Nothing becomes out of date more quickly than that which labored so hard to be up-to-date to begin with. Whether we are talking about architecture, car design, or clothes, the principle is still true. Yesterday’s home/car/clothes of tomorrow will always look like yesterday. Which is why I, for one, have no objection to this year’s throwback jerseys. Some have grumbled that they are nothing more than our current jerseys with block numbers. To which I say “Dilly dilly.” What that tells me is that our current uniforms are not au courant. but timeless, classic, transcendent above the blowing winds of fashion. Just like the Steelers.
Which team was among the last to move from a 4-3 defense to the 3-4? The Pittsburgh Steelers. Which team never adapted a wildcat offense? The Pittsburgh Steelers. Which team is among the few that still hasn’t gone back to the 4-3 defense? The Pittsburgh Steelers. Which team was among the last to adopt the shotgun formation? The Pittsburgh Steelers. Which team is among the very few that has no cheerleaders? The Pittsburgh Steelers. Which team is the only one to have its logo on only one side of its helmet? Which team has had three head coaches over the past more than fifty years? The Pittsburgh Steelers. Which team is the greatest team to ever play the game? The Pittsburgh Steelers.
I am not trying to suggest that the Steelers wear gear from the Knute Rockne era, nor run plays from his playbook. Of course change happens, especially as the rules of the game change. But there is a great difference between a continent shifting over centuries and a violent earthquake every few years. Continuity, sticking with what works, not trying to be all things to all men, these are the things that make a franchise successful year in and year out, decade after decade. And they are reflected in our uniforms. Slow and steady wins the race.
There are changes I give thanks for. And it is certainly possible to be allergic to change to a fault. We were, after all, for decades, the Same Old Steelers. I’m not averse to a little spice here and there. Though I liked them for a while, I’m glad for the end of the bumblebee throwbacks. Though I am not in a hurry to move on from this year’s throwbacks, I will enjoy it when the team revives the Batman uniforms. Overall, however, I’m glad the “new” Steelers that began with this year’s throwbacks, are now the Same Old Steelers- consistent winners, above the fray of fashion.