PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – His memory isn’t perfect when it comes to Pittsburgh sports, but you can tell Eagles Head Coach Nick Siranni has a passion for the black and gold, especially the Pirates.
Sirianni’s mom grew up in Natrona Heights and his dad is from Kane. The love for the three local pro teams was instilled at an early age.
“You spend a lot of weekends at grandma’s house,” Sirianni told Pittsburgh reporters Wednesday. “One of our favorite things to do after the family reunion, was to go to a Pirates game. I grew up a Pirates, Penguins, Steelers fan. I have great memories of that. Most are Pirates memories because my dad was a football coach so we couldn’t go to Steelers games.”
One of the memories was the 1992 NLCS, but he remembered it a little differently than it actually happened. Sirianni said how disappointed he was when Sid Bream threw out Barry Bonds at the plate.
Which is an interesting alternate universe, but still you could feel his passion for the Pirates.
“I’m a huge Barry Bonds fan, huge Bobby Bonilla fan, Andy Van Slyke fan, Doug Drabek, Mike LaValliere, Jose Lind, John Smiley, Tim Wakefield,” Sirianni went down the list. “I have so many good memories.”
“One of the really cool memories I have of my dad and my brothers, who were all Steelers fans as well, is watching that 2005 Super Bowl together as a family. I was coaching at the time and I came home. I wasn’t in the NFL yet, I came home in a snow storm from Mount Union to watch the game with my dad and brothers.”
That, of course, was the Steelers Super Bowl win in Detroit over the Seahawks. Sirianni’s brother, Mike, is his 20th season as head coach at Washington and Jefferson with 172 wins to only 42 losses
“I can’t say enough good things the people of Pittsburgh, the City of Pittsburgh,” Sirianni said. “I want my Pirates to be better, but I’m on the Phillies bandwagon now.”
Sirianni also had praise for a couple of former Pitt players-he loves the toughness of Eagles defensive back Avonte Maddox and he says he’s very important to his defense. He also said of current Steelers starter and Panthers record-holder Kenny Pickett.
“I thought very highly of him coming out,” Sirianni said. “I thought he was a guy that could go through reads really fast, finding the guy he was supposed to go to. Was an accurate thrower. Was deceptive with his feet. Made one of the coolest plays I’ve seen in college football when he pretended to slide and kept going.”
“You see signs of that in his game because he’s highly talented. He did some things at Pittsburgh that no one has done since Dan Marino. That is pretty darn impressive to me. You are seeing the signs that he can be a really good quarterback in this league.”