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Tues, Oct 9, 2001

Steelers Reach Out to 
Attract Amish Fan Base

by Butch Rogaine

DUTCH COUNTRY – The Pittsburgh Steelers are making great strides in their efforts to improve attendance at new Heinz Field’s luxury seating, by attracting an Amish contingent from nearby Lancaster, Pennsylvania. While the stadium’s regular seating sold out quickly, virtually all of Heinz Field’s 127 pricey sky boxes remained untouched. “We thought the boxes would be a great way to get corporations into the game,” said Steelers owner Art Rooney II. What stadium planners failed to realize was that Heinz is the only corporation in Pittsburgh. Consequently, the Black and Gold were left with a ton of free space and the option of bringing in the Amish as a way to get a tax break.

     “Filling the suites with Amish was Plaxico’s idea,” explained Rooney, at a press conference he attended with wide receiver Plaxico Burress. “I saw this chick in a wagon, and I thought ‘man she could be hot without that bonnet and long dress,’” said Burress. “Me and my posse grabbed her and put her in a video for my new rap single.”

     As part of Burress’ probation after the incident, he had to take part in bettering relations between the Amish and those in touch with reality. Eventually, after the sky box dilemma arose, he became an intermediary between the Steelers and the Amish. “At first they didn’t even know who we were. They heard of us, but thought we were thieves,” noted Burress. (In fact, the Amish do not even know what steel is and covet cast iron as their metal of choice.)

     Winning over the trust of the normally reclusive Amish was no easy chore -- especially when head coach Bill Cowher invited a group of Elders to a practice in which he shocked the venerable men by donning some corduroy pants. “Cow-herr mocks our Lord by wearing Satan’s cloth,” was the reaction from distraught Elder Jacob Urinemayer.

     Eventually, the team persuaded the penitent bunch to attend its games after church – but it did not come without a price. The Steelers agreed to make several players build a few homes for the ever growing Amish contingent. In addition, the sky boxes had to be cleared of all their trappings in order to dull any joy that might be experienced at the games. The suites now have so much room that Amish fans can churn butter while watching their favorite new team play. And from what this reporter could tell, it is a change of pace that many are welcoming.  

     “Jerome Bettis, doth strike me as a grand specimen of God’s work. He doth work well with the skin whilst under pressure,” explained Prudence Jeremy, who came to the game in a Bettis jersey she stitched the previous night.

     The running back, for his part, has returned the love being sent his way. He now dons a whisker-less beard and incorporates Amish-isms into his on-field-taunting. “The Lord behooves me to run over your ass,” he could be heard yelling at the Bengals defensive line last week.  

     Meanwhile, a few hundred miles away, Jets owner Robert Wood Johnson is said to be targeting Crown Heights’ Hasidic community to fill seats at the team’s soon to be empty games.

Butch Rogaine believes that the Lord behooved him to open an Amish bar across the street from Heinz Field. 

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Issue #18

  Cal Ripken Tribute: 1982-2001

Mock 2002 NFL Draft: TwistedFans Predicts the First 10 Picks

Mets Ink Benitez to 5-Year Deal, Under Certain Conditions

Valentine Replaces Benitez, Names Mascot as Closer for 2002 Season

NBA Athletes Donate their "Dates" to Relief Workers


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That Goddamned Visa Check Card Commercial On Again

by Willy P. Ondabich

GREEN RIVER, WY –  Heinz Stadium is aflutter with the glorious sights of a football Sunday: the cheerleaders, the players, the fans.  A booming loudspeaker voice encourages the fans, "To Welcome YOUR Pittsburgh Steelers!"  Then suddenly, the song "Lovin' You (Is Easy 'Cause You're Beautiful) echoes loudly throughout the stadium, much to the chagrin of a very fat Steelers fan and his friend, and to the thousands of fans in attendance.

     Marty Schultz, sitting in his easy chair at home in Green River, Wyoming, says "Oh, fuck, here we go again."

     We all know this commercial, and how it ends.  Flashback to Pittsburgh Sound Crew guy at record store, can't buy a copy of the Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out" because he didn't have ID.  Yadda yadda yadda.  Yeah yeah yeah. We got the joke--- the first time.

     It was kinda cute-- not downright hilarious, not knock-you-down funny --the first time you saw it.  The FIRST.  Yes... after the 10th time you see it, though ... after the 40,000th time...

Above: The Voice of the 2001-2002 NFL season.

     "It's bad enough that the storyline is flawed, and average in entertainment value, at best," complained Chad Wensalaw, a stockbroker from Dallas, TX. "What's really bad is that you see it 500 times you start to feel yourself lulled into this kind of non-confrontational acceptance.  It stupidizes you."

     The "Lovin' You" song is one good example of desensitization within the Visa ad.  Yes, Minnie Riperton had a huge hit with it in 1975.  But folks, that was 1975.  The song, cute at best, has cracked many "Top Ten Worst Songs Ever" lists on the internet.

     And we hardcore NFL aficionados have to hear this 1975 one-hit-wonder over, and over, and over again this year.  It's two thousand and fucking one.  We will hear this song in our sleep as we relish in the fact that our Bengals have broken a decade-long funk.  I don't see the connection.

     A similar football ad desensitization phenomenon occurred in 1999, when viewers were punished relentlessly throughout the season by 45,054 showings of a Southwest Airlines commercial featuring a befuddled referee.  The man, who forgot the coin for the coin toss, asked the players "Does anybody have change for a dollar?"

Above: NFL fans tough out another viewing of the Visa ad.

     "Yeah, I remember that guy," said Bill Jackson, a lumberyard manager in Weehawken, New Jersey.  "He was funny."  In actuality, however, the man was a two-bit actor with very poor comedic timing. 

     The next time Marty Schultz sees this commercial, he says he will "take a fucking shotgun to the screen."  He is one of the smarter ones. Others like Clayton Boyberry, however, are not as fortunate. 

     "See in that commercial, how he went to the store and bought "lovin' you is easy 'cuz you're beautiful?" said Boyberry.

     "I did that, too."

eights’ Hasidic community to fill seats at the team’s soon to be empty games.

Willy P. Ondabich watches between 72 and 90 hours of television per week.

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