Fans fired up for Sunday's game

Friday was declared #HereWeGo day in Allegheny County, and let's just say there were plenty of fans cheering "Here We Go Steelers" at Stage AE at the team's Playoff Pep Rally.

The first 1,000 fans at the rally received an Antonio Brown gnome, and everyone had the opportunity to take a picture with the ball that Brown stuck across the goal line to beat Baltimore and win the AFC North on Christmas Day.

The Steeline drumline and DJ Steve Maffei Jr. provided entertainment throughout the evening, Renegade was played and there was no shortage of black and gold.

The crowd was definitely fired up with the likes of Steelers' Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis, and comedian and Pittsburgh native Billy Gardell on hand, as well as Steelers President Art Rooney II.

Bettis loved the enthusiasm from the fans, but knows more of it will be needed on Sunday at Heinz Field when the Steelers take on the Miami Dolphins in an AFC Wild Card game.

"I believe having the pep rally, kicking things off like this, having things like the Terrible Towel, it pays off on game day when it all transfers to Heinz Field and the away team can't hear and they are struggling," said Bettis, who led the fans in a Terrible Towel Twirl. "It can be a big difference in a football game.

"Pittsburgh loves their Steelers. Make no mistake about it. They love football. There is no question when the Steelers get in the playoffs the intensity goes up with the fans as well. You have to love that part."

Bettis recalled playing against the New York Jets in an AFC Divisional Playoff game in 2004 at Heinz Field, a game the Steelers won 20-17 in overtime, and seeing all of the Terrible Towels and the impact it had.

"It was amazing to see every person in the stands with a Terrible Towel," said Bettis. "That can demoralize an opposing team a bit because it really uplifted us. It does psychologically affect a football game. It's a huge lift to our team."

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