In a hard-hitting piece of uniform-related journalism, Phil Hecken of Uni-Watch reveals the questionable historical basis for the "1934" throwbacks. In a patient unravelling of the evidence trail, including a trip to the Pennsylvania State Library in Harrisburg, Hecken reveals the uniforms were first worn not in 1934 but in 1933.
Hecken's evidence is based upon viewing the microfilm collection of Pittsburgh newspaper photos of games in 1933 and 1934. According to Hecken, the unis were only worn once in a game, in November of 1933. (They were also worn in a team photo in 1934.) The game was vs. Brooklyn, and the Pittsburgh (football) Pirates were beaten 32-0. Thank heavens I didn't know this before last Sunday's game—I would have been even more of a wreck than I was.
But, shocking as this presumably deliberate misinformation is, the scandal doesn't stop there. According to Hecken's evidence, the number blocks actually had a yellow background rather than a white one. Although the Steelers facility displays a jersey purporting to be from 1934 with white number blocks, its authenticity has not been confirmed. Will the deceit never end?
Isn't there enough scandal on the team now, what with Emmanuel Sanders' upcoming visit to the league offices (at least once he can get to them,) DeAngelo Hall's accusations of dirty play on the part of a Steelers wide receiver, or the brutal treatment of a peaceable visiting quarterback (RGIII) at the hands of S Will Allen and OLB James Harrison? You would think they would at least get the unis right.
O tempores, o mores! But, because of the tireless search for the truth of Mr. Hecken, veritas vincit. Thank heavens there is still a man in the media who isn't afraid to challenge the great and confront them with their faults. I implore the Steelers organization to own up to their duplicity, right the ship, and once again be able to hold their heads high among their peers in the National Football League. And as for those of you considering the purchase of a throwback jersey, caveat emptor.