Steelers' new video is a keeper
Share with others:
Jerome Bettis encourages his teammates before walking out onto Heinz Field for the last time during the Steelers Super Bowl season.
Click photo for larger image.
It took 26 years for NFL Films to produce a happy ending to its Steelers highlights video.
Through one 5-11 and two 6-10 seasons, a loss in Super Bowl XXX and playoff failures that included setbacks in five AFC championship games, Steve Sabol of NFL Films kept grinding out highlights videos for the Steelers. Always, through the magic of the editing room, he left the audience with a glimmer of hope for the upcoming season. Sometimes, it was necessary to focus more on younger players who might provide optimism rather than the season itself.
Yesterday, he premiered a film for invited guests inside a Heinz Field club lounge where the guy finally gets the girl at the end.
Titled "Road to Glory -- The 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers," this promises to be in demand more than, say, the 1988 production from Chuck Noll's 5-11 misfits.
"Those tend to stay on the shelf," club president Art Rooney said of the videos of the oppressed years. "This one will be off the shelf."
Fans can't buy the DVD until it goes on sale Sept. 5, although groups can borrow a copy from the Steelers for private functions by calling them at 412-432-7820.
As usual with products from NFL Films, the Steelers' highlights video is well done. It was, however, done previously. The Special Edition of Super Bowl XL Champions with the same Steve Sabol of NFL Films as executive producer was distributed by Warner Home Video two months ago and contains much of the same material as "Road to Glory."
That one was narrated by Harry Kalas, the voice of NFL Films. "Road to Glory" carries the voice of KDKA radio's Larry Richert, who first narrated a Steelers highlight film in 1985 after the death of John Facenda. John Weiss, a Bethel Park native who works for NFL Films, produced his 17th Steelers video.
Weiss and Richert did not have to work to provide the highlights this time.
"They were mostly successful," Richert said of the Steelers' seasons in which he worked on their film. "But there were some lean years. You always want to take it to the top."
The film opens with a solitary Jeff Hartings snapping a football into the Steelers' closed locker room door at Heinz Field. It ends with shots from the victory parade downtown.
The highlights show the team's success through the first half of the season, followed by three consecutive losses and a 7-5 record, when Richert notes that the Steelers faced the "prospects of a long, cold winter." Cut to the wintry scene from their home game against Chicago in the snow that not only marked Jerome Bettis' final 100-yard rushing performance, but also the beginning of an improbable eight-game winning streak that produced their fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XL.
"I think they had a lot to work with this time," Rooney said of NFL Films. "This is one of the ones people will be watching for many years. My son knows about all of our old Super Bowls because he watched the videos. It's going to be one of those things where his kids will be learning about this team."
NOTES -- Rooney said that because of the logistics of meeting the president at the White House June 2, the Steelers have pushed back their private ring ceremony two days until June 4. Everyone on the Super Bowl team, including those players no longer with them, have been invited to the White House and the ring ceremony. ... Coach Bill Cowher gathered his players yesterday morning for their scheduled workout and, after a brief stretch, gave them the rest of the day off.
First Published May 20, 2006 12:00 am