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View Full Version : Former Steeler Ernie Holmes dies in car accident


Lord Stiller
01-18-2008, 07:52 AM
http://www.khou.com/news/state/stories/khou080118_jj_ernieholmesdead.33d76c66.html

R.I.P.

HometownGal
01-18-2008, 08:01 AM
OMG - this is terrible news!!! I am so saddened by Ernie's tragic death. Prayers going out for Ernie and to his family. May you rest in peace, big guy and thanks for the great memories. :tombstone

http://www.itsalreadysigned4u.com/shop/media/images/product_detail/ernieholmes-8x10-thumb.jpg

tony hipchest
01-18-2008, 08:18 AM
the list of steelers tragically dying too young is growing about as big as the list of steelers in the HOF. it really sucks and is a bit eerie.

rip ernie holmes

fansince'76
01-18-2008, 08:27 AM
Damn, that sucks. R.I.P., "Fats."

Stu Pidasso
01-18-2008, 08:47 AM
Wow. Another of the Greats has passed. Ernie was, in a lot of people's opinions, as good or better than his team mates in the Steel Curtain.

I will miss that man. Godspeed, Fats.

Atlanta Dan
01-18-2008, 08:55 AM
Very sad news - Erne Holmes was one of my favorite players from the 74-75 champs -a force at DT (in the words of John Facenda, he anchored the line like a cement post)

R.I.P. Arrowhead

Edman
01-18-2008, 09:12 AM
I wasn't alive during the 70's. But this guy was a former Steeler, a great one at that, as well as a human life.

RIP Ernie Holmes.

BlastFurnace
01-18-2008, 09:45 AM
This just reminds you how precious life is. Ernie was one of my favorites of the old Steelers. This is sad...sad...news. These players...although we don't know them...are like a 2nd family.

PisnNapalm
01-18-2008, 10:45 AM
When I hear about someone who has died in a car accident the very first thing I think of is, "Was he/she wearing a seat belt?"

This sucks. Sure it does. I didn't know him. I can barely remember watching him when I was a kid. I can't say that I feel sad about it. I feel more of a.... "it sucks" feeling than anything else.

He was one of the best D-linemen we've ever had. R.I.P.

MACH1
01-18-2008, 11:15 AM
Oh man that sucks!

R.I.P. Ernie!

steelpride12
01-18-2008, 11:17 AM
Ahhhhh R.I.P.! :(

83-Steelers-43
01-18-2008, 11:39 AM
Holmes was a crazy man. Rooney's covered up his little incident back in the 70's when he was shooting at a police helicopter with a rifle on a Pennsylvania parkway....lol.

Anyways, RIP big guy and my thoughts and prayers go out to the Holmes family.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2008-01-18/2008-0118-holm2sp-f.jpg

tony hipchest
01-18-2008, 12:22 PM
When I hear about someone who has died in a car accident the very first thing I think of is, "Was he/she wearing a seat belt?"

.nfl radio just said he rolled a few times and wasnt wearing a seatbelt.

i always buckle up, even if im just cruising through the hood. i hope every steelerfan who reads of holmes death does the same.

a sad way to make an impact post mortem, but hopefully it can save a life down the line.

LambertIsGod58
01-18-2008, 12:34 PM
I fortunately have had the priviledge of meeting Ernie a few times. He was a genuinely nice guy. I remember he was there when Lambert saw my Lambert tattoo for the first time. Ernie said to me, "Hey man, you ought to make that more real...put some blood dripping from his mouth or somethin'". Everyone laughed including Jack. Jack's agent sent me a copy of it on VHS. It meant alot then...means so much more now. Ernie was considered to be just as good as the other three. I think he was overshadowed though. I will miss him....and I will keep the Holmes family in my thoughts and prayers. I truly feel like a member of my family has passed....R.I.P. Ernie!!!! The Steeler family will miss you.

PisnNapalm
01-18-2008, 12:46 PM
Wear your damn seat belt people! A couple seconds can save your life.

LambertIsGod58
01-18-2008, 12:46 PM
Here's a pic of Ernie and I....I believe it was June 30th, 2003.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v46/Lambert58/greene.jpg

SteelerFanInCA
01-18-2008, 12:52 PM
Damn. It makes me sad to hear this. I remember watching him play. He was a beast.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

RIP

Lord Stiller
01-18-2008, 01:10 PM
I fortunately have had the priviledge of meeting Ernie a few times. He was a genuinely nice guy. I remember he was there when Lambert saw my Lambert tattoo for the first time. Ernie said to me, "Hey man, you ought to make that more real...put some blood dripping from his mouth or somethin'". Everyone laughed including Jack. Jack's agent sent me a copy of it on VHS. It meant alot then...means so much more now. Ernie was considered to be just as good as the other three. I think he was overshadowed though. I will miss him....and I will keep the Holmes family in my thoughts and prayers. I truly feel like a member of my family has passed....R.I.P. Ernie!!!! The Steeler family will miss you.

Cool story man, thanks for sharing

memphissteelergirl
01-18-2008, 01:36 PM
Great story, LIG58!

OneForTheToe
01-18-2008, 01:49 PM
Holmes was a crazy man. Rooney's covered up his little incident back in the 70's when he was shooting at a police helicopter with a rifle on a Pennsylvania parkway....lol.

Anyways, RIP big guy and my thoughts and prayers go out to the Holmes family.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2008-01-18/2008-0118-holm2sp-f.jpg



Yes, RIP "Fats"

Mr. Rooney definitely helped him out of that little jam he got himself into. He was required to spend some time in an institution, I believe, as part of the deal that was worked out. It seems to have worked out for "Fats" because, at the time, I doubt many would have thought that he would have seen his 49th birthday.

There is an episode of that Steelers' themed show with "Woolf and Tunch" where they interview the longtime press guru for the Steelers, Joe Gordon. Gordon is a guy you would love to take to dinner and get drunk just to hear him spill the beans about those guys from the seventies. I'm sure he has got some great stories.

Anyways, Gordon spent some time on the show talking about Ernie Holmes. He spoke about the helicopter incident and other issues such as the time Fats" hung a reporter by the collar on a hook in the locker room. That is on one of the related you tubes'


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ1-EBIfeog

CanadianSteel
01-18-2008, 01:54 PM
RIP Ernie and God bless to his family....

Hines0wnz
01-18-2008, 02:04 PM
A great one.


RIP :helmet:

Atlanta Dan
01-18-2008, 02:04 PM
This quote today from Mean Joe

"Oh, Ernie was definitely an enforcer. I suspect that a lot of guys were kind of afraid of him, not so much what he did on the field but what they read about him off the field. He'd probably do anything to win."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08018/850306-66.stm

When you consider some of the other very intimidating players on that D (Greene, Lambert, Blount) for Holmes to be the enforcer speaks volumes

Mosca
01-18-2008, 02:29 PM
Wow. <S>, Ernie Holmes.

One thing about Holmes; he was the MASTER of the head slap. He had possibly the fastest hand in the league. For you younger fans, until '77, at the snap the defensive lineman were allowed to slam the offensive linemen upside the helmet as hard as they could. The rule change was actually called the Deacon Jones Rule (his autobiography is titled Headslap!), but Fats was just as good at it. I remember seeing a video about the rule change, and Ernie Holmes was the lineman in the video; the ball was barely snapped, no ones' feet had moved, and Holmes had already slammed the center's helmet, and THEN the players started moving! Jones retired in '73, Holmes was the game's premier practitioner after that.

jjpro11
01-18-2008, 03:03 PM
this stinks.. why have there been so many premature deaths from former steelers?

tony hipchest
01-18-2008, 03:08 PM
this stinks.. why have there been so many premature deaths from former steelers?
its creepy and wierd.

i wonder if people used to talk about "karma" catching up with the steelers for all their success, the way some talk about it catching up with todays patriots?

Stlrs4Life
01-18-2008, 03:19 PM
Wow, RIP Ernie!

Tony19
01-18-2008, 03:23 PM
I never got to see Ernie play because I wasn't alive in the 70s, but if he was a Steeler, then I can only give him my highest regard. RIP Fats

Elvis
01-18-2008, 04:40 PM
R.I.P.
Ernie and God Bless You and Your Family

JackHammer
01-18-2008, 05:40 PM
Here's to the life of Ernie Holmes :cheers:

stillers4me
01-18-2008, 05:45 PM
The Steeler Nation has lost another great one.........God is buildiing one great team in heaven out of the black and gold.

RIP, Ernie.

Atlanta Dan
01-18-2008, 05:46 PM
This from Andy Russell

"He was devastating and would just destroy the opponent across from him," former Steelers linebacker Andy Russell said. "Sometimes I had to remind him to tackle the guy with the pigskin. He was a brilliant player. He played all with his heart."

This from Dwight White:

White, his Steel Curtain teammate on the defensive line, said he was in "deep grief" Friday.

"Ernie was a very colorful person that you couldn't help but like off the football field -- a little different on the field as we well know," White said. "Ernie had gotten into the ministry and ... was a true inspiration to Joe, L.C., and myself when we were together. You know, it's all about where you end up, and Ernie blossomed into an individual that I respected, admired and will miss."

http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/10585092/1

Links to KDKA video here

http://kdka.com/steelers/Steelers.Ernie.Holmes.2.632928.html

Sounds as if Ernie had some rough times post-NFL and had pulled himself up, which may contribute to what appears to be, as White said, "deep grief" among his teammates.

RoethlisBURGHer
01-18-2008, 06:11 PM
This is so sad. My prayers are with his family and friends.

Rip Ernie Holmes, one of the greatest to ever play for the B&G.

Rick5895
01-18-2008, 07:47 PM
A toast to "fats" you will be missed
R I P NUMBER 63

Rhee Rhee
01-18-2008, 07:49 PM
can't say much but RIP...

hope the family members are doing alright...

Steeler in Carolina
01-18-2008, 08:14 PM
Wow. Very sad.:crying02:

Galax Steeler
01-19-2008, 03:43 AM
Thanks for the memories fats you were one of the best R.I.P.

Stu Pidasso
01-19-2008, 12:33 PM
There will be many more bar fighters, wife beaters, dog-fighters, domestic violence arrests, etc. but there will only be one person who shot at helicopters. :fro:

One of the most unique, dynamic, and dedicated players. Ever. He'll be missed.

HometownGal
01-22-2008, 03:51 PM
Fats will be buried on Saturday in Jasper, Texas. God speed and God bless, big guy. :tombstone

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08022/851233-66.stm

Former Steelers defensive tackle Ernie Holmes, killed in a one-vehicle wreck Thursday night in Texas, will be buried Saturday in Jasper, Texas.

A service will be held for Holmes, one of the original Steel Curtain front defensive four in the 1970s, on Friday, 6-9 p.m., at Faith Temple Church of God and Christ, 650 Pollard Street, Jasper.

A viewing will take place Saturday at Jasper High School gymnasium, 400 Bulldog Drive at 11 a.m., followed by his funeral at 1 p.m.

Cards and flowers may be sent to Coleman's Mortuary, 1558 N. Fletcher, Jasper, Tex. 75951.

sherlock
01-25-2008, 02:33 PM
It is rather strange how many old Steeler players have died young.
I must admit I wasn`t aware of this until reading this thread and I`ve just read this piece by Mike Carlson.....all very sad.

FAREWELL, FATS

Ernie Holmes died last week in a car crash. In a way he was the forgotten man of the Steel Curtain's front four, but you could argue that Ernie's ability to engulf blockers left Joe Greene free to play one-gap, and the combination of the two left ends LC Greenwood and Dwight White working one on one most of the time. He always had weight issues with the Steelers; starting his career at about 265 he probably played around 300, and at one point after retirement had ballooned up to 400. He had other issues: early in his career he led police on a bizarre chase that wound up with him taking potshots at a helicopter; after he retired he was involved in an assault case with a barmaid who spurned his advances. It's a sign of how far we've advanced that it wasn't a Pacman-style affair at the time (he was retired from the game at the time). But after that he became, in his own words, 'a more spiritual being' when he became a pastor in Texas. My favorite memory of Ernie is probably his second most-bizarre: he was one of the participants in the Battle Royal at Wrestlemania II, along with Bill Fralic, Russ Francis, Harvey Martin, Jumbo Jim Covert, and of course The Fridge. That they all lost to Andre the Giants says something about football and wrestling, but I'm not sure what that is.


Spiritual beings is not the description that springs to mind of those great Steeler teams, but one strange thing is the rash of early deaths among those players (and indeed, other Steelers). The great centers Mike Webster (50) and Ray Mansfield (58), and their fellow center Jim Clack (55) all died young. Webster, of course, died homeless, suffering from the effects of concussions, while Joe Gilliam also died homeless, at 49, after a long history of cocaine and heroin abuse. Steve Courson, the first pro football player to admit using steroids, died at 50 when he was crushed by a tree in a bizarre accident. Dave Brown, chosen from the Steelers by Seattle in their expansion draft, died of a heart attack at 52, Steve Furness of a heart attack at 49, and Ron Shanklin of cancer at 54.


It's hard to say it's something specific to the 1970s teams, because from the 80s Tyrone McGriff had a heart attack at 41, Terry Long committed suicide by drinking anti-freeze at 45, and David Little had a heart problem while lifting weights, and was choked by his barbells. In the 90s, Justin Strzelczyk was 36, not long past being released, when he led state troopers on a 40 mile chase along the New York State Thruway, which ended when he crashed into a tanker truck while driving into traffic on the wrong side of the road. It would be facile to link the many heart attacks to steroids: one thing that is known from their autopsies is that, like Webster, Long and Strzelczyk had both suffered brain damage, likely from concussions. It's not a curse, but it is a sad story.

http://www.nfluk.com/features-display.php?id=2881

sherlock
01-25-2008, 02:36 PM
Yes, RIP "Fats"

Mr. Rooney definitely helped him out of that little jam he got himself into. He was required to spend some time in an institution, I believe, as part of the deal that was worked out. It seems to have worked out for "Fats" because, at the time, I doubt many would have thought that he would have seen his 49th birthday.

There is an episode of that Steelers' themed show with "Woolf and Tunch" where they interview the longtime press guru for the Steelers, Joe Gordon. Gordon is a guy you would love to take to dinner and get drunk just to hear him spill the beans about those guys from the seventies. I'm sure he has got some great stories.

Anyways, Gordon spent some time on the show talking about Ernie Holmes. He spoke about the helicopter incident and other issues such as the time Fats" hung a reporter by the collar on a hook in the locker room. That is on one of the related you tubes'


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJ1-EBIfeog

Thank you for this link OneForTheToe,it makes for great listening especially for a Steeler newbie like myself.

OneForTheToe
01-25-2008, 02:53 PM
Thank you for this link OneForTheToe,it makes for great listening especially for a Steeler newbie like myself.

Your welcome ... enjoy. I learned things from that interview and I have been a fan since the late seventies. For example, I didn't know of "The Chief's" fondness for hockey.

sherlock
01-25-2008, 03:23 PM
Your welcome ... enjoy. I learned things from that interview and I have been a fan since the late seventies. For example, I didn't know of "The Chief's" fondness for hockey.

Or for fixing toasters!?