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.
BTSC Steelers Jeopardy
(Answer at bottom of article)
It’s a little-known fact that Bill Hilgrove and Myron Cope was joined in the broadcast booth for the 1995 season, including Super Bowl XXX.
Middle First Name Madness - Merril DuAine Hoge
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 legend from the late-80s and Early-90s.
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
4/16 - Dick Compton - 1940
4/17 - Rich Erenberg - 1962, John Leglue - 1996, Blake Wingle - 1960
4/18 - Gary Anderson - 1961
4/19 - Tre Norwood 1999, Troy Polamalu - 1981, Aaron Smith - 1976
4/20 - Ernie Stautner - 1926
4/21 - Don Alley - 1945
4/22 - J.T. Thomas - 1951
Strange Sights for Steelers Nation Eyes - Merril Hoge
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. Merril Hoge was drafted in the 10th round by the Steelers in the loaded 1987 draft. What happened in the 1989 playoffs was a thing of beauty. In an upset win over Houston and a narrow loss to the Broncos in Denver, the Idaho State product gained 306 combined yards and scored 2 TDs in those two games. No. 33 played seven seasons at fullback for the Steelers and one more for the Chicago Bears after leaving in free agency before the 1994 season.
Blues Black & Golds - Merril Hoge
As a Vandal at Idaho State University from 1993-1997, Merril was a four-year football starter who set 44 school and conference records, as well as two NCAA marks.
Steelers Jeopardy Answer in the Form of a Question: What is Find a Way
Find a Way is Merril Hoge’s life-long philosophy that guided the Idaho native when naysayers said that he would never be good enough to play in the NFL, helped him deal with the loss of his mother at a young age, overcome severe head trauma and survive a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
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.