Rapper Mac Miller, who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, might be living in Los Angeles now but he holds his hometown close to his heart. Miller is an avid Steelers fan who when he isn't able to catch a game in person makes sure he has the time to watch them on television, even in the early morning hours on the West Coast.
Miller had the pleasure of being at Heinz Field last season to lead the Terrible Towel Twirl when the Steelers played the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 30.
"I had a decision to either play wideout or do the Terrible Towel Twirl and my knee isn't what it used to be, so I did the Towel Twirl," joked Miller. "It was awesome. I am a life-long Steelers fan, watching games my whole life."
Miller, who grew up in the Point Breeze section of the city and went to Allderdice High School, released his second album, "Watching Movies with the Sound Off," on June 18.
Miller took time out to talk with Teresa Varley for Talking Steelers Football.
When you hear the name Steelers what is the first thing that comes to mind?Super Bowl champs and family. I have traveled all around the world and you meet Steelers fans everywhere. It's pretty awesome. There are so many fans in every city. It's cool to be in a random airport in Kentucky and you see a guy in a Steelers sweatshirt and you give him the little point and snap.How did you become a Steelers fan? Was it just something a kid from Pittsburgh does, was it your family?I think it's in your blood if you are from Pittsburgh. I don't think I have ever met someone who is from Pittsburgh who isn't a Steelers fan. I think it's just a part of you. It's like learning to speak English. You hear everyone else around you talking, and you learn how to speak it. It's the same with being a Steelers fan, because everything in this city is Steelers.
What makes the Steelers special to you?Being from Pittsburgh the Steelers are our representatives. They represent us and we them. It's one thing that brings the city all together. I remember the first Super Bowl we won in my lifetime and after the game just running around the city and everyone celebrating. It just brings people together. Everyone has emotional attachments. When the Steelers win, everyone is happy. When they lose, everyone is sad. You are too young to have experienced some of the history of the team, but do you know your Steelers' history, know about the great players from the 70s who won 4 Super Bowls don't you?Of course, how can you not. That is one of the main bragging rights. We had an ill team in the 70s and an ill team now. It's good. I remember players from later years too, Tommy Maddox, Kordell Stewart, the good and bad times. But I like the direction of the team. I love it.
How proud are you to represent Pittsburgh and Steelers Nation on stage?It's awesome, especially when I am in Pittsburgh. Whenever I am in Pittsburgh I always wear a Steelers jersey. It's cool because it's not like I am from New York or Los Angeles or Chicago. I am from Pittsburgh and it's way cooler than any other place.
How closely do you follow the team? Do you get to see many of the games with your hectic schedule?I still get to follow the team. When I am on the road I have NFL Sunday Ticket so I get to watch the games. I live in Los Angeles so now I have to wake up extra early to watch Steelers games, but it's worth it.
Who was your favorite player as a kid?
Jerome Bettis definitely. I always liked Dermontti Dawson too. He was consistent and a legendary player. I liked Rod Woodson a lot. I liked Kordell Stewart a lot too. I was a fan.
* * Is there a current player who you really enjoy watching or respect their game?Right now the Steelers player I really like a lot and I hope we continue to keep and grow with is Jon Dwyer. He runs hard. He is a Pittsburgh Steelers running back. He hits the hole. He doesn't do too much fancy stuff. He reminds me of a young Jerome Bettis, which is good. He is humble and loves playing for the Steelers and everything it's about. Of course I like Ben Roethlisberger. And Ziggy Hood is like a beast. Ryan Clark hits hard. Everyone is good.
You had a chance to do a freestyle rap with some players? What was that like – nervous at all having them there?I wasn't nervous, it was just fun. It's one of the coolest things about what I do, getting the chance to spend time with people I am a fan of. At first it's like 'Oh my God, like I am a fan of them,' then you get over it and it's cool being around them. No matter how they are on the field, everyone is a regular person.
What current Steelers player would you like to rap with and why?I would pick Antonio Brown. I think it would be really awesome. It would be tight. He wouldn't do too much. He would play his role and do it really well. He would know all of the lyrics. He would have it down.