Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Towel Seen around New York Police Sergeant Shows Steelers Nation Going Strong

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Towel Seen around New York Police Sergeant Shows Steelers Nation Going Strong

Article excerpt

Being a police officer in New York City, that's nothing. New York City police Sgt. Alex Lago loves it.

"There's no better job," he said.

But being a Steelers fan in New York Giants territory -- that takes guts.

Still, there he was, doing his job Tuesday at the corner of Fulton Street and Broadway, standing firm between the Giants players and coaches in the team's Super Bowl victory parade and the cheering crowd of passionate fans who lined the streets.

He had everything he needed. His uniform. His weapons. His badge.

And his Terrible Towel.

Sgt. Lago, 43, of Lindenhurst, N.Y., is a die-hard Steelers fan, as if there could be any other kind. But he has no connection to Pittsburgh.

"I've lived here my whole life," he said by phone. "But the first football game I ever saw was the Vikings-Steelers Super Bowl. I was probably 6. It was the biggest game, and my dad had it on and I started watching it."

It was January 1975. The Steelers won, and the young Alex Lago had his team.

It was a choice he made on his own because his relatives were not particularly fans of the game.

"That's the beauty part, because they were never into football," he said. "My dad came over from Cuba, like, in 1960, and he never followed it. I had to find it for myself, thank God. Otherwise, I'd probably be a Giants or a Jets fan."

As a youth, Sgt. Lago played football for Plainedge High School in Massapequa, N.Y.

"I was a linebacker, so pretty much whatever Lambert did, I imitated," he said referring to Steelers great Jack Lambert. "I loved it. And I was pretty damn good. But I was too small and skinny to play in college."

After high school, he became a carpenter. At age 35, he joined the police force, rising to the rank of sergeant in December 2008.

Along the way, he met and married his wife, Jennifer, herself a New Yorker.

"But her old man is a Steelers fan, too," Sgt. …

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