Iowa’s Governor is a native of Pittsburgh and he’s taking his family to see the Pittsburgh Steelers play in this Sunday’s Super Bowl in Detroit. Governor Tom Vilsack says he promised his two sons when they were young that if the Pirates or the Steelers ever made it to the World Series or the Super Bowl, he’d get tickets.
Vilsack says it’s a sort of family tradition because his parents took him to the World Series games when the Pirates beat the Yankees in 1960. “It was a great experience,” Vilsack says. Vilsack says it’ll give him a chance “to be a kid again. In this job, I don’t have that opportunity very often so I’m looking forward to it.”
In 2004, Vilsack defended having the state pay for his trip to see Iowa play in the Outback Bowl as he was part of the university’s “official” delegation. Taxpayers will not be picking up the tab for Vilsack’s Super Bowl trip, although Vilsack’s not exactly sure from whom he obtained the tickets. Vilsack says he’s “not really quite sure” how he got the hard-to-get seats. “I’m paying for the tickets, so there’s no question about that, and paying for the expenses,” Vilsack says. “It’s coming out of my pocket.”
Vilsack bought tickets for himself, his wife Christie, 28-year-old son Jess, 25-year-old son Doug, and one of the governor’s boyhood friends. “One of the more expensive promises I’ve made to my kids,” Vilsack says. The Steelers also played in the Super Bowl, and lost to Dallas, back in 1996 when Vilsack’s sons were 18 and 15 years old and Vilsack was a state senator. Pittsburgh won Super Bowls in 1975 and ’76 and in 1979 and ’80.