Heinz Field

By Sam Brown

December 2019

Heinz Field (or Heinz Stadium) is home to the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s North Shore, and is regarded by many Pittsburgh residents—“Yinzers”—as a central part of the city’s identity. The city of Pittsburgh has always taken a lot of pride in the Steelers. Nearly 70,000 people make the journey to Heinz Field to support the Steelers on Sundays. Most people in attendance at Heinz Field think that they are there simply to watch a football game, but the Heinz Field experience involves much more than just football.

Steeler Jesus via Reddit

Religion and religious ideals can be found in places other than designated religious spaces. Heinz Field is a place where religious and secular life intersect and interact. Many of the game-day rituals performed in the stadium are influenced by religious traditions and religious modes of thought. The two main rituals are: taking a moment of silence and prayer before the game and waving the infamous “Terrible Towel.” Both of these rituals are intended to connect to a divine or supernatural presence. Furthermore, the very game played in Heinz Stadium—football—is laced with religious influence and ideologies. For many players and fans alike, the team’s success is often attributed to divine intervention—God is the one to thank for the success of the Steelers. Additionally, the game itself brings people together who hold a common belief, a common faith, in one team. Heinz Field is the place where the faithful fans come to support, pay homage to, and worship what they believe in.

“Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers players gather at mid-field for a prayer following an NFL pre-season football game in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. The Panthers won 10-0. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)” via New Pittsburgh Courier

Featured Photos

Thesteelman86. “I posted it last week and Steeler Jesus helped us out, so I’m posting it again!!! HERE WE GO STEELERS HERE WE GO!!!” Reddit, 23 December 2018, https://www.reddit.com/r/steelers/comments/a8v1fd/i_posted_it_last_week_and_steeler_jesus_helped_us/.

Puskar, Gene J. and AP Photo. “Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers players gather at mid-field for a prayer following an NFL pre-season football game in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. The Panthers won 10-0.” New Pittsburgh Courier, 12 January 2016, https://newpittsburghcourier.com/2016/01/12/observations-from-the-edge-godand-the-nfl/.

Further Reading

Courier Newsroom. “Observations from the Edge: GOD…and the NFL.” New Pittsburgh Courier, 12 January 2016. https://newpittsburghcourier.com/2016/01/12/observations-from-the-edge-godand-the-nfl/

“Home of the Steelers and Panthers.” Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA, 19 June 2019, https://heinzfield.com/.

Remillard, Arthur. 2016. “Sports and Religion in America.” Oxford Encyclopedia of Religion. https://oxfordre.com/religion/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199340378.001.0001/acrefore-9780199340378-e-145?mediaType=Article

Remillard, Arthur. 2013. “Steelers Nation and the Seriously Religious Side of Football.” Marginalia: Los Angeles Review of Books. https://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/steelers-nation-and-the-seriously-religious-side-of-football/.

How to Cite

MLA: Brown, Sam. “Heinz Field.” ReligYinz: Mapping Religious Pittsburgh. University of Pittsburgh, 20 January 2020, https://religyinz.pitt.edu/heinz-field/.

APA: Brown, Sam. (2020). Heinz Field. ReligYinz: Mapping Religious Pittsburgh. https://religyinz.pitt.edu/heinz-field/.

Chicago: Brown, Sam. “Heinz Field.” ReligYinz: Mapping Religious Pittsburgh. University of Pittsburgh, 20 January 2020. https://religyinz.pitt.edu/heinz-field/.

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