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Get to Know: Dan Phifer

Get to Know:

Dan Phifer

Manager of Field Operations

Start Date: 1997

Growing up in Indiana in the ’70s, there was no professional football team. Before the Colts moved to Indy in 1984, much of the state was split between Bears or Bengals fans.

The growth of “America’s teams,” however, sprouted some Hoosiers into lifelong fans of the Cowboys or Steelers—two of the most-dominant teams of the ’70s.

A black-and-gold wave rolled in from Pennsylvania, picked up Dan Phifer, and he’s been swinging a Terrible Towel ever since. He’s not a fair-weather fan, either. He sports his Steeler pride regardless of who’s quarterback. He got hooked by Hall-of-Famer Terry Bradshaw’s offense and the formidable Steel Curtain defense; he’s suffered through the mediocrity of the Bubby Brister years; and of course, has thoroughly enjoyed Ben Roethlisberger’s tenure, one of NFL’s premier quarterbacks.

He’s been to many home games in the Steel City. He’s also made it a priority, however, to cross into enemy territory and cheer for his team in opposing stadiums as well.

So far, he, and his wife Mary Jo, have been to Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Green Bay, Baltimore, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and counting.

Highlights from these road trips include enduring sub-zero temperatures at Cleveland (-20F), eating tasty meals at Pittsburgh’s Primanti Bros. Restaurant and Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque in Kansas City. “They claim they have the best BBQ, and it’s true,” Dan says of the KC eatery.

Dan’s most-memorable Pittsburgh pilgrimage happened in 2014 when he witnessed Big Ben pass for a team-record 522 yards and 6 touchdowns against the Colts. Apparently, Dan didn’t get enough driving in that weekend, though. After the game, he drove west to Indiana, picked up Dick Schuyler (fellow RLTurner employee), and kept on driving.

“The game was the same week as our company’s pheasant-hunting trip in South Dakota,” Dan says. “So I drove straight from Pittsburgh to Platte, South Dakota—18 hours and 1,124 miles.”

He made it to the hotel around 3 a.m. and even had enough energy to chase pheasants later that morning.

While Roethlisberger is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, it’s clear that Dan is a legit candidate for the Steeler Nation HoF.

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