I’ve been seeing a lot of Steelers fans

Rachel Jones

At Kent State University, it is normal to see students wearing blue and gold to support the Flashes, but not black and gold to support the Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are three games into its regular season and face the San Diego Chargers Sunday. Students sporting Steelers gear seem to be all over campus these days, which is opposite of last year.

I was born and raised in a town just outside of Pittsburgh. I have been a fan as far back as I can remember, watching the Steelers games with my family and friends. We all considered whoever the current coach and starting quarterback were to be holy.

When I came to Kent State last fall, my fellow classmates would boo me for wearing my favorite Steelers shirt. Now, when I wear my gear, students point at my shirt and smile or say, “Yeah Steelers!”

Other Kent students who are Steelers fans are feeling more love on campus, too.

“Last year at Einstein’s Bagels, one of the workers refused me service just because I had on a Steelers jersey,” sophomore Brooke Yarletts said. “Now it seems like everyone is cheering for (the Steelers) because (they) are six-time Super Bowl champions.”

Other students became fans because of the Cleveland Browns’ losing record.

“When I moved here from Chicago, the Browns were nothing. That’s why I became a Steelers fan,” sophomore Jim Lightcap said.

How are Browns fans handling the recent Steelers epidemic?

“I’m from Cleveland, so I have to represent,” junior Jacob Beurmann said, as he pounded his chest. “I know a lot of die-hard Browns fans, but it seems like a third of the kids in my classes wear Steelers shirts and stuff. I know (the Browns) suck, but I’m not going to switch to being a Steelers fan.”

Some Steelers fans are throwing parties on campus.

“My lounge had a Steelers party (during the game) for kids from Pittsburgh, and these two guys from Cleveland showed up in Steelers jerseys,” freshman Dee-Jai Grecek said. “The one said he became a fan last year after they won the Super Bowl, and the other said he likes the Steelers because the Browns suck. I just like them because that’s the way I was raised back home.”

The homegrown fans are a little easier to pick out in the crowd. They are sporting older Steelers gear, before the recent Super Bowl victory. Many students who wear brand-new jerseys of Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward or any other well-known starters are usually new fans.

In a city one hour from Cleveland and two hours from Pittsburgh, it is strange to see the local Wal-Mart loaded with Steelers gear.

However, the proof of Steelers fever is not just in clothing.

In Saturday’s Hattie Larlham raffle, students had the chance to win a football autographed by Steelers linebacker James Harrison. Harrison is a Kent alumnus but mysteriously missing were autographed footballs from the Cleveland Browns’ Joshua Cribbs and Abram Elam, who also went to Kent State.

The evidence is clear: Steelers fans are taking over Kent State.

True fans, like me, are here to stay. We will just have to see who wins this year’s Super Bowl to determine the new fans on campus next year.

Rachel Jones is a sophomore magazine journalism major and guest columnist for the

Daily Kent Stater.