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The Awesome Way “This Is Us” Honors the Pittsburgh Steelers

Ron Batzdorff / NBC

The Awesome Way “This Is Us” Honors the Pittsburgh Steelers

The NBC drama This is Us is the story of the Pearson family from Pittsburgh, told in several different time frames. The award-winning series are considered to be one of the most beautifully written stories about life, family, love and grief.

It’s hard to not notice how, including the Pittsburgh Steelers in the show, Dan Fogelman, the show’s creator, who grew up in Pittsburgh, is paying respect to the city. And his love for the city shines through in more ways than one. But let’s focus on how the Steelers became a big part of the show. 

Steelers This is Us

Photo via Pam Panchak / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Now that the show has come to a conclusion, let’s take a look back at all the ways the Steelers have remained at the center of the six-season story through memorable sports moments in the Pearson family. 

But remember it’s a TV show, not as unpredictable as VIP casino, so if you’re planning to watch: spoiler alert. 

The Towel

No one will forget the first scene in which Milo Ventimiglia’s character, Jack Pearson, was dressed in nothing but a Terrible Towel, a well-known Pittsburgh souvenir among football fans. This was the first sign of the family’s unwavering support for the Pittsburgh Steelers throughout their lives.


The Big Three

The big three is the nickname given to Jack and Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) children in the pilot episode. Of course, this is a reference to the amount of Super Bowls the Pittsburgh Steelers had won by the time the kids were born in 1980.

Steelers The Big Three This is Us

Photo via NBC / YouTube

Also, two of the big three’s members, Kevin and Kate (played by Justin Hartley and Chrissy Metz, respectively), were undoubtedly Super Bowl babies, as they were conceived on the night of the 1979 Super Bowl, in which the Steelers won.


The Day Jack & Rebecca Meet 

It was finally revealed how Jack and Rebecca met in the third season opener, which also happened to be the night of the Immaculate Reception. The Pittsburgh Steelers played the Oakland Raiders at Three Rivers Stadium on Dec. 23, 1972. When the ball deflected off one of the players, Franco Harris of the Steelers caught it and scored the game-winning touchdown.

Many consider this to be a watershed moment for the Steelers, who went on to win four Super Bowls in the years after. 


Super Bowl Sundays

Throughout the show, we witness the family uphold their tradition of gathering on Super Bowl Sunday to watch the game together and root for the Steelers. Several alternative versions of this event are depicted in the series, such as Kate watching the Super Bowl with the vase containing her father’s ashes by her side or Rebecca telling her son Kevin about how Jack, even long gone, sent her something that made her smile that day.

Steelers This is Us

Photo via Vivian Zink / NBC

“The Steelers have laid underneath the fabric of the show in a really cool way,” Creator Dan Fogelman said during an NBCThis Is Us” press conference earlier this year.


Are yinz a fan of the show, This is Us? Click to comment below!


Managing Editor of, I’m a Steelers fan first, and a human being second. I BLEED black and gold! I love everything Steeler Nation and I’ve been with this staff since February 2018. I now reside in sunny San Diego, CA, but that doesn’t stop me from attending every game at Heinz Field, and a few away games as well if possible. I graduated from Old Dominion University in 2010, and if I’m not watching a Steelers game, you can catch me at the beach, stuffing my face with Golden Oreos, or in front of anything Marvel. I report breaking news, I'm the site's designer, and I’m a big Penguins fan too! Follow me on Instagram @bwall_24! And if you need a new website for your own business or personal brand, hit me up! I’m a full-time web developer as well! Check out Go Steelers!



  1. Carol Davis

    May 23, 2022 at 1:39 pm

    But they didn’t have the accent! Wanted to hear a yinz every now and again

  2. Roberta J Campbell

    May 24, 2022 at 7:05 am

    The first preview for the shoe 6 years ago with milo on the bed with the terrible towel won me over and I tuned in for the first episode and have watched every episode and going to watch the final one tonight. It’s definitely one of if not the best drama series on TV. I hope it wins the Emmy and Mandy Moore definitely deserves an Emmy. I was born in PA and my family moved to Indiana when the Bethlehem steel mill opened up here. Like alot of families did.It was cool to watch this Pittsburgh family for the last 6 years.

  3. Linda

    May 26, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    I loved all the Steeler stuff and it made me homesick. I grew up there and what a great city it is. I live in SoCal. Die Hard Steeler fan!!!

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