I learned to hate Pittsburgh at a young age. Growing up in exurban Cleveland, not quite far away enough from the city limits to avoid the flaccid grip of the Browns’ television radius, I suffered irrational fandom. This fandom taught me to loathe a city 134 miles away because of an event that happens twice a year — the Cleveland Browns playing the Pittsburgh Steelers for 60 minutes of professional football.
Embarrassingly, it took me until adulthood to realize how indescribably silly it is to judge any city off of sports alone, let alone a one-sided rivalry that — fantasy land car commercials and male anatomy-hardening ads aside — happens annually for 120 minutes. Yet there I was in my youth, referring to Pittsburgh as “Pittspuke” with the same vitriolic hatred I should have reserved for Shredder like a normal kid.