Steelers Takeaways! Exclusive with UMT Steelers Beat Reporter Ray Porter Jr.

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Urban Media Today’s Senior Sports Reporter Ray Porter Jr. was recently interviewed by Steelers Takeaway!, a blog featuring “1,000 interviews of Steelers players, coaches, front office staff, media and more with those that played in the 50’s through today’s current roster.”

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First, can you let us know how you got started covering the Steelers for Urban Media Today?

It’s amazing to be born into something like I’ve been. I was born into a football family – my father, mother and sisters all are big Steelers fans. I was born in the 70’s -the Steelers’ greatest era. I had no choice! I was reading Steelers media guides when I was seven years old.

As time went on I kept studying the Steelers news – this was before the internet. I kept up my passion for the game. I even created my own computer program with stats on the team – I wish I had kept that!

I was in my thirties and still trying to figure out what to do with my passion. I’m a praying man and Chante’ Turner from my church told me I should reach out to Alan Lincoln at Urban Media – that he was looking for a sportswriter.

In 2010 I went and spoke to him. It was a challenging year then for the Steelers – that was when Ben was going through all of that stuff. When I met with Alan he told me there on the spot to write something on the team. I decided to write about why I thought the Steelers would make it to the Super Bowl despite the problems the team was having – with the supporting facts and reasons. Of course they did make it to the Super Bowl that year, but lost to Green Bay!

After that I was writing for the Pirates and Pitt. I was able to get credentials for Pitt and I was overjoyed for that. I did learn then that you can’t cheer in the press box! Its a business! And Brandon Ifill was my nephew and he played for Pit at the time so it was nice seeing him play.

How did that segue into Steelers coverage?

The Steelers were right next door to Pitt. I was able at first to sit in on news conferences and applied for credentials. It took eight years to get those – it wasn’t easy. My salute to Kiki Jones who came on and helped get things approved. I’ve been covering Steelers practices now since 2011 and in the stadium since 2018.

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