What TV show icon was a Pittsburgh Steeler?
Inducted into the Ursuline (Ohio) High Hall of Fame for his heroics on the football before he graduated in 1964, Ed O’Neill went on to play football for Youngstown State University and the Pittsburgh Steelers before he became famous around the world as the character Al Bundy on “Married…With Children.”
A defensive lineman at Ursuline and Youngstown State, O’Neill signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 1969. Pittsburgh’s training camp was at St. Vincent’s College. O’Neill’s father, Ed, drove him to the camp.
“When we walked down the stairs and saw all the guys milling around, my father said to me, ‘You sure you want to do this? You know, we could just get in the get out of here,’” O’Neill recalled on The Rich Eisen Show in 2016. “[Training camp] actually was pretty good. … I actually enjoyed it. …
“When I tried out for Pittsburgh in ’69, it was [Chuck] Noll’s first year, the only [position] I could play would’ve been outside linebacker. So that’s what I tried out for. … [But] my problem was that I had never played that position before. So I was trying to learn it and make the team at the same time.”
After two weeks, O’Neill got the knock at his door that meant his time as a Pittsburgh Steeler was over.
“[Pittsburgh coach Chuck Noll] said, ‘I can make a call,’” O’Neill explained. “He said I could go to the Eagles.”
O’Neill declined Noll’s offer. While he was busy practicing football in high school and college, O’Neill was also acting in plays. The acting bug had taken a bite out of him, and it hurt a lot less than football.
“I’m done,” O’Neill told Noll about helping him get a roster spot with the Philadelphia Eagles. “I was sick of football.”
#Steelers #Pittsburgh #NFL #football #GoSteelers