‘Super Bowl babies’ celebrated on game’s 50th anniversary
February 5, 2016 12:44 AM
Shown in a still from a YouTube video singing in front of the Edgar Thomson Works in Braddock are, from left, Michael Grayson of Center; Tanya Young of Royersford, Montgomery County; Eli Pievach of Weirton, W.Va.; Anita Levels of the East End; and Carson Lutchansky of Squirrel Hill.
By Dan Gigler / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
After a January 1976 Miami vacation to see the Steelers win their second title over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X, Judy Pievach landed back in Pittsburgh with her husband, Charles, and had an inkling that she might be carrying more than just her luggage.
Turned out she was right. In October of that year, her son Eli was born.
“This is a story I’d heard my whole life,” said Mr. Pievach of Weirton, W.Va. “When they landed back in Pittsburgh, my mom said to my dad, ‘I think I got pregnant.’ Anyone who knows me knows this story.”
Thirty-nine years after the Pievachs’, ahem, completed pass, Eli is featured along with four other Steelers fans and dozens of other fans of other teams for a 50th anniversary Super Bowl TV ad called “Super Bowl Babies Choir.”
The 60-second spot produced by Grey New York will debut during the third quarter of Sunday’s game and feature “babies” born of championship teams from the 1967 Packers to the 2014 Seattle Seahawks, as well as five others in between, including the 1975 Steelers.
The ad opens with the words, “Data suggests 9 months after a Super Bowl victory, winning cities see a rise in births,” although that may be a bit of an urban legend. The same type of birth spikes have been attributed by various studies over decades to events such as blizzards, hurricanes, blackouts and even terrorist attacks but with varying degrees of certainty.
Set to the music of “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal, who appears in the ad, the song features cheeky lyrics like, “In the end, when our team won, Mom and Dad looked at each other, and one thing led to another, that night …”
As of Thursday afternoon, the full 3-minute video had already notched just under 1.5 million views on YouTube in its first three days.
The Steelers sent out an inquiry to season-ticket holders and members of the Steelers Nation Unite fan club, looking for fans who were born between October and December 1976. Interviews and auditions were held at Heinz Field or via Skype and the lucky few selected were flown to New York City last month for two days of recording and filming. Additional local filming was done in front of the U.S. Steel Edgar Thomson Works in Braddock.
Mr. Pievach noted the confidentiality agreement they had to sign and they could not release details of the ad until the video was released Monday, at which point he told his mother, “Mom, you’ll be happy to know there’s a 3-minute video about your sex life.”
Michael Grayson said he didn’t learn until relatively recently that he was a Super Bowl baby.
“It took me until about two or three years ago that I figured that out,” said Mr. Grayson, a Westwood native who now lives in Center. “I was born a preemie. I was in an incubator for two weeks. My original due date was later that month. I put it into a conception calendar, and it came out as the week of that game.”
“I asked my parents and they said, ‘Yeah … you’re not going to want to know the details, but congratulations, you figured it out,’ ” he laughed.
Two of the women in the Pittsburgh contingent, though Steelers fans, are not actual Super Bowl X babies, but were cast for their singing abilities. Anita Levels of the East End and Carson Lutchansky of Squirrel Hill are 38 and 36, respectively, but fit the general age demographic and have both sung professionally.
Ms. Levels said her parents are from New Orleans and thus Saints fans, and she joked that if the commercial’s premise held, she might only be 5 years old —the Saints won the Lombardi Trophy in February 2010.
The consensus of the group is that Tanya Young, of Royersford, Montgomery County, is the Super Steelers fan.
“Tanya is the most diehard Steelers fan I ever met,” Mr. Grayson said. “She is like Steelers ‘Rainman’ — she remembers the games, the stats, the details, the weather.” Ms. Levels agreed. “I’ve never met another fan like her.”
“We’ve just clicked,” Ms. Young said of the group. “The five of us have become our own little family. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Not unlike Super Bowl X, it turns out.
“That Super Bowl changed life for my entire family,” Mr. Grayson said, adding, “I thought no wonder I’m such a diehard fan — I’ve been one since conception.” Though the years don’t quite match up, call it an Immaculate Reception Conception.
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