Tuesday, December 7, 2010
MCS Staffer Shows Steelers Spirit
Several years ago, Rob Dalmasse received a phone call from the most unlikely of callers—the Pittsburgh Steelers. The organization had gotten wind of the electric football league Dalmasse, a lab technician in the Department of Chemistry, had been running with chemistry graduate students. The Steelers had an unusual request.
“They asked if it was possible to build Heinz Field around my electric football game board. They wanted to feature it in a ‘Great Moments in Electric Football’ commercials,” said Dalmasse.
With help from his sister-in-law Shawna and her husband John, who did the bulk of the construction, Dalmasse worked nonstop to build a to-scale model of Heinz Field around his game board in just a few weeks. Complete with fans in the stands, current Steelers players on the field and coaches on the sidelines, the model has since been featured in commercials and a local news clip. It travels to Fan Blitz at Heinz Field every year, and now it’s on exhibit at CMU’s Miller Gallery. The exhibition, “Whatever It Takes: Steelers Fan Collections, Rituals, and Obsessions,” looks at the ingenious methods Steelers fans use to construct their own personal and social identities in relation to the team. It is running at the Miller Gallery through January 30, 2011.
Dalmasse’s homage to Heinz Field is hard to miss. The hot-tub-sized model is one of the first things you see as you walk through the gallery’s doors. If you look closely, you might spot Art Rooney sitting in his box or President Obama waving a Terrible Towel.
Dalmasse did all of the artwork for the replica, including intricately painting figurines of the Steelers players and their opponents, the Cleveland Browns. Over the years, Dalmasse has presented the figurines to several Steelers players, including Hines Ward, James Harrison, Ryan Clark and the legendary Jack Lambert, for their signatures.
“I’ve had this electric football game board since I was a kid, and I’ve always been a Steelers fan. It’s been a blast to showcase this retro-childhood game in this wonderful venue, contribute to the Steelers Nation, and share this hobby. Go Steelers!”
By: Amy Pavlak