Big Lead Sports Bar



Pepsi, sponsor of the 2008 NFL Rookie of the Year, has generously donated an Ultimate Super Bowl Party Pack, valued at a whopping $250, for our latest contest which was to find the best Steeler party.

The entries are in, and below are the finalists. You can vote for who you think holds the best Steeler parties at the end of the post. Voting will run until Friday, January 23, at 12:00 AM EST, and a winner will officially be announced later on Friday.


1. Mark K., Chicago

Every Steelers game, my wife and I host a gaggle of Steelers fans in our Chicago home. We've built a basement bar called the Barnacle, complete with ice cold PBR on tap (sorry, can't figure out how to get Iron kegs in Chicago, although we offer it in cans) and two TV's (a large one to watch the Steelers win, and a small one to watch Cleveland lose). Our regular crowd includes friends and family relocated from Pittsburgh (I was born and raised in Crafton near Cowher), and a few local converts that caught black n' gold fever. We're open for every Steeler game, and we charge $10 all you can eat and drink. Clearly the best deal in town.

You have to understand, my wife doesn't just cook, she's a gourmet chef. Last Sunday's championship game included homemade pirogies (she rolled out fresh dough, stuffed them with potato and cheese, and pinched each one by hand) and 20 pounds of homemade sausage (she actually ground the meat herself). She insists on cooking everything from scratch, for every Steeler game. To top it off last week, she decorated gingerbread cookies to look like the entire team roster. What can I say? She's food-crazy.

Obviously the highlight of each party is watching the Steelers win. After each touchdown, we play the Steeler polka song on an old record player. And after each win, we keep the bar open all night for the celebration. I have a hard time believing there is a better place to watch the game outside of Heinz Field.

Attached are some pictures. Sorry I don't have group shots, I'm always too busy watching the game to think about taking pictures. Instead here's some headshots we took for next year's annual program. And last Sunday's theme was an offertory, we made everyone say a Steeler prayer and light a candle for the Chief.

Thanks for reading. And GO STEELERS!

#2. Josh S.

During Super Bowl XL, I was amongst the enemy living in Washington State and thus, no party thrown by me. In fact nobody wanted to even talk to me since I wasn't creaming all over the Seahawks. Anyway, as Seinfeld once said, "what could possess anyone to throw a party? I mean, to have a bunch of strangers treat your house like a hotel room." So no, I do not have a past party story to tell. This year is different though. I pledged the moment we clinched a playoff spot that there would indeed be a kegger at my place when the Steelers reached the Super Bowl. I invited, nay, demanded that my friends come from all over to gather! After all, I made three friends go to Oakland with me and paint their faces (As David Puddy would say, "you know, gotta support the team") and deal with constant heckling (especially after that game):


I've dragged my Seahawk fan girlfriend to Pittsburgh to watch the Seahawks get shut out:


And this season I brought a friend for his first trip to Pittsburgh for a snowy game against the Bengals on a Thursday night:


It is a fact that none of these people were Steelers fans, but the force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded. Thus far I have 15 confirmed guests with more on the way and only 6 actual seats, (nevermind only one spare bed and at least 5 extra people staying the night) but nonetheless this year people will descend upon my humble rented townhouse from all across the west coast. I dropped 25K (in airline miles) for my best friend to come from Sacramento, who promises to pay me back in BBQ skills. I have friends coming from Idaho and Oregon all the way to Seattle solely to enjoy the Super Bowl festivities at my place. My crappy TV from the 80s will step aside for a rented 50" HDTV I'm picking up this weekend and once everyone has had enough Pepsi we'll be rolling in a fresh keg of Red Hook Blonde (always had a thing for blondes) until it is time to crack open my Christmas gift from my employer, a nice bottle (I think since they seem to cost about $40 online) of Tattinger Brut Champagne following the Steelers win:

Finally, you asked for recipes, well that's not my specialty, but for those who've gone to Rock Bottom Brewery before and had their soft pretzels with that amazing cheese dip? Well, supposedly this is that dip recipe so if you've never had the pretzel and cheese at Rock Bottom, do it. We'll be making this dip and pretzels in addition to your standard guac, salsa, mozzarella sticks, and some TBD meat on the BBQ...all of which would do well in a snack helmet, except for the meat. Go Steelers and hope all have good moshpitting!!

1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole
peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles, drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
10 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup half-and-half cream
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar salt and pepper to taste

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2.Saute onion in skillet over medium heat in oil until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and chiles, let cook 2 minutes.
3.Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in spinach, cheese, cream cheese, half and half, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture into shallow baking dish like a 9 inch quiche dish or pie plate.
4.Bake in the preheated oven until the dip is bubbly and the top is light brown, about 35 minutes.

#3. Ben P.

While a student at Penn State, the residents of our downtown apartment prided ourselves on throwing a great party. During our senior year, we added a rabid Pittsburgh fan, Scott, to our roster, making every Pirates, Pens, and Steelers game more interesting.

After a whirlwind season and playoffs, we were set to throw a rager for the Super Bowl. We handpicked our guests from the best of the best of the Steeler fans in our circle of friends and started preparation for a day of lining our bellies with Iron and the most unhealthy food we could think up. I left my apartment for work around noon to return at 6pm for kickoff. When i walked into the door, around 15 - 20 people were packed into our tiny 2 bedroom apartment decked out in black and gold getting ready for gametime. When I surveyed the crowd, I noticed scott was missing. Shocked, I asked around where he was, only to find him laying face down on the living room floor, cloacked in a Greg Lloyd jersey, Terrible Towel in left hand, empty fifth of 100 proof Soco in the right.

We frantically woke up Scott, who, in true Yinzer fashion, decided to start the party around 11am with a few pregame cocktails. In a daze, Scott rose to his feet, neigh, knees for kickoff and placed himself about 7 inches from the tv screen. With the first play of the game, we knew we were in for a treat, mostly due to the fact the only words coming from Scott's mouth were "CHRIS HOPE!" and "KILL HIM" offense or defense (Chris Hope was clearly the MVP of the Scott's heart). With any play, favorable or not, the Terrible Towel was whipped into the tv with more chants of "CHRIS!......HOPE!". After a quarter of the chants, Scott decided it would be a great idea to mute the tv and blast a cd of the steelers polka during every commercial. Every commercial turned into every 3 minutes which eventually turned into the entire game. Halftime was spent watching one man consume more kielbasa and chicken wing dip than previously thought possible along with watching Scott spend the next 20 minutes searching, and eventually destroying the apartment looking for the cd which was hidden in a cowerdly act from a bitter eagles fan.

During Willie Parker's giant TD run, more chants of Chris Hope filled the air and as the clock ticked down to a Steelers victory, a giant crash as Scott barrelled into the table on his way towards the streets to celebrate the win. we all waited around the apartment finishing our beers until about 1:30 am when Scott was brought into the door, miraculously by his then -girlfriend and not a cop. From that point on, scott's drunk alter-ego was known as superfan, a performance unmatched until april of that year for the Pirates home opener.

4. Tiffany C.

This year, we JUST moved back home to Pittsburgh ( We lived in Philadelphia for the past 7 years - oh the horror!! ) Since we moved back, we have had a Steeler party EVERY week at our house because it is "good luck". This past week - for the AFC Championship, we tailgated in our driveway all morning and afternoon long, because we couldn't afford Tickets to go to the game! We are now having the Superbowl party here too because we are so superstititous - these pack would really come in handy!

Check out my food blog - it has tons of recipes on it - along with pics from this week's "Tailgate!"

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bohica said...

love the spread at #1, but you gotta go foam cowboy hat. not necessarily because his story is the best, but he's wearing a giant foam cowboy hat. it gets no better.

Broke But Still Drinking said...

My friend, once got so wasted at the local Polsish Falcons, that he passed out on their couch after the game. It wasn't until the next morning, after the smoke had cleared and the club's alarms had been set, that he discovered his mistake of passing out after the game. He left the club at 6:00 in the morning, forgetting the alarms had been set, he triggered a response from the local police department, who discovered a disheveled Steelers fan at the club's doors. He showed his club card and the police went on their way.

Now that's a Steelers fan.

Oh, and he grabbed a bag of pretezls from the club before he left, for his long walk home.

Unknown said...

I had to vote for Mark, the dude pretty much told my story. I'm in WA state b/c I joined the Air Force, and I too have been dealing with wet pantied Seahawk fans for a while (that '03 loss was terrible).

Props to you bro.

Unknown said...

I meant to say Josh..not Mark. Mark just seems full of himself.

Steve said...

Gotta give the prize to No. 1, Not only because of The Chief offeratory, but he get's mad props for landing such a cute wife who's not only way outta his league but makes homemade perogies and sausage as well. If I was Mark, I'd be full of myself too.

Tawm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tawm said...

If Josh were a real Steelers guy, wouldn't he be drinking some Iron City, not Red Hook Blonde?

Heathbar said...

Barnacle is where it's at - Mark's bar is IT yinz. Plus I heard Justin Strzelczyk used to party there.

Lance said...

no chance of getting a keg of iron city in seattle...rolling rock was a possibility, but after they sold out might as well go microbrew

BurressWithButterflywings said...

I can't help but laugh at the story about the Superfan and the Chris Hope chants.

I voted for it because for the last 2 playoff games, I hosted parties at my apartment. During these games our friend, ironically named Scott, turned into the human high five machine for seemingly every occurence of note in the 2 games. He managed to speak 10 decibels above the TV, which was at full volume, every time he opened his mouth (which was quite often) and clapped so loud for every play that wasn't an opposing TD, it seemed the walls were going to come crashing down like Joe Flacco in the 4th quarter.

5 minutes after the Chargers game ended, he was passsed out cold in the recliner. We were all too pumped for that result to be repeated after clinching our spot in XLIII.

Unknown said...

THe shrine to Rooney is awesome. and yeah Mark outkicked his coverage on the wifey. The Barnacle!

Anonymous said...

That's some basement bar room. Always been a goal of mine to have something like that.

Unknown said...

No to Josh S. Is it just me, or does his Seattle girlfriend look, what's the phrase Austin Powers used? A bit mannish?

-Another displaced Pittsburgh in WA state (Yakima, baby!)

Steve said...

Daeeem Nick! Just a little unnecessary roughness with the GF comment, huh? I doubt with the ballcap and sunglasses she had an FHM photo shoot in mind. She probably looks fine otherwise. I mean, she would have to ditch the repulsive seahawks cap of course, since the only person that thing makes even more feminine is Hasselbeck.

P.O. said...

mark and tiffany are the only ones who have actual "parties"... one guy come back to pittsburgh for games once every year or so (so does everyone's uncle/cousin who lives out of state. yawn) and the other got wasted with his buddies during the super bowl (who didnt??). I'm sure tiffany's parties are solid but mark was much more descriptive with solid photos. Mark FTW!!

Anonymous said...

Mark wins.

Carolyn said...

Tiffany C. should win. She can't afford tickets so she probably can't afford to throw parties for every game. Give the girl a break!

Unknown said...

#1 all the way. I have been to the Barnacle and witnessed what goes down on Steelers game day. Remarkable -- a memorable experience every time due to Mark's chants (and songs if you're lucky), free-flowing beer and alcohol policies, and authentic bar atmosphere (you'd swear you weren't in a basement). Mark's wife, who is not the chick pictured (but is a hot chick as well), truly brings the noise with food and merriment in support of her man and Pittsburgh. He outkicked his coverage with her. My only regret is not living closer to partake in the partying... the Barnacle is where it's at.