I received my first bit of hate from a JoggingJeans.com visitor last month. The comment was nasty for no reason except to be mean.* But one part of it made a reference to me being from Pittsburgh and I got to thinking about something @BrianBWatkins shared with me once that I did not know having lived in Pennsylvania my whole life:
I am from Dallas, therefore since birth it has been engraved in my consciousness that Pittsburgh (along with Philly, Washington, and New York) are all horrible horrible places. This is 100% a football related sentiment. Mention the terms “Steel Curtain” or “Terry Bradshaw” to anyone over the age of 40 and expect them to blow a f%^&ing gasket. Blame my upbringing. I’m sure “yinz” guys and the city itself is sweet.
Is it true that those of you from other big football cities hate Pittsburgh?
Well, you shouldn’t. Hate the Steelers, hate that the fans in Pittsburgh are a bit obsessive [sorry, Folks, but you are], but PLEASE don’t hate this city. I’m putting my offer out there again: if you have plans to visit here, contact me. I’ll buy you a coffee and show you around my city and knock your socks off by the awesomeness of it all. If you are a runner, better yet, let me show you the city that way. Warning: it will involve an almost mile run up a mountain [McArdle Roadway] with a payoff like no other. NO OTHER. Trust me.
So, the reasons this city is so great are numerous (to name a few ’cause, ya know, I’m me: the landscape, its low cost of living, because we put French fries on EVERYTHING, world-class medical facilities, diverse neighborhoods, abundant recreational amenities…do I need to go on?). While these are all awesome, the real reason is because there are people like John that live here. John ran the Freaky 5K dressed in a 1970′s denim leisure suit:
If you don’t love his wig and headband, then you have serious problems.
And while being from Pittsburgh AND running in denim are reasons enough for me to love you, John gets even more of my love. The reason? The stuffed goat that he is holding.
He ran with the stuffed goat to raise awareness for Haiti H2O Goat Project. He is running the Pittsburgh Marathon in May and is hoping to raise money to purchase 26 goats as part of a livestock exchange program to aid the people in Haiti. What is incredible about this program is that not only do the animals provide immediate nourishment to those in need, the recipients pass on the goat’s offspring to others in the community, thereby supplying food and income far beyond the initial gift. You can read more about it here.
How about doing socially responsible gifting this year instead of just exchanging gift cards? How about making purchases that actually might make a difference in this world? And who doesn’t like gifts that keep on giving?
Please go to John’s fundraising page and consider buying a goat as a gift to help a fellow Pittsburgher do some good. Come on, undo that Pittsburgh Football Hate** you’ve been storing up inside you all these years. ;)
* Thanks to those that saw it before I deleted it and came to my defense or wrote me an email [hugs]. But in all honesty, I thought it was AWESOME. There should be some “badge” you can put in your sidebar after your first particularly vicious comment.
** I totally want credit for coining this phrase.