Thursday, October 08, 2009

City of Champions Redux

Not that this is going to be a sports, Steelers or Pittsburgh blog, but it seems the right place to say congratulations to Pittsburgh for winning the Sports Illustrated title as best sports city in America. It comes with a magazine cover featuring the Steelers Big Ben with the Penguins Sidney Crosby, in a repeat of the Terry Bradshaw and Willie Stargell cover of 1979, the original City of Champions year.

But I probably wouldn't be blogging about this except for one observation in the Post-Gazette story: Penguins spokesman Tom McMillan -- wearing a giant Stanley Cup championship ring on his right hand -- noted that Penguins, Steelers and Pirates players routinely attend each other's games. "That is really unique. That doesn't happen in most cities," he said.

I think that's correct, unless it's a new thing elsewhere as it is in Pittsburgh: I'm not sure Stargell and Bradshaw had even met before that photo session. But it does sound like Pittsburgh, especially now that the ordinary guy ethos has extended to the upper income precincts. It's interesting but it does seem to be true. There are downsides to a middle class and now upper middle class, largely white collar income level with a working class culture, but this is a good thing, if indeed it's evidence of that and not just that these guys are celebrities, and they don't have much in common with anyone else but other celebrities. No, I think it's more the informality of the town, the easy if not always meaningful sense of community.

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