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Why the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger might equate the return to block numbers

The Steelers jersey is timeless, but there's still a better version of it.

Los Angeles Rams v Pittsburgh Steelers
Minkah Fitzpatrick rocking the ‘79 throwback block number jersey
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

In 1997 the Pittsburgh Steelers tweaked its uniforms to feature italicized numbers instead of the traditional block number design. The current design has been synonymous with some of the modern greats like Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward, and James Harrison (among many others), but they might be most tightly tied to future hall-of-fame Quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.

When all is said and done Roethlisberger will have played roughly 20 years (2 decades!!!) for the black and gold. Adding to that, he will hold every passing record and will be the Steelers all-time leader in games played.

It is definitely fair to say no one will wear number 7 for the Pittsburgh Steelers ever again. But the team may decide to take that one step further..

In 2018 the Steelers decided on a new throwback jersey to honor the 40 year anniversary of the 1979 Super Bowl Championship winning team. Since bringing the Block numbers back, many fans have been pining for a full time return of the old digits.

While this seems like something the organization would be willing to do based on every alternate/throwback jersey in franchise history featuring a block number (Seriously look it up). I don't think the organization would want to pounce on switching it back full-time until the final chapter of its franchise quarterback comes to a close.

Retiring the rounded numbers when Big Ben calls it quits is a tribute he deserves and would signal the start of a new era.

Tom Brady got that treatment from the patriots this past season, and I think if anyone is deserving of that send off on the Steelers it’s clearly Big Ben.

With the NFL’s current jersey rules teams are allowed 4 different Jerseys, 4 different pants with any combinations of the four.

Just picture this:

  • Block numbers at home
  • Block numbers on road whites (which could also be worn with white pants/black stripe à la 1965)
  • The Color-Rush jersey
  • And why not an all gold version of the Color-rush jersey

While I'm going all-in on jersey talk, they might as well change the finish on the helmets from glossy to matte as it looks so much better (just look at the vikings current helmets) and also rotate in a grey face-mask with any jersey combination.

A timeless look just with more game-day options, and a firm grip on the title of nicest jerseys in the NFL.

What do you think? Should the Steelers go back to the block number full-time? Should they wait for Big Ben to retire to make that decision? Let us know in the comments below!