Y’ins gon’ rut fer Stillers? I ask the room for its opinion in my best Pittsburghese, a language I’m woefully out of practice with. Nevermind. Out here in Saint Paul no one can tell if I’m getting it right or not. The language, with deep Polish and Appalachian roots never made it outside of the hills of Western Pennsylvania a land with its own rugged rhythm tempered by a gentle decency. It’s an easy culture to define by language but a hard one to get to know.
The upcoming Superbowl features two teams from “The Midwest”, the industrial heart of the nation that quietly defines much of what we consider solid and good about the USofA. We can find this stretch on a map as one people, but we can also hear it in the way they talk and the values they cherish. It’s where football itself was founded and continues to thrive in basic principles of fair competition. It’s America both unassumingly small and big hearted at the same time.