The more you know: Random, bold and bizarre facts about the Steelers
It’s offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers and there are so many things to talk about and write about. Free agents, the coordinator conundrum, the next quarterback, the NFL Draft, and the latest news will all be covered here at BTSC. But who is going to give you little known facts about level 500?
Luckily, your one-stop, non-stop shop for all things Steelers employs a Steelers fan who allegedly fell on his head as a one-year-old at the immaculate reception. Unnecessary and somewhat fascinating facts are its forte. So here we are with quirky thoughts of the dark side of a black and gold brain that no one asked for. But the joke is on you because you’ll be telling your homies something that you’ll read here later.
Most people remember Pat McAfee as a fantastic and incredibly entertaining punter playing for the Indianapolis Colts from 2009 to 2016. When the Plum native was a senior in high school, legend has it that Pat turned $100 playing poker at an illegal club and turned it into $14,000. With his winnings, McAfee funded a trip to Miami for a kicking showcase where he scored nine straight field goals, barely missing a field goal from 70 yards. Upon returning to suburban Steel City, McAfee received a scholarship to West Virginia University, where he was a first-team All-American in 2008. After an All-Pro career at Indy, McAfee retired at age 29 on the peak of his game and entered broadcasting for various outlets, including the nationally syndicated gem, The Pat McAfee Show. But Patrick, remembering the glory of trampoline wrestling in his backyard from his youth, began to get more involved in professional wrestling. He was the best commentator of WWE SmackDown for the past year. Just two weeks ago, Pat stole the show with his exhilarating two-game performance at WrestleMania 38. Known for glorifying the yinzer accent and making it chic again, Pat McAfee is proof that you can’t keep a good yinzer boy dahn.
BTSC Steelers Jeopardy
(Answer at the bottom of the article)
The Pittsburgh Steelers have made plenty of draft picks over the years, some are famous and some have famous namesakes. Here are 20 Pittsburgh Steelers draft picks that stand out by name.
1936 Bill Shakespeare -B- our Lady – Round 1 Choose 3
Not “the Bard of Avon” and the world’s greatest playwright, “the Bard of South Bend” was the third player ever selected in the NFL Draft and the first to be selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in their story. The College Football Hall of Famer never played in the NFL, forgoing the league for a better-paying career in business.
1940 Mike Sullivan – E – North Carolina State – Round 17 Pick 153
1943 Jack Russell – E – Baylor – Round 3 Pick 22
The left end, not to be confused with the Great White singer, was never “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” with the Steagles who drafted the player in Round 2 in wartime 1943. Russell played 65 matches with the New York Yankees in five seasons.
1946 Bob Evans – B – Pennsylvania – Round 9 Pick 73
In 1948, restaurateur Bob Evans began processing and packaging pork at his restaurant in Gallipolis, Ohio. Today, it is the favorite restaurant of many Americans. Two years earlier, the Steelers hadn’t chosen the Sausage King, but a Penn Quaker halfback who had never hooked up with the Steelers in the National Football League.
1947 Paul Davis – FB – Otterbein – Round 24 Pick 218
The guard gained four yards in 11 games for the Steelers. More famous was the American singer and songwriter who rose to acclaim in the 1970s and 80s with ‘I Go Crazy’, ‘Cool Night’ and ’65 Love Affair’.
1955 George Mason – T – Alabama – Round 5 Pick 54
Just like its namesake never signed the . Constitution as an American delegate, George Mason never played a game in the NFL.
1967 Mike Love – FB – Abilene Christian – Round 15 Pick 376
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and co-founder of the iconic Beach Boys rode the wave of fame Topping the charts in the 1960s. Another Mike Love was a Steelers Round 15 pick, but didn’t has never been out of camp or on an NFL roster.
1971 Paul Rogers – K – Nebraska – Round 8 Pick 190
Paul Rodgers is known as one of the greatest rock singers of all time for Free, Bad Company, The Firm and a collaboration with Queen. The Nebraska kicker couldn’t knock down Roy Gerela in Pittsburgh and never hung in the league.
1972 Ed Bradley -LB- WakeForest – Round 4 Pick 88
Although he played more than 60 minutes for the Steelers from 1972 to 1975, the superbowl the winner never started a game at linebacker for black-and-gold. He did, however, here and 49 games in Pittsburgh. Not to be confused with Wake Forest Hall of Famer, CBS investigative reporter and “60 Minutes” co-host Ed Bradley, many accolades include 20 Emmy Awards and multiple Peabody Awards.
1973 Ronald Bell – RB – Illinois State – Round 6 Pick 149
Ronald “Kool” Bell is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and scored numerous hits as the co-founder of the legendary Kool and the Gang. His running back namesake, Ron Bell, was unable to break in with a Steelers RB unit that included Franco Harris, Rocky Bleier and Frenchy Fuqua. Bell has never appeared in a regular season game in the NFL.
1975 Walter White – TE – Maryland – Round 3 Pick 78
Walter White is an infamous and legendary character played by Bryan Cranston in the A&E series “Breaking Bad”. The Steelers’ 1975 third-round pick of the same name never played in the Steel City, but the tight end spent five seasons in the league with the Kansas City Chiefs.
1980 John Goodman – DE – Oklahoma – Round 2 Pick 56
The fact that the two men are tall individuals not too far apart in age, many people thought the Oklahoma defensive end and the “Roseanne” actor were the same person. They weren’t, but both men did their job well. The football player spent five years with the Steelers and picked up 10 sacks as a substitute member of the famed Steel Curtain in the early 80s.
1980 Woodrow Wilson – DB – North Carolina State – Round 10 Pick 250
Defensive back Wolfpack didn’t make it to a regular-season roster after being selected by the Super Bowl champions in 1980. The other Woodrow Wilson had a bit more success after serving as the 28th president of the United States. United from 1913 to 1921.
1981 Ricky Martin – WR – New Mexico – Round 5 Pick 127
The Lobo Wide Receiver wasn’t “Livin’ La Vida Loca” in the NFL the way the Grammy winner did in the music business. The fifth round has never played a regular season game in the league.
1984 Chris Brown – DB – Notre Dame – Round 6 Pick 164
The Notre Dame defensive back played 22 games over two seasons and started four games with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a rookie in 1984. Brown should not be confused with the controversial R&B Grammy winner of the same name.
1997 George Jones – RB – San Diego State – Round 5 Pick 154
The country music legend and the running backs for the Steelers were completely different individuals. The football player had his best season as a rookie with the Steelers in 1997 gaining a total of 476 yards and two touchdowns, before spending the last two seasons of his career with Jacksonville in Cleveland. The other guy was more famous for his countless country and western hits and his marriage to Tammy Wynette.
2000 Chris Combs – DE – Duke – Round 6 Pick 173
Chris Combs doesn’t have an NFL regular season game on his resume, nor does he have any sisters who average 1,000 pounds. The other Chris Combs is the co-star and brother of “1,000 lb. Sisters” Amy and Tammy Slaton.
2004 Eric Taylor – DT – Memphis – Round 7 Pick 212
Eric Taylor has played one NFL game in his career with the Minnesota Vikingsnot with Bill Cowher’s Steelers who drafted the DT in the 7th round in 2004. His fictional namesake won many games with the “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose” philosophy as a coach at Texas High School of Dillon and East. Dillon in the NBC series, “Friday Night Lights”.
2015 Jesse James – TE – Penn State – Round 5 Pick 160
Jesse James is one of the biggest black-and-gold names on this list, starting 36 of 56 black-and-gold games from 2015 to 2018. James scored nine touchdowns as a Steeler, but his biggest against New England in 2017 did not count. Jesse James caught that ball. The Nittany Lion should not be confused with the Wild West outlaw or the TV star and founder of West Coast Choppers.
2018 Marcus Allen – DB – Penn State – Round 5 Pick 14
While this Marcus Allen isn’t the NFL Hall of Famer, his godfather Curtis Martin is. The current Steelers defenseman/linebacker has played 33 games in black and gold.
We like to quote the second name of the members of the Men of Steel here at Behind the Steel Curtain. We always quote 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 feature one of the elements of the deal with Antonio Brown and the Steelers’ first receiver.
Diontae Lamarcus Johnson
This week’s steel birthdays
4/17 – Rich Erenberg – 60, John Leglue – 26, Blake Wingle – 62
4/18 – Gary Anderson – 61
4/19 – Tre Norwood – 23, Troy Polamalu – 41, Aaron Smith – 46
4/20 – Ernie Stautner-96
4/21 – Don Alley – 77
4/22 – JT Thomas – 71
04/23 – Chris Hubbard – 31 years old, Ryan McBean – 38 years old, Bobby Shaw – 47 years old
Not all NFL legends retire with their original team, having played for no other franchise. We can try to forget the image of our Steel Heroes wearing another uniform, but that’s part of the fandom and the legends sometimes change the colors of the teams. After a stellar 13-year career from 1980 to 1992 in Pittsburgh, Tunch Ilkin spent his final season with the Green Bay Packers, playing one game. The two-stroke Pro-Bowl The selection was a legend and an ambassador for Steeler for most of the 41 years until his passing in 2021… but seeing the incomparable 09 Tunch temporarily as a Packer just didn’t seem right.
The hypocycloids have gone to Hollywood
evening shade was a CBS sitcom starring Burt Reynolds as Wood Newton, a former member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who returns to rural Evening Shade, Arkansas, to coach a high school football team with an embarrassing losing streak. Reynolds personally requested to use the Steelers as his character’s former team, as the former state of florida Seminole was a fan.
So here is. Everyone can rattle off stat after stat, but not everyone can embrace the colorful and personal side of the Pittsburgh Steelers. So the more you know, the more you can amaze your friends, family and neighbors with your big black and gold brain. By the way, “What is Indiana?” is the correct clue in BTSC Steelers Jeopardy.
We’ll see you here next week. Until then, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the hypocycloids.