Super fans: Grand County faithful pull out all the stops to root for their Super Bowl teams | SkyHiNews.com

Super fans: Grand County faithful pull out all the stops to root for their Super Bowl teams

Katie Looby
klooby@skyhidailynews.com
Grand County, Colorado

Grand County residents Chas McConnell and his son Lucas are still holding out for Super Bowl XLIII tickets.

If the lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fans can score vouchers at face value, they will fly to Tampa Bay and stay with relatives. The Steelers take on the Arizona Cardinals at 4:28 p.m. Sunday, Feb., on NBC.

Twelve-year-old Lucas’ room is full of Steelers posters and memorabilia. Some of those items have gathered to form a shrine in the McConnells living room before the big game. Items such as a pillow, license plate, blanket, football, football player figurines, clock, helmet, photos, books, and a banner created by Lucas.

“We still want to go,” Chas said. “I’ve been to three Super Bowls. It used to be affordable, and now it’s ridiculously unaffordable. If we can get anything close to face value it would be a great experience.”

However, they have a backup plan to watch the game from their Winter Park Ranch home if they’re not in Florida .

“We will have a group of people over,” said the Pittsburgh native. “I will be getting out the food coloring, and I paint the house gold and black.”

Banners and balloons will also add spirit to the exterior of the house.

“There’s a lot of Steelers fans that live in Grand County,” Chas said.

Chas’s California State College in Pennsylvania friend known in the Fraser Valley as “Bones” plans to watch the game with the McConnells.

“I will be up there at Chas’,” Bones said. “We try to get together as much as we can for Steelers games.”

His favorite players are Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward and Ben Roethlisberger.

“I like Troy because he is all over the place,” he said. “Beware of the hair, he’s the big hairy guy.”

Quarterback Big Ben’s “the main man” and “you got to love Hines Ward,” Bones added.

Lucas wears the same thing every game. “Exact same jeans, exact same shirt,” Ann added.

“We’ve got a friend who lives it Pittsburgh, if he is not in his hot tub the Steelers lose,” Chas said. “So, I’m always calling him to make sure he’s in the hot tub.”

“Everyone who comes over has their Steelers gear on, and if they don’t we’re happy to supply them with any Steelers gear they might need,” Chas said. “The whole Steelers fan thing is kind of bazaar, it’s almost like kind of a religion. I know that might sound really odd, but when you’re a Steelers fan, you just are a Steelers fan.”

He and Lucas attended a couple games in Denver, and they instantly bond with other Steelers supporters.

Three years ago when Lucas was in fourth grade the Steelers were playing the Broncos to advance to Super Bowl XL. He made a sign that said “Go Steelers,” even though the rest of his class made Denver Bronco signs.

“So then we took that banner to the Denver game, and we all know what happened ” the Steelers pounded them,” Chas said.

Lucas’ classmates have come to understand over the years where his loyalty lies.

“We have the NFL package of course, so we can watch every Steelers game,” added Ann.

Lucas’ favorite moment was Willie Parker’s 75-yard touchdown in Super Bowl XL. “I just jumped up-and-down screaming,” he said.

The Steelers won four Super Bowls in the 1970s.

“I just remember being a kid in the 70s and growing up an hour south of Pittsburgh in West Virginia, and my mother had yellow towels, they weren’t even Terrible Towels, but they were yellow and we would swing them in the living room watching these games,” Ann said. “We really thought it made a difference, swinging those towels.”

“Once you’re a fan, you’re always a fan,” Chas said. “There will be a lot of Steelers fans at the Super Bowl, guarantee it will be like a home game. All you’re going to see is Terrible Towels.”

Cardinals forever

Kremmling’s Larry Banman will watch the Super Bowl alone.

“I get pretty nervous,” said the Arizona Cardinals fan. “I sit in the same chair, I always watch (the game) upstairs … If they start losing I’ll switch chairs.”

If they’re winning, he doesn’t change anything.

He’s been an Arizona fan since 1963. “That’s when our family got a television,” he said, laughing.

The Kansas native said that was their home team. In 1975, they won so many close games people called them the “Cardiac Arrest Cardinals,” he said.

When Banman was a young boy he watched a St. Louis Cardinal baseball game and was “star struck.”

“I was the only Arizona Cardinal fan I knew until last week,” he said. “I think that the Steelers definitely will be tough (to beat) … because their defense is so good.”

” Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or klooby@skyhidailynews.com.


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