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Old 12-18-2009, 09:37 AM   #1
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Default Lukas: Steelers Uniform Quirks

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2...7&sportCat=nfl

Article is too long to post it all here, so here are the first 5. Pretty cool article with pictures to see as well.

Quote:
The Steelers' postseason hopes are looking iffy at best. But at least Pittsburgh fans can depend on the team's uniforms, which rank among the NFL's most classic designs. Simple, timeless, elemental -- that's the Steelers uni.


Or is it? A closer look reveals that the Steelers have had a surprising number of unique uniform quirks over the years, several of which continue to this day. Much like the Cowboys (whose uniform aberrations we examined a while back), the Steelers are a hotbed of uni anomalies hiding inside a deceptively simple-seeming package.
So here's Uni Watch's list of the Steelers' top 10 uniform eccentricities, along with an assessment of how unique each one is. Without further ado:


1. VERY ONE-SIDED
Look at the Steelers linemen from one side and you see their familiar helmet logo; look at them from the other side and you see lots of plain black space. That's because the Steelers wear their helmet logo on only one side. This quirk dates back to 1962, when club officials weren't sure how the logo would look, so they told the equipment manager to put the helmet decals on only one side, as a test. The team ended up having its best season ever up to that time, so the decision was made to stick with the one-sided format.
Uniqueness Factor: Very high. No other NFL team has ever gone with asymmetrical headgear.


2. EARN YOUR UNI NUMBER
Every August, like clockwork, Uni Watch HQ is flooded with e-mails from people pointing out that the Steelers' familiar front-helmet uniform numbers are missing. As Uni Watch patiently explains each time, this is one of the team's annual rituals. They go without the helmet numbers during the preseason and then add the numbers once the regular season starts. So if you don't make the final roster cut, no helmet number for you!
Uniqueness Factor: High. Uni Watch is unaware of any similar protocol in the NFL. The closest thing is in the NHL, where the Red Wings use straight block lettering for their player names during the preseason before reverting to their usual vertically arched letters on opening night.


3. STEELERS OR STEALERS?
The Steelers logo is based on the Steelmark, which was created by the American Iron and Steel Institute. The logo originally read "Steel" (not "Steelers"), and that's how it looked when it debuted on the team's helmets midway through the 1962 season, but owner Art Rooney eventually got permission to change the word to "Steelers" in 1963.
Uniqueness Factor: High. Other pro sports teams have had corporate tie-ins with other businesses (the team name "Mighty Ducks of Anaheim," for example), but the Steelers are the only team Uni Watch can think of whose logo is based on a design from a completely different industry.


4. HOLY CAPE, BATMAN
Many fans aren't aware -- and others would rather forget -- that the Steelers wore these jerseys in 1966 and '67. The yellow shoulder yoke was officially called "the Golden Triangle" (a reference to downtown Pittsburgh's nickname), but the design quickly became known as the Batman uniform, because the yellow panel looked like a cape. Uni Watch actually thinks it looked pretty cool (you can see additional photos here), but the Steelers were a bad team at the time, so anything they did was quickly ridiculed. After two seasons, the Golden Triangle was quietly retired.
Uniqueness Factor: Fairly high. Plenty of NFL teams have worn contrasting shoulder panels, but the Steelers are the only ones who've used the cape-like shape.


5. IT'S GOTTA BE THE SHOES
All the colored accents you see on NFL footwear these days can be traced back to Steel Curtain mainstay L.C. Greenwood, who wore gold cleats back in the '70s -- sometimes high-tops, sometimes low-tops, always distinctive. According to a display at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, "He was fined every game for wearing them, but the fines were never more than $100, and the Steelers' organization 'forgot' to collect the money from him."
Uniqueness Factor: High for its time. Back in the day, nobody else was wearing anything but solid white or solid black.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Lukas: Steelers Uniform Quirks

I never knew about #2. That's pretty cool.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Lukas: Steelers Uniform Quirks

I didn't either...Great post. Can't wait to read the rest.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Lukas: Steelers Uniform Quirks

Reason number 7 is why I became a Steeler fan way back when I was just a wee tot.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Lukas: Steelers Uniform Quirks

thats an awesome article...thanks for pointing it out
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Lukas: Steelers Uniform Quirks

The coolest throwback uniform (IMO) would be the '70s uniforms. Big block numbers, gray facemasks, and cursive lettering on the logo. Intimidating!
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Lukas: Steelers Uniform Quirks

Title for #10 cracked me up.

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10. LET'S HOPE THE FALCONS AND BUCS NEVER MERGE
The Steelers wore green in 1943 -- sort of. With NFL rosters depleted due to World War II, the Steelers and Eagles were forced to merge for one season, becoming the Steagles (yes, that's really what they were called), and creating a thorny uniform conflict. According to Matthew Algeo's book "Last Team Standing": "Eagles owner Lex Thompson would not allow his players to wear anything other than the team's usual colors of kelly green and white. [Steelers owners Bert] Bell and [Art] Rooney wanted the team to wear the Steelers' black and gold jerseys, at least when playing in Pittsburgh. In the end, Thompson won out. The team would wear Eagles jerseys for every game. Bell and Rooney probably gave in because it would have been too costly to clean and maintain two sets of uniforms all season anyway." Steagles photos are rare, but a recent episode of "Amazing Sports Stories" interpreted their uniforms like so. Hey, it could've been worse.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Lukas: Steelers Uniform Quirks

back in the 1970's, my Dad got to know a few locker-room personnel employed by the Steelers, who told him the actual width of the stripe on their trousers violated League policy, and that they paid a fine every day they wore those pants, similar to Greenwood's Gold shoes, and kickers who wear different colored shoes:
I do not know if this is still true


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Old 12-19-2009, 07:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: Lukas: Steelers Uniform Quirks

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4xSBChamps View Post
back in the 1970's, my Dad got to know a few locker-room personnel employed by the Steelers, who told him the actual width of the stripe on their trousers violated League policy, and that they paid a fine every day they wore those pants, similar to Greenwood's Gold shoes, and kickers who wear different colored shoes:
I do not know if this is still true


You should submit that to the guy who wrote the article he would know. since it is a top ten list maybe that one just didn't make it or plain slipped by him.

BTW I love Jack Splat and that IMHO is the greatest hall of fame quote ever!!!
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: Lukas: Steelers Uniform Quirks

Quote:
5. IT'S GOTTA BE THE SHOES
All the colored accents you see on NFL footwear these days can be traced back to Steel Curtain mainstay L.C. Greenwood, who wore gold cleats back in the '70s -- sometimes high-tops, sometimes low-tops, always distinctive. According to a display at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, "He was fined every game for wearing them, but the fines were never more than $100, and the Steelers' organization 'forgot' to collect the money from him."
Uniqueness Factor: High for its time. Back in the day, nobody else was wearing anything but solid white or solid black.
Great read all the way around, but #5 really stuck out in my mind - loved LC's gold shoes!
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