By Teresa Varley
The Steelers traded in their cleats for bowling shoes on Tuesday as they opted for a day at the lanes instead of hitting the field for another OTA practice.
"It's good to get a chance to hang out in a different environment" said cornerback Deshea Townsend. "It's always a lot of fun to do something other than football together. It gives you a chance to know the kind of people your teammates are.
"It's also another chance to compete and everybody's true competitive nature comes out. When people get to talking the competitive side comes out. You get to see a lot of different personalities."
When you get that many competitive athletes out there pride is definitely on the line.
Rookie Dennis Dixon, who enjoys bowling in his free time, had a strong showing. He bowled a 207 in his second game after getting the kinks out.
"The first game isn't always good. I had to warm up," said Dixon. "But I wanted to show I am a good bowler and I am willing to compete against anybody. We compete all of the time. It's fun to get away from football and compete in something else for a while."
Punter Dan Sepulveda, who was disappointed with his poor showing when he went bowling last year, has been getting in plenty of practice since then and had the best score of the day bowling a 237 game.
"It started last year when I was awful," said Sepulveda. "My highest game last year at Unity Bowl was 117. I can't do that. I can't let myself do that. I knew I was better than that. I practiced and came out and showed a little improvement."
Sepulveda might have had a slight advantage though.
"I had my own ball," said Sepulveda. "It's something I do carry with me. I keep it in my car. I made sure it was in my car this particular day."
And of course, that didn't go unnoticed by his teammates.
"He had his own shoes on too," said a smiling Townsend. "Everybody else was forced to play with the things they had there. I don't think it's fair. His score is tops, but it's like Spygate with an asterisk next to it."