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I also noticed that 7-8 out of the top 10 are usually in the playoffs

 

And the bottom 10 usaully are not

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I think we just had this in another thread.

I don't read ever post, especially the ones Cal starts

 

so it very well could have been in another thread

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Yeah, I don't see how they have NE so low. Flugels nailed it - the Celtics played like a steeler,

and took out Kevin Love's arm. They still lost, though. And now the Bulls tried rough and tumble

basketball, and they now have deflated balls. Yep, NE at 2, but the stinkin steelers at #1 sounds right.

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Cool topic, not going to dispute anything except that it is beyond silly to consider steroid usage back in the day as cheating when it was not against the rules to use them.

 

Players were ignorant back then of its adverse affects. Not even sure if medical science had a grip on the adverse affects....theres something to be said about that if it took until 1987 for the NFL to ban steroids.

 

If a player today found some super duper power drink of the drugstore shelf that he feels gives him a competitive edge would he be cheating as well? Steroids were treaded as such then.

 

This article also relays the common impression that the entire Steeler team was on them, um.. Joe Green, LC, Blount, etc did not use them, the entire D did not use them, only a few O linemen.

Bradshaw says he used them for pain, but if you were an O lineman that had to face the Steeler front four D in practice every day, youd probably want to be on roids too.haha

 

 

The facts.

 

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/232404-the-steelers-steroids-and-profound-misconceptions

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The steelers are the dirtiest team in the NFL. Since 2010, they have the most players

fined for dirty crap in the entire NFL.

 

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/pittsburgh-steelers-nfl-features-news-blog-long-form/2015/5/16/8614775/the-pittsburgh-steelers-history-of-cheating

 

Since 2010, the Steelers have the most players fined or suspended for blatantly dangerous and illegal hits on opponents.

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Cool topic, not going to dispute anything except that it is beyond silly to consider steroid usage back in the day as cheating when it was not against the rules to use them.

 

Players were ignorant back then of its adverse affects. Not even sure if medical science had a grip on the adverse affects....theres something to be said about that if it took until 1987 for the NFL to ban steroids.

 

If a player today found some super duper power drink of the drugstore shelf that he feels gives him a competitive edge would he be cheating as well? Steroids were treaded as such then.

 

This article also relays the common impression that the entire Steeler team was on them, um.. Joe Green, LC, Blount, etc did not use them, the entire D did not use them, only a few O linemen.

Bradshaw says he used them for pain, but if you were an O lineman that had to face the Steeler front four D in practice every day, youd probably want to be on roids too.haha

 

 

The facts.

 

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/232404-the-steelers-steroids-and-profound-misconceptions

 

One for the thumb wasn't possible without a ton in the ass. IV needles that is. Sports Illustrated did an extensive study and overview of their findings of all the premature death and disability of former Steelers before/around age 50. That was long before a former Steeler Steve Courson expressed a guilty conscience in his "False Glory: Steelers and Steroids." You might want to read some of that before acting like just a couple guys roided up. The Pittsburgh Steeroids basically Jerry Garcia'd steroids far more pervasively than any other team as written by one of them (that played on 2 other franchises).

 

Rooney has employed an HGH Doctor and a Deputy to his Pittsburgh Steeler payroll.

 

Somebody put some serious cake down behind the scenes for that farce of a Superbowl in Detroit turned into a Jerome Bettis retirement party. All you had to do was watch that farce to realize it was officiated by guys like Dewey Cheatem, Howie Phuckum, and Dick Eweover.

 

As news broke that Pittsburgh had a team doctor being investigated for his purchase of excessive quantities of HGH, it was time to find a new NFL Commissioner. Guess what NFL owner wanted to be in charge of that process? When it was finally time to deliver the news to the 2 candidates - the Carolina owner (Richardson) got to tell the guy who didn't get the gig. Rooney got to go Roger's hotel room to share the good news and hugs for all the hard core campaigning Rooney did on Roger's behalf to win the vote of owners in a land side. If anyone thinks that wasn't a precalculated maneuver to leave the new NFL Commissioner forever in debt, I have quick sand for sale in alligator alley...

 

So where specifically might this come in handy? Well, guys like Pouncey can get arrested in August of 2014 without missing 1 game to suspension. After the world learned Ben Rapen had victim #2 (with an off duty cop securing the door) Ben later got his suspension reduced by 1 game for terrific behavior. Instead of frequently suspending James Harrison for the unofficial head hunting license he was given - Roger opted to FINE Harrison rather than impact his close buddy Rooney's bottom line with any more suspensions to Harrison.

 

Not for nothing, but I'm not impressed with finally suspending Bell in 2015 for what he did in August of 2014. This gave Pittsburgh a chance to add DeAngelo Williams in the offseason while it also allows a guy coming off a knee injury to shorten his wear and tear by however many games. Meanwhile, the other guy Blount is on another team. How much did any of that hurt Rooney's win loss column? The reality is Pittsburgh doesn't win that 2014 opener without their Cheech & Chong plus Pouncey impcting their running game, which also means they don't make the playoffs...

 

I've been watching that franchise get special favors from NFL Commissioners for decades from all the calculated moves of a street smart ownership family. If Sandusky was under that roof taking groinal inventories and fanny temperatures; he still be every bit the free man Ben Rapen is. When a Defensive League MVP caliber talent like James Harrison has caused his wife to need a battered women's support group/shelter for the rest of their marriage- ONLY Pittsburgh can power spin that into him being a hero for handing over the fine money from fans for his NFL head shots to that group. Stories like Greg Lloyd tying is wife and Junior to chairs while putting a pistol to the wife's temple - sure got quieted ultra fast behind the scenes in case anyone wondered why there was a need to have a deputy on the payroll. It's street smart brilliance from an ownership that doesn't want roid rage getting public attention. For a franchise that got mapped from their invasive/pervasive steroid abuse - it's smellier than a Friday Night fish fry that the only starter in Pittsburgh ever suspended for roids was Joel Steed (twice). Brentston Buckner wasn't caught and suspended until he wore a Carolina uniform interestingly enough. Did the Rooneys have such a control over Goodell that they once determined who's urine could be tested and who was off limits in the random selection process allegedly? Then again, their HGH Doctor had them a step ahead in the black market world drug of choice thing. Is it just a coincidence that Polly and Ike Taylor lost about 2-3 steps once the league started testing for HGH to the extent where retiring was their only option? Even a 3-4 year vet like Worilds felt compelled to retire too.

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Cool topic, not going to dispute anything except that it is beyond silly to consider steroid usage back in the day as cheating when it was not against the rules to use them.

 

Players were ignorant back then of its adverse affects. Not even sure if medical science had a grip on the adverse affects....theres something to be said about that if it took until 1987 for the NFL to ban steroids.

 

If a player today found some super duper power drink of the drugstore shelf that he feels gives him a competitive edge would he be cheating as well? Steroids were treaded as such then.

 

This article also relays the common impression that the entire Steeler team was on them, um.. Joe Green, LC, Blount, etc did not use them, the entire D did not use them, only a few O linemen.

Bradshaw says he used them for pain, but if you were an O lineman that had to face the Steeler front four D in practice every day, youd probably want to be on roids too.haha

 

 

The facts.

 

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/232404-the-steelers-steroids-and-profound-misconceptions

 

then why are there more former Steeler players under the age of 50 dead than the rest of the NFL combined? that stat was still true a couple years ago, haven't checked it recently. if not roids still something definitely amiss there.

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sorry Flugs hadn't read that far when i posted. but +1

 

No biggy. Thanks!

 

I enjoy watching NE make grown men in Pittsburgh cry about how much they've been getting away with. It's almost like they want us to see the same Disney makeover their denial lenses have had in 20/20 focus since it began relying on a bunch of IV needle junkies to map that program for the first time in the 70s.

 

I've never found any reason for our fan base to be the least bit envious of that. They're gonna need David Copperfield, hallucingogens and some of those date rape drugs Ben Rapen doesn't need to use any more to alter my 20/20 of what's really been going on with the Pittsburgh Stee-roids all these years. That ain't happening...

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  • 2 months later...

 

One for the thumb wasn't possible without a ton in the ass. IV needles that is. Sports Illustrated did an extensive study and overview of their findings of all the premature death and disability of former Steelers before/around age 50. That was long before a former Steeler Steve Courson expressed a guilty conscience in his "False Glory: Steelers and Steroids." You might want to read some of that before acting like just a couple guys roided up. The Pittsburgh Steeroids basically Jerry Garcia'd steroids far more pervasively than any other team as written by one of them (that played on 2 other franchises).

 

Rooney has employed an HGH Doctor and a Deputy to his Pittsburgh Steeler payroll.

 

Somebody put some serious cake down behind the scenes for that farce of a Superbowl in Detroit turned into a Jerome Bettis retirement party. All you had to do was watch that farce to realize it was officiated by guys like Dewey Cheatem, Howie Phuckum, and Dick Eweover.

 

As news broke that Pittsburgh had a team doctor being investigated for his purchase of excessive quantities of HGH, it was time to find a new NFL Commissioner. Guess what NFL owner wanted to be in charge of that process? When it was finally time to deliver the news to the 2 candidates - the Carolina owner (Richardson) got to tell the guy who didn't get the gig. Rooney got to go Roger's hotel room to share the good news and hugs for all the hard core campaigning Rooney did on Roger's behalf to win the vote of owners in a land side. If anyone thinks that wasn't a precalculated maneuver to leave the new NFL Commissioner forever in debt, I have quick sand for sale in alligator alley...

 

So where specifically might this come in handy? Well, guys like Pouncey can get arrested in August of 2014 without missing 1 game to suspension. After the world learned Ben Rapen had victim #2 (with an off duty cop securing the door) Ben later got his suspension reduced by 1 game for terrific behavior. Instead of frequently suspending James Harrison for the unofficial head hunting license he was given - Roger opted to FINE Harrison rather than impact his close buddy Rooney's bottom line with any more suspensions to Harrison.

 

Not for nothing, but I'm not impressed with finally suspending Bell in 2015 for what he did in August of 2014. This gave Pittsburgh a chance to add DeAngelo Williams in the offseason while it also allows a guy coming off a knee injury to shorten his wear and tear by however many games. Meanwhile, the other guy Blount is on another team. How much did any of that hurt Rooney's win loss column? The reality is Pittsburgh doesn't win that 2014 opener without their Cheech & Chong plus Pouncey impcting their running game, which also means they don't make the playoffs...

 

I've been watching that franchise get special favors from NFL Commissioners for decades from all the calculated moves of a street smart ownership family. If Sandusky was under that roof taking groinal inventories and fanny temperatures; he still be every bit the free man Ben Rapen is. When a Defensive League MVP caliber talent like James Harrison has caused his wife to need a battered women's support group/shelter for the rest of their marriage- ONLY Pittsburgh can power spin that into him being a hero for handing over the fine money from fans for his NFL head shots to that group. Stories like Greg Lloyd tying is wife and Junior to chairs while putting a pistol to the wife's temple - sure got quieted ultra fast behind the scenes in case anyone wondered why there was a need to have a deputy on the payroll. It's street smart brilliance from an ownership that doesn't want roid rage getting public attention. For a franchise that got mapped from their invasive/pervasive steroid abuse - it's smellier than a Friday Night fish fry that the only starter in Pittsburgh ever suspended for roids was Joel Steed (twice). Brentston Buckner wasn't caught and suspended until he wore a Carolina uniform interestingly enough. Did the Rooneys have such a control over Goodell that they once determined who's urine could be tested and who was off limits in the random selection process allegedly? Then again, their HGH Doctor had them a step ahead in the black market world drug of choice thing. Is it just a coincidence that Polly and Ike Taylor lost about 2-3 steps once the league started testing for HGH to the extent where retiring was their only option? Even a 3-4 year vet like Worilds felt compelled to retire too.

Why so bitter?

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The steelers are the dirtiest team in the NFL. Since 2010, they have the most players

fined for dirty crap in the entire NFL.

 

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/pittsburgh-steelers-nfl-features-news-blog-long-form/2015/5/16/8614775/the-pittsburgh-steelers-history-of-cheating

 

Since 2010, the Steelers have the most players fined or suspended for blatantly dangerous and illegal hits on opponents.

And the Browns stink. Next.

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Here's some significant parts of another article that looked well researched by Mike Fish, ESPN Senior Writer
  • Investigative reporter for ESPN.com
  • 10 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize

Even before the controversy surfaced involving Dr. Richard Rydze, the team's longtime physician who stepped aside last season after authorities revealed he'd run up a six-figure credit card bill purchasing human growth hormone, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a history of associations with performance-enhancing drugs. But a number of news reports, player interviews and books have long suggested that the Steelers were among the earlier teams to use steroids, which weren't banned by the NFL until 1989, on a widespread basis.

 

In 2005, for example, Jim Haslett, then the coach of the New Orleans Saints, created a stir when he said the general belief during his playing days (1979-87) with Buffalo and the New York Jets was that the Steelers of the late '70s helped popularize steroid use in the pro game. "It started, really, in Pittsburgh," Haslett said. "They got an advantage on a lot of football teams. They were so much stronger [in the] '70s, late '70s, early '80s. They're the ones who kind of started it."

 

When Steelers owner Dan Rooney challenged his statements four years ago, Haslett expressed regret that they might have hurt the organization, but said, "I have a lot of respect for this league, but it's naïve to think people weren't using enhancing drugs before they were illegal." Haslett, a linebacker, said he began using steroids after he was drafted by the Bills. He was an assistant coach for the Steelers from 1997 to '99, and finished the 2008 season as the St. Louis Rams' interim head coach.

 

Perhaps the most damning documentation of the Steelers' history with steroids, though, came from one of their players, the late Steve Courson, an offensive lineman who detailed his own use in a 1985 Sports Illustrated article and whose 1991 book, "False Glory: The Steve Courson Story," cast performance-enhancing drugs as a lingering league-wide problem. In the book, he wrote that 75 percent of the offensive linemen on the Steelers' late-1970s Super Bowl teams had used steroids. Before he died, Courson, living alone in a mountain cabin an hour southeast of the old Three Rivers Stadium site, also crafted an almost 5,300-word letter that served as his final treatise on doping in pro football. The unfinished, unsent, philosophical musings were discovered on his computer after Courson was crushed to death in 2005 as he cut down a tree.

 

Rocky Bleier, who played from 1968 to '80, said Dianabol was part of his offseason routine. AP Photo

 

In the letter, Courson didn't name names, and he'd avoided fingering specific teammates and peers in his earlier public statements -- including testimony about performance enhancers in front of Congress in April 2005, seven months before he died -- as well. But he criticized what he viewed to be a conspiracy of silence among players and team and league officials that, he wrote, has kept the game from adequately addressing its problem with steroids and other substances. "The level of deception and exploitation that the NFL requires to do business still amazes me," Courson wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN.com. "This is particularly true in the area of performance-enhancing drugs. The coercive aspect of this and the system's refusal to acknowledge that obvious fact speaks volumes for the level of control that it employs I believe eventually the magnitude of doping in elite football will be exposed. In many ways it already has been."

 

In the course of ESPN.com's efforts to trace the Steelers' history with performance-enhancing drugs, it became apparent that many ex-players are still unwilling to talk about allegations of chemical augmentation and the locker room culture of their days in the league. Even the ex-Steeler to whom Courson wrote the letter discovered on his computer -- Courson's girlfriend, Denise Masciola, said she hand-delivered it to the ex-teammate shortly after Courson's death -- denied its existence in a recent face-to-face interview. Several of Courson's friends asked ESPN.com to withhold the ex-teammate's name, saying Courson wouldn't have wanted to embarrass him.

 

And many players are especially reluctant to address speculation that the use of muscle-building drugs might be connected to the high rate of deaths among former Steelers, particularly those suffering heart ailments. Those numbers are hard to dismiss, even if there is no pattern or clue linking the deaths to steroids. Since 2000, 17 former Steelers have died before they reached the age of 59.

 

During his playing days in the '70s, L.C. Greenwood was suspicious of some of his teammates. AP Photo/Harry Cabluck

 

However, several former players did speak with ESPN.com about the Steelers' familiarity in the past with performance-enhancing drugs:

Rick Moser, special-teams captain on the Steelers' 1978 and 1979 Super Bowl teams, told ESPN.com that steroid and amphetamine use was "no big deal" back in the day because neither substance was banned. He recalled one offensive lineman having such a low-fat, chiseled physique that his nickname was "Dianabol."

• Former running back and Vietnam War hero Rocky Bleier confirmed to ESPN.com that he, too, relied on the muscle-building steroid Dianabol to kick-start his offseason conditioning.

• Offensive guard Terry Long tried to kill himself with rat poison after he tested positive for steroids in 1991. (He died in 2005 from drinking antifreeze.) An ex-Steelers lineman told ESPN.com, "To be honest, Terry Long, for example, was 5-foot-10. OK, how is Terry Long going to play NFL football at 5-10 without [performance-enhancing drugs]?"

 

According to an affidavit obtained by ESPN.com, Courson told Steelers physician Dr. Anthony Yates about his steroid use during a 1983 preseason examination. In the July 15, 1997 affidavit, signed by Yates and filed in an unsuccessful lawsuit brought by Courson against the NFL Retirement Board, the team doctor said he warned Courson of the dangers, but because of patient-doctor privacy issues, he did not report Courson's steroid use to the Steelers or the NFL. Yates remains with the Steelers and also serves as physician to several former players.

Yates referred ESPN.com's requests for comment to team spokesman Dave Lockett, who said the doctor had no memory of the statement sworn to in the affidavit. "I don't think he has any recollection of a conversation with Steve," Lockett said. "That is something he doesn't recall." The Steelers' spokesman accurately noted that Courson's drug use came at a time when the league had no steroid policy.

 

Bleier, now 62, said Dianabol and other steroids didn't carry a stigma back in his playing days. They weren't illegal or banned and the media was still decades away from jumping on the topic, so it wasn't considered scandalous to cycle through steroids while weightlifting during the offseason. The muscle-building drugs -- first popularized by West Coast bodybuilders in the 1950s -- were part of an evolving locker room environment that mirrored the businesslike growth of the pro game, he indicated.

 

"It wasn't so much a culture, but a mindset," said Bleier, now a Pittsburgh construction company owner who also travels the country as a motivational speaker. "Meaning this: 'You asked me to play this game, OK. And to be the best that I can be.' So all of a sudden [steroids] become available. And you go, 'OK, fine, it helps.' It becomes part of your training routine. Not, again, to abuse. But just as an aid, like everything else. "It's not illegal. Doctors can get it for you. You can get it over the counter or whatever it is. So you do it You wanted to compete. You wanted to play."

Former defensive end L.C. Greenwood said he never dabbled in steroids. Even so, late in his career, he said he became suspicious of some teammates, most of whom played on the offensive line.

 

"Some of them got bigger and more muscular," said Greenwood, a member of the Steelers' famed Steel Curtain defensive line. "Like I say, you see them in January and they look a certain way. Then you saw them again in July or when training camp started and they looked a certain way, which was different. So something was going on."

 

Dr. Julian Bailes said he was already familiar with talk about the Steelers and widespread doping when he joined the team's medical staff in 1988. Though Bailes said he never witnessed it in his 10 seasons there, he suspected some players were using, based on their appearance. He suggested NFL usage peaked in the 1980s and '90s.

"I think the NFL and pro sports has followed all the evolution of the designer drugs that we have heard about in recent years -- the whole BALCO, Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco allegations in baseball," said Bailes, now the chairman of the department of neurosurgery at West Virginia University's School of Medicine and author of "When Winning Costs Too Much: Steroids, Supplements, and Scandal in Today's Sports World." "If there is a serious intent to cheat and beat the system, there are always those out there who can do that. I think if you are really interested in abusing the system, there are ways to go to certain labs, especially in the offseason, and experiment and find out how much you can use [and not fail a drug test].

 

"Also, with HGH, they are nondetectable. Nobody knows this for a fact, but my feeling is there is still probably a fair amount of HGH use which goes on. And I think there are serious cheaters who cheat either by using relatively smaller amounts and learning to predict how their blood levels will rise or who cycle in the offseason, or use designer drugs in a few cases."

 

The late Steve Courson's girlfriend, Denise Masciola, said Courson's outspoken stance on steroids cost him friends on the Steelers. Mike Fish/ESPN.com

 

Another former Steelers offensive lineman, Ted Petersen, played for eight years in the late '70s and '80s. He said he supports Courson's claim about "significant" drug use throughout the league, but he believes it is inaccurate to single out Pittsburgh.

 

Petersen said most of what he knew about the drug culture, he learned from Courson. He described his old friend as a truth-teller and an intellectual eccentric. He recalled Courson's frustration with the league and officials who turned a blind eye to the early steroid problem.

 

Courson, Petersen said, was hurt by the failure of other players to follow his lead and discuss steroid usage, especially since none of them had broken the law or violated a league ban.

 

"I never really told this to Steve, but I'm thinking, 'What good will that do?'" said Petersen, now the athletic director at Upper St. Clair High School in an affluent Pittsburgh suburb. "Even before they were outlawed, there was such a stigma that it would be more acceptable if someone admitted or was caught using cocaine rather than steroids.

"Maybe things don't rock people's boats anymore. But the accusation or the actual admission of using steroids was really a black eye on the player back in those days."

 

Bailes, the former Steelers physician, said he understands the continued silence. "They don't want to appear that they were users, or knowledgeable," he said. "I think they worry about the negative effects on themselves, the effects and repercussions from their peers and former teammates. I'm not sure they feel there is a whole lot for an individual to gain for the discussion."

 

Courson, ironically, might not have become a whistle-blower himself if he hadn't developed cardiomyopathy -- a condition that enlarges the heart and causes it to weaken -- toward the end of his eight-year pro career. Doctors couldn't confirm that his condition was linked to steroids. But Courson, who had injected and ingested massive quantities of performance-enhancing chemicals, was moved to speak out.

 

Before his death, Courson shared some final thoughts on doping with Matt Chaney, another friend and author of the forthcoming book, "Spiral of Denial: Muscle Doping in American Football." At one point in hours of taped interviews, Courson said: "Anyone who can think knows that players are biochemical machines, basically killer drones. I knew back in '82 and '83, when I really started getting into anabolics, that I was a lethal machine at that point, with my parameters of size and speed. On or off the field, I could really hurt somebody, and that scared even me. "Now the parameters of size, strength and speed have taken another leap. And what other way do we have to explain this? In other words, the evidence is obvious, but there are sycophants and administrators of the sport who still want to use the term 'isolated.'

 

"It's the old code, man. It's the conspiracy of silence, the code of dishonor.''

Mike Fish is an investigative reporter for ESPN.com. He can be reached at michaeljfish@gmail.com.

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So it says players were using things that weren't banned. Got it. Is there anything in that nice little article that isn't common knowledge or that implicates the Steelers as cheating? You're off-the-scale upset because there were rumors that possibly some of the Steelers were doing something that wasn't against the rules?

 

No, I think you're upset because your team has been so terrible for so long and your temper gets the best of you because you're tired of apologizing to Steeler fans who don't care about what you seem to be so mad about. It's called jealousy. You are flat out jealous and it eats at you every day that you have to continually defend such a pathetic team while getting pimp slapped by Stuart and JSD post after post.

 

Chill man, sometimes it seems like a good many of you hate the Steelers more than you love your own team. You'll never diminish what Steeler fans are proud of because this crap doesn't mean anything to us. It just makes you look jealous and petty.

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This is why I don't think the Rooney Family is heroic. They should have put an end to this rather than hire an HGH doctor for 22 years. I feel worse about this article than Steeler fans that only want to count counterfeit trophies and rings. That football program just hasn't offered anything to root for.

 

Steelers lost 18 former Players Since 2000

By LA Times in 2006

 

One was lifting weights at home. Another was training for a triathlon. A third was watching a game at a friend's house.

Regular guys doing regular things.

Then there were the others.

One drank antifreeze. Another was in a high-speed chase.

Two things in common among all:

They were Pittsburgh Steelers; and they died in the last six years.

Fresh off their first Super Bowl victory in 26 years, the Steelers have experienced the emotional gamut. The franchise has lost 18 former players -- age 35 to 58 -- since 2000, including seven in the last 16 months.

"There is no explanation," said Joe Gordon, a Steelers executive from 1969 through '98. "We just shake our heads and ask why."

The numbers are startling. Of the NFL players from the 1970s and '80s who have died since 2000, more than one in five -- 16 of 77 -- were Steelers.

"It's just an anomaly that we can't explain," said John Stallworth, who starred at receiver for Steelers teams from 1974 to 1987. "From an emotional standpoint it just makes you sad and makes you feel like the time we spent together was even more precious."

Freak accidents led to some of the deaths, and at least one was a suicide. Others share hauntingly familiar details.

Seven died of heart failure: Jim Clack, 58; Ray Oldham, 54; Dave Brown, 52; Mike Webster, 50; Steve Furness, 49; Joe Gilliam, 49; and Tyrone McGriff, 41. (In 1996, four years before the steady succession of Steelers deaths, longtime center Ray Mansfield died of a heart attack at 55.)

There is speculation that steroid abuse could have played a role in some of the deaths, but no hard evidence. It's just as plausible that weight issues were a factor. Counting Mansfield, five of the eight heart-attack victims played on the offensive or defensive line.

The circumstances surrounding some of the other deaths were unusual:

  • Steve Courson, 50, was killed outside his Farmington, Pa., home in November while trying to remove a 44-foot tree from his property. The former guard was crushed while apparently trying to save his dog, after a gust of wind changed the direction of the falling tree. His black Labrador retriever was found alive, tangled in Courson's legs.
  • In March 2005, David Little was bench-pressing weights alone at his Miami home when the coroner determined he suffered a heart arrhythmia, causing the 46-year-old former linebacker to drop a 250-pound barbell on his chest. The bar rolled across his neck and suffocated him.
  • Terry Long, 45, an offensive guard whose eight-year career was derailed by a positive test for steroids, committed suicide in Pittsburgh in June 2005 by drinking antifreeze. Twice divorced, he had serious legal problems stemming from his failed food-processing business and had made two previous suicide attempts.
  • The youngest of the Steelers to die was 36-year-old Justin Strzelczyk, a tackle who had a series of run-ins with the law after he retired. He died after a 40-mile, high-speed chase on the New York Thruway in September 2004. Driving his Ford F-250 pickup at speeds in excess of 100 mph, Strzelczyk made obscene gestures and tossed beer bottles at the police following him. The chase came to a fiery end when, while on the wrong side of the road, he slammed into a tanker truck.

The string of deaths -- most recently that of receiver Theo Bell, who died June 21 of kidney disease and the skin ailment scleroderma -- have reverberated through the Steelers, the city of Pittsburgh and beyond.

"Just the fact that the Steelers are such an integral part of this community -- probably more so than most NFL cities -- it obviously hits home for a lot of people," Gordon said. "It's hard to accept."

Men who won a combined 20 Super Bowl rings, the deceased Steelers were part of one of the most hallowed organizations in sports. "When I was young I convinced myself that I was going to do something with my life so that my death wouldn't be the end of me," Stallworth said. "In the lives of these men, they were a part of something special. People in Pittsburgh and around the country will remember them for that."

Some were as much pioneers as players. Gilliam was among the NFL's first black quarterbacks. He started for Pittsburgh in 1974 before Terry Bradshaw reclaimed the job.

When Gilliam's career ended, his life took a downward turn. He struggled with addictions to cocaine and heroin, and sometimes was homeless. In 1995, he was discovered sleeping in a cardboard box under a bridge in Nashville.

But his life was on an upswing just before his death. Saying he was drug free, he lectured children on the perils of drug abuse. In 2000, on Christmas Day, he died while watching a football game at a friend's house.

Of the 22 players who were part of all four Pittsburgh Super Bowl teams of the 1970s, Webster was the last to retire and, after Furness, the second to die.

An All-Pro center who played in a franchise-record 220 games, "Iron Mike" was known for playing bare-armed no matter how cold the conditions, and for dominating larger defenders. He paid a price, however. Doctors said the battering he had taken damaged the frontal lobe of his brain, affecting his attention span and concentration. That likely contributed to the many setbacks he endured after his career, among them a failed marriage, a string of bad investments, and occasional homelessness.

Also after his career, he admitted he tried anabolic steroids as a player, but maintained they were not responsible for his condition. He died of a heart attack in September 2002.

"Webby was my hero," longtime Steelers tackle Tunch Ilkin said. "That broke my heart. I'd seen what was going on with his life at the end."

For years, the Steelers have been dogged by rumors that several of them used performance-enhancing drugs in the 1970s. In an interview last year, Jim Haslett, then coach of the New Orleans Saints, admitted to experimenting with steroids as a Buffalo linebacker, and said the use of those drugs among NFL players started with the Steelers. The NFL didn't begin testing for steroids until 1987, becoming the first professional sports league to do so.

Although Haslett didn't deny making those comments, he later apologized to Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who called the accusation "totally false." Former Pittsburgh receiver Lynn Swann agreed with Rooney, saying he was "very surprised" by Haslett's claim.

"He's misinformed," Swann said. "He was not a part of that team. I was on that team, and I don't use steroids. And I couldn't tell you of who was on that team if anybody used steroids. Pittsburgh the epicenter of steroid use in the NFL• No. I find that very difficult to believe."

However, Peter Furness told the Providence Journal last year that he suspects his brother, Steve, who played defensive tackle for the Steelers from 1972 through '81, used steroids. Steve Furness died in 2000.

In a 1985 interview with Sports Illustrated, Courson became the first NFL player to speak on the record about his steroid use. During his playing days, he had 20-inch biceps and could bench press 600 pounds. He later said that contributed to a life-threatening condition that weakened his heart muscles -- though he also pointed to his hard-living lifestyle as a factor.

For years, Courson was Mr. Steeler. He played in Pittsburgh from 1977 through '83, when he was part of two championship teams. In the last few years of his life, however, he stopped wearing his Super Bowl rings and contemplated starting over in the mountains of Colorado. He felt betrayed, his girlfriend said, by his teammates' refusal to come clean about their steroid use.

"He wanted them to come out and be straight, seeing as it wasn't illegal back then," said Denise Masciola, who dated Courson the last few years of his life. "None of them would. They thought it would hamper their reputation. He felt like they left him just hanging."

Former Pittsburgh safety Donnie Shell, now director of player development for the Carolina Panthers, had hoped Courson would work with Carolina players last fall. A few months earlier, the former teammates had discussed getting together.

"Then I saw it come across the crawl that Steve Courson is dead," Shell said. "You don't know why until you hear the results of the news. Sometimes it's just shocking to hear."

Shell, like Gordon, sees no rhyme nor reason to the deaths. Only a relentless drumbeat of tragedies -- and a reminder that life can be too short.

"There's nothing you can do," he said, "except pray for the families, cherish the memories that you had with them -- they're good memories -- and move on."


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By the way, nobody wants to talk about that phony yourteamcheats site?

 

Seriously, nobody else realizes who's actually behind that sack o' bullshit?

Nobody cares.....simple.

 

We hang here because we care about the Browns. Who gives a crap about NE, Brady or who is behind some dumb ass web site.

 

Maybe get a hobby or some actual interests to occupy the hours and hours and hours you invest here, in pointless and meaningless forum debates about pointless and meaningless topics.......

 

Whoops....gotta go.....just used up the 3 minutes Im willing to waste on this kind of stuff.....carry on....

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Who cares? Oh I don't know, maybe the guy WHO TOOK THE TIME TO START A TOPIC ABOUT THE WEB SITE.

 

You knuckleheads never cease to amaze me with your knuckleheadedness.

The guy who started it in May?

 

With no commentary?

 

You have to admit, you bitches are easy.

 

Z

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