'I don't hide it': Tomahawk Police Chief stands out as lone Pittsburgh Steelers diehard in Packers countrySubmitted: 05/25/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

'I don't hide it': Tomahawk Police Chief stands out as lone Pittsburgh Steelers diehard in Packers country
TOMAHAWK - The first thing you notice about Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins is his Southern drawl.

He lived in Georgia for years.

The second thing you notice is just as out of place in northern Wisconsin. It's the black and yellow. Everywhere.

In the land of the green and gold, Packers country, Elvins is a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

He'll take you outside the Tomahawk Police Department to show you the guard posts.

"When I got hired, they were yellow and green. When I passed the state certification test, I came back that day and painted them black. Yellow and black. For the Steelers," he said.

The posts are just the start. Elvins' office includes pennants, pictures, and banners. That should come as no surprise to the people who hired him.

"I was asked in my interview process by the Police and Fire Commission if I was a Packers fan," he remembered. "I said, 'Absolutely not.' They said, 'Do you think you could be a Packers fan?' I said, 'Absolutely not.'"

They still hired him.

Despite growing up in New York and Georgia, Elvins started watching the Steelers at age three. His passion has never changed.

"Everybody knows I'm a Steelers fan," he said. "I don't hide it."

Elvins didn't even hide it last November, when he was called away from dinner with his wife to a crime scene. At an impromptu press conference, Elvins answered questions in a Steelers sweatshirt.

Why wouldn't he be wearing one? The Steelers were on Thursday Night Football that night.

"I caught a little bit of flak about wearing a Steelers hoodie to an interview," Elvins said with a laugh.

His wife Tina works a few blocks away. Elvins asked her to wear a Ben Roethlisberger jersey for my visit. She's gotten used to catching flak, too.

"When I wore this today, everybody's like, 'What are you wearing that ugly shirt for?'" she said.

But home is a safe place. It's a Steelers place.

"I don't think there's one room that doesn't have something Steelers," Tina said. "We have a Steelers toaster that puts the Steelers emblem on the toast."

Tina grew up a Cowboys fan, but her husband keeps working on her, filling her closet with black and yellow.

"He buys me Steelers stuff. I have some Steelers slippers, Steelers pants, Steelers shirt," she said. "I'm surprised I don't have a Steelers bathing suit."

"Oh, it's coming, honey," Elvins, standing in the background, chimed in.

Elvins took his family to the Steelers-Packers game at Lambeau Field in 2013. As Tina reminisced about the day, he broke in.

"Who won, baby?" he asked.

"The Steelers won," she conceded.

Elvins knows he'll never make Tomahawk a Steelers town. But it's clear. His house is Steelers country, even down to their new dog.

"She does not have a choice," Elvins said. "If she wants to eat, she's a Steelers fan."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander group working to maintain recreational trails in the area got some help in their mission. The Rhinelander Area Silent Trails Association received grants to help fund its various projects.

The group got two DNR Recreational Trail Act Grants totaled at a little more than $13,000. The WPS Foundation also gave a total of $1,800 in grants. The grant money will be used to help with multiple projects. 

One project is to construct a boardwalk over the wetlands of the Cassian Cross County Ski Trail. RASTA is also going to construct a new ski trail at Washburn.

For more information on all of RASTA's projects, visit their Facebook page lined below.

+ Read More

Play Video

ARBOR VITAE - Last summer the Northwoods LBGT community and allies come together to celebrate love, diversity and acceptance.

After last year's successful festival, the Rainbow Hodags planned an even bigger one for this year.

More than 75 people celebrated gay pride at the second annual Pride Fest in Arbor Vitae.

Lots of laughter, live music, and dancing filled the park. 

+ Read More

FLORENCE COUNTY - Two high school students died in a car crash early Friday morning in Florence County. The wreck happened at around 6:20 a.m. according to the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

The vehicle was traveling north on County Highway N in the Commonwealth Township, when the driver lost control while making a turn. The vehicle crossed the center line, left the roadway, and hit a tree, bursting into flames upon impact.

The names and ages of the Florence High School students will be released after notifications are made.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAKE TOMAHAWK - Back in the early nineties, an event in Lake Tomahawk gave thanks to veterans. This year, a group of community members decided to bring it back.

The Vets and Guides event invites veterans from King, Tomah, and other areas to come to Lake Tomahawk for a day of fishing, food, and a good time.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - People could drop off almost anything with a plug at an electronic recycling event in Rhinelander June 22.

Computers, laptops, and TVs filled boxes in the Charter NEX Films parking lot.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - After a long night shift, DNR Conservation Warden Supervisor Dave Walz answered his phone with some anxiety early Wednesday morning.

"Oh, phone ringing at 1, 2 in the morning, this can't be good," Walz said.

That anxiety turned to excitement.

"They said they had a homeowner with a bear in a basement," Walz said.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander District Library creates several programs each year for its library summer reading program. This year, the library is adding a twist to the typical craft contest.

The overall theme of this year's summer reading program is "The Library Rocks." One of the programs for adults is "The Chopped Craft Contest."

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here