I left Steeler country early Sunday morning, waking up long before the first light (or what passes for light in Pittsburgh) peeked over the horizon. It seemed only fitting that my cab driver was Freeman Pamplin, a serious Steelers fan. He was wearing a spiffy Steelers hat and coat. He asked where I was headed. I mentioned "Tampa" and he said, "that's what I'm talking about!" He spent the entire ride recalling the decades he spent going to Steelers road games decked out in Steelers garb. Once, he even wore full Steelers regalia while sitting in Cleveland's infamous "Dog Pound." Ouch!
Freeman said the Steelers were the reason he was out so early in his cab. He was trying to earn enough extra money to fly down to Florida with his buddies, despite having elderly family members to care for. "Short on dough, 'cause I gotta go (to Tampa.)," he told his Grandma. "Damn Steelers," Freeman grumbled, "they turn an innocent man into a crook!"