Sixteen Sundays Reborn

September 4th, 2013

Sixteen Sundays Reborn

Image Caption: Kickoff. Steelers vs. Titans. Heinz Field 2005.

As we kick off the 2013 NFL season, I give you Sixteen Sundays – Reborn. Here you will find the journals and photo archives of a project that documented the passion of the Steeler Nation, and revealed the experience of being a fan of the great Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sixteen Sundays started almost ten years ago. In the middle of the 2003 season I took my first few photographs of Steelers fans. Since that time a lot has happened. Ben Roethlisberger was drafted. Hines Ward cried. The Steelers visited Detroit and Bettis got his hometown super bowl ring. They brought the Lombardi trophy home to an enormous Pittsburgh crowd. Chiodo’s Tavern in Homestead had last call. Coach Tomlin replaced Coach Cowher. The Steelers visited Tampa and won another Lombardi trophy. I moved to Texas. The Triple Dueces closed. We lost Myron Cope. The Steelers visited Arlington, Texas and lost. Ben Roethlisberger got married. Players have come and gone. North Shore hotels, amphitheaters, tunnels, and T stations have replaced once open tailgating spaces. And soon the Pirates will be in the post-season. During all of that I photographed the Steeler Nation.

From 2004 to 2008 I regularly posted my journals and photographs from the project. In 2009 I moved to Texas, but it wasn’t until late 2010 that I finally sold my house in Shadyside and closed my photography studio in Pittsburgh’s South Side. In 2010 I focused on editing the thousands of photographs and preparing a mockup of a photo book. I redesigned the website and readied it for a new launch. Book proposals where submitted to publishers and everything was ready for lightning to strike when the Steelers made it to Super Bowl XLV in 2011. It seemed the only thing I needed was one more win and certainly my book would be published. I thought about everything that might be riding on the outcome of the Super Bowl while I sat in the nosebleed seats at Cowboys Stadium and watched the Steelers lose to the Packers. I thought about it all the way back to the car. When I got to the parking lot I found out my car battery had died from tailgating all day. This is the moment I thought I was done. And so the relaunch of Sixteen Sundays never happened.

Sixteen Sundays was always meant to be shared with the Steeler Nation, returned as it were to the people who welcomed me in. Now that I’ve had a chance to step back and look at the big picture it is time to share the experiences of the past Sixteen Sundays with the future. I might be done photographing this project, but I hope these photographs will ignite your own passion for the Steelers, and strengthen your faith.

Go Steelers.


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