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)
Middle Name Madness - Charles Henry Noll
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 the greatest head man in Steelers history. Chuck Noll guided the Men of Steel from 1969 to 1991, led the team to 4 Super Bowl titles and is the winningest coach in team history. Myron Cope called him “Emperor Chas”, but nothing seems to be more regal than his given name as Charles Henry Noll.
This Week’s Birthdays of Steel
6/25 Dan Turk (1962)
6/26 Jace Sternberger (1996), Michael Vick (1980)
6/27 Larry Krutko (1935)
6/28 Ray Lemek (1934)
6/29 Andre Frazier (1982), Ray Pinney (1954)
6/30 Bill Hegarty (1931), Randy Reutershan (1955)
7/1 Don Bishop (1934), Craig Hanneman (1949)
Strange Sights for Steelers Nation Eyes - Frank Lewis
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. Frank Lewis was the top pick of the Steelers in 1971’s NFL Draft after a stellar career at Grambling. Lewis was a very good receiver for the Steelers but slipped down the depth chart due to the ascension of receivers John Stallworth and Lynn Swann, who arrived in that epic 1974 draft class for the Steelers. In August 1978 the Steelers traded Lewis to the Bills for absolutely nothing when TE Paul Seymour failed to pass their physical. The two-time champion Lewis was a Pro Bowler in 1981 with Buffalo. In his NFL days, the Black College Football Hall of Famer caught 397 receptions for 6,724 yards and 40 touchdowns, with 2,086 yards-receiving and 17 scores as a Steeler. In the postseason, No. 43 gained 312 yards and had two touchdowns. Lewis was a great one to let get away, but with Swann and Stallworth and a run-heavy 70s offense, Frank benefited from shuffling off to Buffalo.
Blues Black & Golds - Clark Haggans
There have been beautiful tributes to Clark Haggans this week after the former Steelers’ untimely passing at the age of 46. At Colorado State, Haggans walked on as a freshman, and ended up with a scholarship where he initially played with Steelers teammate Joey Porter. Haggans still holds the Colorado State all-time sack record with 33 sacks and was inducted into the Colorado State University Hall of Fame in 2015.
Hypocycloids Gone Hollywood
Kordell Stewart is not the top player in Pittsburgh Steelers, but he’s high up there when it comes to endorsement deals. The Steelers QB ranks pretty high in team history and the Nike “Kordell Delivers” spot from 1998 is one of his best. The man known as “Slash” continued showing off his versatility, this time as a paper boy with a cannon arm set to a bouncy, Brady Bunch style soundtrack. If only Stewart threw that well in the playoffs.
Steelers Jeopardy Answer in the Form of a Question: Who are Mark Gilbert, Jarron Jones and Jace Sternberger?
Three former Pittsburgh Steelers players were named to the All-USFL team in 2023. cornerback Mark Gilbert went from the Steelers to the Maulers, Memphis Showboats offensive tackle Jarron Jones and tight end Jace Sternberger of the Birmingham Stallions were all named all-league selections.
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.