Jeannette grad Julie Gurnick interviews Steelers at Walmart
Julie Gurnick continues to chase her dream as she chases Steelers players around the snack and frozen food aisles at Walmart in Latrobe.
A superfan with a reporter’s flare, Gurnick documented her late-night findings with another YouTube video that shows her interviewing Steelers as they invade the local Supercenter in between training camp sessions at Saint Vincent College.
Landry Jones, Terrell Edmunds and Maurkice Pouncey are among the latest players to be interviewed by Gurnick, who was inspired when she first attended Steelers camp in 2004 and captivated by then-rookie Ben Roethlisberger.
A Jeannette native, Gurnick just graduated from Point Park where she earned a degree in broadcasting and reporting.
Her first experience with camp inspired her to learn more about the game, the team and its players.
“I went in to Saint Vincent thinking I wanted to be a vet and left knowing football was my future,” Gurnick said. “I spent my time playing Madden, watching games, going to games, just doing anything I possibly could to learn about the game Ben played. That game then turned into my passion. Fast forward 15 years I am here with a broadcast reporting degree just waiting for my opportunity to talk about the game that started it all. So the motivation, is just to continue the dream.” Gurnick has slept in the parking lots at Saint Vincent to be the first in line at the ropes before practice. She has waited “5 to 7” hours at Walmart for players to wander in.
Players roam freely around the area during camp week. Ryan Shazier was spotted at a Sheetz. Sharky’s Cafe annually is a popular stop.
Gurnick, though, swears by Walmart. It’s where players get ice, junk food (lots of junk food) and other this-and-that items. She’s been going there for the last few years to gather dozens of autographs and chat with players.
Talk about one-stop shopping.
“If you treat them like people, they’ll treat you like people back,” Gurnick said. “If you treat them like players, they’ll treat you like fans.”
Each camp gets easier for Gurnick in terms of approaching players and adding to her hefty collection of memorabilia.
“It’s going into Day 5 of camp and I already got over 30 pics and 20 different autographs,” she said. “Just yesterday, T.J. Watt recognized how dedicated I am, and I cried a little on the inside.”