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.
You may not remember Billy Gardell from hit TV shows like Mike and Molly and Bob Hearts Abishola, but the comedian born in Swissvale in 1969 won’t let anybody ever forget that he’s a yinzer and a diehard Steelers fan. Despite his family moving to Florida when Gardell was a teen, the tv star still considers Pittsburgh home and is always rooting hard for the Men of Steel. Gardell has led a number of Terrible Towel twirls at Heinz Field, Including the one before the AFC Championship Game win against the Jets in 2011.
BTSC Steelers Jeopardy
(Answer at bottom of article)
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 feel compelled to feature the Steelers top pick in the 2022 Draft. Since he’s a quarterback, expect to hear a lot of the name...
Kenneth Shane Pickett
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
(Because of not running this feature last week due to the NFL Draft, BTSC is running last week’s birthdays as well)
5/2 - Russ Grimm (1959)
5/3 - Dwayne Haskins (1997), B.W. Webb (1997)
5/4 - Canonball Butler (1943), James Harrison (1978), Rohn Stark (1959), Fitzgerald Toussaint (1990), Karlos Williams (1993)
5/5 - Jonathan Bostic (1991), Barrett Brooks (1972), Ike Taylor (1980)
5/6 - Dustin Colquitt (1982), Cameron Heyward (1989), George Tarasovic (1930)
5/7 - Johnny Unitas (1933)
5/8 - Bill Cowher (1957), Felix Jones (1987)
5/9 - Tom Yewcic (1932)
5/10 - Drew Butler (1989), Derwin Gray (1995), Todd Kalis (1965), Miles Killebrew (1993), Randy Rasmussen (1945), Tegray Scales (1996)
5/11 - Steve Bono (1962), Justin King (1987), Mathias Nkwenti (1978)
5/12 - Tyson Alualu (1987), Shorty McWilliams (1926)
5/13 - Joe Glamp (1921)
5/14 - Gary Glick (1930), Lawrence Timmons (1986)
In Kevin Colbert’s final draft, the Steelers outgoing GM selected two receivers in the same draft for the seventh time. There are high expectations for George Pickens and Calvin Austin III for the 2022 season. The rookie leader under Colbert among wide receivers is Chase Claypool with 11 combined trips to the end zone (nine receiving and two rushing) and 62 catches in 2020. JuJu Smith-Schuster accumulated the most receiving yards under Colbert with 917 in 2017. These are all-time team records for rooks as well. Below is a list of the duos drafted in the same campaign and the expectations that Pickens and Austin will look to reach and surpass as far as receiving yards and catches go.
Plaxico Burress: 22 Receptions, 273 Receiving Yards, 0 Touchdowns
Danny Farmer: 0 Receptions, 0 Receiving Yards, 0 Touchdowns
Total: 22 Receptions, 273 Receiving Yards, 0 Touchdowns
Antwaan Randle-El: 47 Receptions, 489 Receiving Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Lee Mays: 0 Receptions, 0 Receiving Yards, 0 Touchdowns
Total: 47 Receptions, 489 Receiving Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Santonio Holmes: 49 Receptions, 849 Receiving Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Willie Reid: 0 Receptions, 0 Receiving Yards, 0 Touchdowns
Total: 49 Receptions, 849 Receiving Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Emmanuel Sanders: 28 Receptions, 376 Receiving Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Antonio Brown: 16 Receptions, 167 Receiving Yards, 0 Touchdowns
Total: 44 Receptions, 543 Receiving Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Markus Wheaton: 6 Receptions, 64 Receiving Yards, 0 Touchdowns
Justin Brown: 0 Receptions, 0 Receiving Yards, 0 Touchdowns
Total: 6 Receptions, 64 Receiving Yards, 0 Touchdowns
Martavis Bryant: 26 Receptions, 549 Receiving Yards, 8 Touchdowns
Dri Archer: 7 Receptions, 23 Receiving Yards, 0 Touchdowns
Total: 33 Receptions, 572 Receiving Yards, 8 Touchdowns
Playing wide receiver next to two Hall of Famers in the late 1970s and early 1980s for the Steelers, Jim Smith got lost in the Lynn Swann-John Stallworth shuffle quite a bit. But the 6’2” Smith was a valuable receiver who scored 25 TDs for the black and gold during two championship seasons in 1978 and 1979. When Smith defected to the USFL, he was awarded a contract higher than any NFL receiver. One can’t help to wonder what the Men of Steel could have accomplished with Smith in the lineup in the mid 80s. He may not have been an absolute Steeler legend... but the sight of No. 86 as a Birmingham Stallion is still disconcerting.
Hypocycloids Gone Hollywood
Troy Polamalu’s IMDB only lists two feature films, but they are absolute blockbusters. As he states, the Pro Football Hall of Famer is not an actor but merely a retired, “beat-up” football player. Troy made his movie debut as an uncredited football extra as a Gotham Rogue in the Dark Knight Rises. But his main claim to film fame was a speaking part as Villager No. 1 in Disney’s Moana. Polamalu had a speaking role in a film that celebrated his Polynesian culture.
The Cliff Clavin Corner
It’s a little known fact that the Steelers drafted Michigan State WR Lynn Chandnois with the 8th overall pick of the 1950 NFL Draft. Exactly 50 years later, the Steelers had the 8th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft and selected a WR from Michigan State… Plaxico Burress.
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 Lynn Chandnois?” 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.