I had two choices this morning.
I could write about the draft, or I could write about something I've always wondered about as a Steelers fan but never asked any other fan of the Black and Gold.
I chose the latter.
I'll never forget when my dad showed me an ad of Jerome Bettis and Kordell Stewart proudly wearing the Steelers revamped jerseys during the 1996 offseason heading into the 1997 season. The hallowed block numbers on the team's uniforms would be replaced by circular numbers similar to that of the Chicago Bears. The Steelers logo would also be placed on the top left side of the team's jersey for the first time as well. Another minor change took place as well (that would later be reversed in 1998): Black lettering would replace the team's traditional gold lettering for the players last names on the white jerseys.
Aside from liking the black name font (I just thought it looked sharp), I didn't like the new jerseys. I know they weren't a total revamp like the one the Broncos did during the same offseason, but nevertheless, the small changes were enough for me to wish the change never took place.
I miss the block numbers, the numbers the great teams of the 70's wore during their reign. That look was also the one the mid 90s Steelers wore during their run of success that included their run to Super Bowl XXX. I just felt like that block numbers made the Steelers look tougher, meaner, more intimidating. It was apart of that team's aura just like the Cowboys and Packers uniforms during their reigns atop the NFL. Unlike the Steelers, their jerseys have been pretty much kept in unison throughout their existence.
Fans of the block numbers like myself now get a taste of the old times a few times a year, when the Steelers wear the gold block numbered throwback jerseys of the 1950s, my second favorite Steelers jersey. Unlike most people, I don't hate the Steelers killer bees/prisoner look of the 30's jerseys (they're unlike any other NFL jersey; who else has a jersey that original?), but they're only one step in front of the 60's triangle jerseys as my least favorite Steelers jersey.
Simply put, I want the Rooneys to go back to the jersey the team wore from 1970-1996, with block numbered jerseys with the black face masks (if I want to get really technical, let's say 1977-1996 as the team replaced the gray face masks for the sick black ones back in '77). If not permanently, then maybe bring those unis back for a few games as a throwback choice. I'd love to plop into my chair one Sunday, turn on the TV and see the Steelers look the same way they did when I was a kid, remembering how the team looked when I first became a fan and seeing the same thing in present day.
I need your help, Steelers fans. Does my push for the team to go back to their block numbered jerseys have legs? Or do I simply need to start worrying about more prevalent things in life (in which case I should have written about the draft?)? I just think-from a historical standpoint and just for the fact that they look cool-that the numbered unis should be considered for reinstatement. It worked for the Steelers teams back then, and I think they'd do pretty well now.