Courtesy of Fortify Franchising

Cartoon Canon: Throw ’em back!

RICHMOND, Va. -- I’m not going to lie to you, dear readers: The sole reason that this comic strip exists is to show off those crazy throwbacks!

I wasn’t lucky enough to see this game on television. As a matter of fact, I spent the day in question at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, watching Bill Belichick’s Browns shut out Buddy Ryan’s Cardinals, thanks to a pair of free tickets given to my pal Dave Hodge by a client of his stepfather’s accounting firm. We were both Steelers fans, but hey, free tickets were free tickets, especially for a couple of broke college students.

I came home that night and dialed up NFL Primetime, and caught the highlights of the Steelers wearing … what the HECK were they wearing?

Blank helmets?

The Pittsburgh city flag, flanked by vertical stripes?

The Steelers had sported the exact same uniform in every game I’d ever watched for over two decades. These were new, exciting, different! I immediately became obsessed with them. Luckily, about six weeks later, the Steelers donned them again, this time on Sunday Night Football, for a close road loss to those same moribund Cardinals.

For as huge a phenomenon as they’ve become, throwback uniforms were almost unheard of 25 years ago, and it’s hard to explain just how difficult it was to get a good look at these beauties at the time, at least outside of the Pittsburgh market. The internet was in it’s most nascent stages, lean on bandwidth-choking photography, and not an option. You might see a photo in a magazine, if you were lucky. But even that was almost impossible to find. You might as well try to spot a unicorn. Now, of course, there are multiple online galleries, not just of this odd set but of all the NFL teams’ throwback uniforms from the 75th anniversary season.

Of course, in the intervening years, the Steelers have brought back other looks from their storied history, most notably the so-called Bumblebee throwbacks. I was definitely a fan of those, as well … I always figure, if you’re gonna do something crazy, go full crazy… but think I’d give this look the nod over that version. However, I know each had their detractors.

I’m interested to hear your recollection and opinions on both, so I’ll see you in the comments!

[caption id="attachment_893825" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] ROB ULLMAN / DKPS[/caption]


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