Like any Steelers fan, North Hills native Susan Reimer wanted to share her joy at the team's Super Bowl appearance with the neighbors. It's just that her neighbors are in Baltimore ... and Reimer, a journalist, chose to share her joy in the newspaper column she penned for the Feb. 5 Baltimore Sun.
In response, Reimer has received more than 175 e-mails from Baltimore Ravens fans who had apparently fastened their diapers a little too tightly. By contrast, she reports, a previous column on abortion generated just two e-mails. "I think it says a lot that readers were affected more by a pro-Steelers column then they were about this one."
"While I wouldn't go so far as to threaten you, " wrote one reader, "[w]hat in the hell are you thinking? ... [Y]ou either an idiot [sic] or a glutton for punishment."
Although some e-mails were positive, Reiemer says the majority spewed venom. "Your [sic] might as well write an article in the United States [that] praises the merits of Al Qaeda and Hamas," one suggested.
Reimer says her column wasn't meant to anger readers or even to brag about the fact that the Steelers were in the Super Bowl.
"This was just supposed to be a valentine to my team," Reimer says. "I never expected [readers] to say things like 'go back to Pittsburgh and take your pathetic family with you.' Baltimore fans have a chip on their shoulder about everything -- from other fans coming to their stadium to hypersensitivity that they could lose this team like they lost the Colts," who moved to Indianapolis in 1984.
Reimer and her husband, USA Today sportswriter Gary Mihoces, were blessed by Steelers owner Art Rooney at their wedding prior to moving south, she says; Rooney appreciated Mihoces' work covering the Steelers. But the couple has been living in Baltimore since 1979, when the Sun hired Reimer as one of the country's first female sportswriters. She covered pro football for 14 years before turning to her current family column.
"If Pittsburgh is such a blue collar, hard-working town," one reader wrote to Reimer, "why are you all down here. The answer is that Pittsburgh is actually a misserable [sic] poop hole on the planet and you had to come to the land of pleasant living to make a good life."
Apparently, in Baltimore, the good life is rooting for a team stolen from Cleveland.