This Is What Happens When Mexican Steeler Fans Travel To Pittsburgh
Meet Homero. He is part of the Regios de Acero, a Pittsburgh Steelers fan group from Mexico, and his heart beats black and yellow.
He has been a Steelers fan since he was a six year old boy in Monterrey, Mexico. He remembers watching the games and feeling the same passion he feels today when he sees the Steelers play.
This passion is what fueled him and other fans to create a group called the ‘Regios de Acero’ (Acero means steel in Spanish and Regio means a person from Monterrey). Today there are hundreds of members and together they travel every year to Pittsburgh to see their team play.
This is no easy journey. Homero and the rest of the fans wake up before dawn and board a bus traveling from Monterrey, Mexico to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That’s almost a forty hour journey across two countries to attend this football game.
The story of the ‘Regios de Acero’ started with Homero and six other fans who used to watch the Steelers games together. They dreamed of going to a game where they could find hard core, crazy fans just like themselves, so in 2004 they hopped on a bus determined to feel the energy of Heinz Field on game day.
This year, Homero and the rest of the Regios de Acero met at 5 am to board two busses that would be their home for the next few days. The level of excitement flooded the busses. They knew this was not just any game, but one of the most important ones of the season. The Pittsburgh Steelers were playing the New England Patriots and in Homero’s words: “This game is like the Super Bowl of the AFC”.
The first stop was crossing the border in McAllen, TX. It took a long time to get the group through but once they were on the other side, their adventure resumed. That night they had dinner in Houston and woke up the next morning just outside Memphis, TN. At this point they were already a little bit over half way there and sitting for so long was beginning to take a toll on them. But they sang, they laughed, they played games and as they were getting closer to their destination, the excitement grew.
They had expected to get to Pittsburgh for dinner but they encountered bad weather while passing through Ohio, delaying them for a couple of hours. They arrived in Pittsburgh at 2 am, exhausted, hungry and desperate to get off the bus but thrilled to be in Steelers territory.
Homero and his Steelers family needed rest. They showered and slept, ready to recharge their batteries for the upcoming activities.
The next morning, Homero joined his long time friends David and Guillermo for the tailgating party of the year. David owns a Mexican restaurant in Pittsburgh and for the last seven years has been hosting a tailgate party for all Mexican and Mexican-American Steelers fans. While Guillermo lives in Washington D.C., his heart is always in Pittsburgh. Pozole, carnitas, mariachis, the ‘Terrible Towel’ margarita, all ready to welcome the ‘Regios de Acero’ to strengthen the bond that is only among football fans.
The Steelers wanted to do something special for Homero and the Regios de Acero so they organized a special event where Regios de Acero got to meet former team players Charlie Batch and Rocky Bleier and received their terrible towels. Homero says that the team made them feel recognized and that people in Pittsburgh are always friendly and warm to anyone with a Mexican flag.
Homero believes that the Steelers bring people together. Regardless of where you are from, being a Steeler makes you all part of the same family. The Steelers won the game, making this even more special for the travelers. Now they had 40 hours to celebrate, laugh and sing until they made it safely back to Monterrey. Homero and the Regios de Acero look forward to next year when they will do this all over again.