Behind The Steel Curtain contributor Mike Silverstein (a.k.a. Homer J.) was on-hand for the festivities in Pittsburgh this weekend, commemorating the 40th anniversary of The Immaculate Reception. As a living media witness of the events of Dec. 23, 1972, he told stories to the hundreds of people in attendance and rubbed elbows with some of the most prominent Steelers of their dynastic decade.
In a very Cope-ian tribute, Silverstein got his locker room pass from that day signed by Franco Harris, Frenchy Fuqua and "Mean" Joe Green, and has placed it on eBay for auction, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to help Transitional Services Inc., of Pittsburgh - an organization with a simple mission statement, "To help people with mental disabilities discover and achieve their hopes and dreams for a meaningful life in the community."
Silverstein's motivation is personal. In an email to Behind The Steel Curtain, he wrote:
I have a debt to TSI that I can never fully repay. My brother, born with Down Syndrome, lived at one of their centers for 26 years after Dad passed away and Mom became unable to care for him. They were 26 wonderful years.
TSI has been badly hurt by the recession, and the state has cut their funding. Some programs are in jeopardy. One program allows 27 clients to live independently, and provides counselors to check on them, make sure their rent and other bills are paid, and offer guidance on daily matters. These are people who are not severely retarded, but need a little help and someone to watch over them now and then, both at home and at their jobs.
Silverstein, as well as everyone at Behind The Steel Curtain, is asking you to spread the word of this auction - set to expire Jan. 1.
Click here for the eBay auction page, and please, spread it around. If you have the means, the value of this item in terms of Steelers history is enormous and would make a fantastic addition to any collection. This is the kind of thing you'd find in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.