Reporting Hazel Sanchez
PITTSBURGH (CBS 2) — As the Jets are set to head off to western Pennsylvania, so are the fans.
CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez went searching Friday and found Gang Green faithful in the heart of the “Steel City,” well behind enemy lines as the seconds click down toward the AFC Championship game on Sunday night.
In beautiful Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony, two Jets fans were trying to live in harmony with Steeler Nation.
Al Jacobsen, originally from New City, N.Y., is a fundraiser for the orchestra who fittingly loves green.
But on Friday their co-workers — Steelers fans — made sure he knew what colors they bleed.
Jacobsen’s office was Steeler-fied with black and gold, wall to wall from the floor to ceiling.
“It’s been fun having the rivalry this week and trying to stay tough as a Jets fan,” Jacobsen said. “I try to be like Rex Ryan, trying to do tough talk and I usually don’t do as good of a job.”
Jets fan Brian Skwirut said work place abuse isn’t nearly as bad as home.
“I’m married to a Steeler fan. My 7-year-old son is a Steeler fan and when he asked me to watch the game with him on Sunday I told him to find another living room,” Skwirut said.
Making his rounds at the University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center a mere 5-foot-4, Dr. Lorenzo Cervantes claimed pound for pound he’s the biggest Jets fan in “Steel Town.”
“J-E-T-S … Jets! Jets! Jets! Jets fan for life. We are going all the way baby. Woo!” Cervantes said.
Cervantes, a Queens native, said his New York loyalty has gone to his head and he’s not afraid to show it.
“It’s a lonely world out there, being a Jets fan in Steel country,” Cervantes said.
“He comes in here and he’s not afraid to say he’s a Jets fan. He’s like dancing and singing his little Jet tune,” Steelers fan Julie Mellon said.
And Cervantes said he’s confident he’ll be singing and dancing with the Jets all the way to the Super Bowl.
“They see everything through black and gold glasses. Green and white is the color of the week this week. We all know who’s gonna win this week,” Cervantes said.
For those who will soon make the trek to Pittsburgh, be prepared to get a cold shoulder from Steelers fans. It’s a matter of survival, really.
Just two days from the conference title tilt, the popular Strip District was still just blanketed with black and gold. Sanchez took plenty of ribbing from hometown fans as she paraded her No. 6 Mark Sanchez inside the belly of the best.
“You’re still walking so that’s good,” one Steelers fan said when asked if he felt Sanchez was crazy for wearing a Jets jersey.
“I’ll give you credit for having guts, lady,” another black and fan said.
Sanchez’s bravery and persistence finally paid off when she found Jets fan Darryn Weinstein, who traveled from Long Island, battling it out will a middle school-aged Steelers fan.
“I’m very happy. We’re gonna learn from last year. We’re gonna play 60 minutes of the game and we’re going on to Dallas. It’s that simple,” Weinstein said.
Even a local Jets fan said the green and white will own this city on Sunday.
“Come here and party! Paint this city green and white!” Derrick Parker said.
At around 9:45 p.m. on Sunday night the loyalists may just be doing that – and then some.