When I came to Pitt in fall of 2007, I didn't realize that Pittsburgh would change me.
I'm sure it's changed me in some esoteric sense, but I'll be a little more down-to-earth. Basically, after spending three years in this city, I understand why a business would close early for a Steelers game.
I came from wishy-washy sports country in central Pennsylvania, where the turf is split randomly into Steelers, Eagles and Ravens fans. I had no team growing up. I never cared about sports. I never saw the Super Bowl until I was 16 and that was only because I had a boyfriend.
When I got to college, I was still clueless. I went to an Obama rally to report on it for The Pitt News, and someone told me there was a famous football player there. I had never heard of this person. Someone said something about a steel curtain. I wrote in my notebook that "Frank O'Harris" was there.
That really happened. Anyway, I'm no longer clueless. Now, I know who Troy Polamalu is and what his hair looks like. I supported Sidney Crosby over the U.S. hockey team during the Olympics. And... I've been to a Pirates game before. So thank you, Pittsburgh. I feel like a champion.