Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pittsburgh Steelers: Here We Go!

My friend Ray tells this joke: How many Pittsburghers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Five – one to screw it in and four to talk about how great the Steelers were in the Seventies. That always makes me laugh because a.) it's true and b.) they were. But this current team is pretty impressive, too. I watched the game on Saturday and, up until that last quarter I had my doubt, but then – WHAM! That's just great fun to watch. I found the video below on You Tube, four quarters in ten minutes. I love it.
Because I am hard at work on novel #3 in which one of the main characters is a former football player who once played for the Steelers I have been reading a lot of football related books and also watching a lot of football videos on YouTube – I don't know how writers wrote before YouTube. It's so inspiring to look at some of the greatest plays by some of the greatest players in the history of the NFL. Of course, because I went to Penn State back when Franco Harris and Jack Ham were also there I have a particular affection for those guys. Lydell Mitchell was playing then, too and he certainly was impressive as well.

In the story I am working on there is a scene toward the end of the book where we get to see what an incredible athlete this character, now in his 40s, was. He commits an act of heroism that anyone of less spectacular prowess would never attempt. The idea for it actually came some months back while watching a Steelers game in which Troy Polamalu made one of his amazing oh-my-god-he-can-fly interceptions. Once the idea began percolating in my brain I started trolling YouTube for videos of other plays of comparable beauty and I always seemed to wind up looking at Steelers videos – Joe Greene, how fabulous was he? And Franco Harris' “immaculate reception” but then I found the video that gave me what I wanted, it was a compilation of Mel Blount's best plays and I watched it over and over and over until I knew exactly how my character was going to do what he does.
The other day I had a guy “friend” me on Facebook because, as he said, “anyone who lists Mel Blount as one of their favorite athlete's is okay with me.” I loved that. I am in the middle of his book, The Cross Burns Brightly right now and I'll write more about that when I finish it.

So, anyway, this weekend the Steelers play the Jets and – well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The truth is I don't really understand football – even after reading Joe Theismann's book about it –but I love to watch always hoping for that one breathtaking moment when you can say, “WOW! Wow, wow, wow.” The Steelers have given me a lot of Wow moments over the years and regardless of what happens this weekend I'll keep on loving them. Here we go!
Thanks for reading.  


  1. kathleen, like you, i do not understand football but watch it for the wow moments. the university of michigan supplies many of those for me. go steelers! go packers!

  2. Thanks, Mary Lou. Yeah, I love watching big, hunky guys with lots of muscles running around crashing into one another.

    It could be an exciting Super Bowl this year.


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