The "bumblebee" throwbacks have become a real striking presence in the NFL over the last few seasons. The color scheme grabs your attention, as well as demonstrating the long history of this team. These uniforms were retired after the Week 5 game against the New York Jets, and although the Steelers aren't going to unveil a new throwback in 2017, they likely will in 2018.
So, which uniforms could they turn to when they decide to throw it back again?
Looking through the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers, there are not actually many differences between some of the historic uniforms until now. Therefore I'm going to avoid some of the more conventional uniforms that most people will know and recognize, and rather go for some more of the more unknown uniforms. Here's five possibilities that the Steel City could use for inspiration.
1933 - 'Prison look'
Now the "bumblebee", who many think was the original Pittsburgh Steelers uniform, was actually the second. The link in the subheading will take you to an image of what was actually the first. It sported vertical black and gold stripes and the crest of the City of Pittsburgh on the chest as seen in ice hockey jerseys. Black and gold were picked to represent the materials needed to make steel, coal and iron ore. Obviously the crest here will have to be removed or displaced to accommodate for the now required the numbers of today's NFL. These uniforms were used for all of one season until the bumblebee uniform came into usage the following year. Like most stories of the Steelers, the story of this uniform also starts with a member of the Rooney family, when in 1933 he purchased a semi-pro football team called the Majestics for $2500 and renamed them the Pirates to correlate with Pittsburgh baseball team. It wasn't actually until 1940 when he renamed the Steelers, to recognise Pittsburgh's history as a steel manufacturing town. This team had a record of 3-6-2, putting them 5th in NFL East.
This one may come with some controversy (especially after the week 3 loss) but this jersey is not of the Steelers, but rather the "Steagles". During World War Two, the draft required many members of both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles to go abroad with their respective branch of the US military to fight either Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. However, President Roosevelt, the smart man that he was, realized that the home front (aka how the war was managed back in the US) was essential to maintaining the war. Therefore, as to avoid a drop in morale, he chose to support sports in the US, and that way being part of World War Two would not be too different to the US in peace time for those back home. Therefore, the two Pennsylvania teams joined forces to become the "Steagles". The green was adopted from the Eagles, and they played home games in both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Wearing this uniform, Pittsburgh got their second winning season, and Philadelphia their first, with 5-4-1.
1963 - Start of a legacy
In 1963, the iconic Steelers logo was introduced. The three stars on the logo are there to represent the three rivers that run through the City of Pittsburgh, as well as a homage to the US Steel logo. The three colors were to represent the ingredients of steel production: yellow for coal, orange for iron ore and blue for scrap steel and the logo just said "Steel". "Ers" was added later, so the logo said "Steelers" (in case anyone forgot what team was playing). Over the years this logo has further developed, with the orange being replaced with red and the stars being made thicker. The year 1963 is important for another reason too, it was the last season that the Steelers shared their stadium with the Pirates - Forbes field. From then on the Steelers had their own field, the legendary Three Rivers Stadium. The uniform itself is remarkably different to the others in that it it was completely white, save for golden diamonds on the shoulders that held the numbers of the players and black cuffs on the sleeves and around the neck. Another story about this uniform is it was this one that the Steelers had their logo onto the helmet. Art Rooney, unsure on the logo, only paid to have it put on one side. However, the logo stuck to fans, and therefore the helmet. Having the logo just on the right side has been part of the uniform ever since. The Steelers had a record of 7-4-3 in 1963, which was one of only 8 winning seasons between 1933 and 1971.
1967 - "The Caped Crusader"
This uniform was nicknamed the "the batman" due to its resemblance to the Adam West batman costume. It was all black save for a yellow diamond across the shoulders. Although a cool looking jersey, the team never actually played that well in it, finishing 4-9-1 in '67, 2-11-1 in '68 and 1-13 in '69. As well as this, being as the Steelers have made a statement saying that these jerseys will never be worn in a game again, them being throwbacks is essentially impossible. However, that hasn't stopped Reebok and Nike making replicas.
1974 - "The Glory Years"
This season, 1974, was the first SUPER BOWL victory for the Pittsburgh Steelers. That very season, the Steelers went 10-3-1, and went on to beat Minnesota at Tulane Stadium, New Orleans in a 16-6 victory to claim Super Bowl IX. This was the first championship that the Steelers had held in their 42 year history. If there is something more worthy of a throwback, let me know. The uniform itself is remarkably similar to today's: gold pants, gold strips on the sleeves with black helmets. These minor differences give it it's charm however, enough to, I think, make it the prime contender here.
Personally, I think any and all of these jerseys would make great throwbacks. My personal favorites being 1963 and 1974. One things sure - the reveal of the next batch of throwbacks is something to look forward to.