Feature on Boss Jeff Hertzog of Steel City Mafia

Our Featured Member of the Month is Boss Jeff Hertzog from Steel City Mafia.

Boss Hertzog is a co founder and owner of Steel City Mafia (www.steelcitymafia.com).  SCM is the largest Steeler fan club in the world and is good friends with SNA.  We wanted to take the time to sit down with Boss Hertzog and continue to get the word out about SCM.  They support our work and we suppor theirs so please do stop by their site and sign up!

 *SNA: *When did you form Steel City Mafia?

Roughly about eight years ago. It began as a small club in East Tennessee
until the metaphor became noticed online and became a popular viral trend
seen everywhere around the Myspace community after the Steelers won
Superbowl XL.

*SNA: *What made you decide to put together the club and what do you guys
hope to achieve with it?

The organized side of SCM began with a few cold beers and a backyard
barbeque “meeting of the minds” with the original co-founders ; Shawn
Kennedy, Jeremy Kinnard and myself after being contacted by Jerome Bettis’
memorabilia company, which clued us in on how the concept of SCM had taken
off. Really opened our eyes to how popular it had become all on it’s own
without really even trying. We saw it as a way to become more involved with
the world of Steelers football we were all so passionate about. We
originally hoped it would allow ourselves and other fans a way to become
more involved and really establish some pretty strong “bragging rights” for
Steeler Nation as the strongest fan base in the world.

*SNA: *How would someone go about joining your club?

Memberships are available on www.steelcitymafia.com as well as around the
country at any SCm event or fan rally. The monies collected typically go
right back into funding the process of fan related events and player
appearances around Steeler bars nationwide.

*SNA: *Aside from being a co founder of SCM, what current role do you play
in the organization?

We all wear many hats. Currently, Boss Shawn Kennedy wears the fedora as
the head role in SCM while myself, Boss Duane Smyth and his wife Missy,
Boss Denny Shaffer, Boss Lou Boris, Boss Wendy “Steeler Chick” and several
others fulfill various important roles, not to mention various other local
Bosses around the country . Everything from daily order fulfillment to
handling web content or answering floods of miscellaneous emails. It’s
always been and always will be a massive team effort by many who truly love
the Steelers as we do.

*SNA: *What will members find about your club that sets you apart from

In one world, it’s “involvement”. We actually love promoting other Steeler
clubs as well and feel the unique characteristics and people involved in
the hundreds of Steelers clubs truly shows how wide spread and connected
Steeler Nation is. SCM stays actively involved in events that are typically
free to attend and continue giving fans everywhere a chance to have an even
greater experience regardless of geographical , or financial restraints.

*SNA: *What’s been your favorite SCM event since you’ve started?

No possible way to point a finger to a favorite, any time I attend an
event, it’s amazing to see how true fans really spread across the nation.
Ironically, the wildest events typically are outside the confines of
Pittsburgh, mostly due to the rarity of such events and the large massive
takeover seen when Steelers play on the road. Arizona, Denver, Dallas and
Jacksonville are areas you can always expect a headache the following day
but there are just too many to mention.

*SNA: *Does SCM hold a lot of events each year?  Do you go to most or all
of them?

Events are based typically on the relationships we already have established
with the clubs in those areas. We always try to remain respectful to the
existing clubs that already put in the hard work establishing Steeler clubs
for the locals in their respective areas. We always work with them to
ensure everyone shares the same goal. Other factors are night games,
weekday games or games around holidays that make it difficult for some to
travel in early before a game. As much as well all wish we could attend
every event, our involvement with SCM is voluntary and our personal jobs,
families and finances factor in. Many of our SCM Families around the nation
already have established “Bosses” in their area that are capable of
facilitating the events themselves, thus lightening the load and allowing
others to be more involved. Lastly, it’s always worthy of mention the
sacrifices our wives and children make pulling our weight at home and
making sure things are ticking on the homefront while we lead the worlds
largest “here we go” chant.

*SNA: *Do you have SCM souvenirs like T shirts etc and if so where can
people find those?

SCM has a full apparel line ad well as plenty of knickknacks and
thingydings available through www.steelcityswag.com.

*SNA: *Anything else you’d like to add about the club that we may have
forgotten here?

I always feel it’s important to mention that FANS are what makes an
operation like SCM possible. While some of us parade around in flashy gold
suits and are more visible than others, there are tons of people behind the
scenes that humbly put in hours of personal volunteer time doing anything
from writing web stories and  making runs to the post office to driving
lengthy tiresome hours behind a wheel. Our club is literally fueled by
great people who just love the Steelers and need nothing more to motivate
them. It’s always fun to show off our pride as fans. Those guys really make
all this possible and I love them like brothers and sisters!

*SNA:  *Thanks for all of that! It sounds great and we’re glad to be
associated with you guys.  Each Month we also ask our members of the month
the below questions and we’d like to ask you as well!

*SNA: *When did you become a Steeler Fan?

I suppose it was the day my mother and father committed the “immaculate
conception”… from the womb to the tomb!

*SNA: *Who is your favorite player all time? .

That’s like naming a favorite kid. But I grew up in the 90’s when the
Blitzburgh defense was king and Greg Lloyd was always someone I remember
looking up to as a true Steeler. I’ve always respected the guys on the
front line that dominated like Mike Webster and Dermonti Dawson.

*SNA: *Who is your favorite current player?

I know Ward just retired but it’s still hard not to think of him as
anything but current. I love Ryan Clark, not sure anyone hits harder than
him and in the current Goodell faux frenzy of phony flags we see thrown
weekly, he always brings the pain that we all love to see. Easily the most
underrated player in the NFL and I respect him for giving us what we really
want to see.

*SNA: *What is your favorite all time Steeler moment?

Going to the AFC Championship game versus the NY Jets with my brother. It
was a difficult time for our family, my brother and his wife especially
having just experienced the painful loss of their daughter. Andy Russell
allowed us to sit in his seats on the front row and after the Steelers win
Hines Ward jumped the fence into our section which resulted in my brother
grabbing Hines and kissing him. He and I literally danced like mad men for
at least thirty minutes in the main area under the jumbotron prior to
leaving the stadium. I cannot remember a stronger occasion where a Steeler
game resulted in such great and much needed joy than only Steeler football
can provide.

*SNA: *Do you have a quote from a sports personality that you’d like to
leave us with?

Well,there are obviously some great one’s from guys like Lambert, Rocky
Bleier and these days almost daily from Mike Tomlin. It’s pretty hard to
top hearing my five year old, special needs son Gabriel  putting his speech
therapy to proper use and yelling “touchdown Steelers” on gameday. I think
those words are music to any Steeler dad or mom’s ears 😉

Steel City Mafia


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