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Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Traveling Steelers couple extras

For Super Bowl Sunday, The Saratogian sports section had a feature about a retired couple, Ann and George Frantti, who brought a Pittsburgh Steelers “Terrible Towel” along with them for the duration of their trip around the world. The basic gist of the story was that Ann and George took pictures and videos of themselves in many of the places they visited — they touched down on five different continents and visited over 60 cities in 13 different countries — with the gold towel waving.

Here’s a link to a copy of the story on The Saratogian’s website.

Below are a few extras and tidbits that did not quite make the story, as well as a video the couple made of themselves with their towel on the trip …
  • Ann and George kept a blog documenting their trip; it can be found here and is worth a look for anyone who wants to make themselves insanely jealous for not getting to go on a similar trip. Lots of fun stories and great photos.
  • The couple’s story was also featured on a Steelers-themed blog hosted by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Both said their favorite (current) player is “Number 43,” or Troy Polamalu. “You could just go down the list off all the Steelers, but Polamalu stands out,” George said. “He’s a tremendous player and person off the field.”
  • Besides Polamalu, Ann added she is especially fond of linebacker James Harrison. The defensive standout was subjected to several fines this season for illegal hits after the NFL decided midseason to more thoroughly enforce some of its rules, but Ann is glad Harrison has not altered his style of play. “I’m glad he’s not backing off,” she said.
  • While overseas, the Franttis said they never met a Steelers fan. They said most in soccer-loving Europe were dismissive of the “America Football” team, while knowledge of what a Pittsburgh Steeler is was in shortest supply in China and Japan.

Personal Note: As if getting to go on a 10-month vacation around the world was not enough, the Franttis regularly taunted me throughout the process of putting together the story about the weather. The couple now spends its winters down in Naples, Fla., and while they never actually said anything about their consistent 80-degree and sunshine-filled days, I could sense they were always (internally) laughing at us for our frigid/snowy/wet weather.

So, if you are reading this: I am on to you, George and Ann.

--Michael Kelly

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