The 2019 NFL Draft has come and gone, and Steelers fans are elated.
OK, that’s a bit of hyperbole. I would hope most fans aren’t still elated by what transpired the night of April 25, 2019, when Pittsburgh traded 10 spots up in the first round and selected Devin Bush, inside linebacker, Michigan. But that night, it was pretty special, wasn’t it?
How often do Steelers faithful get to feel like they’re actually a part of the festivities that take place on the first night of the draft? Yes, they always have a first-round selection to experience, but it’s usually so darn close to number 32, the picks feel, well, picked over by the time Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin get a chance to go shopping.
This year was different. It’s so rare that you remember where you were when the Steelers actually announced their first pick, but I’ll always remember where I was when I learned Pittsburgh was suddenly on the clock at pick number 10. I was at Wolfies Pub in Market Square having a few “pops” with a bunch of friends after a nice, long run (I’m making the Steelers this year). I had my back to all of the big screen television sets, and I wasn’t paying a whole lot of attention. I mean, the Steelers, Team Take What They Give Us, drafting any sooner than like 10:30 p.m.? Yeah, right!
But the Steelers drafted much, much sooner, because they were aggressive and went after the man they wanted—the man they perhaps needed. Not only will I never forget where I was when I learned that Bush would be the newest Steeler (it had to be him, right? If it was Rock Ya-Sin, Mike Tomlin would have gone down as the biggest troll in Internet history), I’ll never forget the sounds of many in the bar cheering and clapping as if they had just witnessed Bush wreaking havoc while wearing No. 55 for the black and gold (we can only hope people cheer and clap for that a lot in the very near future).
And this was all before Mean Joe Greene even made it official that Bush was in fact the newest Steeler.
What about all the other draft picks? I mean, I’m hoping they’ll be good, but this article isn’t about that. It isn’t about grades or wondering if the Steelers addressed all the right needs with their other selections. Heck, this article isn’t even about Bush and whether or not Pittsburgh actually made the right choice.
To reiterate, this article is about that feeling Steelers fans rarely get to experience in the first round. And, again, that feeling is elation or even euphoria. And I think the fans deserve that feeling every now and then. Let’s face it, draft season—something that begins right after the Steelers last game for lots of fans and doesn’t end until the draft is over—is almost on par with the actual regular season for many . In fact, I’m probably not out of line when I say the draft is even more precious than the regular season for a great deal of people.
And when those people pore over the countless draft grades and analysis that come flooding at them the second even the first pick is made, it’s nice to see them read about a rare “win.”
Of course, that feeling of elation is just that, a feeling. It means nothing to “win” this time of year. Everyone knows that on a rational and logical level, obviously, but, again, it’s so nice to experience victory in the spring.
Now it’s time for Devin Bush to justify those feelings so many of us had on April 25. If he does, maybe Steelers fans will experience some memorable moments in the winter—the best season for victory.