The headline appeared to give Steelers Nation cause to rejoice…. The Steelers had decided to banish mascot Steely McBeam to the dust bin of history….
Alas, that was not to be the case. One of the actors who wore the McBeam costume had been charged with drunk driving, and as a consequence was relieved of his duties.
The Steelers have a no nonsense reputation when it comes to maintaining the game’s purity: No cheerleaders, decals on only one side of the helmet and, hey, if Heniz Field gets a little muddy when it rains – too bad, that’s football. All of this makes last year’s decision to introduce a mascot all the more perplexing.
Of course the on the field fortunes of the team are not affected by the presence or absence of McBeam but, by the same token, there is no compelling reason for his presence. Steelers fans are loyal, vocal, and they need no mascot to fire up them up.
It’s important that NFL franchises maximize revenue sources, so perhaps they adopted McBeam to add more memorabilia to their merchandize line. While that would be understandable, it is also hard to believe that a team as storied as the Steelers couldn’t come up with other merchandizing ideas that are more in keeping with the team’s tradition.