New look for Steelers throwback jersey

Isaac Redman couldn't contain his smile as he proudly showed off the Steelers new throwback jersey, one that brings back memories of the early days of Steelers football.

"They went way back for this one," said Redman. "I love the numbers in the box. It all goes together. I love it.

"When I first put it on I was kind of skeptical about the pants, but once you put everything on and see it in the mirror, I really like it a lot. I don't know how everybody else is going to take it, but I really like the stripes. It's kind of cool to be the first Steeler to put this uniform on. It's something I can tell my kids and always brag about."

The jersey, which was originally worn during the 1934 season when the Steelers were known as the "Pirates," is black and gold horizontal stripes with block numbers in a white box. The jersey will be worn with tan pants and black and gold striped socks. In those days players wore leather helmets, but fear not, the Steelers will stick to the traditional black helmets this time around.

"I think it looks great. It's eye-popping," said Steelers President Art Rooney II at a press conference at Heinz Field to unveil the jersey. "It will be fun to see how everybody reacts to it. It will be fun to see (the players) reaction to it as well."

The Steelers are celebrating their 80th season in 2012 and choosing the 1934 jersey allows them to celebrate the early days of the franchise.

"In deciding what year to throw back to we thought it was a good time to make a change and sort of go way back in history and be able to recall the early days of the franchise and the early days of pro football," said Rooney. "Given it's our 80th season we wanted to go back and recall some of the early days of the franchise. Back in the 1990's we wore the 1933 jersey for a throwback game. We thought this would be something different and help us recall the old days of pro football.

"The only pictures we had are in black and white. They appeared as prison uniforms, black and white stripes. It wasn't until about 10 years ago a relative of one of the players who had one of the jerseys sent it to us. That was the first time we saw a color version of it, which was fun."

The 1934 team got its name, the "Pirates," from Pittsburgh's professional baseball team because at that time Art Rooney, Sr., the team's founder, wanted to align with their popularity.

"My grandfather felt he needed to borrow a little of the shine of the better known professional sports team in town," said Rooney. "The Pirates were the big team in town and he thought he could borrow some of that luster."

While the 1934 team didn't have a lot of success on the field, going just 2-10, Redman expects much different results in the jersey when they wear it for two games this season.

"We are going to make up for that team and come through and have a great season with these jerseys," said Redman. "I am really looking forward to going out and performing in them."

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