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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 February 2006, 08:57 GMT
Party in Pittsburgh
By David Brooks
For BBC Sport in Pittsburgh

"One for the Ages" screamed the banner headline in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette newspaper on Monday.

But it wasn't clear whether that referred to the Steelers' victory in Super Bowl XL, or the party that ensued as soon as the game clock ticked down to zero.

A shirtless fan celebrates the Steelers Super Bowl win in freezing cold Pittsburgh. Photo by David Brooks.
Snow? What snow, man?
Pittsburgh's fans had waited over a quarter of a century since their team last took the "biggest prize in sports" (that's what they call it here), and the celebrations were suitably rowdy.

Fans spilled out of the bars and house parties - the most popular way to watch the big game - and onto the streets.

Dancing, screaming and waving their "terrible towels" - the trademark item of a Steelers fan - supporters displayed unadulterated joy and relief after a tense and nail-biting victory.

Throughout the city cars honked their horns, many to the tune of "Here we go Steelers, here we go", while other blared "We are the champions" from their car stereos.

Joyous fans flooded the streets in the South Side, which is full of bars, and in Oakland, where most of the University students live.

Close to the student union a car was turned over and fans began to dance on top of it.

I've waited for this since I was five
Tearful Steelers fan Matt
The police were soon out in force in full riot gear and mounted on horses as they sought to bring some order to a chaotic, but largely peaceful scene.

As one supporter, braving freezing temperatures and snow, charged down Fifth Avenue in the heart of the city with his shirt off and waving his towel , he screamed: "And I'm not even drunk!"

Not on alcohol may be, but drunk with the joy of victory for sure.

Others were more inward with their emotion. Matt, 30, sank to his knees in tears. "I've waited for this since I was five," he sobbed.

It was certainly a long wait for that elusive fifth Super Bowl title, but for the thousands of fans who partied on Sunday, it was well worth the wait.

Wild scenes in Pittsburgh as the Steelers win Super Bowl XL
Steelers fans party hearty on Pittsburgh's Carson Street
During the game, the streets had been abandoned as nerves were jangled by an uneven display from the team in white and gold.

But when the retiring Jerome Bettis put together his final pounding drive to eat up the clock and the Seahawks' final efforts came to nothing, the fans were more than willing to overlook the bumpy moments of the previous four hours.

"As we used to say in the Navy, it doesn't matter how choppy the water is, as long as you make it to port," said Scott, 44, a Pittsburgher born and bred.

Mike, 39, who's from Kentucky but was sucked into the experience nonetheless, reflected that he'd be retired by the time the Steelers win their next Super Bowl if they have to wait another 26 years.

Most fans here don't believe it will take that long, but if it does, at least they can hold on to the memories of a quite extraordinary night.




SEE ALSO
Bettis savours Super Bowl triumph
06 Feb 06 |  American Football
Steelers seal Super Bowl victory
06 Feb 06 |  American Football
Super Bowl XL as it happened
05 Feb 06 |  American Football
Super Bowl XL quotes
07 Feb 06 |  American Football
Super Bowl photos
05 Feb 06 |  Photo Galleries
Super Bowl winners
02 Jan 06 |  American Football
NFL in a nutshell
14 Oct 03 |  American Football


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