moved from PA to this area recently and it is like transient central down in this tri-state area. Trust me Steeler Nation lives 'round these parts!!

Posted by: robertbob2143 | November 4, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse


Since I was the only one to mention Verizon Center and Caps, I feel the beginning of your post was directed to me. Well, I don't know where did you get the idea that I am making fun of it? I think it is really sad that something like that is happening.

I, actually, completely agree with you. It is not the out-of-towners that are in the stands, but people that live in DC! That just makes it worse. While I personally disagree that after 30 years of living in DC someone goes and cheers against any DC team, well, it is their right to associate with the team from the city they lived for 15 years.


Posted by: StanislavNS | November 4, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse


Actually, that comment about the Caps wasn't directed at you at all and sorry if you took it that way--it was just a general comment directed at Cap-hater commenters that sometimes post on this blog.

You're right, it is kind of embarrassing to be at a game for your home team and constantly be surrounded by visiting team fans. It's a weird part of the sports culture here. Do the many people who move to New York after growing up somewhere else go to Giants games or Rangers games or Yankees games and cheer for the opponent because they used to live in that city? I don't think so.

I think partly it's the fact that in Washington, the media treats every other professional sports team besides the Redskins as second class--so no one who moves here feels any motivation to care about those teams or sometimes even knows they exist if they're not seeking them out. And the coverage of the Redskins--and the sometimes out of control expectations of Redkins fans--is so over the top and incessant that it could make anyone crazy--which turns off any potential new fans for them. But that's just my opinion

Posted by: TheFingerman | November 4, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game last night and I was mad as hell. First of all, shame on all of you "fans" that sold your tickets to a Monday night game. If you are going to sell the ticket, at least give it to a Skins fan. Seriously, if you are a Redskins fan and you sell most of your tickets every year, how about you don't buy season tickets and you just Craigslist the games you want to go to. Stop making it difficult for the true fans to get season tickets. And don't give me that crap about it being too loud or too many drunk people. Do you think you're going to a church gathering or something?! I wouldn't have had to be on a waitlist for years if "fans" like philreed1231 had not been such a pansie.
Secondly, there were not as many Steelers fans as people are saying. I have had season tickets for years and have never seen so many visiting team fans in the seats, but there was no where close to the 30, 40, or 50% visitors we are hearing about.
Finally, the reason it seemed like there were so many Steelers fans was because they had something to cheer about. FedEx was incredibly loud during the first quarter. Not a coincidence that this was the only part of the game that Skins fans had anything to cheer about. The Steelers fans were loud because all of the Redskins fans were sitting there, mad as hell, watching the pathetic performance that our offense was displaying. Have no doubt that had we had something to cheer about for the final 2 hours of the game, the place would not have seemed so embarrassing.
I have never left a football game in so much disgust as last night.

Posted by: axglod | November 4, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I think a lot of Redskin fans are missing the central issue about Pittsburgh fans and their willingness to spend money and support their team. As a Steeler season ticket holder for 8 years who waited for seemingly a lifetime for the chance to get them, I can never understand the corporate gloom that hangs over teams such as the Cowboys and Redskins. When the driving force of money and personal greed of the franchise overshadows the love that the fans have for that team, the fans are the ones that need to be held themselves. Steeler fans have deep seeded connections(passed down through generations) about the identity of our organization and the players that become part of our family. We will travel to the ends of the earth to support our team because 8 games a year just aren't enough. Tens of thousands of travel packages are sold every year in Pittsburgh that include game tickets in opposing cities. Why? Because they are a dime a dozen. Face value. It's not soley about transplanted former Pittsburghers finally getting a chance to see their favorite team(although that is definitely part of it), it's about our bond with our guys, and we'll go wherever they go and our hearts break with theirs, and celebrate when they do. I really like the Redskins as an alternate team to root for...but Washington fans, please don't try to diminish the contributions of real Steeler fans in opposing cities. Just ask the Steeler players what our presence means to them. And then ask The Redskin players what they think after last night.

Posted by: vonkaiser2001 | November 4, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I just love the excuses by the low lives who sold their tickets to Steeler fans. The fact is, if you did that, you're not really a fan. PERIOD. No ifs ands or buts. If I ever can't attend a game, I'd rather let the seats sit empty and eat the cost than sell them to an opposing fan. The low lives are really thoroughly disgusting.

Posted by: poguesmahone | November 4, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse


Steeler fan presence has not been an issue in Baltimore since Memorial Stadium. Even in the Ravens worst years, there are never more than 10%-15% Steeler fans in the stadium. In years where the Ravens are competitive, there are hardly any. In fact, Baltimore has done probably the best job in the NFL at keeping Steeler fans out of their stadium. People look at it as a reflection on the fanbase and a huge majority would rather let a ticket go to waste than give to a steeler fan. Look at Cleveland, Cincy, Philadelphia, DC when the Steelers play - Steeler fans have a huge presence. It's just not the case in Baltimore - I have been to every Ravens Steelers game ever in Baltimore.

Also, the Steelers have a huge bandwagon national fanbase and have fans all over. Steeler fans in the city of Pittsburgh are no better than fans in Baltimore or DC. They leave games early (really early actually - did you see the mass exodus against the Giants when they still had plenty of time to come back and win the game?) and there are often quite a few empty seats at Heinz. THere was a game two years ago in Pittsburgh that drew under 56,000 people! During a playoff season no-less. Look it up. That would NEVER happen in Baltimore or DC.

Posted by: BMore10 | November 4, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Let me sum up the ticket problem. I have a little inside info on this type of situation. I live in Baltimore and happen to hear of a story about a stubhub type company. I've been a life long skins fan due to being born the week after the colts left and my burgandy and gold runs to deep to route for the purple browns. Nevertheless, ascticket a stubhub type company has a partnership with the ravens just like stubhub does with the skins. They recently tried to convince legislators to make their ridicolus way of getting tickets and over charging people legal. Belive it or not they have dummy accounts that signup for wait list, call immediately when tickets are returned from opposing team etc... Thats problem number one. Problem number two is not utilizing the wait list to make a cheap buck. If we have 100,000 plus on the wait list why not charge those individuals face value on those return ticket emails we get everyweek? Earlier in the season they were doing that and I brought tickets. I love the redskins dearly but in these economic times I refuse to pay 400 dollars for a lower level endzone seat that I got for 100 earlier this year. Problem 3 is the corporate asses who have tickets and give them away to either snobby skins fans, opposing team fans or anybody. And if they dont do that they sell the tix on ebay, razorgator,stubhub or whereever. At the browns game there were two cowboys fans infront of me. Come on! Lastly we live in area where there are alot of bandwagon fans, steelers and cowgirls are the most noticeable. Danny boy if you wanna charge steelers fans cowboys fans etc... triple price I could care less but don't punish us redskins faithful.

Posted by: bza48842002 | November 4, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse


I am a relocated Pittsburgher, having moved to Virginia in 1983. I was in the stands last night waving my good old Terrible Towel; proudly wearing my Black and Gold; and cheering my Steelers on to victory.

That was last night -- one game out of 8 regular season NFL games held at FedEx Field.

In 2 weeks, I'll be in the same seats, wearing my burgundy and gold number 17 jersey -- and cheering the Redskins on to victory. The Redskins are my adopted home team, and I want them to win every week -- just like you do -- just not on the night they are playing my Steelers.

Good football is good football, and last night we saw a GOOD football game.

Not all the Steeler fans you saw last night drove in from Latrobe, or Apollo, or Duquesne yesterday. Not all saved their pennies to overpay for tickets on Stub Hub, for that one time trip to see the Steelers play.

In 2 weeks, some of us will be screaming our lungs out at FedEx -- right along side you cheering on the home team, when the last-place CowGirls come to town.

Now, that's got a nice ring to it...

the last-place Dallas CowGirls.......


Posted by: Pirate21 | November 4, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game and was very proud of the Steeler fans. Considering the number; my guess is 15 to 20 thousand, they were generally well behaved. As I told some complaining Redskins fans during halftime -- it could have been worse; all those Steeler fans could have been Eagle fans which is about half the driving distance.

Many of the Steeler fans were from the Washintgton area. I moved to DC as a child in 1965 and have never worn nor owned Redskins regalia. I don't dislike the Reskins, but I'm from the Burgh, so it goes.

Thanks for including Paul Daugherty's quote, he is actually from the Maryland suburbs.

Posted by: DavidAu | November 4, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

If the Steeler fans were not a problem, then why did Brian Billock put out a plea to Ravens fans not to sell their tickets to Steeler fans? Seriously, I'm not trying to rub your face in it but it has been a problem for you guys, and Steeler tickets in Pittsburgh have been at a premium for 40 years. I have personally been on the waiting list for season tickets for 11 years and still waiting. What is the waiting list like in Baltimore? I'm not being a smarta** I would really like to know.

Posted by: SteelerFan1 | November 4, 2008 8:40 PM | Report abuse


Because Steeler fans are the only visiting fans that have any presence whatsoever. 5k steeler fans is still 5k fans too many. It's just nowhere near as bad as it it is in any other city and really not a problem. Also, it annoys the hell out of us, but our SAFE management guys wear these huge yellow ponchos that make it look like there are more steeler fans than are actually there. Furthermore, Billick hardly ever talked about it though I do recall him saying it once in one of our down years.

Also, yes, the Ravens DO have a waiting list in one of the smallest media markets in the country. They have also been around for only 12 years. The Steelers are competitive every single year have a HUGE national fanbase (probably the largest) and have 5 Super Bowls - there better be a waiting list for tickets. My argument is that the fans IN Pittsburgh are no more passionate than the fans in Baltimore.

Hell the Ravens fans had a huge presence at FedEx a few years ago. Not Steeler large, but large nonetheless.

Posted by: BMore10 | November 4, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

BMore10 -- I have attended quite a few Ravens home games and Steelers always have the largest contingents of fans.

I agree that the Ravens home fans are just as passionate about their team as Steeler home fans are. In fact, M&T Bank Stadium is usually louder than FedEx field even though FedEx holds about 20 thousand more fans.The Steelers just have a much larger fan base who go to away games. It has been this way for quite a few years and I hope it contunes for years to come.

Posted by: DavidAu | November 5, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

thanks for the answer. Ravens/Steelers a good rivalry and fun to follow as are all the rivalries in the AFC North.

Posted by: SteelerFan1 | November 5, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I grew up an hour south of Pittsburgh, but had to move to the DC area for a good job. I imagine most of those fans are in the same boat. Steelers fans are very passionate and they're all over the country. It was MNF and it was here in DC, so I had to go!

I bought my ticket on Craigslist and I was never asked who I was rooting for since I lived in Virginia.

Posted by: melllijellybean | November 5, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse should be! You would NEVER see an opposing team's jersey in Heinz Field, let alone allow that team take over the parking lot.

As a person who grew up in the burgh, I consider myself a yinzer. I left there guessed jobs, but there is one thing that all people from the burgh have in common...the Steelers. It is something that goes beyond football on Sunday. Steelers are part of the fabric of the city and provide a sense of pride for all who live there, have lived there or have parents who grew up there. If there is one thing that we learn growing up, it's "GO STEELERS!!!!"

I have such pride being a Steeler fan! We have the best traveled fans and the most dedicated female fans, of which I am proud to be.

Thanks Skin's fans for being so hospitible. It was fun to come and win in your house!

Posted by: RLMJ32 | November 5, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I was completely EMBARRASSED by our fanbase on Monday night. How could you all let the Steelers infest our stadium like that? We LOST our home field advantage because of you. And what kills me, is that you are all now on here defending yourselves. If you don't want to be a SEASON ticket holder, do us all a favor and get rid of your seats so a real fan can buy them. Someone that wants to attend a SEASON, not just a game or two. It made me physically feel ill. And now all of my Steelers friends are so proud of how they turned FedEx into Heinz field. I wish Dan Snyder would have taken note of which seats held Steelers fans and yanked their tickets. But of course, he wouldn't do that, he's all about the money, not the team or the fans. As are ALL of you that sold your tickets to Steelers fans. Selfish every one of you.

BTW, we had several fights in our section. Who knew that the Steelers fans were as poorly behaved or worse than the Eagles fans. Not sure they have much to be proud of either.

Posted by: beckybear | November 7, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company