I was asked by a certain larger-than-life figure in the recent months, "what makes Behind The Steel Curtain a great site for Steelers fans?"
It was in response to my statement that said larger-than-life figure should take a look at Behind The Steel Curtain, because it's a great site for Steelers fans."
My answer was blunt, dumb and a bit fanboyish. But completely true.
"Well, we've got Homer."
Homer J., our sagelike contributor who's as authentic Pittsburgh as a Rooney, has seen it all. He's seen championships and down years. Wins and losses to the Cowboys and Bengals. different Hall of Famers at the heights and depths of their careers.
Homer J. was a news reporter for 30 years, but before launching that glorious career, he worked for the sanitation department in Pittsburgh ("shoveling shit was the perfect internship to prepare me for a career of covering politics in Washington," he would tell me). I know this because he worked with my dad and grandpa there.
Homer's told me stories, my dad's told me stories, and while those fascinate me, none are more compelling than Homer's stories about the old town, and the Steelers in particular.
If we want more authenticity, just ask NFL Network.
They've chosen to feature Homer J., a.k.a. Mike Silverstein, as part of the network's tribute to The Immaculate Reception - Franco Harris's touchdown catch off a deflected pass to defeat the Raiders in the playoffs in 1972.
The anniversary of the Immaculate Reception is Sunday, and the team has planned several events to commemorate the landmark moment in team history 40 years to the day it happened.
We've got things planned on Behind The Steel Curtain as well, including the full audio clip of Homer's interview with Harris after the play (the breathlessness of Harris and Homer for that matter along with the crowd noise in the background is spine-tingling), and NFL Network will air the entire feature show Wednesday. We will be running the clip and hopefully get a full take on Homer's experiences along with it, leading into Sunday's game.
Click here to watch the preview of NFL Network's "A Football Life: The Immaculate Reception," including some words from Mr. Silverstein - decked out in Pittsburgh formal wear.