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Thursday November 26 2015
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A Black n Gold Dad’s Role

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Raising a Black n Gold Girl is no easy process, and you Dad’s out there shouldn’t underestimate your role or influence in it. As I reflect on what made me a Black n Gold Girl, I have to give most of the credit to my Dad.

He instilled a love of football in us girls at a very early age, teaching my sisters and me the rules of the game by making a competition out of properly calling penalties. The first one to correctly call the foul—with the appropriate hand signal—would win. This was serious business, and it’s a game that lives on as I watch as my sisters pass this same tradition onto their kids.

The other thing that stands out was my Dad's ability to recall the most random player facts. He could go deep into statistical references on every man on the roster and speak for hours accurately on each. He too always seemed to be on point when it came to who the Steelers would draft each and every year. It was truly impressive – the man would have been a fantasy football ace.

I lost my Dad in 2004, the year that Steelers turned things around and  went 15-1, going on to finally attain that elusive “One for the Thumb” the following season. We joked lovingly that Dad had helped with some divine intervention during that amazing run!

Not a game day goes by when I don’t miss him... but I still feel him watching the games with me.

When I think about what the Black n Gold Girls represents, how we have started and how we have grown, I can't help but think that my Dad had a hand in our success. I love football because of my Dad. I have a successful business because my Dad instilled in me a passion for Pittsburgh sports.

Dad, if you are reading this and you have daughters, I truly hope that those girls will be able to say one day: “I love football because it reminds me of all of the precious time I spent with my Dad watching games.”

Happy Father’s Day!

Neil Walker’s contract expires after the 2016 season. The Pirates second baseman is due for a big raise in arbitration this offseason—likely to $10 million—and signing him to a long-term extension will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $12-$15 million annually.
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