Pittsburgh Steelers fans weren't afraid to show their colors Sunday.
Area bars offering big-screen television action of Super Bowl XLIII were swarmed with groups of hooting and hollering fans who wore their black and gold with pride.
“I love it, I love it,” Sharon Thomas, Sandusky, said while watching the third quarter play out at Excuses Bar and Lounge in Perkins Township. “There’s nothing better than cheering loudly for your love for the gold and black.”
Arizona Cardinal fans were few and far between, but Chris Stewart, Sandusky, claimed his spot at the Thirsty Pony in Sandusky, intently watching the game and laughing at the competitiveness of the Steelers fans who shared their love for the team and optimism, loudly.
“I’ve never been a Steelers fan,” he said. “But it’s all right. It’s been an OK game.”
Stewart and those at the bar may not have agreed on teams, but they did agree on the commercials.
“They’re pretty funny,” Stewart said. “There’s been better commercials, but the ones with the Budweiser horses are pretty funny.”
Each time a play, good or bad occurred, loud cheers and boos erupted in the bowling alley, just down the hall, causing those at the bar to laugh even harder.
The noise came from Carrie Frankart, Clyde, and her family and friends.
As the group juggled two tasks: bowling and watching the game intently.
“It’s in the bag,” Frankart said, between turns. “We’re going to win, no doubt about it.”
Frankart said the love for the Steeler’s is almost a family affair.
“The majority of us are Steelers fans, but we do have a small few who like the Browns,” she said. “We throw a big party every year. Yeah, there’s rivalry, but it’s all friendly.”
“It’s easy to be friendly when we keep winning,” Brent Arndt said, laughing. “It’s technically not Browns country if we’re always winning.”
The sound of pins being knocked down paled in comparison to the thunderous applause coming from the bowlers.
During the course of the game, each touchdown was greeted with loud cheers, frantic yells followed unsuccessful passes and eager fans hopping up and down while shouting, “Go, go, go,” to players shimming down the field, by the group of more than 10.
Frankart’s friends said the love for the Steelers is deep.
“Her whole room is decorated with Steelers stuff,” one laughed. “There’s no Browns stuff allowed.”
Josh Johnson, Sandusky, hosted a table of jersey clad Steelers fans at Buffalo Wild Wings.
“I’m originally from Pittsburgh, so I’m allowed to like them,” he said.
When asked if it was tough being a Pittsburgh fan in a state were loyalty for the Cleveland Browns runs thick, Johnson said he’s not bothered by the orange bus or the boisterous crews in brown and orange.
“It’s easy to be a Steelers fan when you know there’s five Super Bowl rings backing you,” he said.
Now there are six.