It was a day that required splash plays and big-time efforts from a number of Steelers players. It was also a day that saw Steelers Nation answer the call and rally behind their team – both at Heinz Field and around the world. Terrible Towels flew on the North Shore and Steelers pride was displayed on social media from all corners of Steelers Country, as fans everywhere did everything they could to provide their team with the fuel and energy to secure an important victory.
It was also a special afternoon, aside from the game, as the team recognized military personnel throughout the afternoon as part of the Salute to Service game. Among the ways veterans and active military members were recognized was through Steelers Nation Unite. With on-field experiences and in-game surprises, the team was able to show support for these men and women through rewards from the Steelers Nation Unite loyalty program.
During pregame, Frank Davis, a Colonel in the Army, was among the Steelers Nation Unite members who were rewarded with pregame field access and an unforgettable experience before kickoff. It was a benefit he received through Steelers Nation Unite and the ability to RSVP to say he would be at the game. It was a day he'll remember for quite a long time.
"I am in heaven right now. This is my first time on the field, but my fourth game here in Pittsburgh. We've won every game that I've ever attended. Thank you for this opportunity," he said.
It looks like his good luck was in the building on Sunday.
All the way from Oakland, James Riddle, a retired military veteran, was sitting in section 124 on Sunday afternoon. To his surprise, Steelers Nation Unite showed up to recognize him on the scoreboard and reward his entire row with camo Bose headphones. It was a fun experience where a group of fans benefitted thanks to a Steelers Nation Unite member. Thanks to his wife, Renee, RSVP'ing to the game, it was special to have this moment as Steelers Nation looked on.
Steelers Nation Unite members were part of pregame, in-game and postgame experiences during the Steelers thrilling win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015.
Chuck Rush, a member of the United States Air Force from Medina, OH, had an added bonus to Sunday's win with postgame field access. Getting interviewed on almost the exact spot of the big forced fumble following the playing of "Renegade" in the second half, Rush was all smiles when talking about the day and Steelers Nation.
"It is awesome," he said of being on the field with other fans. "Steelers fans everywhere – there's nothing better. I was in the military and I've been all over the world. When you say you're a Steelers fan, you can find one everywhere. It's crazy."
There was also a very special guest at the game, celebrating a very special birthday and a landmark season.
Josephine Szwarc of Cheswick, PA, turned 90 years old on Sunday – for 70 of those years, she's been able to call herself a Steelers season ticket holder.
"She was very surprised when we greeted her at the gate and she was just in awe that we were all here. She said we were good liars," said Debbie Giffin, Szwarc's daughter who set up the pregame field passes and experience through the Steelers community relations and ticketing departments.
Estimating she's only missed about a dozen games in those 70 seasons, Szwarc was thankful to be surrounded by her family on the field (three daughters, three son-in-laws, two granddaughters) and couldn't have imagined a better way to spend her day.
"I can't believe this. I'm still way up here. I haven't touched the ground yet," she said. "They were singing and tears were coming out of my eyes. I couldn't believe it. They just lied to me for a week. I don't know how they did it, but they did."
Fans out of market will also be scoring some cool prizes for their activity on social media on Sunday. For using the hashtag of Steelers Nation Unite, #SNUproud, and sharing photos of their Steelers parties and tailgates, members all across Steelers country will be surprised this week when packages show up at their doors with Steelers banners and tailgate items, a way of recognizing them for their awesome support.
For more on all of these fan stories, as well as exclusive videos and photos for fans, be sure to join Steelers Nation Unite now for FREE and see how it benefits to be a member all around the world.
To sign up, visit www.SteelersNationUnite.com and immediately start interacting with your favorite players and fans from everywhere.
Need another reason to sign up? Ask Mike Gustin, who was on the field and in the Players Tunnel during pregame.
"It's the best thing the Steelers have done for the fans. It's awesome," he said. "You get all kinds of perks. We're here today because of Steelers Nation Unite. It's a great thing for the fans."