Steelers fans got fired up early on Sunday when two stars of the hit NBC series Law & Order: SVU led them in a Terrible Towel wave just before kickoff against the Bengals.
Tamara Tunie, a Pittsburgh native who portrays Dr. Melinda Warner, and Chris Meloni, who portrays Detective Elliot Stabler, teamed up to lead the wave that quickly spread throughout the Heinz Field crowd.
"I am thrilled. This was so cool," said Tunie, who sang the National Anthem at a game in 2009. "When I was here before and sang the Anthem I took it upon myself to take my Terrible Towel with me on to the 50-yard line so that when I finished singing and the jets flew over. I waved my towel with all of the people in the stadium and it was so exciting.
"To do it right after the coin toss and lead it and launch the game was so much fun."
Meloni, who is from Washington, DC, began following the Steelers back in the 70s and even though he supports his hometown Redskins, he is still a Steelers fan.
"This is like burning incense at the Vatican," said Meloni of the experience. "I was always a huge fan. I remember the first year with Terry Bradshaw. I remember them slowly getting the train rolling, the Immaculate Reception. I remember the classic games between Pittsburgh and the Houston Oilers and Pittsburgh and the Oakland Raiders. I had a Pittsburgh Steelers jacket when I was in fifth or sixth grade.
"They are a national team. They are perennial contenders. They have a storied franchise. Try as hard as the Dallas Cowboys want to be America's team, uh-uh, no."