LATROBE – This past weekend, more than 250 Steelers fans descended on the Saint Vincent College campus for a memorable weekend at the 2015 Men's Fantasy Camp, presented by Bud Light.
On Friday evening, Skip Brown, a season ticket holder, loyal attendee of Men's Fantasy Camp and member of Steelers Nation Unite addressed the crowd at dinner and talked about another unforgettable experience that he ranks with his best memories as a Steelers fan.
Brown, whose family has held Steelers season tickets for more than 50 years, has seen games at each venue the team has called home since the mid-1960s, including Forbes Field, Pitt Stadium, Three Rivers Stadium and Heinz Field. When Steelers Nation Unite launched during the 2014 season, Brown saw it as an opportunity to get closer to his favorite team.
Little did he know, though, that he'd receive the call he did on the day the Steelers would defeat the Cincinnati Bengals to capture the AFC North crown in Week 17 last season. As part of the 'Thank You Fans' game, Brown was selected for postgame field access, where he received an autographed football and photo opportunities on the Heinz Field grass. It was an experience he called "once in a lifetime."
"I was totally caught off guard," said Brown. "I RSVP'd [during the week] and received a call on the day of the game asking me if I was going to be there. The gentleman on the other end of the line gave me the details of what was going to happen and I was actually floored. I immediately called my father, he's the original season ticket holder in the family, and he was elated that the Steelers were giving me and my brother this opportunity."
The fact that the Steelers captured the division title that night made it all the more exciting for Brown and his brother, John.
"With the Steelers clinching the AFC North title, it was extra special. Even if it was just a regular game, it would have been a great experience. I never dreamed of going down on the field. I've had tours of Heinz Field, but never after a game, especially after a big victory like that."
Brown detailed his experience and what Steelers Nation Unite has afforded him to his fellow campers during Men's Fantasy Camp. He encouraged them all to join if they weren't already members, telling the group that there are plenty of ways for fans everywhere to feel a closer connection to the Steelers.
"It's great. Steelers Nation Unite takes things to a higher level with unique experiences," said Brown. "The conference calls with the team and the different opportunity to directly interact with players and the coaching staff is unbelievable as a fan."
Overall, the connection Brown feels with both the team and with Steelers fans around the world is why being a part of Steelers Nation Unite and being a Steelers fan is special to him.
"Steelers fans are everywhere," said Brown. "I've traveled to different parts of the world and different parts of the United States wearing my Steelers shirt and I've always ran into somebody wearing their Steelers shirt somewhere. It's a common bond that you have with different folks from different backgrounds. It's a great way for people to connect because we have a general respect and love for our Steelers."
To join Steelers Nation Unite and be officially recognized as a member of Steelers Nation, visit http://steelersnationunite.com/ or the 'Steelers Nation Unite' page on the Steelers mobile app. Joining is free, quick and easy and only requires an email address and a password to sign up.
The Steelers showed their appreciation to Steelers Nation with a 'Thank You Fans' game on 12/28/14.