PITTSBURGH (CBS 2) — The Jets are on the road to glory. With one hurdle left to clear before the Super Bowl the team is getting ready to take on the Steelers this weekend in Pittsburgh.
But are there any Jets fans in the “Steel City?”
As the smoke billowed from the steel factories on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez was presented with the daunting task of trying to find a needle in the haystack.
Are there any Jets fans out there?
“They’re probably few and far between,” one resident said.
“Not at all here. This is Steeler town,” another said.
Steeler country is blanked in black and gold. While Sanchez weeded through locals picking up their game day gear, she was hard pressed to find even a glimmer of green anywhere.
When asked where she thought Sanchez could possibly find a Jets fan, Kim Robinson said, “Probably somewhere under a bridge.”
Another man was more direct.
“Nowhere! Maybe look in the river. If they ain’t there we gonna throw them in the river,” he said.
Sanchez asked one woman on the street if she had anything to say to the Jets fans that are making the trip to Pittsburgh, to which she replied, “Not too much of nothing, honey.”
Sanchez did find one hospitable Steelers fan, Bev Mermelstein, who said her son-in-law is a die-hard Jets fan living in enemy territory.
“We have a little rivalry in our family. We give him the business,” Mermelstein said.
Mel Liebowitz said he used know how that felt as a Bronx native now living here in Pittsburgh. That was until he turned his back on his roots.
“I came here in 1985 and I was a Jets fan. And in ’86 I became a Steeler fan and I’ve been a Steeler fan ever since,” said Liebowitz, adding, “I think I’ve always been on the dark side.”
Fat chance he’ll be feeling any love when he heads back home, especially after he gave this message to his New York family:
“Go Steelers! That’s it, go Steelers!” Liebowitz said.
Added Robinson: “[I’ve been a] Steeler fan all my life. Here we go — Super Bowl number seven!”
Jets Survival Guide to Pittsburgh
Tony Siegworth, also an avid Steelers fan, told Sanchez the only thing Jets fans should expect on Sunday is “to lose!”
For the New York faithful heading to Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship game, this is no time to be wimpy. Black and gold is everywhere, down to the fire hydrants. In the Strip District, members of “Steeler Nation” vowed not to be kind.
“We don’t take kind to the other team. We never have and never will,” Siegworth said.
Added another fan, “To keep from getting embarrassed they should stay home and watch it on TV. They’re gonna cry. We gonna beat them down, guaranteed.”
Jen Raybuck had a warning for Jets fans traveling down any street in Pittsburgh: be prepared for harassment.
Paul Daush clarified.
“There’s no warm welcome for anybody that plays the Steelers. There’s no such thing as a warm welcome. They’re all the enemy,” Daush said.
You can, however, find a safe haven at Peppi’s Old Tyme Sandwich Shop, where owner Jeff Trenac welcomes Jets fans with the “New Yorker” sandwich.
“The thing that’s good about Jets fans is they wear green and if they have green in their pocket they’re more than welcome. I’ll take anybody with cash!” Trenac said.
But, the best seller is the egg and cheese “Roethlisberger,” named after Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“It’s a big sandwich and Roeth is a big guy,” Trenac said.