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. But first a warning: You will not get the next fifteen seconds of your life back, but you’re already invested so enjoy.
Rosie Nix lost his job on cable television
Really? Back in 2014 and going by Roosevelt Nix-Jones, the Pro Bowl fullback was an undrafted free agent out of Kent State. A defensive lineman for the Golden Flashes, Roosevelt switched to linebacker because of his lack of NFL size for his college position. However, the Falcons switched RNJ to the fullback position. Nix was shining in training camp with his agility and toughness. Rosie even hit a blocking sled so hard, he broke it. However, with the HBO cameras in camp to record the Hard Knocks* series, GM Thomas Dimitroff and HC Mike Smith summoned the young player in and informed him that they were not retaining his services and were letting him go as their first cut. Nix handled the disappointing news with class and grace, while his teammates were shocked and upset on camera regarding his early departure. Nix hooked on with the Cleveland Gladiators of the AFL. But the next season, the Steelers signed him as a linebacker. They then switched Nix back to fullback because of overwhelming depth at the lb position. But his odds were still long with Will Johnson entrenched at the position. Nix did stand out as a special teams player and won a job on the 53 man roster. In 2017, Nix was named to the Pro Bowl and has become a valuable part of the team. The rest is Steeler history that started with a televised audience watching a young athlete get his dreams shattered on HBO.
Cam Heyward was fined by the NFL for honoring his deceased father
If you want a good reason to hate what Roger Goodall and the suits of the NFL stand for, it is this ridiculous story. The top pick of the Steelers in the 2011 draft out of Ohio State, Heyward was very well known before his arrival in Pittsburgh. His father, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, was a legendary player for the Pitt Panthers and a veteran of five NFL teams. Sadly, Ironhead succumbed to bone cancer after an eight-year battle in 2006. In 2015, then a five-year vet, Cam decided to honor his father and raise cancer awareness by displaying his dad’s nickname in eyeblack on his face during games. Doing it during the NFL’s October Breast Cancer Awareness campaign seemed logical to most, but apparently the NFL doesn’t benefit from honoring a former player that died from a different form of cancer and fined Heyward for uniform violations.
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”
It has been brought to my attention that some of my pop culture references that I frequently use are not known by all. So here is a reference guide.
- HBO’s Hard Knocks is a series that captures an all access look at a specific NFL team in training camp.
- Cliff Clavin was a character on the hit NBC television series Cheers that aired from 1982-1993. Played by John Ratzenberger, Clavin was a mailman with a penchant for spouting off useless trivia.
- C&C Music Factory was an American recording act that hit big in 1990 with “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now). They also had a hit about curiosity with 1991’s “Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm”.