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The Greatest Moment in SD Sports History Took Place In Pittsburgh

Chris Ello
November 30, 2018 - 5:35 am
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Pittsburgh. The very sound of the name seems distasteful. It begins with letters that make you say the word "pits," for one thing. The "burgh" part doesn't seem all that welcoming either. It conjures up thoughts of ice. Bitter cold.

Pitts-burgh. Home of the Steelers. Another image, one of choked-up air and smokestacks, comes to mind.

So wouldn't you know it? I love Pittsburgh. And so should you.

When you come right down to it, in fact, Pittsburgh should stir memories of the greatest moment in San Diego's spotty-at-best sports history. That's what I think of, anyway.

My friend, Dayle Ohlau, cried tears of joy at the time. I'll never forget it when she realized at that exact moment what Dennis Gibson knocking down Neil O'Donnell's last-ditch end zone pass truly meant. Yes, it was true. The Chargers were going to the Super Bowl.

Their only one.

If the franchise can beat Big Ben and the Steelers again this Sunday in the Steel City -- thoughts of the Bolts getting to another Super game could begin to take on a more serious tone. And that could be a good thing.

(Don't forget to insert here that San Diego isn't exactly going to do backflips if the franchise - recently taken away from us, now the newly-formed Los Angeles Chargers of Carson - actually makes it this season to the Super Bowl. In fact, San Diego will probably turn a blind eye to the entire situation).

Nevertheless, the mind remembers what the mind remembers. And a win in Pittsburgh can only allow you to recall one moment -- frozen in time. You may not want to remember it, but you do. The night in January of 1995 that it happened, I did the only sports radio broadcast of my career where I cried tears of joy for the entire show myself.

I was broadcasting from an overflowing San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium where no game was being played. If you weren't among the 70,000 or so fans who were there that night, you've probably told anybody that will listen that you were there, anyway.

ESPN picked up our radio feed that broadcast the entire thing across the nation. Mobs and mobs of people -- all hugging and, at least for the moment, loving one another -- celebrated for hours and hours, while the conquering heroes returned home -- from Pittsburgh.

Funny thing is, the Chargers have won only one game in Pittsburgh (2012, I'm told) since that remarkable day. Maybe this Sunday they'll make it two. And maybe just for a second, you'll flashback to over 20 years ago and remember what I still remember.

That Pittsburgh is hardly the pits.