Stillers

Stillers™ Season 02 Available Now by Maxwell Young

Releasing the first fall drop.

Embroidered left chest designs for Season 02, available under ‘ Stillers ™’ tab. Photograph by Alex Young

Embroidered left chest designs for Season 02, available under ‘Stillers™’ tab. Photograph by Alex Young

Season 02—the fourth overall Stillers™ collection—celebrates a number of foundations in Stillers tradition. Embroidered left chest designs first executed in the inaugural collection, Post Season 01, are updated with a new colorway and slogan, “Bend Don’t Break,” a mantra uttered by Stillers icons like Mike Tomlin and Terry Bradshaw, and embodied by a resilient city. The khaki long sleeve is reminiscent of the team caps former head coach Bill Cowher sported in the early 2000s. It also represents InTheRough’s first foray into graphic print, as the back of the garment features an idyllic rendering of Three Rivers Stadium before it was home to The Steel Curtain, The Terrible Towel, and four Super Bowl championships.

The back graphic of the Khaki Stillers™ Logo Long Sleeve

Season 02 was conceptualized and designed by InTheRough staff including Maxwell Young, Alex Young, Quaishawn Whitlock, Alex Hersh, and Justin Berk. Manufacturing was executed by Touch of Grey Tees & Public Print House.

Shop Season 02 through the Stillers tab located above this article or at Senseless on Penn Avenue. Stay tuned for drop two.

Senseless

5124 Penn Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15224



The Social Media Curtain by Maxwell Young

The Stillers had just triumphed over the Kansas City Chiefs in a knock-down-drag-out of a 2016 Divisional Playoff game when Antonio Brown--not even showered and changed--let the world catch a glimpse of the rituals and gaiety that are only confided in a team's inner sanctum. Boasting numbers of 44k ("Woo! That's a lot of K's," shouted offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva in the video), the Stillers locker room was broadcast via Facebook Live starring the likes of Le'Veon Bell and a particularly enthusiastic ex-Stiller, Sammie Coates.

By now, Stillers Nation is accustomed to the pop star lifestyle of AB. If you're not, this piece by The Undefeated on Brown's social media usage should paint the proper picture.  Then there's the hip hop bars of Juice, the "Rappin' Athlete," and even the millennial virility of newcomer Juju Smith-Schuster.  Watching some of these personalities unfold during the sacred moments of that post-game was not only a demarcation in sports history but also symbolic of this generation's Pittsburgh Stillers, whose personas transcend their play on the field. 

Some might argue that's not a particularly good thing.  Le'Veon Bell, still looking to be "fairly" compensated for his value to the franchise, has surprised teammates by not reporting to the team's facilities in preparation for their season opener against the Browns.  This is a deviation from last year when Bell refrained from training camp activities only to return locked-and-loaded for a full regular season. Football was football and when it was time to strap up, Bell was in the huddle with his brothers.  Through the second year of a contract stalemate, it appears as though Bell is only concerned about himself.  And although number 26 is established as a premier player in the NFL with millions of followers to reinforce this popularity, his five seasons with fellow Killer B's Big Ben and Antonio Brown have been championship-less.  That's not Stillers football, and that’s not the track record Stillers Nation expects from one of the deadliest offensive trios to ever grace the gridiron. This team is flashy with their splash plays, creative celebrations, and bespoke Gucci suits--everything is finesse. They are not the Steel Curtain anymore, no, welcome to the Social Media Curtain where image is everything.

Personal social media accounts of Stillers players only scratch the surface of the worldwide exposure Stillers Nation has.  A quick search for "Steelers" on social platforms pulls a number of fan, news, apparel, and parody pages that provide additional commentary throughout the NFL season.  Below are a select few of these accounts as well as a conversation with John Irvin, founder of Stiller Gang, the fan base responsible for extreme tailgates, unique merchandise, and a worldwide cohort.

Pittsburgh Dad

The quintessential Yinzer--Pittsburgh Dad reinterprets what fandom of the Stillers really looks like in his weekly reaction videos on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.  His enunciation of Pittsburghese and aptitude of football culture make his skits like "At The Steelers Game" quite authentic.  Pittsburgh businesses have caught onto the popularity of Pittsburgh Dad as well, and now he's starring in local commercials.

Evil Mike Tomlin

Mike Tomlin is a man of few, yet impactful words.  Though he is often emotive with his body language, his press conferences are filled with distinctive one-liners such as, "We're not Powerball excited, but we're excited," "The standard is the standard," and "Everybody with a helmet on is in the mix."  With over 100,000 followers on Twitter, Evil Mike Tomlin is the alter ego of the twelfth year head coach--fully transparent with no tact.

City of 6

For over 50 years, Stillers Nation has taken the journey up to Saint Vincent's College in Latrobe, Pa. for the free spectacle that is NFL training camp.  Of course, there are die-hard fans who travel thousands of miles to see the makings of the latest Stillers squad, but some of us don't have that freedom.  Fortunately, City of 6 was on the campgrounds from start to finish, filming one-on-one drills and full-padded competition.  Every day he'd upload multiple clips to Instagram of Stillers draft picks acclimating to the system or Antonio Brown demonstrating that he's already in mid-season form.  Coverage was so comprehensive that SportsCenter used one of his highlights of Brown in their Top 10 Plays segment. 

Stiller Gang™

Stillers faithful have probably noticed the large banner of a skull wearing a hard hat that says, "Stiller Gang" hanging from one of the rotundas at Heinz Field.  It is apparent every game, adding to the hometown aesthetic.  It is also the official signage of one of the largest Steelers fan clubs in the world.  Whether at home or away, Stiller Gang hosts weekly tailgates where supporters of the Black n' Yellow showcase their affinity with a variety of official merchandise.  In fact, Stillers linebacker Vince Williams and mega-fan Snoop Dogg have been spotted in Stiller Gang gear.  We caught up with John Irvin via email:

ITR: Some people become Stillers fans by birth, others are Stillers fans because they’re from Pittsburgh...some base their support on merit, while others are fans by association. We accept band-wagoners and roll our eyes at the fair weather-ers. What’s the story behind your Stillers fandom? 

JI:  I was born in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers are a part of the culture. It's taken for granted here that the average citizen is a fan. You have the occasional jag off that just wants to go against the grain, but for the most part we all support the home team.

ITR: Favorite Stillers memory? 

JI: Of course my 1st game was the most memorable... But my favorite Stiller moments were being present at Shazier's draft (the "fans" present at Radio City boo'ed when we didn't select a DB) and Dec. 25, 2016 when AB stretched for the Inch That Stole Christmas. Intense isn't powerful enough of a word to describe the emotion in Heinz Field at that moment... We all went nuts

ITR: What was the impetus behind Stiller Gang (and when was it founded)? How were you able to spread this identity across the globe? 

JI: I attended my first game ever (thank you for the ticket, Bobbi) Dec. 4, 2011 and was blown away by the camaraderie amongst fans from all over the world and all walks of life. People who normally wouldn't interact with each other based on demographic differences embraced each other like family, bonded by a common love for them Stillers. On that day the first "Bang Bang Stiller Gang" was uttered (we beat the Bungles 35-7) and an idea was formed to gather fans under a common banner. The following summer of 2012, the movement began. Spreading across the globe has been made possible in part by social media, and in part by people in key places pushing the movement. The West Coast (California has the most Steelers fans outside of PGH in the US) has shown a tremendous amount of support, and it couldn't have been done without Martin Villareal pushing out West. Mexico, Germany, The UK, etc.. all places with people going all out for the movement and creating the momentum that spreads it further.

ITR: What do you make of Le’Veon Bell’s contract situation? The recent disparaging comments by his offensive line suggest a rift between the all-pro back and his army. How does his absence affect our season? 

The Stillers offensive line sees the Le'Veon Bell situation a bit differently now that his contract holdout could extend into the regular season. Quotes via  @Steelerzn , Border by  @StillerSupply

The Stillers offensive line sees the Le'Veon Bell situation a bit differently now that his contract holdout could extend into the regular season. Quotes via @Steelerzn, Border by @StillerSupply

JI: I understand Bell's perspective. He wants guaranteed $ just in case he gets hurt and his career is cut short. He produces as a running back and a wide receiver and feels he should be paid accordingly. The front office feels like they don't want to pay and gamble on him remaining healthy. I wish this situation had been taken care of because I would love to see him on the field. However, if he isn't, the next man up will handle the job. James Conner has been working hard in the offseason and will be up on Sunday. The apparent rift is unfortunate and I hope these guys can work it out like family and come to a better understanding. How this affects the season depends on Conner's play and the play of the team as a whole.  

ITR: What cities are you looking forward to traveling to the most this season?

JI: All of the away games outside of the AFC North are going to be crazy this season. Florida is FULL of Stillers fans, so Tampa Bay and Jacksonville will both be packed. Jacksonville is a grudge match and we want revenge for last season. New Orleans is a game I'm looking forward to just because of the location. We look forward to seeing our fellow fans from that part of the South. Texas will definitely be present that weekend. Same with Denver. Oakland is a game I'm looking forward to not only because we will be with our West Coast chapters, but because of the historical significance. It will be the last time we play the Raiders in the city where the Immaculate Reception happened.

ITR: Which Stiller Gang cohort goes the hardest? 

JI: Man for man, pound for pound, the German Chapter of Stiller Gang EU goes the hardest. Big air mileage. They flew in from Heidelberg for four games last season and will attend at least 4 this season. 

ITR: Describe the difference between the 1970s Steel Curtain, the early 2000s Stillers, and the 2010s Social Media Curtain Stillers.

JI:  I feel that one of the biggest differences between the eras is the speed of the game and how it's changed the offensive attack. All 3 eras played above the bar for their respective periods.

ITR: What’s our record this year?

JI: 13-3, then we win the Super Bowl... Bang Bang Stiller Gang!

Stillers Post Season 02 by Maxwell Young

Stillers Post Season 02 printed at Artist Image Resource Inc.

Stillers Post Season 02 printed at Artist Image Resource Inc.

The third Stillers collection, Post Season 02, is now available.

The motivation and anticipation surrounding the Stillers' playoff hunt is palpable as we ready ourselves for number seven.  We're fighting for our football family and brethren this year, playing in the spirit of Mr. Rooney and in the strength of Ryan Shazier.  

Playoff demons stemming all the way back from 2002, and made painstakingly fresh thanks to Week 15's heartbreaker at Heinz Field, will be exorcised in Foxborough, Ma.--20 years since the last time the Stillers were able to knock the Patriots out of championship contention.  We will get seven before they get six.

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'SteelSpeed' is inspired by the change of focus and precision that occurs in January and February.  We're no strangers to playoff football--it is expected--but the pulse of the locker room becomes elevated and the roar of Stillers Nation becomes much louder on the stairway to seven.  We have kicked into hyper-drive.

Post Season 02 is a collection of sweatshirts and sweatpants designed and screen-printed by InTheRough staff.  Green sweats and the re-purposed 'Eye' logo made popular by our 'Enjoy the Goods' t-shirts solidify the collaboration between Stillers and InTheRough, for they are one and the same.  Post Season 02 would not be possible without Quaishawn Whitlock, the technician and artist behind the atelier--Artist Image Resource Inc.  Thank you also to Justin Berk, Lanie Edwards, Alex Hersh, JR Walker, and Alex Young.

Stillers sweats are available for purchase individually or as a set here.  May they bring good fortune in this year's hunt for a seventh Super Bowl title.

Stillers bend, they don't break.

The New Wave Podcast Welcomes InTheRough, Cameraman Nairobi and Terrell Robinson by Alex Young

Simply, The New Wave Podcast gives talented people in Pittsburgh a platform to talk about their work and the culture that surrounds them. Rap star Jimmy Wopo visited the show within two weeks of being released from Allegheny County Jail to reminisce about his life and speak about his new tape "Back Against The Wall." New Wave tracks relevancy in the 'Burgh, chatting with national tastes like comedian Marlon Wayans at WAMO radio and the best of the local underground.

When it was time for InTheRough to speak about the journalism and archiving we've done for Pittsburgh, as well as Stillers, New Wave Podcast had to be the place. It's a pleasure to write for the popular and sub-culture scenes here. It's an honor to show the personalities of positive people here and in other cities. But being able to speak out about ITR and the almighty Stillers was liberating as fuck. Thank you, New Wave, for having us on the show. Also a shout-out to the co-guests Nairobi Jones, a photographer and personal documentarian for Steelers wideout Martavis Bryant, and Terrell Robinson, a film director.

Importantly, the best part of the ITR episode with The New Wave Podcast was how we represented for Pittsburgh. Everyone in the room had a piece of the city in their own right. Nobody touches ArtLikeUs when it comes to catching famous people with his camera lens and he was there filming the episode. Cameraman Nairobi and Terrell made it a point to name drop R&B crooner B. Knight who has a mixtape coming out executively produced by Stevie B, the man behind Wopo's tracks. ITR did our due-diligence with a top 5 list of best rap pens in the 'Burgh. Mars Jackson, Blackboi, Choo Jackson, and Hardo made the list.

Enjoy the full episode below. Subscribe to New Wave.

 

 

 

 

Stillers Season 01 by Maxwell Young

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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.

Listen to Stillers Nation. 

Listen to Stillers Nation. 

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.

Available under the Stillers  tab . 

Available under the Stillers tab

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.