by Ryan Wateska, @texasyinzer on Twitter
Ft. Worth, Texas, via Pittsburgh
During the week leading up to Super Bowl XLV, Fort Worth, Texas will have signs proclaiming “You’re In Steelers Country”, sidewalk vendors will be hawking Terrible Towels, and WTAE cameras will be recording the anticipation for those back at home. On all accounts, the DFW area will be home to plenty of the Steelers Nation.
The atmosphere of the city now is a far cry from the “Funkytown Fort Worth” that Pittsburgh native Ryan Wateska experienced during Super Bowl XL a half decade ago.
“During the Drive for Five, I watched the game with my father at the Fox & Hound on Houston St. in downtown Fort Worth. The bar was packed, but we were the only jagoffs in the whole place wearing black and gold.”
Riding the championship wave, Wateska enrolled in Texas Christian University and immediately established a new foothold for Steelers Nation.
In the time since, Wateska has found what makes this city great for Pittsburghers visiting deep in the heart of Texas, where Dallas Cowboys “5xChamps” vanity license plates are (humorously) commonplace.
If Yins have a family:
Visit The Fort Worth Zoo, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, watch a Cattle Drive in the Stockyards, or cruise Sundance Square where you can eat, watch an ESPN show, and take in the atmosphere of one of the great American downtown experiences.
If Yins are hungry:
While in Texas you’ll need to taste local Tex-Mex at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop on University and Berry, or grab a late night snack at one of Fort Worth’s unique taco stands: Salsa Limon on Berry St., or Taco Heads off West 7th St. In addition, the Stockyards has great steakhouses but make sure to have an early reservation, as this area closes around 9pm.
If Yins want an I.C. Light:
You won’t find one in Fort Worth. The main bar areas are the college bars near the TCU campus, where there are half a dozen watering holes with cheap drink specials or head to West 7th Street, which offers a number of hip destinations, including the appropriately named “7th Haven” where the aforementioned Taco Heads can be found. Don’t miss grabbing a Rahr or Shiner (Iron City/Yuengling to a Texan) or any of the 240+ beers at the Flying Saucer in Sundance Square before moving along Houston St. The downtown bars are sure to be packed with celebrities and Steelers fans this weekend. Pete’s Piano bar is always a good time to enjoy live music and drinks, while the Fox & Hound, The Library, and Bar 9 all offer a different atmosphere, depending on your mood.
If Yins want to win a Super Bowl:
Going to the game is out of your price range? Your best destinations would be the downtown Fox & Hound with countless televisions, a great hole in the wall at Woody’s Tavern off Bryant Irvin and I-20, any one of the Buffalo Wild Wings in greater DFW, or Wet Willies, a 4-month old bar opened by three Pittsburghers situated between Fort Worth and Arlington on I-30.
“I never thought the Steelers Nation would invade Fort Worth like it has for Super Bowl XLV”, admitted Wateska.
“I’ve taken the Terrible Towel to Istanbul in the name of Royal Tunch Ilkin and all the way to Rome for Emperor Chaz. Seeing Pittsburgher’s in Texas waving them proudly this past week ranks up there with the best of them.”
Fort Worth better be ready for this Texas Yinzer as he and Jakarta Jagoff, Jim Allan, plan to give away 200 Terrible Towels the week leading up to Super Bowl XLV.
If Yins are visiting Fort Worth, be prepared, it’s Steelers Country!
Mondesi's House: The Director's Cut (more links, commentary, etc): twitter.com/mondesishouse