Why register with the Steelers Fever Forums?
 • Intelligent and friendly discussions.
 • It's free and it's quick. Always.
 • Enter events in the forums calendar.
 • Very user friendly software.
 • Exclusive contests and giveaways.

 Donate to Steelers Fever, Click here
 Our 2014 Goal: $450.00 - To Date: $450.00 (100.00%)
 Home | Forums | Editorials | Shop | Tickets | Downloads | Contact Pittsburgh Steelers Forum Feed Not Just Fans. Hardcore Fans.

Go Back   Steelers Fever Forums > Steelers Football > Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers Fever Fan Shop

Doc's Sports Get FREE NFL Picks and College Football picks as well as Football Lines like live NFL Lines and updated NFL Power Rankings all at Doc's Sports Service.

Pro Bowl
8:00PM Eastern on ESPN

Thread Tools
Old 02-05-2010, 06:32 PM   #1
A Son of Martha

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 7,976
Gender: Male
Member Number: 10438
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Rocky Bleier, A Super Boulder

Rocky Bleier, A Super Boulder

Bleier, rushing in 1978, came through in that season's Super Bowl, catching the go-ahead touchdown pass in Pittsburgh's triumph over Dallas. AP

Bleier, rushing in 1978, came through in that season's Super Bowl, catching the go-ahead touchdown pass in Pittsburgh's triumph over Dallas. AP View Enlarged Image

Rocky Bleier's odds of making it in sports grew longer as he lay wounded in a Tokyo hospital.

He'd been a great high school athlete in Appleton, Wis., but many saw him as too small and slow to make it on the college football field.

Still, at 5 feet 10 inches and under 200 pounds, he earned a scholarship to Notre Dame, where he became captain of the Fighting Irish.

Then the Pittsburgh Steelers picked up the running back in the spring of 1968, making him one of the last players chosen in the National Football League draft.

He managed to make the team as a special teams player and a decade later would help the Steelers win four Super Bowls.

But in December 1968 he was drafted again this time by Uncle Sam and sent to Vietnam the next year.

While on patrol in August 1969, Bleier was wounded in the left thigh by gunfire. Before the sun went down, his day got worse: An enemy grenade blew open the arch of his right foot and damaged its ligaments, nerves and toes.

Now as he lay in the U.S. military hospital in Tokyo, the doctor told him he was done playing football.

Bleier wasn't having any of that.

His sunny personality was forged in childhood when he woke up one day and realized it was his choice to be happy, and being optimistic made everything better.

Long-Distance Comfort

While he tried to stay upbeat in Tokyo, he received a postcard from Steelers owner Art Rooney.

It read: "Rock, team not doing well. We need you."

Rooney's concern spurred him on. The Steelers paid for Bleier's operations and placed him on injured reserve so he could draw a paycheck while working to come back.

The two-year ordeal for Bleier included multiple surgeries, grueling rehabilitation and doubters.

As Pittsburgh teammates and front office personnel rooted for him, many couldn't see how he could return to NFL form.

Initially, he walked with a cane. He couldn't roll over the top of his foot and push off, so he had to learn to run off the side of it.

Some advised he forget playing. Become a scout. Go to law school. Those were a couple of suggestions.

Bleier said no. He kept aiming to play. And as he improved his speed, strength and explosiveness, that target came into focus.

By 1971, Bleier was back.
mesaSteeler is offline   Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:38 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Shoutbox provided by vBShout v6.2.1 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2015 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.0.8 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2015 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.
Navbar with Avatar by Motorradforum
no new posts