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Painting the town black and gold

Max Starks had no problem admitting his limitations.

The former Steelers offensive lineman and Steelers Radio Network sideline reporter, knows football inside and out.

But when it comes to his artistic skills, well, let's just say he isn't calling himself an artist.

"I mean, if we're going on a scale of toddler to Picasso, my skills are probably right about at toddler," joked Starks.

Regardless of his talent level, Starks and former Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats still had a wonderful time helping to guide female Steelers fans with their painting skills during the team's Ladies Night Out, presented by UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital.

"For me I will go with Vincent van Gogh to preschool," said Moats. "I also reside closer to the preschool range than the van Gogh range.

"I will say I am a guy that likes to draw and paint, so I do have a little bit of an edge on him."

The Steelers mixed things up this year for the annual Ladies Night Out. Instead of it being all about football, they turned it into an opportunity to create a fun painting the ladies could take home with them at the end of the night, which Starks and Moats signed for them.

"It's fun to get out and do these types of things," said Starks. "The female fan base is a diehard base. There are great opportunities for the female fans. It's awesome because you still get the football aspect, but you also get to have the fun with it. We all have varied interests and hobbies that we enjoy. We like to share those things and project those things, so they know we're people too. We have skillsets, some better than others in some areas. But it gives you that relatability and also gives a common ground where everybody can be equal as far as our painting skills. Some people are good, some amazing, and some are in my category. It's not all of the intensity of game day, but you have the game atmosphere because you're in the stadium and you're having fun."

Take a look at photos from the Ladies Night Out event at Heinz Field presented by UPMC Magee-Women's Hospital

The painting was something all of the ladies were familiar with – the legendary Terrible Towel waving, with Heinz Field seats behind it and 2021 on the 'jumbotron.'

And there was a twist in the painting. Midway through, or should be say at halftime, Moats and Starks had to trade off their paintings and finish the other one's artwork.

"I love it," said Moats. "As a professional athlete or a former professional athlete, we are always in a situation where we have to talk football, football, football. So anytime we are able to peel back that curtain and do something like painting, something that is maybe not one of our strong suits, but it will show our vulnerability. It shows another layer of us. For me, I love it because it helps humanize us as athletes. It takes the helmet off and says, 'Oh this is Arthur as a person, as a man, even if he does well or if he struggles with this.' Anytime we're doing activities like this it's always fun."

While painting, and enjoying a relaxing dinner, was at the forefront, you know when it comes to Steelers Nation the conversation is always centered around football. And for the ladies, the conversation can be intense.

"The women in Steelers Nation, they do a great job of not just being a fan but being students of the game as well," said Moats. "It's one of those things like you don't want to say it shocks you, but in some instances it does because this is such a male dominated sport. But the women of Steelers Nation are very in tune with it. That is the beauty of Steelers Nation. We all are invested in this team."

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