Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steelers Training Camp Fans Still Get Their Kicks at Saint Vincent Workouts

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steelers Training Camp Fans Still Get Their Kicks at Saint Vincent Workouts

Article excerpt

George Muentzer arrived at Saint Vincent College at 7 a.m. Sunday, eight hours before the Steelers held their first football practice of training camp.

He stood near the front entrance to the school, waving his Terrible Towel at passing cars until the parking lot opened at 11 a.m.

Mr. Muentzer of Jeannette wore a gold, custom-made shirt with the words "44 Years of Training Camp" inscribed in black on the front and back to go along with his Steelers sneakers, Steelers socks, Steelers shorts and a Steelers 10-gallon hat that he bought at a yard sale for 70 cents. As his shirt declares, he has attended Steelers training camp at Saint Vincent for each of the past 44 years, always showing up on opening day.

"I love my Steelers - always did, always will," Mr. Muentzer said.

The beginning of this year's training camp marks the 50th anniversary for the team holding practices at the Latrobe site. The Steelers celebrated the milestone with a ceremony and special fan festivities before Sunday's practice.

And though few fans arrived as early as Mr. Muentzer, the bleachers and hills alongside the football field at Saint Vincent began to fill up with people hours before the Steelers began their drills. Fans brought lawn chairs and picnic baskets, looking to stay out of the sun while they waited to get their first glimpse of this year's Steelers.

For Erich and Zach Hizer, a father and son who made the trip to Latrobe from their home in the Philadelphia area, training camp is both a chance to spend time together and a rare opportunity to be among fellow Steelers fans. Erich Hizer grew up in Greensburg and knew he wanted to raise his son a Steelers fan, even in Philadelphia Eagles territory.

They arrived early enough Sunday to save seats in the first few rows of the bleachers, the father wearing a black Jack Lambert jersey and the son wearing an Antonio Brown jersey. …

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