SOUTH SIDE --- Pittsburgh Steelers mascot Steely McBeam, who has not been seen in public since September 12, is now the subject of a police investigation. Mr. McBeam was last seen helping to inaugurate the Steelers-themed airplane in mid-September, but he failed to show up for scheduled appearances at the Steelers-Buffalo and Steelers-49?ers games. Team officials filed a missing-person report this morning.
?Usually when someone goes missing, there are three possibilities,? Pittsburgh Police Chief Nathan Harper said today. ?One possibility is that he just skipped town. People do that all the time --- just look at how the city?s population has declined. But the thinking around the precinct is that he may have harmed himself, or he?s become a victim of foul play.?
McBeam was booed when he made his first appearance at Heinz Field for the August 11 preseason game with the Packers. ?Being booed by 60,000 people can have a profound psychological effect on anyone,? Harper said. ?When the Steelers are booed, at least they have each other to rely on. But Steely?s got no one on his side. If he fell into a deep enough depression, he may have jumped off any one of our bridges.?
Chief Harper, though, thinks foul play is more likely. ?We have 60,000 people who proved that they hate him. Plus there?s a few people over at the Post-Gazette who wanted him gone. A lot of people had motive and opportunity.?
Harper said he?ll put a few detectives on the case, but he doesn?t think they?ll make a big effort to find the mascot. ?To be honest, none of the officers really liked him from the get-go. I don?t think they?ll be beating the bushes looking for him.?