With today being Father’s Day, BTSC would like to honor all of the Dads of Steelers Nation and beyond with an Iron City. But since SB Nation won’t spring for it, the best I could do is run a special Dad’s Day edition of The More You Know.
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, signings, retirements 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.
When trying to highlight Steelers as dads, I remembered the perfect moment which featured Bill and Meghan Cowher moments after the Steelers loss to Dallas in Super Bowl XXX. As despondent as Coach Cowher seemed, he lit up when he saw his wife Kay and oldest daughter Meagan. Bill embraced Meg and said, “Sometimes you win, Sometimes you lose”. The coach’s nine-year old replied with a whisper that wasn’t audible in highlights, “Win or lose, you’ll always be my hero”. That was a Hall of Fame moment from a girl that made her father feel like a champion even though the scoreboard read differently.
Steel Dad Facts
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin didn’t originally have a present father figure in his life as he reportedly did not have a relationship with Baltimore Colt draftee and CFL’s Montreal Allouettes player, Ed Tomlin. But in 1980 at age 8, Julia, Tomlin’s mother, married Leslie Copeland. Copeland assumed the role of male role model and Mike always referred to Copeland as his dad. Coach T., who is a father figure to his players, embraces the responsibility of father to Dino (a WR for Boston College), Mason (a DB for Colombia) and Harlyn (a PA state champion gymnast) even more. At an All Pro Dads and Kids seminar, Tomlin shared his parenting philosophy in 2012. “Family comes first. Coaching is what I do but being a husband and father is who I am. I think that is the proper perspective to have. What we do for a living can consume us, but I think we need to keep our priorities in order. Sometimes we need reminders of that and I continually remind myself”. That’s a great reminder to us all.
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 feature the founding father of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the man that started it all after he paid a $2,500 franchise fee in 1933 to fund an NFL franchise in his beloved Steel City.
Arthur Joseph Rooney
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
6/20 Len Dawson (1935), Fred McAfee (1968)
6/21 Gene Breen (1951), Tex Holcomb (1913), Buster Mott (1909), Erwin Williams (1947)
6/22 Paul Martha (1942), Mark Royals (1965), Mike Wagner (1949)
6/23 Marv Kellum (1952)
6/24 Mitch Berger (1972), Duval Love (1963),
6/25 Dan Turk (1962)
6/26 Jace Sternberger (1996), Michael Vick (1980)
Steel Dads in Diverse Duds
The Steelers have six players with fathers that have “NFL Alumnus” on their resumes. Devin Bush Jr. (Devin Bush Sr.), Cameron and Connor Heyward (Craig “Ironhead” Heyward), Terrell and Trey Edmunds (Ferrell Edmunds), Cody White (Sheldon White). What did those pro dads look like in their work clothes?
Devin Bush Sr. - Atlanta Falcons, St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns (1995-2002)
Craig Heyward - New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, St. Louis Rams and Indianapolis Colts (1988-1998)
Ferrell Edmunds - Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins (1988-1994)
Sheldon White - New York Giants, Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals (1988-1993)
Blues Black & Golds
Just because. Ironhead Heyward in a Pitt uniform
Hypocycloids Gone Hollywood
Legendary Steelers Scout Bill Nunn Jr. was (deservedly so) posthumously enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021, His son, Bill Nunn III, carved out quite a career himself in Hollywood as an well-known actor in movies like Spike Lee’s (Nunn’s college roommate) Do The Right Thing (Radio Raheem) and New Jack City (Duh Duh Man’), Sister Act (Lieutenant Eddie Souther) (Duh Duh Man’) and The Spiderman Trilogy (Robbie Robertson) among others. In the 70s, the young Nunn was a ball boy for the Men of Steel, Bill and Art Rooney II actually stole Joe Greene’s green Lincoln Continental during training camp for a joy ride at Saint Vincent College. The duo eventually informed “Mean Joe” of the carnapping, but it was well after the statute of limitations expired sometimes in the 2000s. Two years after his father died at age 89, Bill Nunn III passed away in his hometown of Pittsburgh in 2016 at the age of 62.
Cliff Clavin Corner
It’s a little known fact that Steelers superstar Cameron Heyward was once fined $5,787 by the NFL in 2015 for writing his father’s nickname on his eye black in a month where players wore pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. Craig “Ironhead” Heyward died of bone cancer at the Age of 39 in 2006.
Got fined for honoring my Dad who bravely fought cancer on my eye black. #Nevergiveup #CancerSucks pic.twitter.com/RTx988ijG9— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) October 14, 2015
Steelers Jeopardy Answer in the Form of a Question: Who is Dick Lebeau ?
Lebeau was such a dad to the Men of Steel who inspired his defense for years. The Steelers wore his Lions throwback before a January 1, 2006 game against Detroit, Troy Polamalu asked his former DC to induct him into Canton, the entire defense (led by Ryan Clark) stood up to Antonio Brown after a disrespectful act against the coach in practice and Lebeau even went as far as to read ”The Night Before Christmas” to his team every Christmas Eve. Well deserving of the title of “Coach Dad”.
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.
We’ll see you right here next week. Until then keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the hypocycloids.