Monday, August 27, 2007

Pittsburgh Through Aussie Eyes

A retired Aussie football (not soccer) player is trying to catch on with an American football team as a punter for the Philadelphia Eagles. The author of the article thinks last night's game in Pittsburgh is an appropriate place for Saverio Rocca's career rebirth:

For someone seeking reinvention as Rocca is, Pittsburgh can be an inspiring place. In the mid-20th century, when it was one of the most heavily industrialised cities in the US, the smog was so bad here that street lights stayed on all day and businessmen had to change shirts at lunch because of the soot. One writer called the place "Hell with the Lid Off".

Today, however, Pittsburgh is an urban oasis regarded as one of America's most liveable cities. The jobs once provided by steel mills, coal mines and engine shops are now found in smart industries such as robotics and software manufacturing, and at institutions of higher education and medical research.

But one thing that hasn't changed in Pittsburgh is the obsession with football. The Steelers are one of the most storied franchises in the NFL and their fans are fanatics. Yesterday was only a practice game but there were 58,000 through the gates.

For whatever reason, Pittsburgh has a better image internationally than domestically.

1 comment:

Abacus said...

The discrepancy between the international and domestic view of Pittsburgh isn't necessarily shocking. There is a genuine respect for American contributions to the world, especially in light of the innovations that we've championed for the last two centuries. Actually, it is probably the European diaspora that has given good press to the homelands from which many of our residents originally came. In addition, there is a general historical fascination with places in the U.S. that have been born and re-born.