With the Super Bowl set to kick off Sunday between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers one of its largest fans will take in the action from his armchair at home. Waxahachie council member and former Steelers player Chuck Beatty hopes his team’s tradition of wining will continue with the addition of a seventh championship title.
“I got to play for the Steelers under Chuck Noll, who drafted me. The organization from top to bottom is a class organization. Once you get into that organization they try to nurture you and guide you. I played in Pittsburgh from 1969 to 1972 — 1972 was the first time that we won the division in 40 years. That is when Franco Harris did the ‘Immaculate Reception,’ in 1972. After that I played for St. Louis and then played for the World Football league, but most of my time was in Pittsburgh,” Beatty said.
“In Pittsburgh’s history, they have had a lot of Texans on the team. I guess that is why we played the Cowboys so hard. You look back and you had Ernie Holmes, Joe Greene, myself and Ron Shanklin from Texas. Then you had that Texas and Louisiana connection with Bradshaw and all those guys. When we played Dallas all of those people could see us then so we had to put out a little extra special thing.”
Beatty said it didn’t matter where players came from, Pittsburgh set out to recruit the best from anywhere to play on the team.
The Waxahachie native was recruited to play college ball for the Mean Green at North Texas where he earned the nickname “Hatchet” for his tenacious work on the field and the eye of Pittsburgh scouts.
Even though his playing days in the NFL having given way to a life in public service — a second career as an official with the Boy Scouts of America and as an elected official serving on the city council of his hometown — Beatty says he still has thoughts about suiting up for the big game.
While the current Steelers might play the game a little differently than in Beatty’s era, their mentality to run the ball and play defense is the same as when he played, he said. As for the outcome of Sunday’s game, Beatty’s confident in the Steelers’ ability to come away with victory.
“Well, you know Ben (Roethlisberger) got suspended for those four games and they came out of that 3-1 and I though they would be all right after that. They all pulled together and everybody has to play when they are with Pittsburgh. I think their defense is one thing and then, of course, the X factor is big Ben extending plays and doing different things like that,” he said.
“I just want them to keep up the tradition and go and get that seventh ring. Just go out there and have fun because you have gone through the entire season. This is when you are supposed to have fun in the championship game,” he said. “I just want to see a good game. I think that these are the two best teams that are matching up this year.”
The weather for Sunday’s game is predicted to have a low of 37 degrees Fahrenheit, but Beatty doesn’t see that being much of a factor with the roof of Cowboys Stadium being closed – but it was always a factor when he played.
“It seems like the weather was always a factor in Pittsburgh. During our time we were playing places like Minnesota, where they didn’t have the dome. Of course, Bud Grant (Minnesota coach) didn’t let the players have the heaters on the sidelines, so it seemed like that was cruel. But, hey, they all made it through,” he said. “It is Steelers and Packers’ weather and I guess that they brought it to Texas. That is why I came back home to get rid of all that cold and stuff.”
Beatty joked that during his time with the team the players had to travel 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh to practice and shovel the snow off the outdoor practice field but, now, the players are spoiled with having an indoor practice facility.
While he might not be attending Sunday’s game, there are a number of activities planned for NFL alumni to take part in this week, ranging from networking opportunities to volunteer work.
On Saturday, Beatty along with several former Steelers teammates and local players L.C. Greenwood, Frenchy Fuqua, Broderick Sargent and Montae Reagor will sign autographs and take photos with fans at the College Street Pub from 2-6 p.m. Beatty encourages everyone to take part in the meet and greet.
“I’m going to have a good time this weekend hobnobbing with all of my friends. Stories will get a lot longer and we will have a good time,” he said.
Contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org or 469-517-1458.