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.
Kate Rooney Mara and Patricia Rooney Mara are accomplished actresses that just happen to have two favorite NFL teams. That’s quite okay when your paternal great-grandfather, Timothy Mara, was the founder of the New York Giants and your great-grandfather on your mother’s side is “The Chief”, Arthur J. Rooney. That means that Kate and Rooney’s uncles are John K. Mara. the president, CEO, and co-owner of the New York Giants and Art Rooney II, well you know what he does. Patricia, who goes by her middle name of Rooney, and Kate grew up going to football games every Sunday and are still huge football fans of both the Steelers and Giants. Kate told Time Magazine that she was filming and missed the Steelers playing in Super Bowl XL. She now has a stipulation put into all of her contracts that she does not have to work if the Giants or Steelers go to the Super Bowl. With both Rooney and Mara in both of their names, it would be hard to miss those big games.
BTSC Steelers Jeopardy
(Answer at bottom of article)
The Steelers are returning to their summer home in Latrobe, PA after a two-year Covid-19 hiatus. It really seems like St. Vincent College has been the black-and-gold summer home of the franchise forever, but the Steelers bounced around with many training camp sites until they settled in on the St. Vincent campus with practices in 1966 and full-time in 1967. Where all have the spent the dog days? Let’s take a look.
1933 (1) Newell’s Grove - Greensburg, PA
1934 (1) Mount Pleasant High School - Mount Pleasant, PA
1935-1937 (3) South Park High School - South Park Township, PA
1938-1940 (3) St. Francis College - Loretto, PA
1941-1942, 1945-1946 (4) Hershey, PA
1943 (1) Philadelphia, PA (Phil-Pitt Combine “Steagles”)
1944 (1) Waukesha, WI (Card-Pit)
1947-1951 (5) Alliance College - Cambridge Springs, PA
1952-1957 (6) St. Bonaventure College - Allegany, NY
1958-1960 (3) California State Teachers College - California, PA
1961 (1) Slippery Rock College - Slippery Rock, PA
1962-1963 (2) West Liberty College - West Liberty, WV
1964-1966 (3) University of Rhode Island - Kingston, RI
1967-2019 (54) St. Vincent College - Latrobe, PA
2020-2021 (2) Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA
Middle First 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 a Special Teams Demon, a valuable depth linebacker and a black and gold legacy.
John Robert Spillane
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
7/24 Montravius Adams (1995), Pete Gonzalez (1974), Bill McPeak (1926), Mewelde Moore (1982), Maurkice Pouncey (1989)
7/25 Dean Biasucci (1962), Tee Martin (1978)
7/26 Jonathan Dwyer (1989)
7/27 Anthony Henton (1963), Donovan Woods (1985)
7/28 Dante Brown (1980)
7/29 Pete Rostosky (1961), Warren Williams (1965), Keith Willis (1959)
7/30 Ricardo Mathews (1987), Dwight White (1949)
Strange Sights for Sore Steelers 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. We all know the story of Neil O’Donnell, won of the better quarterbacks for five seasons in Pittsburgh Steelers history. A majority of fans will never forgive the two crucial interceptions in Super Bowl XXX and his immediate defection to the Jets following the loss on the big stage remains a point of suspicion for some. No. 14 ended up remaining familiar to Steeler Nation after his two years in the green and white, with a year as a Bengal in Cincinnati and another five in Nashville with the Oilers before retiring after 2003.
Blues Black & Golds
Some may refer to him as the other Watt Brother, but Derek Watt has been a solid professional in his own right. Watt played at the University of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2015 and, as a fullback, paved the way for Melvin Gordon to break Badger records. An adept receiver out of the backfield, Watt’s pass-catching skills coupled with his blocking ability helped the middle Watt bro to be drafted by the Chargers in 2016.
Hypocycloids Gone Madison Avenue
In a 2001 commercial, the Ben Roethlisberger Era was foreshadowed with the Steelers QB wearing No. 7, but the concept of the ad was that having a Visa Check Card could be crucial to an entire stadium, that is unless you love you some Minnie Riperton. Jerome Bettis makes a cameo.
Cliff Clavin Corner
It’s a little known fact that (not including his first and final years in 1957 and 1964) Buddy Parker coached the Steelers to six ties in six seasons from 1958 to 1963. Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin had total of four ties from 1974 to 2021. That’s four from Noll’s first tie in 1974 to Tomlin’s last November in a total of 48 years.
Steelers Jeopardy Answer in the Form of a Question: Who is Joe “Turkey” Jones?
Join me in watching the Cleveland Browns attempt the legal assassination of Terry Bradshaw for a minute. The piledriver Terry absorbs from Joe “Turkey” Jones at 0:30 may be the defining play of 70s football ... pic.twitter.com/jqPH7eH9gV— Super 70s Sports (@Super70sSports) April 23, 2020
In a game that would drop the Steelers to last place and a 1-4 record, the worst thing that happened on that day was losing their quarterback to injury on a body slam. The Cleveland Plain Dealer called it a “questionable call” when Joe “Turkey” Jones blew past Larry Brown and spiked Terry Bradshaw to the turf. The Steelers would lose Bradshaw until his return with two games left in the season. However, the Men of Steel would win their final nine games to go 10-4. As for Turkey, he expressed remorse the next day in an interview with the aforementioned Plain Dealer. “I’m sorry it happened,” Jones said. “I hope he’s OK. I hate to see any quality player like Terry Bradshaw get hurt. We’re all in this game trying to make a living.”
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.