Steelers’ win shouldn’t surprise you

By Allyson Kloster

No one should’ve been surprised that the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl. After all, the team hails from the country’s hotbed of athletics: Pennsylvania.

Don’t laugh. The reality is that, as of late, Pennsylvania’s sports teams have been handily kicking butt. It’s just that most of the country hasn’t realized this yet.

Not only did both of its professional football teams make it to the playoffs this season, but one won the Super Bowl, and the other was one win away from playing in the big game.

Pennsylvania’s football glory does not stop with the NFL. Penn State earned a trip to the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. Although they lost to the USC Trojans, the Nittany Lions at least made it to the game. That’s a big deal, regardless of what any Big Ten hater may say.

The list extends to other sports, too. In case you forgot, Pennsylvania claims ownership of the World Series title, after the Phillies soundly won the series against the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-1.

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    Want more proof of Pennsylvania’s dominance? Take a peek at hockey. Maybe not this season, since the Pittsburgh Penguins sit in 10th place of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference. But last year, the Penguins made it to the Stanley Cup Final. Sure, they lost to the Detroit Red Wings (go figure), but second place isn’t too shabby.

    In fact, the only shabby team in the Keystone State is the Pittsburgh Pirates, the state’s only professional team with a record below .500 thru Monday.

    With many of the best teams in the nation, you’d think Pennsylvania would be on its way toward coolness, right?

    Sadly, that’s not the case.

    We normally don’t think of Pennsylvania as being an athletic hotbed, even though, oddly enough, it is one. Perhaps it’s because we’re stuck thinking that the closest Pennsylvania ever came to having a hotbed of any sorts was in the 1700s, with the Quakers, Liberty Bell and Declaration of Independence.

    Although all are intrinsic parts of our nation’s history, nowadays, none possess the “cool factor” necessary to catapult the state out of its blandness.

    While Pennsylvania’s plainness is what prevents the state from receiving appropriate recognition for its achievements, its blandness is exactly what makes the state appealing.

    Take NBC’s “The Office,” for example. The show’s heart lies in its painfully bland Scranton, Penn., setting. If Dunder Mifflin was located in Hawaii, we’d be watching ABC’s “Lost,” and it wouldn’t be the same thing.

    But this doesn’t mean Pennsylvania doesn’t deserve recognition. It just might explain why it hasn’t been receiving any.

    No matter how many championships Pennsylvania teams win, teams from “cool” cities tend to attract the most fans. At the very least, they sell the most jerseys, becaues even non-Yankees fans buy Yankees hats, and everyone wishes they could sit courtside at a Lakers or Knicks game.

    Right now – and probably forever – the perception of the Quaker state differs greatly from its reality. Its teams are under the radar and snatching up all the titles.

    But they’re not intentionally being sneaky. They’re just being overlooked.

    Allyson Kloster is a senior in Media. She can be reached at [email protected]