"We need everybody. I think it's going to take everybody to win this. It'd be big if everybody can be a part of this."
That was Stephon Tuitt. And believe it or not, that sentiment, shared with me Friday at the Rooney Complex, wasn't speaking to the Steelers' fortunes tomorrow against the Ravens, so much as the collective feeling of their fans.
It's well-founded, too, maybe more than the big man had grasped in the moment.
Actually, here's something very few people could know: In all of professional sports, there are only two franchises who announce attendance by actual turnstile count, and they're the Steelers and the New York Giants. It can't be clear why that is, beyond those being two of the NFL's most venerable and traditional institutions, but that's how it is. Most everywhere else, including the Penguins and Pirates, what's counted are paid tickets in circulation, meaning they've been bought by someone and that's that, whether they're used or not.
So when one hears that attendance this past Monday night at Heinz Field for the 27-3 victory over the Bengals was 57,959, that means that 57,959 very real humans passed through very real gates to sit in very yellow seats.
Know what else that means?
Because the official football capacity at Heinz is 68,400 since the open-end expansion a couple years ago, the chasm between that figure and those very real humans was 10,441.