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 as you’ll be telling your peeps something you read here later.
This subjects of “412 Forever” are great Steelers fans and this week’s spotlight is on a man that actually wore black-and-gold for a “cup of coffee” in 1969. Last week, we featured Sofia Vergara. This time around, it’s the Modern Family actress’ television husband, Ed O’Neill. We know of Married with Children’s Al Bundy being a Polk High football legend, but O’Neill was a linebacker in Chuck Noll’s first ever training camp. Noll cut O’Neill but arranged for the Youngstown State product to join the Philadelphia Eagles. The three-time Emmy-Award nominee was done and went to Hollywood instead. It took a while to hit, but Ed O’Neill became one of the best comedy actors in television history and would mention the Steelers frequently. There’s obviously no hard feelings for Ed. He made a whole lot more money on the sound stage.
Note: Video includes a Dick Shiner reference
BTSC Steelers Jeopardy
(Answer at bottom of article)
With Mitchell Trubisky inking a free agent deal with the Steelers, he becomes the third-highest overall selection to play for the Steelers in the Super Bowl Era, next to Terry Bradshaw (1970) and Michael Vick (2001). In that time, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had 21 players chosen in the Top Ten of the NFL Draft. Of those 21, only nine were chosen by the Rooney-owned franchise at a rate of 42.9%. Of the first ten top-10ers, 80% were home grown. Then there was a 30-year chasm between 1989 and 2019 until the Steelers traded-up to select Devin Bush Jr. The most prevalent selection was No. 10 at six times, followed by five times for No. 7 and No. 8 comes in at four instances. Four Hall of Famers came out of that group as well.
1968 Mike Taylor - No. 10
1969 Joe Greene - No. 4
1970 Terry Bradshaw - No. 1
1971 Frank Lewis - No. 8
1986 John Rienstra - No. 9
1987 Rod Woodson - No. 10
1989 Tim Worley - No. 7
1993 Jerome Bettis - No. 10 (Los Angeles Rams)
1997 James Farrior - No. 8 (New York Jets)
2000 Plaxico Burress - No. 8
2001 Michael Vick - No. 1 - (Atlanta Falcons)
2003 Byron Leftwich - No. 7 (Jacksonville Jaguars)
2007 Levi Brown - No. 5 (Arizona Cardinals)
2009 Darrius Heyward-Bey - No. 7 (Oakland Raiders)
2010 Joe Haden - No. 7 (Cleveland Browns)
2010 Tyson Alualu - No. 10 (Jacksonville Jaguars)
2012 Mark Barron - No. 7 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
2014 Justin Gilbert - No. 8 (Cleveland Browns)
2014 Eric Ebron - No. 10 (Detroit Lions)
2017 Mitchell Trubisky - No. 2 (Chicago Bears)
2019 Devin Bush - No. 10
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, Christopher Lynn Boswell and Trent Jordan Watt, but who else? Hence, the “More You Know Middle Name of the Week”. This week the honor belongs to two players that the Steelers just acquired via free agency.
Mitchell David Trubisky
Myles David Jack
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
3/21 - Weegie Thompson - 61, Ahkello Witherspoon - 27
3/22 - Joey Porter - 45, John Rienstra - 59, Sutton Smith - 26, Stefan Wisniewski - 33
3/23 - James Saxon - 56
3/24 - Greg Blankenship - 68, Jerme Tuman - 56
3/25 - Mike Adams - 48, Al Woods - 35
3/26 - Fernando Bryant - 45, Elton Veals - 61
Not every NFL legend retires with their original team, having played with no other franchise. We may try to forget the image of our Steel Heroes wearing another uniform, but it’s a part of fandom and legends sometimes change team colors. After a stellar 15-year career from 1974-1988 in Pittsburgh, Iron Mike Webster spent his final two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. The four-time Super Bowl champion was nine-times a Pro Bowl selection, five-times All-Pro, a member of the All-Time 70s and 80s Team and a 1997 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mike Webster, who died in 2000, is a Steeler legend... but the sight of the center as a Chief is disconcerting.
Hypocycloids Gone Hollywood
I had absolutely no interest in the NBC series This is Us when it first premiered in September of 2016. But when I learned that it was partially set in Pittsburgh, I had to check it out. The very first scene featured Jack Pearson, played by Milo Ventimiglia, wearing nothing but a Terrible Towel given to him as a birthday gift by his (pregnant-with-triplets) wife, played by Mandy Moore. Those triplets were conceived with Moore’s character sporting a Terry Bradshaw jersey during Super Bowl XIV at the famed Steel City watering hole, Froggys. Other Men of Steel highlights include the Pearson kids known as “The Big Three” wearing black and gold onesies and the daughter, as an adult, watching the Steelers every week faithfully on tv with her dad’s urn. The show is wrapping up its’ six-season run and is so much more than a beautiful portrayal of a family’s undying love for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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 Pete Gonzalez?” is the correct clue in BTSC Steelers Jeopardy.
We’ll see you right here next week. Until then keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the hypocycloids.