“You have supported us, win, lose or draw. So I want to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the memories you’ve given me, and the way you’ve taken me in.” — Jerome Bettis

Will I regret not going to this parade? Maybe, but the skiing was a lot of fun too. This is just too cool. I remember previous Super Bowl victories when I was little…wanting to celebrate after the win, running outside and jumping up and down…with no one else to really share in it out in the suburbs. I remember a light wispy snow fall after one victory and running around in the driveway making little whorls of snow follow me whereever I went. The snow on Sunday night was almost exactly the same as I ran outside to celebreate…but this time, old enough to go down to the corner bar and enjoy the celebration with fellow Pittsburgers! The corner down the street is a point of entry for an alternate route out of town to get back on the freeway so a solid stream of cars was driving by, honking and shouting in response to the dozen or so bar goers waving terrible towels on the street corner.

Yesterday’s victory parade involved four times as many spectators as were at teh superbowl itself, and was equal to almost half the entire population of the city of Pittsburgh. The BEttis family, of course, was there:

“This is just the most incredible moment of my life,” Mrs. Bettis said. “We knew winning the Super Bowl was big, but this is even bigger. I had no idea there were this many people in Pittsburgh.”

250,000 people packed the streets of Pittsburgh. I can’t imagine how they all got there! While driving out of town to head to the mountains, traffic was backed up for about 5 miles outside of town with hoards of black and gold flags and terrible towels waving from driver and passenger windows. THey seemed to be having a good time despite being stuck in traffic.

City Public Works Director Guy Costa estimated the crowd at 250,000, which would tie for the city’s second-largest gathering. The biggest is believed to be the spontaneous outpouring of 300,000 people on Oct. 14, 1960, after Pirate Bill Mazeroski’s ninth-inning home run won Game 7 of the World Series. About 250,000 people were estimated to have attended a Saturday, June 15, 1991, Downtown parade for units returning from Operation Desert Storm.

So many of the Steelers are really class acts, but one of them stands out from the rest…

Bettis interrupted a chant of “Thank you, Bus” to say “No, thank all of you. God bless you. Thank you.”

As he left the stage to officially begin his retirement, the snow intensified and gold fireworks burst across a gray sky.