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.
Michael Hayden might be one of the most important but least known of the celebrities featured in this column. A son of the Steel City, Hayden served as a United States Air Force four-star general and former Director of the National Security Agency, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. But before that, a young Michael served as ball boy for the Steelers at Forbes Field. Hayden told the Post-Gazette he was in Guam and listening to games on Armed Forces Radio when the Steelers beat the Vikings in Super Bowl IX. Hayden was honored by the team before the Salute to Service Game in 2017 and appreciates the organization to the fullest. In a PG feature, Hayden praised the organization and the Rooney Family. Here is an excerpt...
No sports team has been more active and supportive of our military and veterans. I’ve traveled this country and world as a general and as director of the CIA, and I am always struck by the connection our dedicated service members have with the Steelers — such as the time I watched the Steelers beat the Browns in a playoff game with the Marine Security Detachment in Tirana, Albania.
And whether it’s their work with organizations like Operation Troop Assistance, or connecting families with members serving overseas, or providing special housing for veterans returning with disabilities, or regular player vis-its to the VA, our Steelers family continues its special bond with our military.
At this point, you won’t be shocked to learn that this ethos all comes back to yet another exemplary family: the Rooney’s. As a former Steelers ball boy, I got to watch The Chief firsthand. I eventually became close to his son Dan, who never failed to give me a call and a voice of support when things got tough in my career. And I now have the honor of watching The Chief’s Grandson, Art, carry on the family tradition. With the Rooney family, it all comes down to faith, family and football — in that order.
BTSC Steelers Jeopardy
(Answer at bottom of article)
The Steelers didn’t get the Steel Curtain moniker for nothing. In the post-merger era, the Steelers defense has been ranked first in the NFL a total of nine times as far as yardage and six seasons when it comes to points surrendered. Let’s take a look.
Years Steelers Ranked First in Yards Allowed
2012, 2011, 2008, 2007, 2004, 2001, 1990, 1976, 1974
Years Steelers Ranked First in Points Allowed
2011, 2010, 2008, 2004, 1978, 1976
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 potential Steelers superstar at the tight end position.
Patrick John Freiermuth
Blues Black & Golds
Tyson Alualu played in all of his 52 games at Cal. Honored as second-team All-Pac-10 as a junior in 2008 and first-team All-Pac-10 honors as a senior in 2009. Tyson balled out at the 2010 Senior Bowl with a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. That performance helped vault Alualu into becoming the tenth overall selection of the 2010 NFL Draft.
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
3/7 Franco Harris - 1950, Lynn Swann - 1952
3/8 Hines Ward - 1976
3/9 Najee Harris - 1998, Mike Hilton - 1994, Bobby Walden - 1943
3/10 Mike Adams - 1990, Justin Brown - 1991, Rod Woodson - 1965
3/11 Marquis Cooper - 1982, Joe Haeg - 1993, Ryan Harris - 1985, Dan Kreider - 1977, Kendall Simmons - 1979, Rick Strom - 1965
3/12 Dick Arndt - 1944, John Hilton - 1942, Kent Nix - 1944
3/13 Charlie Bradshaw - 1936
Steelers Jeopardy Answer in the Form of a Question: Who is Andy Russell?
Andy Russell doesn’t get the acclaim of fellow 70s Steelers, but he should. One of the few survivors from the pre-Noll era, Russell was a perfect working-class hero for the Steel CIty in Super Bowl IX and X.
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.