A Gift From Mike Tomlin

By Jacob Jensen

Mike Tomlin has been the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach since 2007. It’s hard for me to even remember him not being the Steelers coach, with me being 20 years old. Tomlin has been very successful in his tenure, winning a Super Bowl and going to another. I have always been a fan of Coach T, but my love for Tomlin grew tremendously when I was 14 and received something in the mail from him.  

It all started on December 22nd at Lambeau Field in 2013. The Steelers were 6-8 at the time and needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. My Christmas present that year was tickets to the game, and it was my first time at a Steelers game. I was so pumped that we went into the stadium as soon as the gates opened. Before the game, I went down by the Steelers sideline and got autographs from Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones. Once the game time got closer, I went up to my seats and took pictures so I could always remember this day. One of my favorite pictures I got was Ben Roethlisberger standing next to Mike Tomlin right before kick-off.

Once the game started, time flew by. It was a game for the ages. It was back and forth and went down literally to the last second. The Steelers ended up winning 38-31 and kept their playoff hopes alive. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget, but when I got home, I was sad that it was over. So to cope with the post game depression, I started to print out all of the pictures that I took, and sent them to Pittsburgh where hopefully I would get them signed.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talks with running back James Conner during rookie minicamp Friday, May 12, 2017 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side. (Matt Freed/Post-Gazette)

I ended up getting a lot of autographs back in the mail. Offensive lineman Cody Wallace even sent me game-used gloves back. But the biggest surprise I got was in the summer of 2014, right before the beginning of training camp. I remember how exciting it was opening those packages and not knowing who it was from. To this day, I remember the peer joy I felt when I opened up the package and saw “To Jacob – Mike Tomlin”. There was also a picture in there for my younger brother. It meant so much to me that Tomlin took time out of his day to sign a picture for me and my younger brother. It’s still something that makes me smile when I think about it. So, thank you Mike Tomlin for not only being an amazing coach, but for also being a great person that took time out of their day to make two young fans happy.

Now, my picture is in a box, along with all my other Steelers stuff in my parents basement. One day it will be the cornerstone of my man cave. My brother still has his hanging on his wall and I look at it every time I go home.

What items have you received from any Steelers players or coaches that you’re proud of? Comment below!


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