I was born and raised in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, aka “Steelers Nation.” Football is a religion there and nobody is revered more than the Pittsburgh Steelers. I could do an entire blog post on the team’s countless records (most Super Bowl wins, most post-season wins, most division titles, most playoff berths, most playoff games… etc.) but we’re here to talk about drums.
The Steelers also have an official fan-based drum line, the Pittsburgh Steeline. According to their official website: “Hailed as a ‘staple of Steelers entertainment’ by the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette, the Pittsburgh Steeline is a professional entertainment drum line from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 2012, the Steeline became the official drum line of the Pittsburgh Steelers starting with the 2013 NFL season. The Steeline performs live at all Steelers home games, as well as many other Steelers team functions. Comprised of more than 25 local, professional, adult-aged drummers and support staff, the Steeline is an active performance ensemble throughout Western Pennsylvania, performing regularly at parades, races, conventions, and corporate and community events.”
More than 20 NFL teams have drum lines. Their presence has grown in recent years as teams look for ways to add to the game-day experience. As intense as drum-corps culture might be, it is also rather limited in its viewership, at least compared to NFL teams. By aligning themselves to these professional sports organizations, drum lines are really attaching themselves to a broader audience. This introduces fans to drum line music. Some ensembles across several leagues are banding together to form the Pro Sports Music Association.
I recently attended a Steelers game and watched the Steeline perform up close. Their chops are impressive, their cadences were funky, and their infectious attitude invigorated the crowd. Much like a college band does from the stands, the Steeline cheers from a special area setup in the corner of the end zone. From there they jam in between plays and during TV timeouts. If I still lived in Pittsburgh I’d definitely audition for this group. Here’s a REMO endorsee video featuring the Steeline: