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.
Most people remember Pat McAfee as a fantastic and outrageously entertaining punter playing for the Indianapolis Colts from 2009 to 2016. When the Plum native was a senior in high school, legend has it Pat turned $100 playing poker at an illegal club and turned it into $14K. With his winnings, McAfee financed an excursion to Miami for a kicking showcase where he made nine consecutive field goals, barely missing a 70-yard field goal. Upon returning to the suburbs of the Steel City, McAfee got a scholarship call from West Virginia University, where he was a First-Team All-American in 2008. After an All-Pro career in Indy, McAfee retired at the age of 29 on the top of his game and entered broadcasting for various outlets, including the nationally syndicated gem, The Pat McAfee Show. But Patrick, remembering the backyard trampoline-wrestling glory of his youth, started getting involved more in professional wrestling. He’s been the top commentator on WWE SmackDown for the past year. Just two weeks ago, Pat stole the show with his exhilarating, two-match performance at WrestleMania 38. Known for glorifying the yinzer accent and making it chic again, Pat McAfee is proof that you can’t keep a good yinzer boy dahn.
BTSC Steelers Jeopardy
(Answer at bottom of article)
The Pittsburgh Steelers have made a lot of draft choices over the years some are famous and others have famous namesakes. Here are 20 draft picks of the Pittsburgh Steelers that are notable for there names.
1936 Bill Shakespeare - B - Notre Dame - Round 1 Pick 3
Not “the Bard of Avon” and the great world’s greatest dramatist, “the Bard of South Bend” was the third player ever selected in the NFL draft and the first to be selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in their history. The College Football Hall of Famer never played in the NFL, foregoing the league for a higher paying career in business.
1940 Mike Sullivan - E - North Carolina State - Round 17 Pick 153
1943 Jack Russell - E - Baylor - Round 3 Pick 22
The left end, not to be mistaken with the Great White lead singer was never “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” with the Steagles who drafted the player in Round 2 during wartime in 1943. Russell played 65 games with the New York Yankees in five seasons.
1946 Bob Evans - B - Pennsylvania - Round 9 Pick 73
In 1948, restaurateur Bob Evans started processing and packaging the pork in his Gallipolis, Ohio diner. Today it is a favorite eatery among many an American. Two years earlier, the Steelers didn’t select the sausage king, but a Penn Quaker halfback who never hooked-on with the Steelers in the National Football League.
1947 Paul Davis - FB - Otterbein - Round 24 Pick 218
The fullback gained four yards in 11 games for the Steelers. More famous was the American singer and songwriter to gain acclaim in the 1970s and 80s with “I Go Crazy”, “Cool Night” and “65 Love Affair”.
1955 George Mason - T - Alabama - Round 5 Pick 54
Just like his namesake never signed the . Constitution as a U.S delegate, George Mason never played a game in the NFL.
1967 Mike Love - FB - Abilene Christian - Round 15 Pick 376
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and co-founder of the iconic Beach Boys was riding the wave of fame To the top of the charts in the 1960s. Another Mike Love was a Round 15 pick of the Steelers, but never made it out of camp or on a NFL roster.
1971 Paul Rogers - K - Nebraska - Round 8 Pick 190
Paul Rodgers is known as one of the greatest rock lead singers of all time for the likes of Free, Bad Company, The Firm and a collaboration with Queen. The Nebraska kicker could not unseat Roy Gerela in Pittsburgh and never hooked on in the league.
1972 Ed Bradley - LB - Wake Forest - Round 4 Pick 88
Although he played more than 60 minutes for the Steelers from 1972 to 1975, the Super Bowl winner never started a game at linebacker for the black and gold. He did, however, up here and 49 games in Pittsburgh. Not to be confused with the Wake Forest Hall of Famer, CBS investigative journalist and “60 Minutes” co-host Ed Bradley many accolades include 20 Emmys and multiple Peabody Awards.
1973 Ronald Bell - RB - Illinois State - Round 6 Pick 149
Ronald “Kool” Bell is in the songwriters Hall of Fame composing many hits as a co-founder of the legendary Kool and the Gang. His running back namesake, Ron Bell, could not break in with a Steelers RB unit that included Franco Harris, Rocky Bleier and Frenchy Fuqua. Bell never appeared in a regular season game in the NFL.
1975 Walter White - TE - Maryland - Round 3 Pick 78
Walter White is an infamous and legendary character portrayed by Bryan Cranston in the A&E series “Breaking Bad”. The Steelers Round Three pick in 1975 by the same name never played in the Steel City, but the tight end spent five seasons in the league with the Kansas City Chiefs.
1980 John Goodman - DE - Oklahoma - Round 2 Pick 56
The fact that both men We’re large individuals not too far apart in age, a lot of people thought that the defensive end out of Oklahoma and the “Roseanne” actor were the same person. They were not, but both men did well in their craft. The football player spent five years with the Steelers and picked up 10 sacks as a replacement member of the famed Steel Curtain in the early 80s.
1980 Woodrow Wilson - DB - North Carolina State - Round 10 Pick 250
The Wolfpack defensive back was not elected to a regular season roster after being selected by the Super Bowl champs in 1980. The other Woodrow Wilson was quite a bit more successful after serving as the 28th President of the United States from 1913 to 1921..
1981 Ricky Martin - WR - New Mexico - Round 5 Pick 127
The Lobo Wide Receiver wasn’t “Livin’ La Vida Loca” in the NFL in the same manner as the Grammy winner did in the music world. The fifth-rounder never played a regular season game in the league.
1984 Chris Brown - DB - Notre Dame - Round 6 Pick 164
The Notre Dame defensive back played 22 contests in two seasons and started four games for the Pittsburgh Steelers as a rookie in 1984. Brown is not to be mistaken with the controversial R&B Grammy winner of the same name.
1997 George Jones - RB - San Diego State - Round 5 Pick 154
The country music legend and the Steelers running back were completely different individuals. The football player had his best season as a rookie with the Steelers in 1997 by gaining a total of 476 yards and two touchdowns, Before spending the final two seasons of his career with Jacksonville in Cleveland. The other guy was more famous for his countless number of country and western hits and his marriage to Tammy Wynette.
2000 Chris Combs - DE - Duke - Round 6 Pick 173
Chris Combs doesn’t have an NFL regular season game on his resume’ and neither does he have sisters that average 1,000 pounds. The other Chris Combs is the co-star and brother of “1,000 lb. Sisters” Amy and Tammy Slaton.
2004 Eric Taylor - DT - Memphis - Round 7 Pick 212
Eric Taylor played one NFL game in his career with the Minnesota Vikings, not with Bill Cowher’s Steelers who drafted the DT in the 7th Round in 2004. His fictional namesake won many a game with the philosophy of “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose” as the Texas High School coach of Dillon and East Dillon in the NBC series, “Friday Night Lights”.
2015 Jesse James - TE - Penn State - Round 5 Pick 160
Jesse James is one of the biggest black and gold names on this list starting 36 of 56 games in black and gold from 2015 to 2018. James scored nine touchdowns as a Steeler, but his biggest one against New England in 2017 didn’t count. Jesse James caught that ball. The Nittany Lion is not to be mistaken with the Old West outlaw or the tv star and founder of West Coast Choppers.
2018 Marcus Allen - DB - Penn State - Round 5 Pick 14
While this Marcus Allen is not the NFL Hall of Famer, his Godfather Curtis Martin is. The current Steeler safety/linebacker has played 33 games in black and gold.
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 we feature one of the pieces of the Antonio Brown deal and the Steelers’ leading receiver.
Diontae Lamarcus Johnson
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
4/17 - Rich Erenberg - 60, John Leglue - 26, Blake Wingle - 62
4/18 - Gary Anderson - 61
4/19 - Tre Norwood 23, Troy Polamalu - 41, Aaron Smith - 46
4/20 - Ernie Stautner -96
4/21 - Don Alley - 77
4/22 - J.T. Thomas - 71
4/23 - Chris Hubbard - 31, Ryan McBean - 38, Bobby Shaw - 47
Disturbing Sights - Tunch Ilkin, Green Bay Packers
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 13-year career from 1980-1992 in Pittsburgh, Tunch Ilkin spent his final season with the Green Bay Packers, playing in one game. The two-time Pro Bowl selection was a Steeler legend and ambassador for most of 41 years until his 2021 passing... but the sight of the incomparable09 Tunch temporarily as a Packer just didn’t seem right.
Hypocycloids Gone Hollywood
Evening Shade was a CBS sitcom starring Burt Reynolds as Wood Newton, an ex-member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who returns to rural Evening Shade, Arkansas, to coach a high-school football team with an embarrassingly long losing streak. Reynolds personally requested to use the Steelers as his character’s former team, because the former Florida State Seminole was a fan.
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, “What is Indiana?” 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.