John Steigerwald's Sports Column
Bradshaw the most underrated Steelers player
Who’s the most underrated Steeler of all time?
NFL.com, obviously in need of content during the dead month of June, has been compiling its list of the most overrated and underrated players of all time for each team and the list is made up of players you might have picked, including the Steelers most underrated player of all time, L.C. Greenwood.
Included on the list of overrated is the entire offensive line from the dynasty team of the 1970s. Possible steroid use is given as the reason, which would probably eliminate at least half of the players who have played offensive tackle in the NFL since 1970.
Others who made the underrated list compiled by Bob Labriola of Steelers.com are Jon Kolb and Larry Brown, two offensive lineman who played on that ‘70s team. Another is Lynn Chadnois, a running back/wide receiver/kick returner from the 1950s.
He might have performed the most underrated feat in Steelers history. In 1952, he returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown against the Giants in a game played in the snow at Forbes Field. It was nullified by a penalty and he returned the ensuing kick for a touchdown. I’ve been watching NFL games for a long time and I don’t remember ever seeing that.
So, to answer my own question, who’s my most underrated Steeler of all time? Terry Bradshaw.
I know, he’s in the Hall of Fame and is recognized as a great quarterback, but I don ‘t think he’s mentioned enough among the all-time greats, and there are too many people in Western Pennsylvania, including many in the media, who think Ben Roethlisberger is better.
I still have never seen a quarterback who can throw a football better than Bradshaw. Don’t bore me with the stats. I know about the interceptions. It’s a different game.
He threw the ball downfield into the teeth of defenses that were allowed to knock receivers off their feet 20 yards downfield. Not only is Bradshaw underrated by most NFL fans around the country, I still think he’s underappreciated by way too many Steelers fans.
• The Patriots probably shouldn’t be counting on having their tight end, Aaron Hernandez for too many games this season. If he’s not in jail because of his alleged obstruction of justice in a murder investigation, he should be looking at a long suspension.
Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Roethlisberger for six games – later reduced to four – for being accused of two sexual assaults. He was never charged in either situation. Hernandez is suspected of destroying evidence, including the video from his home security system and his cell phone. He shouldn’t be surprised if he’s suspended for the season.
• Hernandez paid a visit to the Patriots’ facility on Thursday and was told to leave. Think he was there to get some advice from his coach on how to destroy video evidence?
• ESPN should be feeling especially good about hiring Ray Lewis as an analyst. He can speak first hand about what Hernandez is going through. Not many network analysts can make that claim.
• My nephew, Joe, pointed out late Thursday night that the Miami Heat would probably not have won back-to-back NBA championships if the state of Florida had an income tax.
• LeBron James is now in the discussion about the greatest players in NBA history, but that discussion has to begin with the ridiculous domination of Wilt Chamberlin.
I know it’s a different game now, but Chamberlin averaged 50 points and 25 rebounds for a full season. He had over 4,000 points and 2,000 rebounds in 1962 and he missed a total of eight minutes of playing time in the entire season.
• How long before the people at ESPN ask the local and/or state government in Bristol, Conn., for $40 million to build a nice addition to their world wide headquarters? Think of what having all those rich people working in Bristol does for the local economy. If the politicians don’t cough up the cash, ESPN can threaten to move to Los Angeles.
• Further proof that the human race is in deep, deep trouble: The plans for the proposed $1 billion stadium for the Atlanta Falcons – funded, of course, by taxpayers – includes a giant, 360-degree message board at the top for displaying tweets. Not to mention a retractable roof.
If you need a retractable roof on your stadium to keep your fans comfortable while watching a football game, you probably shouldn’t have an NFL franchise. Atlanta needs a dome, but Green Bay doesn’t?
• Metta World Peace of the Los Angeles Lakers, formerly known as Ron Artest, is thinking about changing his name again. He’s considering Jesus Shuttlesworth. Just thought you should know.
• Recording artist Kanye West named his newborn daughter, North. That could start a trend among the famous, including athletes:
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker: Jay
Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke: Stonecold
Penguins winger Matt Cooke: Shortorder.
Penguins Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury: Snow
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: Cheese
Former Steelers QB Charlie Batch: Whipuppa
• Summer is here! Let’s play some hockey.
John Steigerwald writes a Sunday column for the Observer-Reporter.