WASHINGTON - Sam Snow is a Steelers fan – not that it is hard to tell. The jacket he wears is festooned with the logos from the six Super Bowls won by Pittsburgh through the years. Even though he moved to the D.C. area from his native western Pennsylvania town after graduating high school, his devotion never wavered.
When the cab driver works in Baltimore, he gets plenty of strange looks from those in Ravens country.
“Yeah, but I’m a Steelers fan first,” Snow said.
But on a day where he was shuttling passengers from BWI Airport to Union Station in Washington D.C. in time for Friday’s inauguration, his football acumen allowed him to forge an unlikely friendship.
When he got into the nation's capital, a D.C. police officer told Snow there were four people looking for a ride.
“He asked if I was available,” said Snow, “but I can’t because I’m licensed for Anne Arundel County.”
The officer directed Snow to pick up the group of two men and two women. Unbeknownst to Snow, the man who sat in the back seat was NFL Hall of Famer and Denver Broncos legend John Elway.
“All the time, he was talking to me. To me, it was just a regular pickup for four passengers,” said Snow, even as one passenger asked about his Steelers jacket.
That prompted a discussion over the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all-time.
“Number one, John Elway, he’s a great quarterback,” Snow told the passengers, as video was being recorded by one of Elway’s associates and later posted to social media.
After listing Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger as his second and third choices, Elway revealed himself.
“The ride is free!” exclaimed Snow, who just asked for a photo in return.
Elway obliged, but Snow said he also tipped generously.
We asked Snow if that the most famous person he has ever had in his cab.
“Yeah, ever,” Snow answered. “The first was Michael Phelps, but that didn’t even excite me. I’m not into swimming.
“He didn’t tip like John Elway neither!”