Black and gold believers swarm Sun City Grand - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

Black and gold believers swarm Sun City Grand

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Posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 5:00 pm

Bob Husick has never viewed the world in black-and-white terms.

As a lifelong fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Surprise resident’s world has always been colored black and gold.

“If you cut me, I wouldn’t bleed red,” said Husick, who lives in Sun City Grand. “I would definitely bleed black and gold.”

Eight Pittsburgh natives and a Minnesota convert gathered in Sun City Grand earlier this week for an impromptu pep rally and a chance to profess their loyalty to Steelers Nation. Pittsburgh plays the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday (4:30 p.m., Ch. 10).

“I got hooked on the Steelers back when I was a little kid,” Husick said. “I had an uncle who played football at Kansas, and he took me to a Steelers game when they played in Pitt Stadium in 1960.

“The Steelers were terrible back then, but I fell in love with the atmosphere.”

Fortunes have changed dramatically for the Steelers since those moribund days 50 years ago.

The Steelers have won a league-best six Super Bowl titles and will be knocking on seven’s door this weekend when they make their third championship appearance in the last six years.

Husick and friends will be knocking back Jell-O shots, waving Terrible Towels and watching all the action in the home of Ron Predovich, another Sun City Grand resident.

Predovich, a Minnesota native and Vikings fan, has decided to root for the Steelers because of his friendship with Husick.

“Besides, being from Minnesota, it’s hard to root for the Packers,” Predovich said.

The Sun City Grand contingent will watch the Super Bowl in the lap of luxury, sitting in theater-style seats and watching the game on a 100-inch TV in Predovich’s self-described “man cave.”

“The screen is so big,” Husick said. “I practically feel the hit when one of the Steelers makes a tackle.”

Husick and his wife, Ricki, plan to decorate Predovich’s home in black-and-gold balloons in advance of the big game.

Dining fare will include kielbasa and pierogies.

There also will be in-game entertainment.

In addition to the twirling of Terrible Towels, Frank and Justine Retkowski plan to dance the polka after every Steelers’ score.

The Retkowskis are originally from Ross Township, a Pittsburgh suburb, and now live in Sun City Grand.

“There will be a lot of screaming and hollering during the game,” Frank Retkowski said. “It’ll be a good time.”

Even Predovich’s dog, Sam, has gotten the black-and-gold spirit.

Sam, a Brittany, wore a Steelers license plate around his neck and danced for the cameras during the pep rally.

Maybe Sam’s a Steelers fan — or maybe he heard about the kielbasa.

Only time will tell.

Rich Bolas can be reached at 623-876-2523 or rbolas@yourwestvalley.com.

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