Pittsburgh bleeds black, gold and titles

Updated: June 18, 2008, 5:53 PM ET
ESPN.com

Submitted by bananafish711
I grew up in a city more devoted to its sports teams than perhaps anything else. Until I was 18 years old, I never lived anywhere else and just assumed that everywhere was like Pittsburgh. I just assumed that people, no matter who they were, loved their local sports team. Ask anyone in Pittsburgh if they love the black and gold, and I can nearly guarantee that you will hear a resounding "yes!"

Terry Bradshaw
Focus On Sport/Getty ImagesTerry Bradshaw was the winning quarterback against the Rams in Super Bowl XIV.

When I moved away to college, I met people from all over the United States. Every time I met someone, I would consider the sports teams in the vicinity of their hometown and ask, "So, you're from [city], I guess you're a [insert local team] fan, right?"

And for the first time, I heard, "No, not really."

Really?

Back home, I remembered the jubilance of an entire city after back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992, the entire section in the paper devoted to Mario Lemieux following his first retirement, the stories of the legendary men who were the Steelers of the 1970s, the tears following Super Bowl XXX and the sense of nostalgia the day they tore down Three Rivers Stadium.

The whole city had this one thing in common, this complete solidarity no matter what. Two years ago, when the Steelers won Super Bowl XL, I was watching from my apartment in Boston. After the game, tears were streaming down my face. I was overwhelmed with happiness to see the team I loved so much win the big game, but there was a distinct sadness, too. There was nothing I wished more than that I could be in Pittsburgh, because I knew it had to be an incredible sight.

I have heard the argument that "no town without the big four should even be considered for TitleTown," but I challenge you to find fans more dispersed throughout the world who maintain their loyalty. It doesn't disappear when they transplant to a different city; it doesn't so much as shake. I've found fans in Boston and even so far away as the Netherlands.

To those who would still argue that fandom doesn't make a TitleTown, I say that Pittsburgh has grown athletes like Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas ... and Ken Griffey Jr., who have brought admiration to their respective franchises.

It's been the hometown of respected coaches like Marvin Lewis, Marty Schottenheimer, Terry Francona and Dick Nolan. What's more, that's just a fraction of the talent to come out of Pittsburgh. Consider then, what Pittsburgh athletes have contributed to teams across the nation.

I live in Washington, D.C., now, and for the first time in a long time, I'm close enough to make the drive home every so often. Each time, I love to walk through Pittsburgh's Strip District and watch the endless sea of black and gold caps, with a blue and gold thrown in here and there to salute the Pitt Panthers. They're all there, remembering the five World Series, five Super Bowls, two Stanley Cups and countless number of titles from the University of Pittsburgh's sports programs.

It's the "City of Champions," the "Cradle of Quarterbacks," and it is most assuredly TitleTown USA.

Submitted by jbrew18285
The search for TitleTown USA should begin and end in Pittsburgh, the home of five Super Bowls, five World Series victories and two Stanley Cups. Not to mention the strong traditions set forth by the University of Pittsburgh. It would be impossible for another city to make an argument otherwise.

Other Pittsburgh suporters

Xzibitar: The greatest Negro League player and arguably the best baseball player to live, Josh Gibson.
Triceriton: Pittsburgh Crawfords/Homestead Grays -- 14 Negro League titles.
dreed4574: The Buccos also have Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski, and yes, Barry Bonds as alumni.
MrSteeler1977: Light heavyweight champion Billy Conn hailed from the Steel City.
TheReturnOfJuliusPage: One ABA title (1967-68).
Tjkooker: Passion formerly of the National Women's Football Association have a NWFA championship.

The school that produced four pro football hall of famers and 22 college football hall of famers has long stood for excellence on the field. Our Panthers claim nine national championships with two from The Associated Press.

Football isn't the only sport that the Pitt has given this city to be proud of. Their men's and women's basketball teams have been national powers, recently ending their seasons in tournament action.

Pittsburgh has long been in love with its Pirates baseball team. Even though they have frustrated us for the past 15 seasons, they still have a rabid fan base. In their history, the Pirates have brought nine division championships, nine National League championships and five World Series victories home to Pittsburgh.

Even though we rarely celebrate victories there, PNC Park provides the best baseball experience in Major League Baseball.

Hockey is a sport that the Steel City has fallen in love with. Since the early '90s, the Penguins have given us something to be proud of, bringing home six division titles, two conference championships and two Stanley Cup victories. Currently, the Penguins have one of the most talented young lineups in all of the NHL.

An argument for the sporting supremacy of Pittsburgh has to include the Steelers, a team that is responsible for the greatest play in NFL history with the "Immaculate Reception," a team that has a season-ticket waiting list of over 30,000 names, a team that is the pride and joy of the city of Pittsburgh.

Our beloved Steelers have brought us 18 division championships, six conference championships and five Super Bowl wins. With 19 current Hall of Fame members and many more awaiting eligibility, the Steelers have proven excellence throughout the years.

While many other cities may lay claim to being TitleTown USA, none have been as dominant in every sport as their Pittsburgh counterparts. There isn't any city other than Pittsburgh that even deserves consideration. The search for TitleTown USA ends where the three rivers converge.

Submitted by winglessepyon
When you fly into the Pittsburgh International Airport, you see a couple of things, the Heinz logo and some brief history of the area. But as you come down the escalators, you see two statues standing side by side, one of George Washington and the other of Franco Harris.

Pittsburgh is a city of sports and champions.The Steelers of the '70s were the team to beat, and everyone has heard of the famous "Steel Curtain." Some of the well known players have played in Pittsburgh like Terry Bradshaw, Mario Lemieux, Lynn Sawnn, John Stallworth, Joe Greene, Franco Harris and Roberto Clemente to name a few. ...

We even have one of the best golfers to ever play come from here, Arnold Palmer.

Submitted by 3Riversman
Another argument for Pittsburgh: its place in sports history as the home of the world's first "rally towel," the iconic Terrible Towel!

The numerous copies and knock-offs across the country are the biggest form of flattery to the inimitable original, invented by the legendary Steelers broadcaster Myron Cope with all the proceeds going to charity, no less.

Terrible Towels are everywhere, all over the United States, all over the world. There are hundreds of Terrible Towels in Iraq right now, brought over by 'Burgh-loving soldiers. Seas of gold Terrible Towels engulf entire football stadiums across the country, anywhere the Steelers are playing. ...

Politicians swing them at rallies, fans are buried with them in their caskets, generations come and go, but the towel endures.