This evening, the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings play the opener for the NFL season. It will be a replay of last year's NFC Championship and will feature two of the marquis quarterbacks in the game, Drew Brees and Brett Favre. More importantly, it will mark the day where my 43 year allegiance to the Pittsburgh Steelers ends, and I set off in support of a new team. As some of my long time readers know, I made my feelings known about Ben Roethlisberger's off field antics last year and my disgust for him, the Steeler's ownership and organization. My wife joined me in this boycott of our hometown team, as have many others, and we settled on the Saints as our new adopted team. We may come back to the Steelers someday, but as long as Roethlisberger is on the team, it ain't gonna happen.
For the first time in many, many years I will not spend many of my Sunday afternoons, and a couple of Monday and Thursday evenings, sitting in Heinz Field. No more tailgating with friends before the game (and after,) enjoying the incredible atmosphere on a sunny afternoon, or snowy winter night. Nope, I'm going to be in my living room watching the Saints. As a born and bred Pittsburgher it was pre-ordained that I would be a Steelers fan, but they have broken the faith and showed their true colors over the past year. It's difficult for fans from other cities to understand how deeply the Steelers are ingrained in this city, how much we are tied to this team. It is therefore even more difficult how strange I feel in knowing that I won't be watching the Steelers this year and could frankly care less if they lose every single game. My buddies were shocked by my decision- probably like a Jewish kid telling his parents he wanted to be a priest- but they mumbled that they understood and hoped I would come to my senses.
Out with the pierogies and kielbassa, in the with the po' boys and crawfish. Let's Go Saints !