Ladies show their love for Steelers

Looking around the Steelers team meeting room there was no question about it. The Steelers definitely have a huge female fan base and when they come out, they do so wearing their black and gold.

The women were attending the Annual Dean's Dairy Football 202 for Women at their practice facility at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex and they showed their team spirit by wearing jerseys, t-shirts, sweatshirts and everything and anything with the Steelers logo on it.

They mingled with each other, marveled over the Super Bowl trophies and took pictures to capture memories of a night they will never forget.

"I was born into being a Steelers fan," said Dana Johnson, of Dayton, Ohio, whose mother sat next to her boasting of raising her well. "This is a wonderful opportunity. I am a diehard Steelers fan. I never thought I would be able to get this up-close and personal with the Steelers. "It was emotional seeing the trophies. As a fan you never see them up close. You see them on television. You have a certain sense of pride even though you are just a fan."

Special teams coach Al Everest kicked things off by sharing some of the fundamentals with the ladies, teaching them the different techniques that are key to special teams' success in the team's meeting room.

"I am hoping I am sitting where Troy Polamalu sat," joked Johnson. "It would make me feel so much better if you told me he sat right there. I am looking for the Troy spot in the room."

After that the ladies split into two groups, one enjoying dinner in the team cafeteria and asking the staff questions about what they serve each day, what players eat the most and all of the fun details.

It was then off to the locker room and weight room for a tour, with the ladies getting a look at a part of the complex not many do.

"I am amazed. I just can't believe I am here, seeing the trophies and all of this," said Crystal Jennings, from Marjorie, Ohio, who attended with her mother Deena Nickerson. "It's awesome. I have been begging my mom to let me come here with her and she got me a ticket. My mom has been here a few years, so she will probably be better than me at the football skills."

The highlight of the night came when the ladies got to apply some of what they learned earlier in the night when they went through drills at the indoor field conducted by safety Ryan Clark, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and kicker Shaun Suisham.

"You give them an understanding of this is a guy backpedaling, some general knowledge of techniques and explain different things such as when a pass is thrown here, it's in the flat, over here is where the post is," said Clark. ."I am not able to teach them to play Aaron Smith's position in one day. But I gave them the general knowledge of the game.

"It is cool. Not only is our fan base big with the women, but a lot of their husbands and boyfriends love the Steelers. For the ones that don't understand it, this helps them to sit through the games and interact with their husbands. We are bringing relationships closer. That is my focus."

Clark has some experience teaching women about football, as he continues to give his wife Yonka pointers on the game.

"My wife used to know nothing," said Clark. "She knew just two words that were football related. She would say it to me after the game like she watched, 'I saw you in the flat when they threw it to the post.' That statement makes no sense. If they did that, they would be scoring a touchdown. But that is what she would say.

"My mom, Shelia, is trying to help her out. She had no daughters, only sons, so she watches football like a man."

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