´ Steel Curtain Rising: In Memory of Ernie Holmes

Who gets the game ball for the Steelers win over the Texans?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

In Memory of Ernie Holmes

News travels fast these days, and today the news was not good.

As we all now know, Ernie “Fats” Holmes, one of the founding members of the Steel Curtain has passed away.

The truth is that I am not old enough to have real memories of Holmes. All I really know is from the lore inspired by his legend. Still his name was always familiar to me.

My grandparents bought me a Steelers 50 seasons poster back in 1982, and it hung on my walls until I was in my mid-20’s. I can still see the poster, there on my wall, complete with the quad-colored image of the four members of the Steel Curtain, with Holmes picture shadowed in blue, complete with the arrow shaved into his head.

My only other real memory of him is sitting there in the Captial Centre, watching WrestleMania 2 on Closed Circuit TV, and my shock at seeing him introduced as a participant into the Battle Royal in Chicago as a last minute substitute for Too Tall Jones (or was it William Perry?)

I can also remember leafing through my first Steelers media guide on my 17th birthday, and my surprise at learning that Holmes had been traded to Tampa Bay. Later, when I learned of Holmes larger than life personality, it was not hard to understand why he was traded nor should it have been surprising that he wound up dabbling in the squared circle.

Comments are open on this blog, and any of you reading this who DO have memories of Holmes are invited to share your stories.

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