Pittsburgh's Super Bowl bid
What better time than the celebration of the Independence Day holiday for the Steelers to reveal that they will attempt to bid for Pittsburgh to host a Super Bowl. The easy and reasonable response would be to dismiss this as a quixotic undertaking. Not enough stadium capacity. Not enough amenities such as hotel rooms, recreational opportunities and other infrastructure concerns. But who would have bet in favor of thirteen colonies along the eastern seaboard of this continent rebelling against and prevailing over the most powerful empire in the world at that time?
Before you conclude that the Rooneys are hopelessly overreaching, let's step back a moment and examine some historical truths about Pittsburgh. The town has a rather remarkable record of transcending what at times appeared to be crippling limitations and setbacks. Howard Fineman, editor of the Huffington Post and a Pittsburgh native once labeled the Pittsburgh of the past as the Silicon Valley of its time. What occurred here in terms of industrial innovation and productivity, and in a complimentary sense, workers rights, was indeed revolutionary and helped shape the wider world. In the middle of the 20th Century civic leaders took steps to address and transcend the city's well deserved reputation as a dark, grimy, even hellish place into a sparkling jewel of livability. Later, the city has transcended the death of its signature industries and reinvented itself based upon a different set of parameters and currently thrives while similar communities sit as broken, obsolete relics (think Detroit).
The history of the Steelers themselves parallels this theme of transcendence. Who would have possibly believed during the era of the Same Old Steelers (SOS) that the franchise would evolve into the very model of what a successful sports entertainment entity could be? Think also, for example, how the phenomena of Steelers Nation transformed the socio-economic holocaust of the Pittsburgh Diaspora into a reinvention and revitalization of the concept of community, one that, in keeping with the advances of globalization is not limited by geography. With that in mind, how much imagination does it take to conceive that the pursuit of a Super Bowl bid might provide a springboard for Pittsburgh to make a leap to the next level, that of what might be a model for a great global metropolis for the 21st Century. Given the track record, not so far fetched as it might seem at first glance.
Remember that through it all Pittsburgh has always been underestimated by outsiders. And besides, even Detroit managed to host a Super Bowl.
Celebrating Steelers greatness
Steelers.com has been using the current down time to revisit the legacy of greatness that the franchise has amassed over the years through the performance of individuals. For many new or younger fans this involves an introduction to Hall of Famers such as running back Bill Dudley, guard and head coach Walt Keisling, defensive tackle Ernie Stautner(the first and only player other than Joe Greene to have his jersey retired by the team), quarterback Bobby Layne and running back John Henry Johnson.
The modern era
Moving to more modern times, Bob Labriola concluded his series on the All Modern Era (1990s to present) with the selections for defensive line [here], cornerback [here] linebacker [here], safety [here] and a summary, which makes you wish that you could see what might be possible if such a group had been ever been able to take the field together.
The Post Gazette is in the process of posing what it sees as important questions that must be answered as the team strives to successfully compete in 2015. Thus far the questions covered that of the wide receivers, secondary and linebackers.
It is assumed by many that being able to pursue a career in the NFL is an unalloyed good. Who wouldn't believe that the money and fame is the ultimate? These profiles of former Steeler Rashard Mendenhall [here] and Chris Borland [here] provide an alternate view from two who are part of a rising trend of players who walked away from the game early and on their own terms.