Steelers Preseason Helmet Numbers

     The Bengals, Broncos and Bills are now in, plus we are looking at updating the Jaguars and Panthers, and discussion is continuing on the 1970 New York Giants as mentioned a few days ago.  While all the teams are not complete, we have also managed to add to the site pages for the AFC, NFC and Super Bowl Champions through the years.  Broken links on the site should now be at a minimum.  There are still plenty of items to be added by next weekend, however, when we officially launch on June 12.

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     As we analyzed the 1970 Giants-Steelers game a few days ago, we revisited the issue of the Steelers' pre-season front helmet numbers (or lack thereof, actually.)  They have a tradition of not putting the helmet numbers on until the regular season, as was discussed by Uni Watch's Paul Lukas in an ESPN Page 2 story a couple years ago. We won't delve too far into this topic, as it is out of the scope of the Gridiron Database, and more suited to be covered by Uni Watch in general, however after looking into this, with the help of Jerry Wolper, we concluded that the tradition did exist in 1970, as in the earlier August 15 preseason game against the Vikings, the numbers were not there.  We concluded, most likely, that they decided to add the numbers early that year only because it was a nationally televised game & stadium opener (and left them there, as they were still there for the next preseason game in Shreveport against the Boston Patriots.)
Rookie QB Bradshaw in his homecoming
to Shreveport, LA still had his helmet
numbers here on September 4.
Steelers 3rd QB Mike Quinn in '98
     This was the first year for this tradition, as it did not exist in 1969, and it was in full swing the following year, and preseason helmet numbers have not been used by Pittsburgh since.  Even when they had another national television appearance, in the 1998 Hall Of Fame Game against Tampa Bay, their helmets were still sans the numbers.

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