SEATTLE – It wasn't the outcome that Steelers Nation was hoping for on Sunday afternoon. That's obvious. However, as the team made their first trip to the Pacific Northwest since 2003, Steelers Nation was as passionate and excited as ever throughout the weekend.
It began on Saturday night at Fado Irish Pub in downtown Seattle. It's the go-to spot for Steelers fans on game day when the Steelers aren't playing in the city or out on the West Coast. The word was out about that, too, as hundreds of black-and-gold wearing Steelers fanatics packed into the pub, with many more waiting outside. The buzz was palpable walking through the door, as they counted down the hours until Sunday's kickoff.
In what is now becoming a road game tradition, Steelers Nation Unite, the team's loyalty program (which is FREE to join) that recognizes and rewards fans all over the world, attends and promotes meet-ups for all fans at these local Steelers bars. With giveaways and prizes for members of the program who Check In using the Steelers mobile app, it's a fun night and a great way to get ready for game day in enemy territory.
With all the excitement and buzz already in the pub, it increased tenfold when former Steelers Brett Keisel and Mark Bruener walked in to surprise the fans in attendance.
Immediately, chants of "Here We Go, Steelers" and "Keisel! Keisel!" echoed throughout the building. An unexpected but most welcome surprise, fans were thrilled to be interacting and up-close and personal with a pair of Steelers greats.
For two Steelers Nation Unite members, all the excitement from Saturday and the anticipation of Sunday came with an additional surprise that they never would have imagined.
Barry Bibler and his son, Spencer, are diehard fans from Oregon. Being from the Northwest, the chances to see their team live are few and far between. On Saturday night, they found out they'd be getting an even closer view of the action, as they were rewarded with pregame field passes to take in all the excitement of game day from the Steelers sideline.
"That was the surprise of all surprises," Bible said of Saturday night. "I've got my 'Fear Da Beard' gear and stuff, and all of the sudden here he is. I got my picture taken with him and it was a good time."
Things got even better once he got to the stadium on Sunday and had a chance to take in the total experience delivered by Steelers Nation Unite.
"I've always dreamed of stuff like this, but we're from Oregon so there's no NFL stadium and we have to wait every eight years for the Steelers to come here. To actually see Brett Keisel last night and to actually be on the same playing surface as these guys when they're warming up, it's a dream come true," he said.
Patty Walbert, a Wyoming native, traveled to the game and lives just a short drive from Keisel's hometown of Greybull, WY. One of her all-time favorites, Patty was given a special video to watch from 'Da Beard' on Sunday morning. The message? An invite to come to field level for pregame and see her favorite team up-close at her first-ever Steelers game. To say she was excited was an understatement, as she was at a loss for words and emotional at the opportunity Steelers Nation Unite was providing.
With a new week underway and primetime football on the horizon, there are more opportunities to get rewarded with Steelers Nation Unite, including for fans who don't come to the stadium on game day. With interaction and callouts on social media, as well as exclusive content, sweepstakes and ways to interact at SteelersNationUnite.com, join now before you miss out on another chance to get closer to your team than ever before.
To sign up for free, visit www.SteelersNationUnite.com now and get access to these exclusive benefits, as well as live, weekly interactions with your favorite Steelers players.
Make your membership in Steelers Nation official and join today.
Steelers Nation Unite recognized and rewarded fans during the team's Week 12 trip to Seattle and brought along former Steeler Brett Keisel as a surprise.