It is August, the Steelers are at St. Vincent's, Steelers Nation is converging on Latrobe, all of which indicates that everything is returning to the way its should be.
The Steelers nonetheless face the burden of attempting to be the first Super Bowl loser in a generation to return to the big dance in the succeeding season coupled with the PR hit the franchise took just as the lockout was ending.
The Steelers can quickly shift the collective attention of fans and the media back where it belongs though with a single masterstroke that highlights the bedrock of the team's unmatched excellence.
The Steelers can accomplish this with a single photograph.
Images convey power and here the Steelers have a unique advantage.
Immediately after Super Bowl XLIII Steelers Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert declared that the Sixth Super Bowl transformed the Steelers legacy.
No longer was it four Super Bowls for the Steelers of the Seventies and one Super Bowl for the Cowher era, but Six for the entire Pittsburgh Steelers organization.
Colbert was right.
The Steelers elevated themselves to a unique plane with Lombardi Trophy number six. They were the first to get three, the first to get four, only one of three to get five, and now they're the only ones with six.
It is fitting then that the franchise honor the three men most responsible for this accomplishment.
The Rooneys must bring Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, and Mike Tomlin together with the six Lombardi Trophies, and record the moment on film.
Now is the Time
A photograph of Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, and Mike Tomlin amidst the 6 Lombardi trophies would be a subtle, yet powerful statement of who the Steelers are.
With just three coaches over a span of 40 years the Steelers have accomplished what no other has. Although Dallas maybe the only franchise in striking distance of matching the Steelers, time is still of the essence.
Chuck Noll turns 80 next January. His back problems prevented him from attending Super Bowl XL, Super Bowl XLIII, or Super Bowl XLV, even though Super Bowl XLIII was played close to his winter home in Florida.
A Cleveland Plain-Dealer article on him at Christmas ‘08 reported that Noll did manage to get to the golf course on good days, but those days came less frequently then. Since that time heart problems have surfaced in the occasional news articles about Noll.
Bill Cowher of course remains an analyst at CBS, and now the question if his return to the sidelines does seem to be one of "if" and not necessarily one of "when."
Nonetheless, Cowher can command his choice of coaching vacancy should he decide to again don the headset. While nothing would to prevent him from taking a snap shot with the Steelers after he is under the employ of another team, but it might be a little awkward.
The Nolls reportedly still maintain a home Pittsburgh, and one would figure that they'd most likely to be there during summer to escape the Florida heat.
One must assume that arranging Cowher's to return to Pittsburgh should be easy and, while Mike Tomlin is the Steelers point man in navigating the post-lockout chaos, his availability for Kodak moment should not be at issue.
The man who can make it happen with a phone call is of course Ambassador to Ireland, but international long-distance rates are relatively cheap these days, and well, there's always Skype.
Time for Steelers Nation to Act
When I first suggested immortalizing the image of Six Trophies and 3 Men on film two years ago I concluded with a call to action.
WVa Pirates fan was kind enough to post the article here on Behind the Steel Curtain as a Fan Post, and Dan Gigler of the Post Gazette's Blog and Gold gave the idea a great shout out.
That support was excellent, but Google Analytics tells me that, while impressive, the number of kindred spirits who saw that post was far too small a sliver of Steelers Nation to make a difference.
So we call on Steelers fans across the world to act.
Make the Steelers hear our voice. There are a number of ways you can make this happen:
- Email the Steelers - their website gives this address. email@example.com It's only supposed to be to report site issues if we inundate them with messages someone will be forced to take notice.
- Email the Steelers Digest. The Digest is the Steelers in-house publication, and is published out of Steeler headquarters. Again, if fans flood the editor's in box, Bob Labriola will take note. Here is the address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Post a message with a link back to this post in the message board on Steelers.com
- Old Fashioned pen and ink. Ironically, letters can sometimes be an effective way to catch attention here in the digital age. The Steelers address is:
UPMC Sports Performance Complex
3400 South Water Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Most importantly, spread the word to fellow fans. If you have your own blog or site, link back. Email this idea it to friends, Tweet, Digg it. Facebook like it etc... Encourage friends and fellow citizens of Steelers Nation to spread the word and speak up.