The Browns vs Steelers Rivalry: Trilogy I Allegories

The Browns vs Steelers rivalry is one of many allegories in Lord of Columbia‘s first trilogy but it was also one I didn’t immediately intend to enter the story. Today’s article explains exactly how the Cleveland-Pittsburgh Rivalry came into the fold, and I’m sure it’ll garner me some hate from those in Southwest Pennsylvania.

But hey, so will the other allegories, as my series is really intended for a niche audience and not necessarily one where readers will flock to. The work provides a rather entertaining challenge on peoples’ viewpoints, even if it’s not the front and center subject – it’s a work of entertainment first.

Anyway, let me explain how this football rivalry came into the fold.

Ohio Sheriff Deputies

In addition to the football rivalry, the book does hold true to my criticism of law enforcement. Not to say law enforcement is evil or anything. Far from it. Or at least the initial point of law enforcement is something I can support as its purpose was to protect the people from an abusive state and federal government.

But as Ron Paul said in a recent video, law enforcement has done the opposite of this in recent decades and have joined the pure abuse of power in the federal and state government. And I’ve seen enough videos since the Ferguson, Missouri catastrophe to make my head turn.

Again, I’m not stereotyping the profession, but anyway, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Ohio, but black and yellow is the color of their deputy vehicles. Given the nature that Lord of Columbia is, inherently an allegory regarding several of my own viewpoints forged the motivation to give the overbearing Southpoint Empire the same colored vehicles.

Related: The Browns-Steelers Rivalry is the Most Memorable Allegory

It’s established early in chapter one when Cain and Lira reach the outskirts of Ironton, South Columbia, and witness random searches upon those entering the city and is further introduced when they hear over the city’s propaganda PA system that a live military draft is taking place the following evening requiring all college-aged people to be present.

The next morning, police cars, military vehicles, and even tanks are painted with the Southpoint flag and crest, the former of which displays a black field with four downward-pointing triangles (representing the United Kingdom of Southpoint’s nations of Southland, Northland, Ddraigoch, and Tamuria).

Southpoint is Named After Southpointe

Southpointe is a business park just off Interstate-79 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, which is a suburb of Pittsburgh. It serves as the home to corporations such as CONSOL Energy, Mylan, ANSYS Inc., as well as many natural gas producers like Noble Energy, Range Resources, etc.

It also houses the practice facility of the Pittsburgh Penguins, known as the IceoPlex, and is the current home of the Mylan Classic for the PGA Tour.

After testing a few names, I decided to go with Southpoint given the following that occurred hundreds of years before the events of the story took place when the Empire first formulated toward the end of The Skyehawk Chronicles, which is primarily set in Ddraigoch.

Okay, so think of Southpoint is the Gaian carbon copy of the United Kingdom. In the center you have Southland (England), to the north is Northland (Scotland), to the bottom left is Ddraigoch (Wales), and Tamuria (Northern France).

There are three major differences between Southpoint and the UK.

Related: Some Pop-Culture and Location References in my Debut Novel, Northern Knights

1. Ddraigoch covers land all the way to the southwestern shore, meaning it covers more landmass than its real-life counterpart.

2. Northern France, and not Northern Ireland, makes up the fourth nation in Southpoint.

3. Tamuria, and not Southland, is ultimately responsible for the creation of Southpoint.

So, when the Tamurians invaded Ddraigoch with Arkaan (Gaian equivalent of the Ottoman Empire) mercenaries, the armies of the recently overthrown and united Northland and Southland invaded from the north, and the armies met and merged at Ddraigoch’s southern shore, or the southernmost point of Ddraigoch, which decided the Empire’s name.

And I want to add that if you’re in the UK, don’t get offended by this work! There’s another Empire that inspired Southpoint more than anyone else and it’s not the United Kingdom.

The Browns vs Steelers Rivalry Inspired Shotball

Actually, it inspired the rivalry between Santos (orange and brown) and Leistung (black and yellow), which takes place in what I dub the SSL or Summit Shotball League. I laugh that a lot of readers feel Harry Potter inspired the sport of shotball but I had always wanted to insert college athletics into my work.

Since Gaia itself is a carbon copy of the Earth, I decided to place a fake, but at the same time a sport that can really be played, in the work. So, not only was shotball born, it and of itself is a mixture and reference to both college football and the NFL.

With one major difference in that the came is co-ed, despite its physical and somewhat violent nature but hey, I have seen female athletes put males to shame, so it wasn’t a hard decision to insert them into the game and play what many might think of as a man’s game.

Anyway, the rivalry since 1999 served as a huge inspiration, with Cain often noting how badly Leistung had dominated Santos in recent years, much like the Steelers had done with the Browns.

The Myles Garrett-Mason Rudolph Incident. Photo by Eric Drost, Flickr.

I had to laugh a little given the severity of a situation that occurred during the real-life rivalry when Browns defensive end decided to bonk Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with Rudolph’s own helmet since in Northern Knights, a similar event takes place between the two teams. And the Garrett incident occurred fifteen months after I first published the work.

The Pitt Dynasty and King Rooney Pitt

Obviously, Rooney’s named after the Rooney Family, who owns the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was something I didn’t think of until later on in the drafting of the work and felt it would make a nice touch. When I started to flesh out the backstory of the Pitt family, something you’ll see in a future book that serves as a sequel to The Skyehawk Chronicles, I named the founder Joseph, named after Steelers’ founder Art Rooney, whose middle name was Joseph.

Joseph’s firstborn son?

Forbes, named of course after Forbes Field, which served as one of the initial home stadiums of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Cover Elements

Finally, there’s the color elements involved in Northern Knights, which features something that sort of deviates from the typical fantasy/urban fantasy spectrum which often features dark blue/purple/black elements. The theme font is accurate, being Cinzel Decorative, but it’s rare you see a fantasy novel, even urban fantasy, that is heavy on orange.

Of course, this was Browns-inspired, which explains the orange writing and brown by-line.

Related: Introducing the Cover Art and Title for Book V in Lord of Columbia

So, you can definitely say I had a lot of fun creating Lord of Columbia while using the old Browns-Steelers Rivalry as a base for the creation not just of Northern Knights but for the entire first trilogy, where each color holds the same color scheme of orange, brown, and white.

Stay tuned, and I’ll talk about what football rivalry inspired Raven’s Flock, and the rest of Trilogy II. But the color scheme of the book should give you an example, as I purposely deviated from orange and brown.

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