Jason AshmentBy John Ferrado, SteelCity Mafia
November 02, 2008
What made you a Steelers fan?
While there may be circumstances where "something" made someone a fan of one team or another I don't believe that is the case with Steelers fans. I believe Steelers fans are "born" with it. It is extremely hard to describe and if you are not a Steelers fan you will never get it. It is just something natural like breathing while you are asleep, it just happens. My father Mr. Jody Ashment 1949-2006 was a Steelers fan. He was born in Star Valley Wyoming and never made it any farther east and certainly had no ties to the Steel City. He was a carpenter and a hard worker enduring the cold unforgiving Wyoming winters and short lived summers. I believe his way of life paralleled the steel working families of the 70's. They were very humble hardworking people who cherish friends and family. They are loyal as good friends and family are. This is the foundation or base of all Steeler fans, LOYALTY! So to answer your question I believe it some of us found grace in the eyes of God and were just born Steeler Fans and pass it on to our children!
What is your favorite Steeler Memory?
This may be odd but my favorite Steeler Memory was actually the Hall of Fame Speech by Mr. Jack Lambert. I love the tail end of the speech where he said, "How fortunate I was to play for the Pittsburgh Steeler Fans. A proud and hardworking people that loved their football and their players. If I could start my life all over again I would be a professional football player and you damn well better believe I'd be a Pittsburgh Steeler.” I get goose bumps and get a tear in my eye every time I hear that speech. If I could start my life over again you damn well better believe I'd be a Pittsburgh Steeler Fan!
Who are your top 5 favorite Steeler players?
This I believe is a very unfair question as all the Steelers comprise to make "the team". I have several favorite players but I believe the following players not only were GREAT players but play/played the game with GREATNESS and defined Steeler Football! The greatest Steeler of all time in my opinion is #58 Mr. Jack Lambert. The other four are in no particular order. #12 Mr. Terry Bradshaw, #36 Mr. Jerome Bettis, #75 Mr. Joe Greene and # 43 Mr. Troy Polamalu. With very special consideration to Mr. Roethlisberger and Mr. Reed.
Where did you watch Super Bowl XL?
I was at the AFC Championship game and got to watch them crush the donkeys but I was unable to go to the Super Bowl. We were a week from closing on our home and the cost of the ticket/airfare/hotel was just too much for the bank to authorize prior to closing. So I painted my 35 foot 5th wheel trailer house Black and Gold. I had balloons, fireworks and yellow and gold streamers. I parked it on the 90th South I-15 freeway entrance and watched it on the roof with a generator. Wife and kids were there with me all dressed in our Black and Gold. We had the Terrible Towel (flag) flying high! We definitely represented that day!
Who was/is your favorite Coach amongst Noll, Cowher or Tomlin?
Definitely Coach Cowher! No question. His passion for winning and his "play physical" speech were awesome. I love the game where he actually entered the field and for a second or two it looked like he was going to tackle an opposing player running down the sideline. And the CHIN! He would get so worked up he would be spitting as he talked! As a cop I can relate to that. He was passionate, more passionate than any coach I have ever seen. He is truly one of my heroes, and he has all girls as I do.
What team do you hate the most/like the least?
Well, I dislike the donkeys and cowpunks but I absolutely HATE the browns! I am using hate in the strongest sense of the word here people! In my house we have Cleveland brown toilet paper. Anything with the "browns" name printed on it should be used to clean my backside! I don't care if we loose every game on the schedule as long as we never loose to the browns!
What separates Steeler Fans from the rest of the NFL fans in your opinion?
I could do a week long mini series on why Steeler fans are different than other fans. I believe it was ESPN just a few months ago named the Steeler Fans as the best traveled and most loyal fans in the NFL. I also believe Inside the NFL on HBO did a story last year on the "female" fan base of the NFL and how many gals out there are loyal to the Steelers. I believe they said the Steelers had the best female fan base of any NFL team. Sure we all know the story of the Steel Industry dying in the 80's and many, many families having to relocate all over the globe taking that LOYALTY with them. But I believe as stated above it is something "we" are born with. We understand this is not something we "choose" to do; it is just who/what we are! We have an internal clock or compass pointing us to the games. We flock to the fan stores to purchase our Black and Gold like the birds heading south for the winter. We do it because WE ARE STEELERS! We wear those sacred colors with PRIDE! We know we are NEVER alone. I believe it was the Godfather that said it so perfectly when he said "every game is a home game". We are an extension of the CITY OF CHAMPIONS regardless of where we live. We do it for the Steelers and Steeler Fans that went before us and to the many millions of future Steelers/Steeler fans yet to come. We hold our head high. It all comes down to LOYALTY. It all comes down to PRIDE! We love our team and love that beloved city. I am from Salt Lake City Utah and I go to at least 2 Steeler games a year. I love Pittsburgh and love the people there and consider them my family. In every city in the USA there is a bar or club somewhere that is a STEELERS BAR/CLUB. No other professional sports franchise in the world can boast that! END OF STORY!
Rumor has it that you’re a Deputy Sheriff and that you "distribute" Terrible Towels as fines –Tell me a little bit about that?
Well, yes I am an 11 year veteran police officer. And yes I have been known to pass out a few Terrible Towels during traffic stops. This all started a few years ago. See, I purchase Terrible Towels a couple of hundred at a time. I ALWAYS have 5-6 towels in my patrol vehicle. When I see a driver with a Steeler license plate frame or a Steeler bumper sticker that person found himself/herself being pulled over. Now understand I didn't pull them over for that reason there was always a reason. (if you follow someone long enough we all make minor traffic infractions) Well instead of a ticket they got a Terrible Towel and a handshake. To date I have passed out over 500 Terrible Towels to deserving motorists in the state of Utah. I was just in Pittsburgh for the ravens/Steelers Monday night game and purchased another 150 towels. I hope to get them out to deserving drivers before Christmas. The only stipulation to the "Towel vs. the Ticket" is the towel has to be displayed and stay displayed in the vehicle at all times! What a great way to piss off donkey fans don't you think?
If you were coaching the Steelers what changes would you make if any?
The only change I would make would be a team meeting with all the players there. I would have a mandatory "sign the coach’s leather jacket" night. See I have a leather jacket with many signatures but I don't have them all and probably never will. That would be the only change I would make. ! I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Rooney family and their decision with coach Tomlin. I will not second guess them. I am a cop not a coach. I would however be wearing a very nice Black and Yellow leather jacket will all the names of all the players on it!
Tell me something personal about you and the Steelers.
I had a good dad. I loved him very much and we had a special relationship. He had a lot of problems in his life including both physical and mental. My wife Allyson and I bought a house with a walk out basement with a "mother in law" apartment so dad could live with us. See, he had a job but had a hard life. He was always struggling with something. But he never complained and was always one to find the positive in every trial he ever had. His name was Jody Lynn Ashment. He was born in 1949 and died in 2006. He died only 3 days after moving into our new house. He died in a room in the basement playing "fort" with my little six year old daughter Savannah. He had a massive stroke taking him instantly and without pain from what I have been told. He died lying there with my little girl holding her hand with her golden blond hair on his cheek. Dad died suddenly right before I was going to take him to his first STEELER home game. He never got to go to that game. This is one of the very few regrets that I have in my life. I wish to hell I would have taken him the previous year. Anyway, I converted that room he died in to my STEELER ROOM. In the closet where he died (they were playing fort) I had a custom Terrible Towel made with his name and year of birth/death printed on it. I went to that game that year but I went by myself. The ticket was never used. I went alone and the ticket was buried with him in his hand. He had a Terrible Towel in the other. I have included a couple of pictures of my basement where my dad died.
That is my story. I know I am just a man but I am a Pittsburgh Steeler Fan! I believe it is healthy to be part of something greater than yourself. I believe life exists that we might have hope. A hope for something and a desire to be part of something great. My greatness is to be part of the Steeler organization. My hope is that I will help support the Steelers and the STEELER NATION. I believe that is the wish of all people everywhere. I am a lucky lucky man. I have a beautiful wife Allyson who loves the Steelers (especially Ben). My two little girls Savannah (7) and Sydney (3) both are also Steeler fans. I love being part of the Steel City Mafia and am humbled in my position of Boss in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have great STILLER fans here 2,000 miles away from the City of Champions.
This story was about me as part of a member highlight section. I personally want to thank all of the Pittsburgh Steelers out there past and current. I know you read this and know you follow your fans like we follow you. After all we are all FAMILY. I also want to thank all the Die Hard STILLER fans out there. You all drive and inspire me!
Boss Jason H. Ashment
Steel City Mafia – Utah
Steel City Mafia – Utah
Pictures of Boss Ashments Steeler Room