Some of the players that donned the block numbered jerseys of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s were some of the best ever.
Now, the players that wear the block-numbered jerseys as a throwback alternate wear one of the best-ever throwbacks, according to CBS Sports.
In the height of downtime in the offseason, CBS Sports decided to rank the 14 best alternate jerseys in the NFL. Unsurprisingly, the Steelers’ throwback block-numbered home jerseys that they originally debuted as a celebration of the 40th year anniversary of the Super Bowl XIII team, ranked inside the top 5 at No. 4 overall, according to CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr.
Pittsburgh’s 1970s throwback edged out the likes of the Cleveland Browns’ 1946 throwback, the New Orleans Saints’ 1975 away jersey, the Detroit Lions’ 1934 home jersey worn on Thanksgiving, and the New England Patriots’ red, white and blue alternate.
Fortunately, the Steelers’ now-retired bumblebees jersey did not make the list.
“The Steelers have donned some interesting throwbacks in the past, but the “Steel Curtain” era throwbacks are right for a franchise with a storied history,” Kerr writes regarding the Steelers’ 70s throwback. “These commemorated the 40th anniversary of the team’s Super Bowl XIII victory, with vintage block letters and numbers and the removal of the Steelers logo on the chest.
“Pittsburgh retired the “bumblebee” uniforms in favor of these. A massive upgrade that shouldn’t be changed, especially for a team that has excellent uniforms that withstood the test of time.”
Ahead of the Steelers’ 70s throwback, Kerr ranked the Dallas Cowboys’ 1994 home jersey, the San Francisco 49ers’ 1994 home and road jersey, and the 1972 Miami Dolphins’ home and road jersey. Pretty hard to top those, honestly.
Still, the Steelers’ 70s throwback stands the test of time, as Kerr writes. There’s certainly an argument for the Steelers to bring back the block number and letter jersey full-time, replacing the current home and road jerseys with the rounded numbers. The block numbers and letters with the black and gold are aesthetically pleasing, and remind many of better days.
Though the Steelers have announced the themes for certain home games at Heinz Field for the 2022 season, they have not yet announced which dates will feature the well-liked color rush jerseys or the 70s throwback jerseys.