By Cory Kefauver
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
The teams we love cause us to do and say ridiculous things. The teams we hate get under our skin in ways your older siblings wish they could.
Case in point: Ravens fans, say something positive about the Steelers. Steelers fans, think of what you are most thankful for about the Ravens. Most fans would be reluctant to say anything positive about their rival team. Since the Ravens came to town in 1996, the Ravens and the Steelers have enjoyed a bitter rivalry.
Dawn Pastorius grew up in Pittsburgh and most of her years were dominated by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Ever since I was a young girl the Steelers have been on every Sunday,” Pastorius said. “It was always especially crazy when we would play the Ravens.”
But when Pastorius moved to Baltimore three years ago, she was shocked to see how things are viewed on the Baltimore side of the rivalry.
“I never put much thought into how Baltimore thought of the rivalry until I moved here,” Pastorius said. “It went far beyond the purple Fridays my workplace had scheduled.”
One fall day while she was driving to work, Pastorius saw something that shocked her. A billboard featured Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the ground from a hit by a Ravens player.
“Once I got moved to Baltimore I realized how deep the rivalry is,” Pastorius said. “When I moved here I saw how seriously people take these games.”
Joe Kelsey is a lifelong Steelers fan who said that he is very superstitious when it comes to Steelers gameday.
“As a Steelers fan I am pretty superstitious when it comes to where I watch the game,” Kelsey said. “I will exhaust all measures to avoid watching the game at a bar.”
Kelsey said that if he is not attending the game in person he wants to be in his own home or someone else’s living room as opposed to a bar with strangers.
Russell Madden is a season ticket holder with the Steelers. He said that his section of the stadium is particularly rowdy.
“There is actually somewhat of a dress code in our section,” Madden said. “Anything other than black and yellow is considered out of line.”
Madden said this is especially the case when the Ravens come to town.
Madden said that he has never seen a Ravens fan have a fun time with Steelers fans at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
“I have seen people almost come to blows in the parking lot over Ravens gear before,” Madden said.
Pastorius has also seen her share of “dress code” problems since moving to Charm City.
“I wore a Steelers shirt one week to work on purple Friday as a joke,” Pastorius said. “My boss told me I should go home and change, and I am still not sure if he was serious or not.”
Pastorius said that while her boss did not actually make her change, she had many coworkers giving her stares and side comments about her attire.
Madden said that while he loves watching the Steelers play anywhere, there is a comfort to being at home.
“I am not sure I will go to a Steelers game not at Heinz,” Madden said. “I like being with my section, there’s a certain level of protection I need at these games.”
Madden said he cannot control himself when it comes to giving opposing fans an earful.
“To me its just part of the experience, giving the opposing fans a tough time,” Madden said. “Seeing people in opposing colors just sends me over the edge I can’t explain it.”
Kelsey said that he always likes to start his day by playing the Steelers fight song “Renegade” by Styx.
“I always wake up on Steelers game day and blast Renegade,” Kelsey said.
Pastorius said that now that she has lived in Baltimore for years that she roots for the Ravens as well as the Steelers, except when they play each other.
“I get a hard time from my family back home for being a traitor and I get a hard time with my local friends for being a Steelers fan deep down,” Pastorius said. “I have come to love both teams in different ways.”