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.
If you’ve read a legal thriller over the past 34 years, odds are that it was written by John Grisham. If you don’t read, then you first saw one of his books adapted into a feature film, the first one being The Firm in 1993. Grisham was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas and matriculated at Mississippi State University, before attending The University of Mississippi School of Law. As a lawyer and a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, Grisham started writing about law. His books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide. Although never a Steel City resident, the New York Times No. 1 Best Seller is a big fan of the Pirates and Steelers and used the city as the setting for 2009’s The Associate. Grisham definitely won over Steelers fans when, in 2007’s Playing for Pizza, the Cleveland Browns blew an insurmountable lead and lost the Super Bowl.
BTSC Steelers Jeopardy
(Answer at bottom of article)
Over the years, the Pittsburgh Steelers had players that made their numbers legendary and, hence, undistributable to incoming players. Here is a sampling of some original numbers that players switched out of to more memorable ones over the years.
No. 86 Hines Ward: Wore No. 15 for the 1998 Preseason
No. 93 Jason Worilds: Wore No. 97 for his rookie season of 2010
No. 66 Alan Faneca: Wore No. 65 for his first two seasons of 1998 and 1999
No. 75 Joe Greene: Wore No. 72 for the 1969 Preseason
No. 20 Rocky Bleier: Wore No. 26 for his rookie season of 1968
No. 92 James Harrison: Wore No. 93 for his rookie season of 2002
No. 97 Cameron Heyward: Wore No. 95 for the 2011 Preseason
No. 56 Ray Mansfield: Wore No. 73 for his first four Steelers season from 1964-1967 until wearing No. 56 for his remaining nine seasons
No. 23 Joe Haden: Wore No. 21 for his first Steelers season in 2017
No. 28 Mike Hilton: Wore No. 31 for his first of four Steelers seasons in 2017
No. 30 Frank Pollard: Wore No. 44 for his first three of nine Steelers seasons from 1980-1982
No. 79 Larry Brown: Wore No. 87 for his first six Steelers season from 1971-1976 as a tight end. Wore No. 79 for his remaining eight seasons until his retirement after the 1984 season.
No. 80 Plaxico Burress: Wore No. 88 for the 2000 Preseason
Real Name Madness
We love citing middle names of members of the Men of Steel here at Behind the Steel Curtain, but real first names are fun to unveil as well. In the past, we have cited FeDerius Terrell Edmunds, Trent Jordan Watt and Brett Mason Rudolph, but who else? Hence, the “More You Know Given Name of the Week”. This week we feature our buddy from Texas A&M.
Devodrick “Buddy” Johnson
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
6/5 - Fred Johnson (1997), Damontae Kazee (1993), Marion Motley (1920), Tuzar Skipper (1995)
6/6 - Steve Sader (1916)
6/7 - Terance Mathis (1967), Sean Spence (1990)
6/8 - Kelvin Beachum (1989), Ron Johnson (1956), Byron “Whizzer’ White (1917)
6/9 - John Brown (1939), Craig Colquitt (1954), Doug Legursky (1986)
6/10 - John Baker (1935). David Dunn (1972). Fred Foggie (1969),
6/11 - Tyler Grisham (1987)
Not every NFL player 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. Willie Parker wasn’t in Pittsburgh long, but is regarded as a black-and-gold hero after going from undrafted to the owner of the longest run in Super Bowl history. After a 6-year career from 2004-2009, “Fast Willie” went to Washington, but never played beyond the preseason. However, the sight of No. 77 wearing the burgundy and gold as a Washington Redskin was disconcerting.
Blues Black & Golds
Speaking of Parker, Willie did not have a stellar college career at North Carolina. He only rushed for 1,172 yards in four years but was noticed by Dan Rooney Jr. Here’s what FWP looked like as a Tar Heel.
Steelers Jeopardy Answer in the Form of a Question: Who is Jason Worilds?
It was speculated that Worilds left football to embrace his life as a Jehovah’s Witness.
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.