Steelers officials today announced they will commemorate their 75th anniversary season with throwback uniforms, a new but throwback mascot, a fan election of an All-Time team and a pre-1970 Legends team, a gala banquet and other assorted goodies.
"This is going to be a fun time for our fans," Steelers President Art Rooney II said this morning at a Heinz Field West Club news conference attended by the Steelers front office, area politicians, corporate partners and the media. "We feel we have the best fans in America. We just wanted to have a lot of ways for them to participate in the 75 seasons. "
Likely the fan highlight of the announcement came when receiver Hines Ward modeled the throwback uniform that will be worn twice next season, in the season home opener against Buffalo and the home Monday night game against Baltimore.
It's a compilation of the late 1940s through 1960s uniform, which indeed weren't the Steelers' glory days.
"I hope we go out and represent these old throwbacks well and represent the players before us well," Ward said.
The uniform is topped by a mustard-colored helmet with a black stripe and the Steelers logo, an ensemble last worn in 1962, owner Dan Rooney said. The jersey is black with gold numbers, gold piping at the shoulders and, on the right breast, a newly unveiled 75th anniversary patch - which carries the Steelers logo between the 7 and the 5.
Speaking of that number, it was only fitting that Joe Greene serves as the anniversary's general chairman; the Hall of Fame defensive tackle wore No. 75, after all.
A new mascot, the brainchild of Art Rooney, is a fellow with a black hardhat in Steelers colors, black overalls, a gold long-sleeve shirt with black piping, a blond beard, black eyebrows and yellow pigmentation while carrying a steel beam made of Styrofoam and, of course, a Terrible Towel. Fans will be allowed to take part in naming the mascot who, like the throwback uniforms, will be on display tomorrow at the Fan Blitz inside Heinz Field for the NFL draft broadcast.
Fans also will get to vote for 24 players -- 11 starters each on offense and defense plus two kickers -- for an All-Time team whose 33 finalists, for the year the club was founded, will be announced at the Nov. 5 Monday-nighter against Baltimore. The night before, former and current Steelers will be feted at a gala inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
Voting for the 102 candidates for the All-Time team and then for the Legends team, comprised of pre-1970 players to celebrate the players before the run of Super Bowl champions, will take place at 100 PNC Bank locations, online at the Steelers Web site and in ballots printed in the Post-Gazette.
New Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and player personnel director Kevin Colbert also attended the news conference, along with a litany of ex-Steelers such as Dwight White, Andy Russell, Mike Wagner, John Brown, Bill Priatko, Tunch Ilkin, Louis Lipps and Craig Wolfley.
The team announced that T-shirts, ballcaps, helmets, cups, license plates, pennants and, of course, new Terrible Towels, will be emblazoned with the 75th anniversary logo.Darrell Sapp, Post-Gazette
Receiver Hines Ward models the Steelers' throwback uniform while standing with the yet-to-be named mascot.