Late last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced the 2020 class of their Hall of Honor, which consisted of five new members to bring the total up to 41 over the span of four classes. All five of the latest members of the Hall of Honor represent three different eras of defensive dominance, from the Steel Curtain, to the Blitzburgh era, to the 2000s championship teams.
“Over the years we have become known as a franchise that has always put strong defense on the field”, president Art Rooney II said during the announcement of the class. “Some of our most significant players in history have been defensive players. I guess that is how it should be as Steelers football has evolved”.
Safety Troy Polamalu, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2020, headlines the class, including his long-time teammate, inside linebacker James Farrior. Greg Lloyd, who paired with Kevin Greene for a fearsome pass rush in the mid-90s, was represented, and two members of the 70s teams—defensive lineman Dwight White and safety Mike Wagner—rounded out the class.
“A great group of Steelers going into our Hall of Honor this year”, Rooney said recently in an interview on Steelers Nation Radio. ”Two great players from the Steel Curtain defense of the 70s, Mike Wagner and Dwight White, and then two great defensive players from our 2000s Super Bowl teams, James and Troy, and then Greg Lloyd, another great defensive player in the middle”.
“Really, an outstanding group of players”, he added, before addressing the possibility of an in-person ceremony. “We’re really hopeful at some point that we can have fans here and have a celebration of five great Steelers going into the Hall of Honor this year”.
The Steelers would have ordinarily announced their Hall of Honor class a month or two previously, but I would imagine that the pandemic had something to do with the delay this year, not coming until the season had already been in progress.
Pittsburgh was unable to host fans through the first two home games of the season, but in the same interview, Rooney also expressed hope that they would be permitted to have some people in attendance as early as their next home game, which would be a week from Sunday, hosting the Philadelphia Eagles.
Should they get the go-ahead to do so and have their hosting plan green-lit, it would seem likely that they would also attempt to have an in-person ceremony to introduce their 2020 Hall of Honor class during a game at some point this year.
It would be a fitting honor for these men, and nothing short of a shame if that were not possible this year. But the good news is that it appears things are trending in the right direction to provide the environment that would allow this to happen.