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Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Oct. 12

Let's get to it:

ITHAN ZIMMER FROM EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ: After Pat Freiermuth makes a catch, I hear the fans make a chant that sounds similar to one they made some years ago. It's hard to make it out on television. What are they saying?
ANSWER: Pat Freiermuth's surname is pronounced Friar-mooth. Steelers fans are yelling "moooooooooth" after he makes a reception.

ALAN HART FROM GREENSBORO, NC: I've noticed over the years that more and more teams (MLB included) have their own version of The Terrible Towel. Were the Pittsburgh Steelers the first to claim this distinction many years ago? And have the teams that now use their own actually copying what Myron Cope started many years ago?
ANSWER: In truth, the Steelers were not the first NFL team whose fans began bringing pieces of laundry to the stadium and twirling it in support of their favorite team. That distinction belongs to the Miami Dolphins, whose fans in the Orange Bowl in the early 1970s started bringing white handkerchiefs and shaking them like pom-poms. Then the Oakland Raiders countered the Dolphins with black socks that their fans used inside Oakland-Alameda County Stadium. Then for the 1975 playoffs, Myron Cope's brainchild, the Terrible Towel, was born, and it has flourished much longer while also generating millions and millions of dollars for charity.

JAMIE BERRY FROM MILWAUKEE, WI: My favorite segments on always have been Asked and Answered and "Agree to Disagree" (the show with the motto: I'M right, HE'S wrong). Are we ever going to see any NEW episodes?
ANSWER: You might not ever see any new episodes of Agree to Disagree, but you can hear new episodes right now. Starting this season, Agree to Disagree became a podcast, and you can access the new episodes by clicking on one of the links embedded right below this answer. Since it's in podcast format, there is no longer a time limit, which gives us more time to bicker, crack jokes, and make fun of each other.

CARSTEN BRAUN FROM NEUWIED, GERMANY: Greetings from Germany. So excited to get an NFL game in Germany in the coming years. It seems that at the moment, matchups for the International Series are less attractive games, such as Falcon vs. Jets, which recently was played in London, and that's understandable. But I have heard every NFL team is asked to participate in the International Series over the upcoming eight years. Are teams involved in the decision as to where they will play their International Series game, and which country would the Steelers prefer? Please don't leave the fast increasing (and interesting) German market solely to the hated Patriots.
ANSWER: With regard to any schedule-making, the NFL will take input from teams, but that input doesn't necessarily have any impact on the final decision. Steelers President Art Rooney II said some years ago that he volunteered the team for a game in Mexico, because the Steelers have a significant fan base there, conducted annual football camps there, and played a preseason game in Mexico City in 2000. And I sympathize with your potential plight with the Patriots, and all I can offer is the solace that comes with at least it's not the Ravens.

HOSEA McMURTREY FROM SAN ANTONIO, TX: It was pretty hard to miss how drained and exhausted the Steelers defense looked after the game against Denver. Is there a league rule allowing or banning snacks on the sideline to supplement the water and Gatorade?
ANSWER: I'm sure there is some rule about non-approved items on an NFL sideline during a game, from apparel to drinks to food, even, but I don't know that an NFL game is so long that players would require nourishment to get through it. Lost fluids have to be replaced, and teams are permitted to have oxygen on the sideline for players who might find that useful. But I don't believe an NFL training staff could be convinced a player needs food to get through a three-hour game, especially since all teams serve a pregame meal to all players a few hours before kickoff.

ROD KEEFER FROM EDMOND, OK: Sorry to hear about JuJu Smith-Schuster's injury, and although the Steelers have some depth at the wide receiver position, given the injuries to date, what would you think of pulling Travis Fulgham from the Eagles' practice squad? He torched us last year and had decent numbers.
ANSWER: For the record, Travis Fulgham, 26, a former sixth-round pick of the Detroit Lions, caught 10 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown during a 2020 regular season game against the Steelers. He is 6-foot-2, 215 and played his college football at Old Dominion. With that out of the way, this sounds like a fantasy football question to me, or at least a question submitted by someone who plays fantasy football and has developed a fantasy football mind-set. That is: Every time some player is injured or otherwise has his availability impacted during a season, the immediate response to the situation is to sign someone from the outside. But this is not fantasy football, this is the real world, and so that way of thinking ignores such things as this new player having to learn a new offensive system and new terminology, having the new player learn to adjust to his new teammates and coaches and to have his new teammates and coaches learn to adjust to him. Are there any idiosyncrasies in the way he runs certain patterns, and how much repetition with Ben Roethlisberger will be required before both receiver and quarterback can be considered on the same page? And when is that extra practice supposed to take place, because teams already have a full week just in preparing for the upcoming opponent? And finally, it's not as though the Steelers are going to take some guy off the street and insert him into the starting lineup or into a significant role within the offense as a receiver. Much more realistic is that part of JuJu Smith-Schuster's role will be divided among some of the players already on the 53-man roster, and if there is any other trickle-down to be managed there are guys on the practice squad who have been with the team and working with the team to step up and take on that burden. That is how the Steelers typically have handled these kinds of situations, and without knowing the extent of Smith-Schuster's injury at the time I'm writing this, that's how I would expect them to handle this situation, too.

ANGELO MORELLA FROM POLAND, OH: With JuJu Smith-Schuster's injury, do you think the Steelers would snatch wide receiver Travis Fulgham off the Eagles practice squad (if he's not protected)? I recall watching him light up the Steelers secondary for 10 catches and 152 yards.
ANSWER: Ah, another fantasy football GM checking in. See above answer.