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Steelers Nation is ready for game day

The Steelers home opener against the Minnesota Vikings isn't until Sunday, but the fans at the team's kickoff rally on Friday evening on the North Shore were definitely ready for game day.

Black and gold was everywhere on North Shore Drive as fans gathered in anticipation of the game. The Steeline Drumline performed, as did House of Soul, while Pittsburgh DJ Steve Maffei Jr. hosted the event.

Steelers' alumni Charlie Batch and Shaun Suisham were among those on hand, and certainly did their part to keep the crowd fired up.

"It's one of those things where the fans are already excited," said Batch. "Especially the first home game. The fans will be rowdy on Sunday. What better way to get them started than with a pep rally?

"Steelers fans are special because of the passion that they have. And the expectations they have too. They expect the team to win. The team gives them a reason to be that excited and passionate about it. It's a good combination. I think that is why people love the Steelers."

Batch said he even still gets excited for the home opener, and is looking forward to seeing the crowd and team ready to go on Sunday.

"It's one of those things," said Batch. "When you compare it to the preseason, it's not the same. The expectations are there. I love the kickoff at home, it's a different element. It builds the anticipation all of the way up."

Following the rally, fans filled Stage AE for the Steelers Kickoff Concert. A Thousand Horses and Parmalee got things rolling, before Grammy nominated artist Lee Brice took the stage.

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