Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steelers' Throwback Uniforms Draw a Lot of Attention

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steelers' Throwback Uniforms Draw a Lot of Attention

Article excerpt

Across the Steelers Nation and inside the team's locker room, there's a buzz this week about the "bumblebee."

That's cornerback Ike Taylor's term for the throwback uniforms that the team will wear Sunday afternoon when they face the Washington Redskins at Heinz Field.

Modeled after the team's 1934 duds, the uniforms feature a bold black-and-gold striped jersey with squared numbers resembling an old scoreboard, matching striped socks and taupe pants.

Reaction to the ensemble has been polarizing.

"I like them. I like the throwback, man. That bumblebee, jailhouse look from back in the day," Mr. Taylor said. He is so bullish on the uniforms that he coined his own unique phrase combining two of his favorite slang words.

"I'll try to put 'swag' and 'swurve' in the same word. How about 'swavvin'? You got to have that Looney Toons accent like Porky the Pig when you say it, too. 'Swav-v-v-v-v-v-v-in.' "

But he conceded that the uniform's horizontal stripes might not be flattering to his teammates with a bit more girth.

"I don't like to call them fat, but on the big, healthy guys, it's not going to look too good."

The "healthiest" of them all, stout nose tackle Casey Hampton, agreed.

"Sideways stripes don't do me no good," Mr. Hampton deadpanned. "Honestly, any uniform does me bad, so it can't really get any worse than it already is."

Has he tried it on yet?

"Yeah. It's pretty bad."

America agrees. An ESPN SportsNation online poll conducted this week drew nearly 8,400 respondents, with 65 percent saying they "hate" the Steelers retro getups. A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette online poll found that only 14 percent of respondents like the uniforms.

Team president Art Rooney II said the idea of the uniforms, unveiled in April to kick off the Steelers' 80th season celebration, was to harken back to the earliest days of the franchise. He said the team had worn that particular uniform design only once.

During the previous five seasons, the Steelers have worn a throwback uniform from the 1960 season featuring black jerseys with gold numbers and gold arm stripes, white pants with gold stripes, and a gold helmet. …

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