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.
412 Fosters Forever
Sal Vulcano may hail from Brooklyn, but when it comes to his NFL team, the comedian doesn’t joke about hailing the Pittsburgh Steelers. Back in 2015 on Twitter, the organization was pleasantly surprised to learn that the standup and Impractical Jokers star is a self-professed Steelers die hard.
@steelers Born in 76. Fan since I'm a kid. I'm freaking out right now. #STEELERSNATION I'd wear all 6 of my jerseys on the show if u let me!— Sal Vulcano (@SalVulcano) March 9, 2015
Staying up through the night to watch this game in London. @steelers #SteelersNation #Steelers #HereWeGo pic.twitter.com/6JppM54JxO— Sal Vulcano (@SalVulcano) January 16, 2017
BTSC Steelers Jeopardy
(Answer at bottom of article)
This is kind of a bizarre stat, but in 8 Steelers Super Bowl appearances, the Men of Steel have only played after seasons with years ending in zero, four, five (3 times), eight (twice) and nine. Upon thinking about the Steelers being crowned AFC champions after the 1975, 1995 and 2005 seasons, I figured that their best combined record since the Chuck Noll era began in 1969 would be in years that ended in cinco or ocho due to the Super Bowl wins after ‘78 and ‘08. But actually, four is the winner here. Only the combined nines are the seasons under .500, but barely. Let’s take a look.
Zero (‘70, ‘80, ‘90, ‘00, ‘10 & ‘20) 56-38
One (‘71, ‘81, ‘91, ‘01, ‘11 & ‘21) 53-39
Two (‘72, ‘82, ‘92, ‘02 & ‘12) 46-24-1
Three (‘73, ‘83, ‘93, ‘03 & ‘13) 43-35
Four (‘74, ‘84, ‘94, ‘04 & ‘14) 57-20-1
Five (‘75, ‘85, ‘95, ‘05 & ‘15) 51-27
Six (‘76, ‘86, ‘96, ‘06 & ‘16) 45-33
Seven (‘77, ‘87, ‘97, ‘07 & ‘17) 51-26
Eight (‘78, ‘88, ‘98, ‘08 & ‘18) 47-30-1
Nine (‘69, ‘79, 89, ‘99, ‘09 & ‘19) 45-49
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 former first rounder that started on the Steelers Practice Squad in 2021 after being released by the Raiders.
Karl Myrthell Joseph
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
7/3 Neil O’Donnell (1966)
7/4 Frank Lewis (1947)
7/5 Sam Davis (1947), Diontae Johnson (1996), Jerrol Williams (1967)
7/6 Matt Bahr (1956), Gary Ballman (1940), Nat Berhe (1991), Joe Krupa (1933)
7/7 Demarcus Ayers (1994), Chase Claypool (1998), Matt Feiler (1992), Cassius Marsh (1992)
7/8 Colin Holba (1994), Jack Lambert (1952), Bill Mackrides (1925), Mat McBriar (1979)
7/9 Will Blackwell (1975)
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. The Hall of Famer featured today may just be the biggest black-and-gold fish to get away. The legendary cornerback played for the Steelers from 1987 through 1996, but the franchise wanted Hot Rod to switch positions and they were reluctant to pay him what he thought he was worth, triggering an exodus to San Francisco. The first rounder from Purdue was injured in the first game of 1995, but still managed to play, despite a torn ACL, in the Super Bowl XXX loss to Dallas. Woodson did win a ring for, of all teams, the Baltimore Ravens in 2000 as a safety. The NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1993 concluded his career with the Raiders in 2003 and was inducted in Canton in 2009. Rod Woodson does participate in Pittsburgh events as an ambassador to the Steelers, however the sight of No. 26 wearing the silver and black, purple or scarlet was disconcerting.
Blues Black & Golds
James Daniels is finally back in black and gold, but he was never a Pittsburgh Steeler until now. The dynamic offensive lineman came to the Steel City as a free agent after having been drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2018 in Round 2. When Big James puts the home uni on for the first time, it will be deja vu all over again.
Hypocycloids Gone Hollywood
Black Sunday isn’t exactly Die Hard on a blimp, but it is a genuine action-thriller from 11 years earlier. When a suicidal Vietnam vet turned blimp pilot plots with a Palestinian terrorist to crash his blimp into the Super Bowl, action and intrigue ensues as an Israeli military agent teams up with the F.B.I. to try and stop the mass murder-suicide. The teams playing for the Lombardi at the Orange Bowl were the Steelers and Cowboys. Producer Robert Evans did the impossible by getting the NFL to permit Director John Frankenheimer to film Super Bowl X. For 1977, this film was ahead of its time and gave Steeler Nation the chance to see their team on the big screen.
Cliff Clavin Corner
It’s a little-known fact that Uniroyal manufactured a tire that honored the toughness of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Check out the commercial.
Steelers Jeopardy Answer in the Form of a Question: What is Tom Brady?
When Terry Bradshaw had his infamous surgery back in 1983, the Shreveport hospital dubbed the celebrity quarterback “Thomas Brady” for the sake of privacy and to quell a possible media circus. The other TB12 was a mere five-years-old at the time.
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.