It’s the offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers and there are so many topics to talk and write about. Free agents, the coordinator conundrum, the next quarterback, the NFL Draft and breaking news will all be covered here at BTSC. But who’s going to give you little-known-facts out of the 500 Level?
Luckily, your one-stop, and non-stop, shop for everything Steelers employs a Steelers fan that was allegedly dropped on his head as a one-year-old during the Immaculate Reception. Useless and somewhat fascinating facts are his forte. So, here we are with off-the-wall thoughts from the dark side of a black-and-gold brain that nobody asked for. But the joke’s on you. you’ll be telling your peeps something you read here later.
This week’s subject of “412 Forever” is not from Pittsburgh but grew up in Philly and supports local teams from the City of Brotherly Love, mainly the Flyers and Eagles. So why is the veteran of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Bones and Seal Team being featured here? It’s not just because his character of Seeley Booth in Bones often drinks out of a Steelers mug, but more due to the fact that David Boreanaz was actually a Steelers ball boy at St. Vincent College as a teen in the 80s. On Late Night with Seth Meyers, Boreanaz made the avid Man of Steel fan jealous with his stories of hanging with the black and gold. “I used the place with the team to hit on girls at the college”, the actor told Meyers. It wasn’t all about posing as a player to pick up college girls, Boreanaz also worked out with Jack Lambert, did the teams smelly laundry and once hit quarterback Mark Malone in the face with a football. Most of all, that’s what garners Seeley Booth a spot in Steelers lore.
When Najee Harris was named to the Pro Bowl roster for the American Football Conference, the first rounder from Alabama became the 24th top choice in the Modern Era to earn the honor. Since 1969, the Steelers selected 53 players with their first-round pick, meaning that our “Heroes in Hypocycloids” have a Pro Bowl success rate of 45.28% for black-and-gold No. 1 selections. However, two of those players did not represent Pittsburgh in the all-star contest. Frank Lewis (1971) repped the Buffalo Bills in 1981, while Seattle sent Dave Brown (1975) in 1984, dropping the percentage down to 41.5%. As far as playing in Super Bowls with hypocycloids on their helmets, 29 first rounders at 54.7%.
Middle Name Madness
We love citing the second name of members of the Men of Steel here at Behind the Steel Curtain. We always cite Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger and Trent Jordan Watt, but who else? Hence, the “More You Know Middle Name of the Week” It belongs to a coach that started his NFL career in 2003 at the age of 23 as an assistant in the New England Patriots Scouting Department.
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
2/27 Buddy Johnson - 23, Duce Staley - 47, Cameron Sutton - 23, Rich Tylski - 51
2/28 Henry Bailey - 49, Ken Whisenhunt - 60
3/1 Alfredo Roberts - 57
3/2 Chris Rainey - 34, Ben Roethlisberger - 40
3/3 Santonio Holmes - 38, Jason Worilds - 34
3/4 Chris Fuamatu-Ma-afala - 45, Anthony McFarland Jr. - 23
3/5 Rocky Bleier - 76, Mike Munchak - 62
This week’s subject of “Hypocycloids Gone Hollywood” is not from Pittsburgh, but Wilmington, North Carolina. If you hear a mention of Charlie Daniels and his namesake band, one can’t help but think of one of the coolest tunes of all time… The Devil Went Down to Georgia. But in the early 1980s, fear of war with Russia and the Iran Hostage Crisis compelled Daniels to write an anthem about the fight of America. In it, Daniels sang “Just go and lay your hand on a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and I think you’re gonna finally understand”. Daniels stated in multiple interviews over the years his feeling that the people in Pittsburgh are “The salt of the earth, the finest, just the greatest people. The strength of America. I mean, they’re steel workers and they’re good old guys with blisters, or calluses on their hands. The strength of America is not in Washington D.C. It’s in our people, it’s on the farms, in the factories. It’s the people out here that make this country work. The truck drivers, the farmers. And these people, that’s what they were, and I just felt like if you want to go to war, let me take some of these guys with me. Go lay your hand on a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and you’re gonna find out what American anger is, because it’s the kind of people they are.” Over the years, the southern rock, country rock, bluegrass, blues and gospel legend performed the National Anthem, at Halftime and sat among the fans rooting on the Steelers. Charlie Daniels died in July of 2021 at the age of 83. With what’s been going on in the world overseas, one can’t think about this song and the greatest fans in the world.
Not Much Pickin’ and Grinnin’ Lately
We just talked about an all-time bluegrass great in Charlie Daniels in the last section, now for more men of the 412 that have done their fair share of pickin’ and grinnin’… the All-Time Steelers Interception leaders. You will see that a good number of Steelers have an equally good number of picks. However, one would surely be hard-pressed to find a current Steeler anywhere in the right time zone of the leaders. Minkah Fitzpatrick is the current Steelers career leader with 11 and possibly could make the Top 10 with 17 more in his career. Right now, Minkah is tied at No. 39. Joe Haden is dead locked with others at No. 48 with 10 and third at 80 with 5 are Cam Sutton and Terrell Edmunds. Help us Minkah, you’re our only hope.
All-Time Steelers Interception Leaders
1) Mel Blount - 57
2) Jack Butler - 52
3) Donnie Shell - 51
4) Rod Woodson - 38
5) Dwayne Woodruff - 37
6) Mike Wagner - 36
7T) Jack Ham, Darren Perry, Troy Polamalu - 32
10) Jack Lambert - 28
11T) Glen Edwards, Howard Hartley - 25
13) Clendon Thomas - 23
14) Deshea Townsend - 21
15T) Chad Scott, J.T. Thomas, DeWayne Washington - 19
39T) Minkah Fitzpatrick - 11
48T) Joe Haden - 10
80T) Terrell Edmunds, Cameron Sutton - 5
96T) T.J. Watt - 4
116T) Akhello Witherspoon - 3
143T) Devin Bush Jr., Cameron Heyward - 2
170T) Trey Edmunds, Tre Norwood, James Pierre, Joe Schobert, Robert Spillane, Stephon Tuitt - 1
BTSC Steelers Jeopardy
So, there you have it. Anybody can spout out stat after stat, but not everybody can embrace the colorful and personal side of the Pittsburgh Steelers. So, the more you know, the more you can stupefy your friends, family and neighbors with your big, black-and-gold brain. By the way, “Who is Verron Haynes?” is the correct clue in BTSC Steelers Jeopardy.