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For Steelers, a scene like no other

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

LONDON — Oh, for real

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The Sunday column only touches on what happened yesterday on Regent Street, but it’s unlike anything the Steelers could have expected, as even organizers with whom I spoke there seemed taken aback.

Here’s Alan Robinson’s news account of that, as well as a broader look at the NFL in London.

The long and short: Regent Street is London’s busiest thoroughfare, as well as its shopping hub, and it might be the best in the world in the latter regard. Well, it was shut down completely for five hours for the NFL to throw a bash celebrating that little football game tonight, and the best estimate I could come up with for who showed up was in the tens of thousands.

That pic up there, by our Chaz Palla, only begins to tell the story of how far, in particular, the crowds stretched during the Steelers’ portion of the rally, during which Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu and others appeared on a stage and addressed the fans. It was easy to see they were genuinely moved, including with a few of their tweets afterward.

Here’s what moved me …

First was meeting George Abbey, a North Side native who served in the U.S. Army out of Germany and ended up living in Wiesbaden the past 20 years …

I made parenthetical mention the other day about our military men and women getting to see their team on European soil. It’s been great to meet some of them.

The other was just kind of a wow moment for me, in the sense of seeing Pittsburgh’s most famous institution — and with apologies to an infinitely more deserving Jonas Salk, we don’t have a close second — celebrated like this in one of the world’s greatest cities so far from home.

I will never, ever forget it.

Couple more pics from Chaz …

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Check out the look on Mr. Rooney’s face. Think this doesn’t mean something to the ambassador?

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A.B. shows off his touchdown dance to the delight of the crowd.

Here’s Chaz’s photo gallery for the day, with much more good stuff.

Our full Steelers coverage includes Mark Kaboly’s weekly breakdowns and more.

Oh, and if you’re interested in a completely worthless tour of the Tower Bridge from me, enjoy …

Love that place, but really need to read up on it.

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Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

 
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