As part of Alumni Weekend, a group of former players took to the stands during the Steelers-Patriots game to surprise Steelers Nation Unite members and season ticket holders with signed footballs and Terrible Towels.
Casey Hampton spent 12 seasons in the black and gold, anchoring the nose tackle position along the Steelers defensive line. A stalwart for some of the franchises best defensive squads, Hampton was loved by teammates and fans alike. Having returned to Pittsburgh this past weekend as part of the team's Alumni Weekend celebration, Hampton took some time on Wednesday afternoon to catch up with the fans and answer their questions in a live fan forum conference call.
Hosted by Steelers Nation Unite, members got to go one-on-one with Hampton during the phone call, known as the Weekly Huddle. The Official Home of Steelers Nation, Steelers Nation Unite is free to join
Among the on-field and off-the-field topics Hampton addressed were a few fun ones, including his visit to the White House after Super Bowl XL, how he got the nickname "Big Snack" and what moments stand out most to him from his playing days.
When the Steelers visited the White House to meet then-President George W. Bush, Hampton's teammates didn't believe it when he told them that he and the Commander-In-Chief knew each other from when their paths crossed at the University of Texas. When asked to confirm the story during the Weekly Huddle, Hampton wasted no time in doing just that.
"It's definitely confirmed," Hampton said. "G-Dub is my guy. We go way back from University of Texas days. We used to work out in the gym and we grew kind of close over the years. When we went to the White House, he had made sure I was coming before I came because I didn't know if I was going to go or not. Then we spoke with each other and I told him I was coming. He was excited to see me. We hadn't seen each other in a while."
To this day, Hampton is affectionately known by teammates and fans as "Big Snack" - and he gave members some insight during the call as to how the name came about and ended up sticking.
"Travis Kirschke – a long time ago they were asking questions about the best nickname on the team. Nobody had ever called me "Big Snack" before and he was just being funny and playing around," Hampton explained. "I always did snack in meetings, so he was like we all call him Big Snack. But he was just messing around and it kind of stuck with me."
"Hamp" addressed many other questions during the call, including his take on this year's squad and how he thinks the team will perform the rest of the season. However, a call with fans could not be completed without addressing the impact Hampton felt from Steelers Nation during his playing days. When asked if there was one moment or instance that stood out, he offered the following.
"My favorite memories of the fans are the road games. The Steelers [fans] travel better than any team in the NFL. When you beat a team and the stands clear out and there's nothing but Steelers fans in the crowd and you see all of those Terrible Towels wherever you're at, it's huge. It makes you really happy. It feels good to know Steelers fans are in the building and they really love their team."
To hear a full replay and check out more from today's Weekly Huddle, join Steelers Nation Unite now for free by visiting SteelersNationUnite.com.