We all have roles in our respective social villages. Some are the planners that get everybody together. Some are the uniters that are necessary because there may be dividers in your universe as well. There’s the moral compass and the well-meaning, shady guy that stretche the limits.
Then there’s me.
I’m the guy that wants to entertain at all costs when I channel my inner Cliff Clavin with little known facts. As a Steeler site, BTSC prides itself on breaking news, coverage, stats, commentary, satire, predictions and more. I try to dip my feet into all of those sections of the river. But sometimes I feel that we lose sight of the humans behind the helmets. With that in mind, I’d like to add some fun and the triumph of the human spirit to my regular duties at BTSC with Steelers Fun Facts.
Here we go.
Maurkice Pouncey’s real first name is LaShawn.
Good stuff, huh? LaShawn’s older brother, by one minute, actually does the same thing. James Michael Poucey of the Los Angeles Chargers goes by the shortened version of his middle name. According to a 2012 interview with USA Today, the elder twin stated how the change came about.
“We give our mom a hard time about it all the time because our first names are actually James and LaShawn. We hated those names growing up, so she finally let us start calling each other Michael and Maurkice and we just stuck with it our whole lives. Our real father left us when we were just a couple of months old and his first name was James. That was really the start of it, so whenever we were in elementary and middle school, we’d always tell the teachers don’t call us by our first names”, Mike said back then.
While the origin of LaShawn’s dubbing is not available to the author at this time, the name he’s made in Pittsburgh is one that yinzers will celebrate for years to come.
Trey Griffey’s famous grandfather’s switch from football to baseball was a life-saving decision
Trey Griffey, like the Pounceys, doesn’t go by his given first name. Neither did his father or his grandfather. George Kenneth Griffey III, the Steelers Wide Receiver, was born into a famous baseball family. But that’s not the intriguing story here. We all know the legend of his dad, Ken Griffey Jr.’s, career. Some may remember the fact that the Hall of Famer and his dad, Ken Griffey Sr., actually homered in back-to-back at bats on September 14, 1990. But I was amazed to find out that these feats could have been erased from history if it wasn’t for the unexpected conception of the Hall of Famer.
Donora’s Ken Griffey was a standout in football and was all ready to sign a letter of intent to play football for the Thundering Herd of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. However, Ken received a phone call from his girlfriend shortly before graduation in 1969 and learned that she was expecting a child. With the possibility of adding a senior onto his name, Ken Griffey decided to bypass football for professional baseball after being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the Major League Baseball Draft shortly after his graduation ceremony. Junior was born and he was married right after his first season in the minors and then embarked on a long and storied career that included two World Series rings in 1975 and 1976 as a member of the Big Red Machine. The significance of this story relates to a tragic event that occurred exactly one year and one week after his son’s birth. On the night of November 14, 1970, 37 players on the Marshall football team and five coaches died in a plane crash that killed 75 people total after a road game against East Carolina. Griffey would have been a sophomore wide receiver had he accepted the scholarship and likely would have been a passenger on that Ill-fated flight.
The 2006 movie that was inspired by the tragedy and rebuilding efforts, We Are Marshall, starred a descendant of Trey’s current employer. Kate Mara is the great-granddaughter of Arthur J. Rooney, the founder of the Steelers.
There you go. While these stories aren’t breaking news or hard-hitting and informative stats, I hope that my inner-Clavin sparks your inner C&C Music Factory and are “Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm”