People quite often ask me, “Why Pittsburgh, Gordon?”

When I first began watching NFL games in 1982, I decided to follow the black and gold of the Steelers because they were one of a few teams that I was aware of.

At that time, I was being spoilt by the continuing success of my favourite soccer team, Liverpool. I did enjoy many barbecues with family and friends before their big games.

At the beginning, following the Steelers wasn’t so easy, but those barbies made way for football’s unique pregame ritual called tailgating.

As the Steelers’ UK fan club that I was organising in the eighties grew in numbers, the interest in seeing a game in Pittsburgh increased.

Larger imageI finally found the time in 1993 to get all the arrangements in place and eleven of us flew out of Heathrow to a city that none of us knew anything about, apart from its sports teams.

If any taxpayer queries the costs involved in building sports stadiums in their cities, they shouldn’t overlook the international attraction that those sports franchises bring.

There were many great people who made that first visit to Pittsburgh such a success.

The city left a big impression on everyone on that trip and obviously on your editor. I guess that becomes obvious when I mention that I’ve made the journey back nearly every year since that first adventure.

The clear attraction is the Steelers, but if the city didn’t give out the right vibes, the visits would not have been so many. Pittsburgh has given me many great memories and although I don’t claim to be a Pittsburgher, I can quite understand why it’s emigrants don’t want to let go.

So, if I didn’t answer the original question, here’s one Pittsburgher’s interesting insight into the city ’s attraction on THE POST-GAZETTE.COM>>>