PITTSBURGH STEELERS UNIFORM; HISTORY OF THE HYPOCYCLOID
Steel Hypocycloid has become the symbol of NFL domination
Did you realize the state of the team, its success or lack thereof, HAS made an influence on the helmet placement of the hypocycloid steel emblem in years past? The positioning of the steel emblem, and thus the word "Steelers," has in various years past been going uphill, or downhill, uniformly on all helmets. Even at a ten degree angle, it is glaringly obvious what I'm referring to. I never have seen anything written or heard any thing said from anyone about this. I am assuming it's just unspoken, common knowledge; like a rhetorical comment. We need something to read here so I write about this topic that has always been filed in my mind as one to discuss on a rainy day. 'And here it is.
Look at images of Tim Worley who only played during the time the Steelers were "rebuilding". Look at images of Bam Morris who only played when the Steelers were on an "upswing" in their history. You will see Worley's emblem, and the rest of the team for that matter, was always going "downhill". You will see the '94 / '95 team's emblem going "uphill". In the mid to late eighties the word "Steelers" was inclined, going ten degrees south. The team had been going south. In the mid nineties the word "Steelers" was inclined again, going ten degrees north. The team had been going north, or headed in an upward direction.
Could it be the equipment managers just wanted to make a statement that would live on in images for years to come - could it be that they did the following to just have something to show their influence, and give them something to talk about? The emblems have always been placed on by one man. They are placed the same on all helmets to illustrate true uniformity. It would look slightly ridiculous to have them placed differently on different players.
This silliness may all be a thing of the past as it was during the Noll and Cowher eras. This may only have been during the stint of one equipment manager - but here's a good question - who's the team's equipment manager in 2008? Even the most hardcore fan will have to look it up. If someone posts who it is I will know they looked it up.
Republic Steel in Cleveland made the most significant and lasting Ohio contribution to the Steelers when they donated the hypocycloid steel emblem to the Steelers. Initially Art Rooney, Sr. ordered the equipment managers to place it only on the right side. It stuck. Literally. The team started playing better and the adoption of one side of the helmet having the Steel emblem became historic.
Currently the Steelers emblem has "Steelers" going left to right, at a near zero degree angle with a slight uphill notation of the team name. It is not as noticeable as in years past that the emblem is skewed. May the emblem stay put.
Now, there's the question of those ridiculous looking numbers on our heroes jerseys. Eleven seasons later I still hate 'em! Poor Ben has a 7 that looks like an arabic letter. The placement and italics make the numbers look flat out dumb. It doesn't matter if it's on a player, with pads, or on a fan, with flab; those numbers are ridiculous. Why did Cowher have them changed? Maybe HE didn't but look at any pictures before '97 and nine out of ten would agreee that the traditional, squared off numbers look great. Could you picture Lambert or Greene wearing those ridiculous jerseys of today? I would love nothing more than to see the following uniform changes:
1. The emblem going slightly upward, with "Steelers" pointed in an upward,
ten degree motion a la '95.
Why DO we see some of the ugly ( I call "U-gly" ) changes people make to themselves, like they want to intentionally mess themselves up? The Patriots look better than they used to but not many can say that. Have you seen how positioning of the Packers emblem change the way it did in 1989? The G is NOTICEABLY lower than normal - they never did it again. That idiocy is nowhere to be seen anywhere else in their history. Don't you think we need to follow suit?
The Jets returned to their historic unis but should have stuck with their "newer", now defunct unis. The 49ers got rid of the sharpest gold, Notre Dame style. What do they have now? That deep red instead of real red and a darker gold - ridiculous. Cincinnati STILL doesn't look right with bowling ball helmets. They are SUPPOSED to look like the Browns FOR A REASON. The Browns ugly unis (all) would look so much better with all brown pants and loss of those ridiculous throw back numbers on the helmets. Black shoes should be outlawed. The Bills red on blue helmets still look pathetic next to their old, white helmets. The Broncos uniforms are the only AFC ones I can say are, in my mind, as cool as their originals. I know, the Pats, I said look better. The Broncs looked good both ways. The Giants HAD to keep up with their neighbors and go back to those ridiculous NY helmets. WHY? Again, black shoes - ugh - those belong on JoePa, his boys, and that's about it. The NFC has the right idea, overall, as Seattle looks cook in their color (what color is it? They call it "Seattle Seahawks Blue" and "Seattle Seahawks Green". They ALMOST look as good as the old ones. The Rams? They look as good as they used to. The Bucs - what color are they? Pewter? I don't know, but, like the Seabass they have a cool, new look. The Falcons - my school wore red and black so I really, really like both Atlanta motifs. They look snazzy. While we're at it, why did the Astros change? Why did University of Maryland change? Those teams had a rainbow of colors, so impressive and now are so bland. One true Rainbow team - the Hawaii team - is now the Warriors and they have the neatest Oregon-style unis but theirs look GOOD. Black and Green. Warriors with black and green or rainbows? Hmmmm. Which is more intimidating?
Could you picture the Raiders looking any different? The aforementioned Colts and Bears? The Cowboys? Could you picture Too Tall Jones with those ridiculous numbers the Steelers use today? The Chiefs have looked the same forever and it works. The Chiefs, with their arrow shaped stadium and their color motif and the whole sea of red is the next, coolest thing to Heinz field and terrible towels. We should follow their suit. Why fix what's not broke?
The Steelers really need to go back to the old numbers, keep the emblem on the jersey - that looks so cool. I always thought the '82 pictures of Bradshaw were the coolest because he had that Steelers 50 Seasons emblem on the jersey. I love the way the emblem is on the jersey! In homage to the past and in the spirit of returning the glory days look, I say we should change the Steelers numbers to look like their old, squared off numbers, keep the emblem on the jersey, and Rock On!
Whew! Any thoughts? You're a steel addict if you've thought all the above. I always wondered "what ever happened to" those uniforms? 'and common sense!
©2015 Chris Gossett & ChrisGossett.com