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Editorial: Steelers pretender lives every fan’s dream

August 24, 2018

An imposter Steelers player is detained by security during practice Saturday at Saint Vincent College.

Everyone who has ever pulled on a Steelers jersey -- whether for Roethlisberger or Polamalu, Ward or Bettis, Bradshaw or Harris or Swann -- did it for a reason.

You wanted to feel like you were part of the team. You wanted to say “We won!” and really mean the “we” part. You wanted to walk in those shoes.

The fan who did that at training camp Saturday, pulling on a makeshift Steelers uniform to make it all the way onto the field during practice, may have been escorted out by security but he did it living a dream.

He had the kind of moment that makes a class clown into a school legend in junior high. He was Ralphie beating up the bully in “A Christmas Story,” Indiana Jones casually shooting the guy with the whirling scimitar in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Let’s make no mistake about it. The guy was wrong. He was flat out wrong and shouldn’t have done what he did. For his own safety, for the team’s safety, for the safety of other people who might try to do it now that he did it. For all those reasons, it shouldn’t have happened.

But like watching a guy who is quitting telling off the boss without pulling punches on the way out the door, it’s the kind of wrong that feels good when you watch and makes you wish you’d done it, too. Except that, you know, you don’t want to be the one to deal with the consequences.

The Steelers will probably be a little more cautious about security in the wake of the epic stunt, which is good. Hopefully, this is a one-time thing, because being a one-off is part of what makes it kind of perfect.

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