Monday, April 20, 2009

Steeler Nation, Mon! .....

When I stepped through the doors of a resturant in the Bahamas, I didn't expect to find myself in a tribute to one of the most storied franchises in American professional sports.

But that's what greeted me, a few weeks back, at the
Bahamian Kitchen Restaurant & Lounge, in Nassau, the Bahamas. The sign on the sidewalk told me that I would be able to satisfy my craving for authentic Bahamian cuisine. One of the signs just inside the door assured me that I would be dining in good company, among fellow citizens of the Steeler Nation.

I was given a tour of the restaurant by Tom Kessler, a minority owner off the establishment. Tom - who has lived in the Bahamas for forty years - is a dang Yankee from back-east, like myself. He hails from Ohio, and - when it comes to football - his heart belongs to teams from the Buckeye State. We did recall some great games, though, between his Browns and Bengals, and my Steelers. Somehow, it seems that even during the 70s, when the Steelers were so good, they always had the hardest time with those teams from Ohio ... teams that really weren't doing so well the rest of the season, but always 'played up' when they faced Pittsburgh. Tom was good company, and that contributed to a great meal.

Then there's Michael Brice, manager and majority owner of the restaurant ... AND HE LOVES THE STEELERS! Throughout the Bahamas, I encountered a mix of local and international passion for sports. Rooting for Cavaliers FC, or Manchester United in soccer ... Bahamas crickett or American baseball ... and American football. Reminders of Michael's passion for Pittsburgh mingled with junkanoo decorations and other colorful reminders of his island home. After preparing and serving-up a wonderful meal, Michael joined me for a photo ... taken by another local, who is a fan of the Miami Dolphins, but graciously agreed to take the photo nonetheless.

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