A little less than two weeks ago, Hollie Russell was watching the Steelers defeat the Titans on Thursday Night Football in Corona Del Mar, CA. As the broadcast was showing the scenic shots of downtown Pittsburgh and Heinz Field, Russell found herself wondering if she’d ever make it to Pittsburgh to see her team play in person.
As luck would have it, the very next day, Russell received a call from [Steelers Nation Unite](https://www.steelersnationunite.com/pages/home.php?utmmedium=website&utmsource=steelers.com&utmcampaign=nonpaid&utmcontent=sweeps winner week12 articlelink), the official home of Steelers Nation, with some exciting news that she had won the Thanksgiving Weekend trip sweepstakes. She could hardly contain herself she was so ecstatic.
“I saw on my phone I had a missed call from Pittsburgh and I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I listened to the voicemail,” Russell said. “I couldn’t believe it. I was worthless the rest of that day at work. I was on cloud nine.”
Arriving in Pittsburgh on Friday night, Russell’s weekend got off to a fun start on Saturday morning with a $500 shopping spree at the Steelers Pro Shop store at Tanger Outlets in Washington, PA. Joining her for the fun and helping get geared up was former Steelers QB Charlie Batch.
In addition to a few new Terrible Towels and some clothing, Russell’s biggest purchase was a Terry Bradshaw jersey. A fitting choice as Bradshaw was among the reasons she started watching football and following the Steelers.
“I started watching football at a really young age. My dad got me into football and when he was explaining the game to me, it was the early 70s and I really started watching the games,” she explained. “I just fell in love with Terry Bradshaw and thought he was like the greatest thing. I’ve been a Steelers fan ever since.”
Saturday night saw the excitement continue, as Russell and her guest on the trip, David Snider, scored access to the Alumni Dinner at Heinz Field, which recognized and celebrated the team’s inaugural Hall of Honor class. The festivities surrounding the Hall of Honor continued into Sunday, as the couple also got to be there in person for the Hall of Honor unveiling at Heinz Field in the FedEx Great Hall, where she and other Steelers Nation Unite members got a photo with Team President Art Rooney II in front of the new display.
Those experiences with a roomful of Steelers Legends left a lasting impression.
“I was fanning out like crazy [when I saw all those guys],” she said. “I couldn’t believe I got to shake Mr. Rooney’s hand and I couldn’t believe I was standing right there next to him.”
Of course, the biggest part of the trip was still yet to come, as the couple also received a pregame on-field experience in the Players Tunnel, in addition to their game tickets for Sunday night. As Russell stood along the sidelines and took in the sight of Heinz Field on game day, it was a moment that she will forever remember.
“I’m just blown away. It’s beautiful and everything that I thought it would be. You’re so close to the players. I’ve taken so many pictures,” she said. “It’s just been amazing.”
And to think, less than two weeks ago, a trip to Heinz Field, much less an experience like this one, was still only a wish. It’s just one of the many ways fans can get rewarded with exclusive benefits, content and experiences when they join the official home of Steelers Nation for free.
“I go on the website daily. I’m always looking at articles to see what other fans are doing. Just keeping up with things. I like looking at the Huddles and seeing what the players are like off the field,” Russell said. “Steelers Nation is just amazing. There is a huge Steelers fan base in California, so I’m representing for them.”
To join Steelers Nation Unite, visit [SteelersNationUnite.com](https://www.steelersnationunite.com/pages/home.php?utmmedium=website&utmsource=steelers.com&utmcampaign=nonpaid&utmcontent=sweeps winner week12 articlelink) now to make being a fan even more rewarding throughout the year.
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