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View Full Version : Todd Haley and his Steeler connection...interesting



HardlinerKC
11-20-2009, 08:52 AM
Ramping up to what amounts to the Chief's 2009 "Super Sunday" game, here's a story on head coach Todd Haley from the KC scribe that you might find interesting. I did:

Once a person becomes infected, they are largely helpless to do anything about this powerful force that’s taken up residence in them. When it enters the blood stream, it quickly moves to the heart and brain and never leaves.

They are hypocycloids.

Chiefs head coach Todd Haley’s blood contains hypocycloids. He’s had them since birth and no medication known to man can rid his body of them. Haley will work very hard this weekend to keep his personal hypocycloids under control.

Hypocycloids are those three stars that are part of the logo for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yellow, orange and blue stars, they signify the elements needed to make steel: coal, iron ore and steel scrap. Hypocycloids are diamond shapes with inward curving edges, creating stars with four points. Developed as the logo for the American steel industry right around 1960, the Steelers first put them on their gold helmets in 1962. The next season they changed to the black helmets they wear today. The logo went along.

Ever since, the three hypocycloids have come to represent the professional football team of Pittsburgh, and they’ve been coursing through his veins for the better part of Haley’s 42 years.

And Sunday, he will see them again as the Steelers visit Arrowhead Stadium to take on Haley’s Chiefs.
“Without a doubt, my memories of the Steelers will never be taken away,” said Haley. “It was a phenomenal time to grow up in Pittsburgh and then to actually have a connection to the Steelers through my father and me getting to work for them in a much lower capacity. Those are tremendous, tremendous memories.

“The year they went back to the Super Bowl a few years ago (2005) when they played Seattle, they showed all the old [TV] clips and my wife elbows me and says, ‘are you crying?’ They’re great, great memories and there are still a lot of people there who mean a lot to me.”

Was he crying watching tape of the Immaculate Reception and like moments from Steelers history?

“She knows I’m a pushover,” Haley said with a smile. “I cry at commercials.”

A five-year old Haley was wrapped up in a sleeping bag on the afternoon of December 23, 1972 at Three Rivers Stadium when Terry Bradshaw’s pass bounced off Oakland safety Jack Tatum and Pittsburgh running back Frenchy Fuqua and ricocheted into the arms of Franco Harris, who went for the winning touchdown in a first-round game in the playoffs.

“I was there,” Haley said. “I don’t remember seeing the play. But I’ve seen it a million times since.”

A few years later, Haley would start going to Steelers training camp at St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, PA. with his father Dick, the Steelers player personnel director. He’d work the locker room and the practice field. A few years later, he started working on game day at the stadium. He began as the water boy, working behind the Steelers bench, filling cups with water and Gatorade. He delivered those cups to the players when they came off the field and sat on the bench.

From there, he moved up to towel boy. His job was to make sure any player on the Steelers sideline that needed a towel had one, and we aren’t talking about Terrible Towels here either.

It was the next step up the game-day ladder that Haley really enjoyed: he was promoted to ball boy. He worked the opponent’s sideline, stationed at the line of scrimmage.

“I was a freshman in high school and I worked the opposite sideline,” Haley said. “I was in our locker room before during and after the game, but I got a chance to see the other guys too. I saw Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, John Elway. I tended to gravitate towards the quarterbacks. Art Schlichter really stands out in my mind. The whole game, he just never stopped talking to me. He would be grabbing the balls, knocking them out of my hands.”

Haley confesses to being one of the worst ball boys imaginable.

“I was awful,” Haley said. “I was the biggest Steelers fan and I was cheering, usually loudly. It was very unprofessional.”

While a young Haley tended to pay attention to quarterbacks, his idol was a quarterback-enemy, middle linebacker Jack Lambert (left).

“Just being in the locker room with him, watching him get ready to play a game, then after the game watching him and this little, tight-knit group of Lambert, Jack Ham, Ray Mansfield. They would go in the backroom of the locker room after the game, drinking beers and talk about the game.”

“Jack Lambert was my favorite player.”

Lambert is gone from the Steelers, but guys like James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley and a safety like Troy Polamalu are now in place and the results are quite similar.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge; they are a well-coached team; Coach Tomlin has done an unbelievable job with a very talented team and Coach LeBeau, how can you be a better coach than he’s been over the years?” Haley said. “It’s a great challenge.”

An especially great challenge when you’ve got hypocycloids in your blood. Haley found that out back in February when the Steelers and Arizona Cardinals faced off in the Super Bowl. As an NFL coach, all he dreamed about was winning a Super Bowl. Now, to get that chance he had to beat the team of his dreams.
And there were the Cardinals, after scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter, holding a three-point lead with two minutes, 30 seconds left in the game. Haley watched helplessly from the sidelines as Ben Roethlisberger took the Steelers 78 yards in eight plays hitting Santonio Holmes with a six-yard TD pass with 35 seconds to play (right).

Until this week, Haley had not watched the game tape of the Super Bowl. But in preparation for this Sunday’s game, he finally pulled the tape and watched.

“It would be on the TV where they were re-running it and I would walk through and I just couldn’t bring myself to watch it,” said Haley. “It was a painful, painful, painful experience. I’m glad I had it, but that’s hard when you’ve got the lead in the Super Bowl to be world champs and you end up on the wrong side of it. It’s really hard to swallow as a competitor or a person.”

As he showed back on February 1, Haley can mask his hypocycloids enough to compete against the Steelers. A Chiefs victory would be oh so special, even if he can’t get some of his friends to root for him.

“I know the Super Bowl was a surreal experience having to play of all the teams the Steelers,” Haley said. “I had to fight with my friends because Steelers fans don’t convert. Most of my other friends who are fans of other teams they convert to wherever I am. But my Steelers fans don’t convert. They stay.

That’s what happens when somebody gets hypocycloids; it’s in their blood forever.

steelblood
11-20-2009, 09:03 AM
Thanks. Awesome article.

I'd love to see an article that traces all of the current NFL head coaches and impact players that grew up in the Pittsburgh area.

I've seen some that trace some the QBs and coaches. But, I've never seen a comprehensive list of current and past players and coaches. Does anyone know of one?

SteelAbility
11-20-2009, 09:07 AM
Good article. I did not know this about Haley. It's a shame we couldn't get him, cause we really need a good offensive coordinator. :stirpot

Two things Hardliner ...

1. Are you secretly a Steelers fan?
2. If not, you will soon be assimilated. Resistance is futile. 8)

stlrz d
11-20-2009, 09:58 AM
Orange?????


Hypocycloids are those three stars that are part of the logo for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yellow, orange and blue stars, they signify the elements needed to make steel: coal, iron ore and steel scrap.

http://www.nflfootballstadiums.com/images/Pittsburgh-Steelers-Logo.gif

He should have explained that the Cleveland Steel logo contained orange...because I'm sure plenty of people reading the story are going to look at the Steelers logo and wonder why he said orange.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2a/Steelmark_logo.png

Oh yeah...one more thing....

http://images.cheezburger.com/completestore/2009/7/9/128916327869614780.jpg

phillyesq
11-20-2009, 10:46 AM
Hardliner, thanks for posting. That was a very good read.

papillon
11-20-2009, 10:48 AM
I guess because I never had any aspirations to become employed by an NFL team it's easy to say I could never coach a team other than the Steelers. But, how in the name of all that is good can he coach a team other than the Steelers? He had first hand experience with the players that started the last 35 years of Steeler tradition.

I'm happy for his success and hope he can turn the Chiefs around, not Sunday mind you, but in the future. It's always nice to see former Steeler players, coaches and even ball boys be successful and profess their admiration of the Steeler organization.

Here's to Todd Haley :Cheers

Pappy

RuthlessBurgher
11-20-2009, 11:11 AM
I think it is dangerous for him to be coaching in the AFC West, because that means that he has to travel to Denver every single year. It seems to me that having hypocycloids in your blood would be more painful in the thin mountain air than having sickle cells. :wink:

phillyesq
11-20-2009, 12:53 PM
I think it is dangerous for him to be coaching in the AFC West, because that means that he has to travel to Denver every single year. It seems to me that having hypocycloids in your blood would be more painful in the thin mountain air than having sickle cells. :wink:

Plus, I hear that hypocycloids attract the occasional stray bullet in Denver. :lol:

rpmpit
11-20-2009, 12:59 PM
Thanks Hardliner. They did a story on this during the SBXLIII pre-game (I think). Good luck to Todd and the Chiefs...after this week :twisted:

Mister Pittsburgh
11-20-2009, 01:08 PM
“I’m looking forward to the challenge; they are a well-coached team; Coach Tomlin has done an unbelievable job with a very talented team and Coach LeBeau, how can you be a better coach than he’s been over the years?” Haley said. “It’s a great challenge.”

No mention of the greatness of Bruce Arians and his football genius? :shock: :lol: