Heyl: Steelers' apparel gets cheeky
By Eric Heyl, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, August 6, 2010
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Prepare yourself for the arrival of the Terrible Thong.
The NFL is partnering with Victoria's Secret to introduce a line of team-themed clothing and lingerie. Among the initial 13 teams to have their logos emblazoned on ladies' loungewear are your own Pittsburgh Steelers.
I know. You can almost hear the late Steelers broadcaster Myron Cope, inventor of the sacred Terrible Towel, exclaiming "Double Yoi!" from beyond the grave.
You can almost see the snarl of disgust on the face of Jack Lambert, the legendary Steelers linebacker and all-around he-man. Lambert once famously questioned the masculinity of NFL quarterbacks by suggesting they wear dresses.
You can almost see the inquisitive look of former New York Jets quarterback and Beaver Falls native Joe Namath, who brazenly donned pantyhose in a TV commercial in the early 1970s. Sorry, Broadway Joe, I don't believe this merchandise could be peddled successfully by a 67-year-old man.
No black-and-gold bustiers are on the shelves at local Victoria's Secret stores, as the Steelers line won't arrive until next week. But among the items available online right now are several varieties of hipster panties selling for a mere $10.50.
One is black and has "I (heart) Steelers" written on it, with the heart an appropriate color of gold. Another is decorated not just with the Steelers logo but a group of little pink hearts.
Can't wait to see fans line up at training camp in Latrobe to seek Ben Roethlisberger's autograph on those babies.
If you're surprised that the NFL in general and the Steelers in particular are invading intimate apparel outlets, you haven't been paying attention. As far back as 2006, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell indicated the league was going girlie and attempting to court more female fans.
"It's a very big initiative," he said then in an interview with Reuters. "(Women) fans wanted to be treated as real fans because they love the game and they understand the game and they want to have the opportunity to experience the game." Just like many men do -- by wearing something soft and silky underneath.
While many Steelers fans undoubtedly are thrilled over the team's long-overdue logo debut on lingerie, the line of Victoria's Secret Steelers wear is not without its disappointments:
• For now, fans are not expected to be able to purchase items with the name and number of their favorite player stitched on the back. So forget about ordering that Casey Hampton camisole.
• Nor is there available a sheer negligee with strategically placed likenesses of the Steelers' six Super Bowl trophies.
• Most importantly, none of the items bears the image of the leering and unsettling Steelers mascot Steely McBeam.
Ultimately, those are minor issues. The important consideration is that this mixture of a game of brute force and clothing of frilly femininity is sure to make Steelers opponents uneasy.
Just think how intimidated they'll be when they take the field and see thousands of frenzied fans waving those Terrible Thongs.