There's not much to harp on about the Stillers' previous season. Super Bowl runs is what we've come to expect in the Steel City, and a team we all thought was capable of hunting for Pittsburgh's seventh Lombardi Trophy fell flat on their faces in Foxborough, Massachusetts--getting out-played and out-coached by the Patriots. The Patriots have been the Stillers' kryptonite since I was a kid, ruining our championship hopes on several occasions in 2001 and 2004. If you ask me, the pursuit of a world championship isn't complete until the Stillers avenge these epic losses. If you ask me, Ben Roethlisberger's major blemish is that he can't seem to topple Brady in the postseason.
The good news is that the Stillers know what kind of issues the Patriots cause. Blossoming playmaker, Ryan Shazier, thinks the League "has a Patriots problem" that the Stillers "intend to fix," he says. Coach Tomlin has clearly heeded these words this offseason, completely revamping the Stillers secondary featuring another Florida Gator from the Tebow-era BCS Championship runs--shout out Joe Haden. Our offense, though potent, especially with the return of Martavis Bryant, who came back to camp after a year suspension looking like an absolute ball-hawk, is not enough to stop the Super Bowl defending champions. Not when mastermind Bill Belichick is shrewd enough to put his team in position to score every-freaking-drive. Just ask the choke-king Atlanta Falcons. Defense wins championships, people. The young Stillers on the defensive side of the ball must grow up. Stephon Tuitt should be a constant force in the backfield. Bud Dupree should have double digit sacks. James Harrison will be James Harrison, but it'd be nice if the Watt-family pedigree panned out in TJ, which so far, it looks like. And Artie Burns must be ready for man-to-man coverage.
The Stillers have a relatively easy first eight games, facing the likes of the Browns, Bears, and Jaguars before the end of October. Knowing the Black and Yellow though, we'll find a way to lose some of those games as playing down to the level of competition is a favorite Stillers past-time. This volatility is the impetus behind the first collection of Stillers Season 01.
From the inevitable injuries that sideline Big Ben for at least one game to the late season, divison clinching heroics, the 'Rollercoaster' t-shirt is inspired by the dramatic nature of a Stillers season. That's what makes football so captivating in Pittsburgh. We win, but it's often through much adversity.
Unlike Postseason 01, this collection of t-shirts was designed, screen-printed, and dyed in-house by InTheRough staff. Color is important to Season 01 because it is contrary to Stillers tradition. Black and yellow is the norm, but look closely at the hypocycloids within the Stillers logo to find primary colors. The green hit on the multicolor 'Rollercoaster' t-shirt is a nod to Three Rivers Stadium's Gate D marker that still stands at Heinz Field today. The vision would not be possible without contributions from Justin Berk, Lanie Edwards, Alex Hersh, JR Walker, Quaishawn Whitlock, and Alex Young. Stillers t-shirts are now available for purchase here, and may they bring luck in this year's hunt for a seventh Super Bowl title.
Stillers bend, they don't break.