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Steelers black-and-gold snuck in to American’s new IOC

American Airlines’ central load planner Am Mattaliano has a Steelers logo on his computer as he works at the company’s new Integrated Operations Center.
American Airlines’ central load planner Am Mattaliano has a Steelers logo on his computer as he works at the company’s new Integrated Operations Center. Star-Telegram

American Airlines central load planner Kenneth Tucker bleeds Pittsburgh Steeler black and gold.

And just because he had to move to Fort Worth for his job at American’s new Integrated Operations Center, he will never root for the Dallas Cowboys. Tucker is one of hundreds of former US Airways employees who worked at the operations center in Pittsburgh that has moved to North Texas.

“When I knew I was moving, I would call the guys down here on Sundays and say ‘We have this thing called football. We have this professional football team. Do you have anything like that?’ and they’d hang up on me,” Tucker joked.

Every morning when Tucker logs in to his computer at the IOC, he puts up a wallpaper on his screen’s background that has the Steelers, Pirates, Penguins and University of Pittsburgh logos.

His co-worker, Am Mattaliano, also has a Steelers logo on his computer screen. Mattaliano lived all 59 years of his life in Pittsburgh and says rooting for the Steelers, “that will never change.”

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price did make a pitch for the Cowboys during her speech at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the IOC on Tuesday.

“A special Howdy...to each and every one of you,” Price said, welcoming the 350 workers that moved from Pennsylvania. “And remember those of you who are here from Pittsburgh, we root for the Cowboys around here.”

Her cheer may have fallen on deaf ears, but she may have convinced flight dispatcher Herb Aguirre to give up his Pirates hat.

Aguirre, who had moved from Phoenix to Pittsburgh during the America West-US Airways merger and now to Keller for his dispatch job, said he just likes watching exciting baseball teams and has rooted for the Diamondbacks, Pirates and may start watching the Rangers.

“But I am a lifelong Yankees fan,” Aguirre added.

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