When Joe Hochstein went to the first day of Steelers training camp this summer, his goal was to go and just enjoy some football and the excitement that signals the opening of football season.
He never thought that day would turn out to be one he will always remember.
While at camp Hochstein signed up for a contest sponsored by the Steelers and Neighborhood Ford Store to win a black 2018 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew 4x4 truck, completely wrapped in Steelers colors and logos.
“When I was there myself, my son and a friend all filled out the paperwork,” said Hochstein. “I said jokingly, ‘I claim this truck. It’s mine.’ I was thinking I don’t have a chance. But it’s real.”
Yes, it is real. Hochstein received a phone call from Ford in mid-December telling him he was the winner of the truck.
“I was just coming home from celebrating my son’s birthday and we came in the door and heard a message being left,” said Hochstein. “My son was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s about the Steelers official truck. You have to call them dad.’ My son and I are both Joseph, so we didn’t know if it was him or I. I asked and they asked how old I was. When I told them they said it was me. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ It’s been crazy around here. My son and brother have told everyone. It’s like a buzz everywhere.”
The keys were presented to him on Sunday before the start of the Steelers-Bengals game at Heinz Field.
“I can’t wait to drive it,” said Hochstein. “I kept asking is this for real? I kept thinking this can’t be for real. But it’s for real. I really can’t believe it.
“I am a huge Steelers fan. I have been watching the Steelers since I was six years old. I can count on one hand how many games I have missed watching. Two when I was young when I was sick and two when I had back surgery. What hooked me was in 1974 when I was six and they won the Super Bowl. I have been a fan ever since.”
Hochstein, who is from Johnstown, Pa., has been at three Steelers games in person, two at Three Rivers Stadium and one at Heinz Field earlier this year when the Steelers beat the Panthers.
“When they are playing and you are at that game it’s awesome,” said Hochstein.
Hochstein said he already has a road trip planned in the new truck, and is just grateful to all involved.
“Between the Steelers and Ford this is the best thing you could do for fans,” said Hochstein. “It shows you care about your fans. I am amazed that they do this. Just amazed.”
The truck giveaway has become a fun tradition for the final regular season game, built on the relationship the Steelers and Neighborhood Ford Store has established.
“Our Board of Directors was so happy when they learned this year’s winner was from Johnstown, Pa.,” said Kathy Wagler, 2018 Neighborhood Ford Store Chairperson. “Neighborhood Ford Store has 80 dealers in this region and we’re delighted that the winners who have been drawn have come from all over our area.”