Don't Mess with Pittsburgh

The Nightfly's token PA-to-Houston transplant whoops it up on Super Bowl Sunday

Geno is clearly in his element, joking with the regulars, making sure there's enough bottled beer, and keeping his well-endowed staff in line. In fact, Geno grins the entire night, at least until three officers from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission show up. Luckily those bastards don't find whatever they're looking for and soon leave. (Sorry, TABC, I still resent you for trying to put a stop to my underage-drinking days.)

I get in a conversation, lose track of time and suddenly discover it's the middle of the fourth quarter with Pittsburgh still up 21-10. Bottles of Iron City are clinked and toasted. Now, Iron City is to Pittsburgh pretty much what Shiner is to Texas. The only difference being that the Pittsburgh brewers take Shiner, turn it into a Lager, dump it out, and then piss in the bottle. Still, for two bucks per, I'm willing to make concessions.

The clock keeps ticking down. Friends and family are continuously texting and calling to state the obvious: "We're winning! We're winning!" Kim comes around the bar, clocks my Iron City bottle and pulls a face:

Pittsburgh expatriate Kim McMillian and friend
Jeff Bishop
Pittsburgh expatriate Kim McMillian and friend

"You know, when you get Iron City Light on tap, it's not good, but it's palatable."

Two minutes left. Still 21-10. Two-hundred-and-fifty out-of-shape people are jumping up and down, screaming, hugging and waving their yellow Terrible Towels in an orgy of black and gold. The left room is going crazy: Pittsburgh transplants who have been living in Houston since the last time the Steelers won the Super Bowl in '79 are riotously celebrating. I witness tears forming in the eyes of grown men.

The clock runs out. The Pittsburgh Steelers fucking win! Bottles of Iron City are spilled. Overweight women in jerseys chortle with glee. It's all just…beautiful. I look around and smile. Growing up, I dutifully watched the Steelers every week on my black-and-white TV, waiting for this glorious day. And though I never pictured myself celebrating it in Houston, I guess it could be a lot worse.

I could be a Texans fan.

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