I had the pleasure of speaking to Bill Priatko, an older gentleman from the western Pennsylvania region. Priatko played college football at Pitt and then immediately served in the military as part of his ROTC obligation. Upon the completion of his service, Priatko played in the NFL for three years where he had the good fortune of playing for the legendary Hall of Famer Paul Brown. He comments on Brown and the influence he had on his life on more than one occasion. Priatko also happened to befriend Dick LeBeau during his NFL career. The lifelong friendship between the two was highlighted by the Post Gazzette just a few short years ago. More recently, Ed Bouchette tracked down Priatko to get his thoughts on the NFL Lockout.
Priatko's story was chronicled by Dave Villiotti in this year's 2011 MSP Annual. Villiotti, who ducks in here at BTSC from time to time under the guise of swissvale72, played high school football for Priatko. Dave did a great job with the piece, so it only made sense to have him join the show.
After hearing about Priatko's remarkable life and the story of his and Villiotti's unique relationship, the conversation turned to Steelers football. I think you'll enjoy hearing what Priatko has to say about this year's Steelers squad, the relationship he has with Aaron Smith, what he expects to see this coming Sunday when the Steelers play the Patriots, to name but a few of the talking points we covered. Dave, himself, had some solid insights to share in addition to the wonderful stories and context he provided about why his former high school coach continues to mean so much to him all these years later.