RICHMOND, Va. -- Amazing Pittsburgh fans booed Jaromir Jagr and Barry Bonds, but perhaps no returning player ever approached the level of loathing that welcomed Cliff Stoudt back to Three Rivers as a member of the fledgling USFL's Birmingham Stallions in the spring of 1984.
He was plenty reviled in his time as a Steeler, as much for his erratic play as for not being Terry Bradshaw, and the crowd that day was intent on letting him know it…to the extent that the football game, the first home game for the brand-spanking-new Maulers franchise, was almost beside the point.
The timing, surely, had a lot to do with it. Stoudt (and the rest of the Steelers) had played miserably in a 38-10 drubbing at the hands of the Raiders in the playoffs on New Year’s Day, and here he was, barely 10 weeks later, wearing the jersey of the opposing team. It had to seem too good to be true to many of the 53, 771 who forked over the cash for a ticket that day.
It’s the sort of story that would be covered to death in today’s media landscape, but would ultimately not amount to all that much. Still, with recent events in mind, one can’t help but wish that Oakland were on the 2019 schedule. Or better yet, that AB had been traded to the Athletics, who’ll be in town the first week of June!
[caption id="attachment_790760" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] ROB ULLMAN / DKPS[/caption]