Talking Steelers Football With Hank Williams, Jr.
Country music legend Hank Williams, Jr. has been a Steelers fan for as long as he can remember and takes advantage of every opportunity he gets to come to Pittsburgh.
Williams was a part of the team's 75th Season celebration last year, signing the National Anthem before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field.
"The Rooney's are great," said Williams. "They have done so many special things for me. They know that my love for the team comes from inside my heart. I've worn so many Steelers things in so many auditoriums in my life. It doesn't matter what city I am in."
Williams recently took time out to talk with Teresa Varley for a feature on Steelers.com titled Talking Steelers Football.
When you hear the name Steelers what is the first thing that comes to mind?
I would have to say Franco Harris, Chuck Noll, Terry Bradshaw and Joe Greene. That's the first thing that comes to mind.
How did you become a Steelers fan?
I became a fan a long, long time ago. I got way back. Terry Bradshaw and I were born in the same hospital in Louisiana, just a little over a year apart. He was an underdog and so was I. I kept saying we are from the same place, me and him. I have something in common with him. He recorded I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. People don't remember that. That was a long time ago. We are lucky he stuck to football.
What are some of your favorite Steelers memories?
The Immaculate Reception would be one of them and the victories over the Cowboys in the Super Bowl. My most bitter memory would be Super Bowl XXX. I was so mad. I was mad for weeks. The defense did such a job on Emmitt Smith and then the quarterback just blew it. My best memory though would be after winning Super Bowl XL and my children getting their picture taken with Jerome Bettis, Troy Polamalu, Ben Roethlisberger and Mr. Rooney. I also loved watching Bill Cowher with that Super Bowl Trophy.
How closely do you follow the team? *I talk to people in the Steelers office almost every week. We speak a lot. I went to training camp a few years ago. I don't get to see all of the games, but I do watch a lot of them on tape because of my schedule.
*You were a part of the team's 75th season celebration. What was that like for you?
It was just wonderful. To be a part of that was great. I wear my 75th season hat and jersey all of the time. We shared all kinds of stories. There was a lot of that.
As a Steelers fan what is it like to sing the National Anthem at Heinz Field?
It is the ultimate without a doubt.
What do you think of the job Mike Tomlin has done so far?
I knew from the very beginning that the players really liked him and that is so important. That is very important.
Is there a current player who you really enjoy watching or respect their game?
It wouldn't be just one. Kendall Simmons with fighting the diabetes you have to respect that guy. My daughter has diabetes. You have to respect a guy playing in the National Football League with diabetes. The other one is Ben Roethlisberger. He has really taken some punishment and you have to have respect for Big Ben.
What current Steelers player would you like to have singing back-up for you?
It would be Hines Ward. I have heard him sing before. I would stay away from Bradshaw unless we did an album called, "Just for Laughs."
What current Steelers player do you think has the poise to sing the National Anthem at a game?
I think that would be easy for a lot of those guys, but I bet some of them would freeze up. I am going to pick Justin Hartwig. That wouldn't be hard for him. I've gotten to know Justin and I think he could handle it.