The Steelers hosted the annual Ladies Night Out, presented by UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, at Heinz Field on Monday night and an enthusiastic group was on hand, sharing their love of all things Steelers and bringing the same energy to the event that they bring to the games each week.
And you know they were decked out head to toe in Steelers gear. The sold out crowd represented in their jerseys, shirts, jackets, hats, socks and new Nike shoes, including some items just purchased from the team’s Sideline Store at Heinz Field.
“I want to come to anything Steelers related,” said Mindy Wilson, Ellwood City, Pa. “Football is our world in my family. We are so excited to be here. I want to talk to the players. I want to talk about their life and what that’s like. Hopefully I will have a child that is doing something similar in the future. I want to know what their life is like in the NFL. This is unbelievable that they are taking time during the season to come and talk to us. It’s surreal.”
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Joe Haden and T.J. Watt were the special guests, sharing some insight as to what their week is like with the ladies, and just enjoying being around such passionate fans.
“It’s definitely interesting to see the female fan base here,” said Haden. “You know men are football fans, but to have women who are so passionate, who have such an understanding of the game, and who want to keep learning about the game, it’s a great time being here.”
Haden got a big surprise while he was there, as the first question came from his mom, Zakiya Haden, who drove from Maryland to surprise him at the event.
Her question, who is your biggest inspiration?
His answer. What else?
The ladies also had a chance to ask the questions, and it came as no surprise to either how knowledgeable some of them were.
“There might be more female fans than there are male fans,” said Watt. “I think it’s awesome. To have women who don’t necessarily play the sport of football, but follow it along so closely and are so supportive of our team. It’s fun and we are lucky to have them as our fans.
“This is cool to get out here and share my story with them, interact with them, and learn their stories too, why they love the Steelers, who their favorite players are. Hopefully No. 90 is one of them.”
After hearing the two current players speak, the weather changed plans up a little bit, with rain prohibiting some of the activities but the ladies were able to obtain autographs from Steelers alumni Chris Hoke, Mike Logan, and Louis Lipps, as well as tour the locker room and make a stop on the field to have their photo taken that appeared on the Heinz Field scoreboard.
Linda Barnett was excited to be at Heinz Field after making it out of Durham, North Carolina on Saturday, a trip that concerned her with Hurricane Florence pounding the state at that time.
“I escaped the hurricane. I left on Saturday morning,” said Barnett. “We were good there. I was nervous, but I prayed and prayed and look at where I am at.
“It’s something my sister and I have been doing for years. I love it. I am a diehard Steelers fan. The No. 1 Steelers fan. I love seeing all of the women here. People think women don’t know about football. I love to see the women get together who know about football, and are energetic about our team.”