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Old 06-07-2009, 10:44 AM   #1
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Default Steelers of '70s dismiss Tarkenton's comments

Steelers of '70s dismiss Tarkenton's comments
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/...2639500710.txt
By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff
Published: Sunday, June 7, 2009 8:06 AM EDT

A sore subject within the proud Pittsburgh Steelers organization is conjecture that the Super Bowl teams of the 1970s had a bunch of steroid users on the roster.

That topic was brought up recently by former NFL quarterback Frank Tarkenton, and some of the “Steel Curtain” Steelers were not happy about it.

Tarkenton, the losing quarterback in Super Bowl IX when the Steelers beat the Minnesota Vikings 16-6, made the comments during a radio interview on 790 The Zone in Atlanta.

“We’re playing the Steelers in the Super Bowl in ’75 or ’76, and I’m warming up with my center, Mick Tingelhoff, who’s an eight-time all-pro, Tarkenton said. “He’s my roommate … he’s about 6-2, 245 … we’re on the field warming up, and I see these Steeler offensive linemen with their sleeves rolled up, and they’ve got these bulging muscles.

“Later, we found out it that you know, it was Mike Webster and these guys were juiced … Steve Courson … these guys were juiced … all of them. We talk now about (former baseball stars) Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. But how about the Steelers of that era? Did that make a difference? Yeah, it made a difference. It increased their performance.”

On Monday, The Times asked a few Steelers of that era about Tarkenton’s remarks as they played in the Tony Dorsett/McGuire Memorial Celebrity Golf Classic. They were upset and disappointed that Tarkenton would still bring up that topic.

“That’s ludicrous,” said Randy Grossman, a rookie tight end in 1974. “We played at a time when things were happening, I suppose, (with steroids). We may have had some players who were involved in it. But there were probably 25 other teams that may have had some players involved with it.

“Maybe Fran was just going over the deep end because he took of much of it.”


Tarkenton, now 69, did get some of his facts wrong when ripping the Steelers for steroids use.

For one thing, Courson, a guard, didn’t play for the Steelers then. He was just starting college.

And in the ’74 season when Webster was a rookie, he was only 6-foot-1˝ tall and weighed only 238 pounds. Plus, Webster wasn’t even the starting center. Ray Mansfield, who was never linked to steroids, started in SB IX.

And remember, the Steelers’ first Super Bowl win was noted more for [B]a terrific defensive effort that held the Vikings to no offensive touchdowns and just 17 rushing yards while intercepting Tarkenton three times and scoring the game's first two points on a safety.[/B] (Damn I remember that game. It was a thing of beauty. - mesa)

None of the Steelers’ core defensive players of that era were ever linked to steroids.

“At that time we beat them, I would say this, none of our defensive guys did (steroids),” ex-running back Franco Harris said. “So, if Fran’s talking about our (offensive) linemen, if they did (steroids), probably only a couple. That would have been it.

“But I would think he’d be talking about our defense, because our defense really shut him down and really won the game for us more than anything else.”

Webster, who died in 2002 of a heart attack, did admit to steroid use during his career. So did Courson, who died in 2005 when a tree fell on him.

A Pittsburgh sports writer told ESPN 1250 Radio last week that running back Rocky Bleier admitted to steroid use, but only to heal his injuries. Even quarterback Terry Bradshaw admitted to using steroids, but again, only for healing purposes.

In 2005 while coaching the New Orleans Saints, former Steelers defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said steroid use in the NFL “started, really, in Pittsburgh. They got an advantage on a lot of football teams.”

Haslett also admitted that he used steroids as a player.

Steelers chairman Dan Rooney gets infuriated when the Steelers of the ’70s are linked to steroids.

“This is totally false (that steroid use in the NFL) started with the Steelers,” Rooney told two newspapers after Haslett’s comments. “(Our coach) Chuck Noll was totally against it ... Haslett, maybe it affected his mind.

When told about Tarkenton’s remarks, ex-Steelers running back John “Frenchy” Fuqua was disappointed in his former teammate.

“I played with Fran in New York my rookie year. He was the Giants’ quarterback then,” Fuqua said. “I would hope that he’d have more class than that, to make statements like that. I would hope he was misquoted.”

When told Tarkenton was not misquoted, Fuqua said, “Fran’s probably getting up there in age. Sometimes, older people have a tendency to vent. Let’s just hope he was venting. But no, I don’t agree with him in any way whatsoever.”

Mike Bires can be reached online at mbires@timesonline.com.

(Sigh, More whining from a SB loser. I always knew that Tarkenton was a classless pile of crap. His behavior is exactly what I would expect from a three time super bowl loser. Of course there were no rules against steroids in the 1970's which never seems to be mentioned when this subject comes up. These loser teams and their fans can't beat us on the field so all they can do is whine. . - mesa)
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers of '70s dismiss Tarkenton's comments

Just add Tarkenton to the loser pile
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers of '70s dismiss Tarkenton's comments

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Just add Tarkenton to the loser pile
Yep, just more sour grapes from another player who could never win the big one.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers of '70s dismiss Tarkenton's comments

Well, I guess we are back to being the most hated team in the NFL.

I just LOVE it, especially hearing from those Raider fans concerning the Immaculate Reception.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers of '70s dismiss Tarkenton's comments

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Well, I guess we are back to being the most hated team in the NFL.

I just LOVE it, especially hearing from those Raider fans concerning the Immaculate Reception.
Good point. Oh well, "let them hate as long as they fear". One of the Roman Ceasers when referring to barbarians.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:28 AM   #6
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers of '70s dismiss Tarkenton's comments

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Later, we found out it that you know, it was Mike Webster and these guys were juiced … Steve Courson … these guys were juiced … all of them.

Quote:
Tarkenton, now 69, did get some of his facts wrong when ripping the Steelers for steroids use.

For one thing, Courson, a guard, didn’t play for the Steelers then. He was just starting college.

And in the ’74 season when Webster was a rookie, he was only 6-foot-1˝ tall and weighed only 238 pounds. Plus, Webster wasn’t even the starting center. Ray Mansfield, who was never linked to steroids, started in SB IX.
This says it all....Tarkenton is either a Liar, a Drama Queen, or Senile.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers of '70s dismiss Tarkenton's comments

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"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers of '70s dismiss Tarkenton's comments

I suppose the Immaculate Reception was caused by steroid use as well. I am so glad that senile old Madden is finally gone so we don't have to listen to that whiny jackA$$ during our next Super Bowl telecast. He NEVER let that go. Tarkenton has shown his mind is going with these comments and the crap he is spewing about Favre. After hearing that crap, I hope Favre comes back and takes the Vikings to the Super Bowl. (only to lose to us of course)
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers of '70s dismiss Tarkenton's comments

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I suppose the Immaculate Reception was caused by steroid use as well. I am so glad that senile old Madden is finally gone so we don't have to listen to that whiny jackA$$ during our next Super Bowl telecast. He NEVER let that go. Tarkenton has shown his mind is going with these comments and the crap he is spewing about Favre. After hearing that crap, I hope Favre comes back and takes the Vikings to the Super Bowl. (only to lose to us of course)
" I am so glad that senile old Madden is finally gone so we don't have to listen to that whiny jackA$$ during our next Super Bowl telecast. " I could not agree with more. I'm so glad that fat fool is gone.
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