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.
After her parent’s divorce when she was six, Christina Aguilera moved with her mom and sister in with her grandmother in the Rochester area of Pittsburgh. As a singing child prodigy, Christina sang at Pirates games, the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals, but at the age of 10 in 1990, a 10-year-old Aguilera sang the national anthem at Three Rivers Stadium before a game that would be Chuck Noll’s 200th victory. Twenty years later, the pop diva would sing before a more global audience as her hometown Steelers would battle the Packers in Super Bowl XLV in Dallas.
BTSC Steelers Jeopardy
(Answer at bottom of article)
Since 1952, when the Steelers first used a quarterback to run the offense, there have been 40 quarterbacks to start games for the black and gold. With the exception of Bobby Layne’s non-traditional No. 22, most of the digits from 1 to 19 have been worn by a starter. The two that have never been used in this situation were No. 1 and No. 9. What is the most popular set of numerals to be donned by the Man of Steel starting behind center? Well, No. 10 is the resounding winner with seven and will soon add another in the form of Mitch Trubisky. Let’s take a look at everybody else...
No. 1 (0) - None
No. 2 (2) - Dennis Dixon, Michael Vick and Mason Rudolph
No. 3 (1) Landry Jones
No. 4 (1) Byron Leftwich
No. 5 (1) Terry Hanratty
No. 6 (2) - Walter “Bubby” Brister and Devlin “Duck” Hodges
No. 7 (2) - Jim Finks and Ben Roethlisberger
No. 8 (1) - Tommy Maddox
No. 9 (0) - None
No. 10 (7) - Earl Morrall, Rudy Bukich, Ron Smith, Kent Nix, Scott Campbell, Kordell Stewart and Dennis Dixon
No. 11 (1)- Kent Graham
No. 12 (2)- Jack Scarbath and Terry Bradshaw
No. 13 (2) - Bill Mackrides and Steve Bono
No. 14 (3) - Bill Nelsen, Todd Blackledge and Neil O’Donnell
No. 15 (3) - Ed Brown. George Izo and Mike Kruczek
No. 16 (4) - Tommy Wade, Mark Malone, Jim Miller and Charlie Batch
No. 17 (2) - Dick Shiner and Joe Gilliam
No. 18 (3) - Ted Marchibroda, Jack Kemp, Cliff Stoudt and Mike Tomczak
No. 19 (1) - David Woodley
No. 22 (1) - Bobby Layne
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 honor a ginormous offensive lineman that gained valuable experience in a pinch late in 2021.
John Wagner Leglue
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
7/10 Brent Alexander (1979), Antonio Brown (1988), Alvoid Mays (1966), Josh Victorian (1988)
7/11 Ernie Holmes (1948), Derek Tuszka (1996)
7/12 Ed Rucinski (1916)
7/13 Brandon Boykin (1990), Jack Kemp (1935), Arthur Maulet (1973), Terry Nofsinger (1938)
7/14 Andre Frazier 1982, Ray Pinney (1954)
7/15 Carnell Lake (1967), John Stallworth (1952)
7/16 Gary Anderson (1959), Roger Duffy (1967), Zach Mettenberger (1991), Bill Murray (1926), Ariel Solomon (1968)
Strange Sights for Sore Steeler Nation Eyes
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. Santonio Holmes will always be a Steelers legend for his MVP performance in Super Bowl XLII, but the four-year veteran would soon fell out of favor after off-the-field issues and a four-game suspension forced a trade to the New York Jets in 2010 for a fifth round pick. That season, Santonio would end up back in Heinz Field in a losing effort in the AFC Championship Game. After four seasons in the New York market, the Ohio State Buckeye would play one final season in Chicago in 2014. No. 10 would mend fences with the Pittsburgh organization, retire as a Steeler and act as an ambassador for the black and gold. However, the sight of No. 10 wearing the green & white and navy & orange as a Jet and Bear was disconcerting.
Blues Black & Golds
With the third round pick acquired from the Raiders in the 2019 Antonio Brown trade, the Steelers took a little-known wide receiver from Toledo. As a Golden Flash, DJ18 had 135 catches for 2,235 yards, 23 touchdowns and was named All-Mac in both 2017 and 2018.
Hypocycloids Gone Hollywood
In the 1970s, a a Pittsburgh steelworker and boxer named boxer Rick Steigerwald and his brothers made a game out of sneaking into Three Rivers Stadium for Steelers games. When the Men of Steel made Super Bowl XIII in January of 1979, Steigerwald actually snuck into the Orange Bowl where his adventure took him into the Steelers’ locker room. There he showered and was interviewed by the media impersonating Steelers running back Rick Moser. But when Ed Helms and Randall Park debuted their show True Story with Ed and Randall on Peacock, Steigerwald told his story in the very first episode. The episode features Terry Bradshaw as himself in a recreation. The story is hard to believe, but Steeler running back Jack Deloplaine confirmed the tale in a 2019 interview. Get on Peacock and watch the full episode.
Cliff Clavin Corner
Mark Bruener and Chidi Iwuoma are now members of the scouting department for the Men of Steel. Bruener was a first rounder in 1995 and one of the better all-around tight ends for the Steelers in franchise history. Iwuoma served as a special teams ace for the black and gold from 2002-2006 and a member of the Super Bowl XL Champs.
Steelers Jeopardy Answer in the Form of a Question: What is Denver?
On August 31, 2003, Joey Porter was hospitalized after sustaining a bullet wound to his left buttock after he and five others were shot as they left a Denver bar early this morning. One of the shooting victims died. Denver police identified Porter as an “innocent bystander” in the attack that killed one of the other victims.
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.