2012

December 30, 2012

DEFENSE FINISHES #1

Steelers 24, Browns 10

For the fifth time, Coach LeBeau’s defense finished with a ranking of #1.

From Mike Prisuta, Steelers.com:

The Steelers entered the final regular season weekend ranked No. 1 in pass defense and No. 2 in rushing defense, as well as No. 1 in total defense. In addition to that edge they enjoyed over the 49ers, the Steelers also were 30 yards ahead of the New York Jets in passing yards allowed, but 57 yards behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in rushing yards allowed.

They stayed ahead of the Jets in passing defense by allowing the Browns to finish with 182 net yards passing while Buffalo put up 225 net passing yards in its win over the Jets. But the Steelers were unable to catch the Buccaneers for No. 1 against the rush after allowing the Browns to finish with 138 net yards rushing while the Falcons were gaining only 65 against Tampa Bay.

“We talked about that (last) week. It would have been great to get it all around (rushing, passing, and total defense), but our defense played tough this year amid a lot of adversity and put us in positions to win games and that’s all you can ask for.

We really came together and that’s what it takes, everyone playing together, knowing their role, knowing their job. This is a physical game and you have to have a team that’s ready to play. Our defense played tough through the second half of the season.”Keisel

Keisel’s injury:

Brett left the game shortly before halftime with a knee injury. Coach Tomlin said it could be his MCL, but they are still running tests. No other information is available, at this time.

We appreciate all the emails and social media messages from Steeler Nation. Thank you for sending positive thoughts and prayers.

From Ken Laird (@Ken_Laird), via Twitter:

Steelers DE Brett Keisel enters last year of contract, talks about what changes might come to team:

“There’s always changes, I don’t know where it’s going to be. We’ll have a new team next year. Who knows if I’ll even be there. It’s always new, always fresh. With the frustrating season that it was, we’ve got to get some guys in there that can play. Hopefully we’ll get some good draft players. We’ll see what happens.”

Today’s news photo is of Jordan Miller. He sent a photo via Twitter thanking Keisel for the signed cleat. Brett brought cleats out during pre-game warm-ups to pass out to fans. Several teammates did the same with gloves. Many fans have emailed to say thank you.

 

December 27, 2012-update

ALL THINGS BRETT KEISEL

Blue Cougar Football recently conducted an interview with Keisel to talk about his football career, his charity work, his future after football and his Monday Night Football intro.

Yes, I know many of you are interested in his explanation of the Monday Night Football introduction! I receive dozens of emails about it.

From the interview:

The grandpa of former Brigham Young Cougars in the NFL is Brett Keisel. He is in his 11th professional season—all with the Pittsburgh Steelers. BLUE COUGAR FOOTBALL spoke with Keisel the Diesel recently to ask him about his NFL career, his abundance of charity work, and whether his Monday Night Football introduction is a sign that he is at odds with BYU.

Despite Keisel advancing in age, his production has not slipped. He has 45 tackles on the season, which is already good enough for fourth best in his career. With one game to go, he can conceivably eclipse his third best tackles total (48 in 2011). Keisel’s 4.5 sacks this season is just one sack behind his career high of 5.5 (2006).

When asked about his personal success on the field this season, Keisel used one word to sum up the way he felt about it: blessed.

“I feel blessed to still go out and get the job done,” Keisel said. “I have enjoyed the season. It has been up and down, but we can still make the playoffs. It is an exciting time.”– This interview was conducted prior to last week’s game.

And..the question many have been waiting for…

Why does Brett not mention BYU in his prime time games:

On Monday Night Football the starting lineups are announced with a brief video of each player stating his name and where he played college football. In his MNF clip, Keisel doesn’t say BYU, but gives the name of his high school–Greybull High School.

When told that mentioning his high school has caused some Cougar fans to think BYU and he had a strained relationship, Keisel wanted to make it clear that, “That is not true.” He went on to explain, “That intro was filmed five years ago. I guess they don’t take the time to update their intros very often. They haven’t asked me to do another one since. The one before was BYU. I thought I would switch it up to give my small town some love.”

Brett also discussed his love of Pittsburgh, his future and his charity work. Read the entire article HERE.

From the Blue Cougar Football Twitter page:

“Loved interviewing Keisel. Very humble. Always blows me away when guys who are so successful have such a down to earth perspective on life. “

Check out the previous site update from today in the post below.

 

December 27, 2012

NEWS AND NOTES

The Steelers revealed their 2012 Steelers MVP today. Each player voted and the winner was….HEEEAAATTTHHHH Miller!

“MVPEEEEAAATH HEEEAAATTTHHHH..Very much deserved my friend.”Keisel

Brett went on to say:

“I was teasing him a while back about being the team MVP and he was like, ‘yeah, right,’”. He doesn’t think that way. That is just the humble Heath Miller. That’s what we all love about him, his humility and the way he carries himself.

We all appreciate Heath for the way he goes about his business. He is the silent assassin, doesn’t say much but is always in the right place, doing the right things. He is one of the hardest working guys I have ever met. He definitely deserves this honor.”

For my ballot, I didn’t just put Heath, I put Heeeeeath.” We love it when we hear that at games. We love Heath. He deserves to be MVP.”

Read more about Heath winning MVP HERE.

Heath was also voted into the Pro Bowl, along with Maurkice Pouncey.

Heath, of course, will not be able to play due to his injury from the Bengals game.

We all wish Heath well in his recovery!

Pro Bowl chatter:

We thank everyone who voted for #99 to go to the Pro Bowl. Unfortunately, he was not selected. Nor were any of his defensive teammates (as starters). Ryan Clark and Lawrence Timmons are alternates. Also, Ben Roethlisberger and Shawn Suisham were named as alternates.

Congratulations to all the Steelers who were selected, along with all the players who were selected throughout the league!

From Ed Bouchette via Twitter:

Shouldn’t the NFL’s No. 1 defense have at least one in the Pro Bowl? Here are some deserving #Steelers:

Ryan Clark. He made it last season, and I thought he played even better this year.

Brett Keisel. He made the Pro Bowl two years ago. This ranks among his best seasons with a team-high 40 quarterback pressures and 4.5 sacks that is a half-sack off the lead.

Ike Taylor. He should make at least one Pro Bowl as a lifetime achievement.

Keenan Lewis. He’s among the league leaders with 28 passes defensed. He has no interceptions, though, and that often is the only stat voters look at when they pick cornerbacks.

Also, Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post Gazette: gave out his grades by position from the Bengals game. How did our D Line score?

“BenJarvus Green-Ellis was the first Bengals back in 44 years to have four 100-yard games in the past five outings, but he was held to 14 yards on 15 carries, including just 7 yards on 10 carries in the first half. What’s more, he had six runs of zero or negative yards. The Bengals had trouble handling NT Casey Hampton, who had a big stop for minus-5 yards on second-and-1. DE Brett Keisel was superb again, getting 1 1/2 of the six sacks on Andy Dalton.

Keisel commented on Ben Roethlisberger’s play following the Bengals game:

“I know I have two Super Bowl rings because of his play. He has been a tremendous leader for us and this year hasn’t gone our way. I appreciate his efforts and this won’t deter me from thinking he is a great quarterback.”

 

December 23, 2012

“WE KNEW WE NEEDED TO PLAY TOUGH”

“We knew we needed to play tough and we did that. I was proud of our defense today. We had some young guys step in there in the back end and play tough. Cortez Allen in particular. Those guys are gonna have a bright future, so I was happy to see the way they played today.”Keisel, from his post game interview.

The Steelers lost to the Bengals 13-10, which eliminates them from post season play.

From Ralph N. Paulk, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Steelers’ defense stands tall in defeat

The Steelers‘ defense wasn‘t perfect Sunday, yet it crafted a performance that defied a disheartening 13-10 setback to AFC North rival Cincinnati that erased the team from the playoff picture. The NFL‘s top-ranked defense crippled the Bengals‘ ground game at Heinz Field. Cincinnati averaged a dismal 0.9 yards per carry on 16 carries.

A defense that struggled all season to create turnovers finally snatched the ball away to give a fading offense chances at redemption. Cornerback Cortez Allen, manning the corner for injured Ike Taylor, intercepted two passes, and safety Ryan Clark recovered a fumble. The Steelers, with linebacker Lawrence Timmons blitzing and safety Troy Polamalu disrupting blocking schemes, tormented quarterback Andy Dalton. They registered six sacks, hammered Dalton to the ground eight times and flattened running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis behind the line of scrimmage six times.

The Steelers, who face the Cleveland Browns in the season finale Sunday, are likely to finish ahead of San Francisco as the league‘s top-ranked defense for the second year in a row. If so, it will mark only the second time since 1990 the Steelers will miss the playoffs with the best defense in the NFL.

“It‘s a shame that those guys played that well defensively and we lost,” receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. “They gave the offense so many opportunities to close it out, but the next thing you know they‘re back on the field because we gave it right back.”

The Steelers‘ defense surrendered only two field goals, including Josh Brown‘s game-winning 43-yarder with four seconds remaining. The Bengals‘ only touchdown was scored by cornerback Leon Hall, who returned a Ben Roethlisberger interception 17 yards to give Cincinnati a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.

Defensively, the Steelers appeared to make enough plays to prevent the Bengals from beating them for only the third time in 13 games. With the exception of receiver A.J. Green‘s 20-yard catch that positioned Brown for the game-winner, the defense tossed a net over Cincinnati.

“This is the most arrogant as I‘ll ever be: I‘ll take this defense — man to man — with any defense in the league,” said Clark, who later tweeted he had no words to “capture the disappointment.” “When it comes time to play, you give me my 11 against somebody else‘s 11, I‘ll take mine every time.”

I think Steeler Nation would agree with you Ryan!

Brett had a great game, and was nominated for Steelers Digest Player of the Week.

The honor went to Cortez Allen, who as Keisel said, stepped up big time. Brett had five tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Why the penalty:

#99 was penalized after sacking Bengals QB Andy Dalton. When Keisel did his typical shoot-an-arrow sack celebration, referee Mike Carey penalized him 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct “for going to the ground.” It was the same sack celebration Keisel has done for years but the first time he ever has been penalized for it. (Information courtesy of the Steelers).

Brett: ” I’ve been doing it for eleven years. They told me i couldn’t go down to a knee and shoot a weapon.”

Listen to part of Keisel’s post game interview HERE.

 

December 20, 2012

THANK YOU

We would like to say thank you to all who participated and supported the 65 Roses Sports Auction this year.

Your generosity helped to raise over $80,000 for theCystic Fibrosis Foundation!

From Sarah Steele, Development Manager-Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – Western PA Chapter:

“We had a very fun time, and it was exciting to meet Brett, and we are so grateful to have him as our honorary chair!

We are able to let you know that with Brett’s help, we were able to net over $80,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!!! The live auction brought in over $9,000, our Silent Auction brought in over $11,000 and Bid for a Cure brought in just shy of $4,000. Bid for a Cure is an opportunity in which people donate money directly to our cause, Brett was gracious enough to sign mini helmets so that the first 10 people that bid received an autographed mini helmet. Our first bid was $1,000, which was absolutely wonderful!!

Brett brought along amazing players, and we were truly thankful for his participation!

Everyone was so impressed with the lineup that he brought for the autographs.

I hope he and Sarah were able to have some fun as well.

We had some other local celebs there as well, Pittsburgh Dad (Curt Wooten), Donnie Iris, Randy Baumann and Jory Rand.

We appreciate all of Sarah’s help in sending information regarding the event and the totals raised!

Ms. Steele also gave thanks to artist Scott Spillman , who graciously donated prints from his Game Face collection to the event.

His prints alone raised over $1300!

Scott donates prints to many Steeler events, and he also sells the prints to fans. Stop by his website to view his amazing work.

Thank you again to ALL the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make sure the event went smoothly and everyone had fun. Thank you to Brett’s teammates who attended which included, Heath Miller, Casey Hampton, Ryan Clark, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, Stevenson Sylvester, Charlie Batch, Shaun Suisham, Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote just to name a few. Thank you to Pittsburgh Dad, Randy Baumann, Donnie Iris and Jory Rand, the fans who attended and the many others who helped to make the event spectacular.

And, a BIG thank you to The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for all their research which will one day find a cure!

 

December 16, 2012

OVERTIME LOSS

The Steelers lost a heartbreaker in overtime to the Cowboys. They needed the win to keep an edge in the crowded AFC North, but were not able to pull it off yesterday. All hope is not lost, as they face the Bengals next weekend in a division showdown.

From Dale Lolley, SteelCityInsider.net:

Unlike last week’s disheartening loss to San Diego, the Steelers went toe-to-toe with the Cowboys. They showed up. They competed. They just came up short.

The Steelers made some big mistakes to be sure.

But down two of their top three corners – and later the top three – and with two rookies on the offensive line, the Steelers hung in a game on the road with a team whose strength is its passing game and pass rush. They certainly looked a lot better than Cincinnati did Thursday night or Baltimore did on Sunday.

And, Bob Labriola, Steelers.com: also pointed out a positive point:

Another situational win for the Steelers defense on the second Dallas series. On second-and-goal from the Pittsburgh 7-yard line, James Harrison punched the ball out of DeMarco Murray’s hand and Brett Keisel recovered at the 8-yard line. Dallas had seven first downs and 128 net yards of offense in the first quarter but only a 3-0 lead.

It was a tough loss, for sure, but the season is not over. The team has two games left, one against the Bengals and one against the Browns. Win and the Steelers enter the single-elimination-tournament!

Game photos:

Click here for game photos!

Help Da Kids:

Please check out the December 12 news below for information on a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC.

 

December 14, 2012

BUSY NIGHT FOR DA BEARD

“What a fun night! Got to read the Grinch with the lovely Martina McBride, and then rock out with my friends at the WDVE party.”— Keisel

Brett had a busy performance night on Thursday. He attended the Martina McBride concert at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, and was honored to be selected to read “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

From Martina McBride via Twitter:

“Tonight our guest Grinch is… Drumroll please….Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive End Brett ” the Diesel” Keisel!”

Today’s news photo is from Ashley Giugliano via Twitter. Her review of Keisel’s performance:

“Martina McBride couldn’t have picked a better person to read the story of grinch!! You had such enthusiasm!”

And, from Lauren via Twitter: “Brett Keisel really just performed at the Martina McBride concert..no words.”

Get a closer look at Ashley’s photo and another from singer, songwriter and pianist, Kira Small HERE.

DVE Christmas Party:

Keisel has been a regular attendee (and performer) at the WDVE Christmas Party, and this year was no exception. The event was held last night at Diesel in front of a packed house.

Keisel joined the DVE crew onstage to sing “Fear Da Beard”-which caused the crowd to go wild chanting “Keisel”!

Click HERE for photos and a video of #99 performing “Fear Da Beard” with the DVE crew.

View the WDVE Christmas Party Gallery HERE.

Loved seeing the Da Beard Gear logo in the background during the performance! Nice touch.

 

December 12, 2012

DA BEARD IS ON A QUEST

“Children’s Hospital does so many great things for our wonderful city and these kids.”— Keisel

Brett was on the WDVE Morning Show today to announce Da Beard is on a quest to raise money forChildren’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC.

PUT ON DA BEARD FOR DA KIDS:

Now through January 18, stop by any participatingNorthwest Savings Bank offices and donate from $1 and up, and your donation goes directly to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC!

You will receive your own Da Beard to put a message on, which will be displayed at the bank.

Please take time to stop by Northwest Savings Banks to fulfill Da Beard’s quest to help Da Kids!

Click here for a closer look at the flyer and the sponsors.

Brett also announced he will, once again, make an appearance at the annual DVE Christmas Party, which will be on December 13 at Diesel Club Lounge.

We may see and hear Keisel chime in with the WDVE crew to sing “Fear Da Beard” LIVE!

 

December 9, 2012

“YOU HAVE TO RESPOND”

“The whole game felt out of hand. It didn’t feel like we were in the game at all. That’s the tough thing. I feel like we have a good football team. It’s tough to go out and perform that way and try to figure out why.

“You have to respond, you have to. We have to have a good week of preparation and respond, show what type of character this team has. It’s just frustrating. It’s frustrating to see us make flashes, to see us have the makings of a good team and not be able to perform the way you know you’re capable of performing.”— Keisel, from his post game interview.

Brett is right, this one was frustrating. The Steelers lost to the Chargers 34-24, in a game they really needed to win. It was fortunate for the team that the Bengals and Ravens both lost also.

The Steelers are tied with the Bengals by record, but would hold the tie-breaker over them, for now. The two teams will face each other one more time this season in what could determine a wildcard appearance for one of them.

Before the team can concern themselves with the Bengals, they will prepare for next week’s game against the Cowboys.

We know they can bounce back and get things going in the right direction again!

Read more on the game HERE.

You can watch more of Brett’s post game interview HERE.

 

December 6, 2012

KEISEL’S SOFT SIDE COMES OUT TO FIGHT CF

“Emma loves this big guy so much.”— Kristina Chichilla, mother of Emma (CF Ambassador who attends the event each year with Brett).

From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:

Steelers’ fans are accustomed to seeing the tough side of Brett Keisel, the burly defensive end who loves nothing more than sacking opposing quarterbacks.

But on Thursday night the softer side of Keisel was on display, as he hosted the Cystic Fibrosis 65 Roses Sports Auction, spending time visiting with children with the disease as well as raising funds to help find a cure for the disease.

“It’s for these kids tonight,” said Keisel. “I have been able to develop some relationships with young children who have cystic fibrosis and are doing great. I am proud of them and their fight. Helping these kids out who have to deal with it every day is what it’s all about. It’s tough for them and their families. You talk to them and you don’t know they have it, they look radiant, beautiful and happy and it makes me smile to see them that way.”

“We are raising money and awareness for children with cystic fibrosis and it’s making a difference,” said Keisel. “That is my favorite part. They tell me each year that we are getting closer to a cure and that is why we do this. The more awareness we can bring to it the closer we are to getting a cure.”

“When you have a guy who is a leader on the field and he steps off the field and plays a role in an organization like ours, it’s amazing. He leads our families out of a desperate area where they feel like he is on our team, we are not by ourselves, Brett Keisel is helping us. It means the world to our organization and the patients and families that battle this.” –Pat Joseph, executive director of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis.

Read Ms. Varley’s entire article (and view a few photos) HERE.

Brett was joined by teammates Heath Miller, Casey Hampton, Ryan Clark, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, Stevenson Sylvester, Charlie Batch, Shaun Suisham, Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote. Randy Baummann and Donnie Iris also attended. Mr. Keisel thanks all of his teammates, the media, donators, supporters and the MANY volunteers who supported the event by attending.

We will post photos tomorrow from the event.

 

December 6, 2012

DA BEARD ON SVP & RUSSILLO

Keisel was a guest via satellite today on SVP and Russillo.

Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo asked him about the season, Big Ben and of course his famous beard. Brett also reveals one of his favorite books!

Listen to the interview HERE.

Also, I’ve done a partial transcript of his interview:

On beating the Baltimore Ravens:

“We believed in Charlie and we were able to make enough plays to kick a field goal there at the end to get a big win we needed.”

On Big Ben’s status:

“He (Ben) said he felt good today. He said he just needed to get hit so I volunteered to smash him up. I’m that type of friend. I’m a team guy and if they need me to go test his shoulder out then I’ll carry my pads today and give him a little lick. I think he’s looking pretty good. I was surprised how well he threw it yesterday.”

On Dick LeBeau:

“The guys a mastermind. He really spends countless hours breaking down film and trying to get an edge in this game that we play. He does an amazing job and we all follow his lead.”

Fighting for the playoffs:

“We kind of dug ourselves into a hole early on this season. We still keep our eyes on the prize and still we see have an opportunity to get into the single elimination tournament. You guys know the month of December is huge in the NFL and if we can get hot during this month and carry that into next month that’ll be big. The last several Super Bowl champions are the ones that get hot in the month of December.”

On Coach Tomlin:

“He’s a great coach. I’ve really enjoyed playing for him and he finds interesting and new ways to motivate us each and every week. It’s been a blessing to play for him.”

Does shaving the beard make it come back stronger:

That’s what I believe. My beard is twice as strong now than it was in 2010 and I’ve shaved it off twice.”

What if you can’t grow a beard:

“Get a wig. I’ll send you some beard gear, that’s probably the best thing that’s gonna happen.

On how Brett can grow a beard:

” I tell people I’m an avid hunter, I grew up on venison. I think maybe that outdoorsman in me just grew on my face.”

Scott Van Pelt promised to tweet photos of himself in the Da Beard Gear Brett offered to send him so stay tuned!

Ryen Russullo said he was surprised Brett even used weapons to hunt-“just assumed it would be with his bare hands.”

From Brett:

Big Hamp and Wallace rockin the newest threads Da Beard Gear. Get yours today!

Click on Store (beneath the banner above) to order.

Remember, each order enters you in a contest to win a signed, game-worn #99 jersey and more!

As you can see by the Da Beard Gear official models, Casey Hampton and Mike Wallace…the crew has added a new winter hoodie, a new long sleeved t-shirt and a visor. All will keep you warm on those cold winter days!

 

December 4, 2012

DECEMBER BALL

“Hopefully we can grab this momentum and ride it and win these December ballgames coming up and go into the playoffs hot.”–Keisel, from his post game press conference.

More from Brett’s post game interview:

“I’m proud of him (Charlie Batch). We all believed he could do it. We’re a team in there….we trust each other..we beleive in each other.”

We are going to enjoy it today and then we got some December football to get to down the stretch. I might even smile a little bit tomororw…but I am really going to enjoy it today!”

Listen to more from Keisel’s interview, courtesy of WDVE, here.

From Bob Labriola, Steelers.com:

This 2012 NFL regular season is coming to a close, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are getting healthier and playing better. Their seventh win gets them closer to a spot in the postseason, and how they handled the week leading up to this game, and then how they performed in it, revealed their identity.

The 2012 Steelers are an every-hand-in-the-pile team, and last Sunday they proved it can be their winning edge.

Read the entire article, here.

Win the jersey off Keisel’s back:

From the Da Beard Gear crew:

It’s that time of year again, Da Beard Nation!

The Great Bearded One is once again giving you the chance to win the jersey off his back.

If you place an order between November 1st, 2012 and December 20, 2012, you will be in the running to win an autographed, game used Brett Keisel jersey!

There will also be runner up prizes such as autographed photos, game worn cleats and game gloves.

Happy shopping and good luck!

With the holiday season fast approaching, this is the PERFECT time to order Da Beard Gear for family, friends, or yourself!

Click on over to the Da Beard Gear store to check out all their merchandise. From t-shirts to beanies (which are back in stock) to koozies and stickers, they have something for every Da Beard fan! The new winter gear line is now available, which includes a new hoodie, visor and a long sleeve t-shirt.

 

December 2, 2012

KICKING OFF DECEMBER WITH A DIVISION WIN

Steelers 23, Ravens 20

So many counted the Steelers out of this game. The media and fans were calculating if the team could still make the playoffs with a second loss to Baltimore..before the game was even played.

Thank goodness Coach Tomlin and the players were not doing the same. They knew they had the talent and drive to beat the Ravens in Baltimore, even without their franchise quarterback.

Shaun Suisham secured the win by making a 42-yard field goal on the final play of the game. Backup quarterback, Charlie Batch led the team down the field and set it up for Suisham to kick the game winning score.

Keisel had three tackles and almost had a sack on Ravens QB Joe Flacco. It ended up being a good thing he did not get the sack, as he caused Flacco to throw under pressure which led to a Ryan Clark interception.

Coach Tomlin on the win:

“It was a big, necessary win for us tonight in a hostile environment. We don’t take that lightly. We’ll appreciate it tonight and the efforts of men in less than ideal circumstances no doubt. We expect them to do the job and they were able to do it. It was a tough physical and mental battle and we persevered. We had some injuries. Ike Taylor has an ankle, maybe a lower leg. We have to get an MRI on that and we’ll have some clarity on that, maybe a little later. Emmanuel Sanders had an AC joint and was able to go back into the game. Will Johnson probably has a concussion. We’ll evaluate him and see where that leads us. The rest of them are bumps and bruises. Obviously, it’s a necessary victory for us tonight. We didn’t necessarily make it as easy as we could have. We turned the ball over on their half of the field a couple times. We had a significant chunk on a third down, a seemingly third down conversion, we turned another one over. We’ll continue to work on those things. We’re not going to apologize for our shortcomings. We will acknowledge them and continue to work on them.”

Coach Tomlin on the Steelers defense:

“The big thing is I appreciate the fact that they didn’t let go of the rope. They’re fighting and potentially frustrating things happen. We gain a turnover, we give it back. I take responsibility for that on the reverse pass. I am trying to search for a significant play. More than anything they showed their mettle because they didn’t let those circumstances get them down. They were angry, but it didn’t steal their love for the play and the game. They played extremely hard and when you do that you are going to get opportunities and they created some.”

Congratulations to Charlie Batch on being named Steelers Digest Player of the Week!

Read more on the game here.

If Brett’s post game interview is posted, we’ll add it to the site along with photos.

 

November 29, 2012

TIME FOR SOME WINTER GEAR!

Brrr…it’s getting cold out there (for some of us) and Da Beard Gear wants to help keep you warm and in style with their latest Da Beard Gear merchandise.

The front of the new long sleeve t-shirt reads “Da Beard Football” with “Da Beard” logo in the center of the chest. The back reads “Keisel 99” with a faux zig-zag stitch to replicate the numbers that are sewn on the actual jersey.

It comes in sizes Small-4X.

Visor:

This visor beanie is Yupong brand.

The “Da Beard” logo is embroidered and offset on the left side of the hat. The logo measures 3 inches tall by 2.5 inches wide.

One size fits most, uni-sex.

Let your beard keep your face warm (ignore that last part if you’re female) and this beanie keep the top of your noggin’ nice and toasty during those long winter months.

This would make a cool stocking stuffer, or a great gift for yourself.

Santa may even appreciate the warmth it brings on those long, cold sleigh rides.

Winter Hoodie:

Many of you asked if the crew would add a new hoodie this winter and they listened.

Stay warm this winter while sporting our latest “Da Beard” hoodie.

The hoodie is black in color and brand is Port & Company. It features the “Da Beard” logo in camo on the center chest with “Keisel 99” on the right sleeve.

The hoodie also comes in sizes Small-4X.

You can see a larger image of the new hoodie (and all the gear) by visiting the Da Beard Gear store.

Don’t forget, you can also purchase autographed photos of #99 through the Da Beard Gear store.

Da Beard Gear contest:

Now is a great time to purchase Da Beard Gear since every order enters you in their contest to win a signed game-worn #99 jersey!

There will also be runner up prizes such as autographed photos and game worn cleats.

The contest ends on December 20, 2012. Also, they are offering free shipping (domestic only) on orders $55 and over!

Click HERE to shop and place your order.

Good luck and happy shopping!

Any lucky winners…feel free to send a photo with your prize. We’d love to post it here on the website.

 

November 28, 2012

MEET KEISEL AND HIS TEAMMATES

Meet Brett and his teammates, enjoy amazing live and silent auctions…and help out a worthy cause- The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!

Do you bleed black and gold?

If so, then the 65 Roses Sports Auction is an event you won’t want to miss.

Join Keisel on Thursday, December 6th, 2012 for a once in a lifetime opportunity. He will be your host at this unique event, and many of his Steelers teammates will be on hand to greet fans and sign autographs! Also joining us that evening will be Randy Baumann, the legendary, Donnie Iris, and YouTube sensation “Pittsburgh Dad”.

Live and silent auction preview:

This exciting event also features a live and silent auction with memorabilia from your favorite hometown teams and much more! This event offers the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind memorabilia.

Here is a preview of some of the amazing auction items:

Jerome Bettis autographed and framed jersey.

Scott Spillman limited addition Brett Keisel print.

Walt Disney World hopper passes.

Over 15 Steelers, Penguins and Pirates autographed jerseys.

Get your tickets and more information (there is also a link to make a donation to the CF Foundation) HERE.

Once the event is sold out, ticket sales will be closed so get your tickets ordered. Don’t miss out on this annual sport spectacular!

The guest list is amazing. This is a great chance to add to your Steelers autograph collection.

Thank you so much to Sarah Steele, Development Manager- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – Western PA Chapter for the information.

To see photos from previous years 65 Roses Sports Auctions, please click HERE.

November 25, 2012

TURNOVERS COSTLY

Turnovers are said to be game changers, and that was the case today in the 20-14 loss to the Browns. The Steelers committed an uncharacteristic 8 turnovers, which enabled the Browns to halt their losing streak against Pittsburgh and get the win.

The game started off well with Keisel batting a Brandon Weeden pass on the first Browns possession. This set Lawrence Timmons up for a pick six as he ran the interception back 53 yards for a TOUCHDOWN!

Keisel also had three tackles and a sack. He was also in on Jason Worilds sack on Brandon Weeden.

Cool archery release after the sack!!–From CCatJ via Twitter.

Keisel played lights out today. The tip and block for Timmons was huge. Way to be a team.— From Kyle Przelenski via Twitter.

Coach Tomlin on the loss:

That was an ugly performance. That is ours. We own it. When you turn the ball over the way we did today you are not going to beat anybody. That is just the reality of the National Football League. I am surprised it was that close given the turnover situation. We are not looking for comfort. We understand that we are not going to have much support after a performance like that. We probably deserve that. We have to go back to work and get back to playing fundamental football. We were highly penalized; we turned the ball over. When you do those things you are going to lose. I don’t care who’s playing quarterback.

Read more on the game HERE.

Video:

Watch #99 set up the interception for Timmons, and throw in a block for the touchdown:HERE.

Look to the right of the page for the link to the video, under Big Play Highlights.

Looks like someone is trying to give Da Beard a little competition?

This photo was sent by Darren (via Twitter-Darren5222).

Thanks for the photo!

We will add game photos and post game interview news if they become available.

Next game:

The Steelers will travel to Baltimore next Sunday to take on the Ravens in another important AFC-North showdown.

 

November 22, 2012

“IF IT FLIES, IT DIES”

“IF IT FLIES, IT DIES” is a saying we heard from Keisel several years ago on a pheasant hunt, and he still follows that motto today according to Bob Pompeani,KDKA:

Many hunters will spend the holiday weekend in the woods going after deer, turkey or pheasants. This week, the Steelers’ defensive lineman Brett Keisel and some of his teammates grabbed some guns and headed to a local hunting and fishing club. And they took KDKA’s Bob Pompeani along with them.

For players who make their living hunting quarterbacks, hunting pheasants provides a nice day of relaxation.

“If you miss, you don’t eat,” says Keisel. “One of the great American pastimes, which is hunting.”

But this day was all about Keisel and his teammates taking to the beautiful 146-acres of the Alpine Hunting and Fishing Club in Bridgeville and having a friendly competition while also raising money for Children’s Hospital.

Read more from Bob Pompeani’s interview with Harrison and Keisel HERE.

Was the hunt successful? By the looks of Mr. Pomepeani’s photo…it sure was!

Congratulations is in order!

Ben and Ashley Roethlisberger welcomed their son to the world last night! Best wishes to their family!

 

November 19, 2012

“THIS ONE STINGS”

Steelers 10, Ravens 13

“Unfortunately, we didn’t make enough plays to get a win. They’re a good team. We fought hard…you gotta accept this one and move on. When a team gets turnovers and a special teams touchdown, they usually win. This one stings. This one hurts. The guys played tough on both sides of the ball and it just didn’t go our way tonight. We gotta accept it and move forward. There is still a good chunk of football left.”–Keisel, from his post game interview.

The game against the rival Baltimore Ravens started out well for the Steelers. Backup quarterback, Byron Leftwich ran for a 31-yard touchdown on the first series. On the first offensive play for the Ravens, Joe Flacco attempted to go deep. It didn’t work out as Keisel beat his man and delivered a hard, clean blindside hit on the quarterback. Two plays later, the Ravens punted.

Each series went back and forth with each defense stopping plays each time. As Keisel pointed out, the difference in the game was the punt return for a touchdown by the Ravens and the interception of Byron Leftwich.

Game chatter:

From Bob Labriola, Steelers.com:

The Steelers defense had a fine night, and that was the case in how they dealt with all facets of the Ravens offense. Ray Rice averaged 2 yards a carry; Torrey Smith had one catch for 7 yards; the Baltimore offense finished with 200 net yards; and in 11 possessions that were not kneel-downs, the Ravens punted eight times and missed a field goal.

From Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

The defense did what it had to do on a night that backup quarterback Byron Leftwich played in place of injured Ben Roethlisberger and had his struggles.The defense gave the team a chance to win by playing its best game of the season. It nearly pitched a shutout, basically holding the Ravens to one field goal drive. The Ravens finished with 200 yards of offense and punted on eight of their 11 possessions.

The dominance started on the Ravens’ first offensive play. Defensive end Brett Keisel slammed into Flacco as he threw, forcing an incompletion. This would not be a good night for Flacco, who couldn’t get the Ravens into the end zone.

Good defenses always talk about turning a short field for the opponent into a field goal instead of a touchdown. The Steelers did that on the Ravens’ second possession, which started on the Steelers 12 after Ed Reed picked up the fumble by Wallace and returned it 17 yards. First, nose tackle Casey Hampton, then linebacker LaMarr Woodley made big plays on two runs by the Ravens. Early in the third quarter, Woodley was stout against the run again, tackling Rice for no gain on a third-and-1 play from the Ravens 39. Rice — one of the best backs in the NFL — finished with 40 yards on 20 carries.

Read more from Mr. Cook here.

Click here to watch Brett’s post game interview.

Shout out…

Brett’s close friend and Da Beard Gear partner, Michael McGuire was recently named theSuper 25 Coach of the Year!

From the article in the Casper Star Tribune:

Michael McGuire had a feeling Big Horn’s returning talent was a good fit for the system he hoped to install. And the former Riverside head coach and Sheridan assistant wasn’t wrong. The Rams rolled to an undefeated regular season and the Class 2A East Conference championship before falling just one point shy of a state title game berth.

“It all just kind of fell together,” McGuire said.

But the final piece fell in place on Friday, when McGuire was named the Casper Star-Tribune’s Super 25 Coach of the Year. The top 25 high school football players in the state were honored on Friday, the 22nd year the newspaper has selected the all-class all-star team.

“Congratulations to Michael McGuire for being named Super 25 coach of the year in Wyoming. Well deserved my friend.”–Keisel

 

November 16, 2012

IT’S A FAN FRIDAY!

Today is FAN FRIDAY here at the BRETT KEISEL website!

Today’s news photo was sent by Valerie Harris (the photo is from Steelers.com) of her brother, Steve.

“This is a picture of my brother, Steve, that was on The Pittsburgh Steelers facebook page from your game Monday Night.

I don’t know about his beard being in competition with yours, but I do know he is one of your biggest fans.”

Great to see another Da Beard reppin’ the #99 throwback!

From fan Dottie Holland Simpson:

“Ready to take on a school full of Ravens fans (Catonsville High School, Catonsville MD) in my favorite player’s jersey.”

Great photo, Dottie!

Way to show your Steeler Nation pride in Ravens land!

Hope your arm heals soon!

We hope everything went well at school and thank you for sharing your photo!

Always nice to see Steeler Nation all over the world!

According to our website statistics (and from the photos we receive), the website has visitors from all over the world-Steeler Nation is truly special.

From Darcie Ford Addington:

“This is a picture of my cousin, Jason Ford.

Tell me he’s not in a beard competition with you!

He’s also a Wyoming boy (and a HUGE Steelers fan).”

Those Wyoming guys sure know how to grow beards!

Nice work Jason!

Not sure how long Jason has been growing his beard, but Darcie is right…he could give DaBeard some competition!

Be on the lookout for our annual Beard Contest, which is usually towards the end of the season.

From Bobbi Lyn Cooper, New Castle, PA:

“My son, Brady, had his game face on for MNF!

He was SO excited to give Brett a high-five after warm-ups.

Here is a picture of Brady with the hat that Brett gave him.

Thanks to Brett & the Steelers for making his night so special!”

Fun photo Bobbi! Thanks so much!

And, from Stephen Bowers who is always a great supporter of this website and #99!

Stephen is wearing a Da Beard Gear Breast Cancer Awareness shirt, along with a Da Beard Gear hat.

Thank you Stephen!

Thank you to all who took time to send their photos. We couldn’t post them all, but loved seeing them!

Ravens game talk:

From Steelers.com:

When Coach Mike Tomlin said “It’s Ravens’ week for us,” during his press conference on Tuesday, his players easily understood what he meant. In other words, on Sunday night be ready for a battle at Heinz Field.

“It’s going to be a backyard brawl,” said guard Willie Colon. “That is the nature of the game. We are both the bullies of the block when it comes to this division. We are both fighting for the big picture. It’s going to be a good one.

This week will also be about protecting the home turf for the Steelers, who are 4-0 at Heinz Field this year, something they take great pride in.

“We like winning at home,” said defensive end Brett Keisel. “We expect our crowd to be a big factor in this game, give us some noise out there and hopefully we will come away with a win.

“People know what is at stake. It’s one of those games each team understands they need to have in order to win the division, in order to get where they want to get. You have to win these types of games. We are ready to lay it all out on the line to get a win.”

The game will be nationally televised on Sunday at 8:20 p.m. on NBC.

 

November 13, 2012

DOUBLE SACK NIGHT

Steelers 16, Chiefs 13 (OT)

A win is a win. It wasn’t exactly how we had it planned it, but its good to get a win, especially to fight against adversity. That’s 4 hotcakes. Onward and upward! –Keisel, from his post game interview and social media message to fans after the late night win.

Brett and his teammates were excited to play on Monday Night in front of all their fans at Heinz Field. The weather was dreary, which is just how the Steelers like it.

From the start of the game it was clear #99 was ready to go. He sacked Chiefs QB Matt Cassel twice, had at least four quarterback hurries (Keisel leads the team in QB pressures) and eight tackles on the night. He was all over the field last night and looked to have tipped the pass from Cassel in OT, which Steelers LB Lawrence Timmons intercepted to seal the win for the Steelers.

From the Twitter page of CBSSports-PIT:

“On third down, Matt Cassell saw nothing but Beard, and bowed down before it.”

Pittsburgh Post Gazette Sports Writer Gerry Dulac called Brett “The Bearded Wonder” after his play last night.

And, retired Steelers defensive lineman, Chris Hoke had this to say via Twitter about Keisel:

“My player of the game… Brett Keisel he has been everywhere on defense!”

Brett was also considered for Steelers Digest Player of the Week honors. The award went to Lawrence Timmons for his game sealing interception in overtime.

Read more on the game here.

It was a great win for the Steelers, and a great game for Keisel. The bad news was that Ben Roethlisberger and Ryan Clark were injured during the game. The severity of injuries are unknown, but we may learn more after Coach Tomlin’s Press Conference today.

Brett talked to reporters about Ben and the possibility of backup QB Byron Leftwich filling in for Big Ben, if needed:

“He’s a great quarterback. We don’t know whats going on there…hopefully it’s not too serious, but you know he’s the leader of this time and we’ll see what’s going on.”

“B Left-if he goes in there we expect to win games with Byron. If that’s the case, (Byron filling in for Ben) we expect to keep rollin’.”

We all hope Ben and Ryan are doing well and will await official news from Coach Tomlin. We appreciate all the emails and social media messages asking about Ryan and Ben, but please be aware, Mr. Keisel does not discuss specifics on injury news regarding himself or teammates. Coach Tomlin will advise fans and the media of any information the team wishes to make available. As fans, we can just keep the players and their families in our thoughts and prayers.

We will have more news and game photos posted when they are available.

Keisel gives a Veterans Day salute to his nephew, Wes Johnson and his home state of Wyoming:

Click here to watch the video.

 

November 12, 2012

SPECIAL STEELER NATION VETERANS DAY SHOUT OUT

Today, and everyday, we thank our veterans for all they have done for our wonderful country.

We wanted to do a special shout out to an armed services couple who have been such big supporters and friends to Brett’s website, back in the days when it was unofficial, and now.

Today is a day we celebrate our Veterans for all the sacrifices they make on our behalf!

Meet Dave and Keri Bassili!

We came to know Dave and Keri Bassili in 2009, both of the US Army and die-hard Steelers fans, after they met Brett during an autograph signing he was doing. Dave was about to deploy overseas and they made a quick stop in Pittsburgh to take in a game, and attend the autograph signing. Both had their photo taken with Brett. Dave had this to say about meeting Keisel:

“Sincerly nice guy who is playing out of his mind this season!”

View a few more photos from the autograph signing here.

Since then, the Bassili’s have always sent us great photos of their trips to see the Steelers play. They are attending a game later in the season so we look forward to more great photos.

We wanted to do a special Veterans Day post, so we thought of Dave and Keri, and asked Dave to write about what the military means to him. Busy as he is, he graciously said he would do it for us.

From Dave Bassili (US Army CW4):

When Trish (Manager of BrettKeisel.com) asked me to write a little something about being a Veteran, I felt a true sense of gratitude and thankfulness at the great outpouring of support our country now provides its Veterans. The request came ironically at a time where the installation I am currently serving at was holding our “Welcome Home” salute in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War and the Veterans who did not have the admiration and support of their nation.

These men and women are the epitome of what it means to be a Veteran. We talk and hear about words like duty, selfless service and honor. These veterans received nothing from the American people; nothing except condemnation, abuse, and indignity. Most returned home to getting spitted on or called a baby killer for doing what their country told them to do. Sure, some made horrible mistakes, but just like Abu Ghuraib, My Lai represented only a small population of the military.

So let’s talk about duty, selfless-service and honor. I deployed to Iraq four times from 2003-2010. During those four deployments, Bangor, Maine was the first place I landed when I returned for R&R leave and redeployment. More often then not, we always seemed to arrive there at 0’dark thirty in the morning. Each and every time, we were always greeted by Vietnam veterans and their spouses and family members; always with two simple words…Welcome Home! These men and women lived the same values out of service as they did in harm’s way. Being a veteran is about doing something for the greater good of this country and putting your own personal wants and needs at the end of the line.

These men and women selflessly made it their duty to honor us by welcoming home each and every service member that walked off those thousands of airplanes. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

It really dawned on me that most of us have been spoiled by the outpouring of support this country has demonstrated to its Veterans, especially if one looks at our politics and sees how seemingly divided we must appear to the world.

I think pro football players particularly appreciate the sacrifices of America’s veterans – especially the men in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

This team in particular emulates the values of duty, self-less service and honor.

More often then not, each player is more so about the team and not about themselves – a band of brothers!

Whether it is 99 taking a double team or 25 flying in from the hash marks sacrificing his body to stop the play, the team is full of men sacrificing for the greater good of the team.

I would be remiss to leave out my beloved Steelers Nation. No fan base in the world sacrifices their nerves, happiness, and pride then the fans that bleed Black and Gold.

We live with the drops on second and ten, the holds or blocks in the back on a punt return for six, and horrible hits to the head that result in bruised ribs; all to keep believing that they will not be denied. It always makes Monday’s better with the Steelers win on Sunday.

But even when the boys get over-matched, Steelers Nation can still be seen on the cars we drive to work, the banners that hang in our yards, and the clothes we wear to the store. Duty, Self-less service and Honor…values not reserved only to the Military, but demonstrated by all of those associated with greatness. Our country was built on them, and we could all probably use a little more of it.–Dave and Keri Bassili

View some closer images of the photos Dave sent us here.

Also, this heartfelt email was sent to Brett by Thomas Walters yesterday:

“My name is Thomas Walters and I am a disabled veteran. I just want to thank you for everything you do in support of the military and veterans.

I am currently living in New Mexico where I am trying to get back into hunting after not being able to do it (military obligations, etc, etc.) Because of my disabilities some days are better than others. I used to live in Saxonburg (just north of da ‘burgh) when I was a kid and grew up hunting in the mountains around there with my Father and Grandfather.

Just remember one thing, we as veterans, love what you do on and off the field. Take care of yourself, we need more people like you around.

Thank you to the Bassili’s and Mr. Walters for taking the time to email with their stories. Your service to our country is appreciated every day, but especially today, on Veterans Day! Thanks to all who serve or have served this wonderful country!

 

November 9, 2012-evening update

TAKE THE JERSEY OFF KEISEL’S BACK

From the Da Beard Gear crew:

It’s that time of year again, Da Beard Nation!

The Great Bearded One is once again giving you the chance to win the jersey off his back.

If you place an order between November 1st, 2012 and December 20, 2012, you will be in the running to win an autographed, game used Brett Keisel jersey!

There will also be runner up prizes such as autographed photos, game worn cleats and game gloves.

Happy shopping and good luck!

With the holiday season fast approaching, this is the PERFECT time to order Da Beard Gear for family, friends, or yourself!

Click on over to the Da Beard Gear store to check out all their merchandise. From t-shirts to beanies (which are back in stock) to koozies and stickers, they have something for every Da Beard fan!

 

November 9, 2012

KEISEL READY FOR MNF

“”It’s always exciting knowing you’re the only game everyone is watching. We’re excited to play in front of our home fans.” –Keisel, talking about the upcoming Monday Night game against KC.

Brett also spoke with Mark Madden from 105.9x about the upcoming game and more.

On if the KC game has the potential for a let down:

“We take it one week, one game at a time. Not taking them (KC) lightly. They have a good running attack. We need to shut down the run. Monday Night Football at Heinz Field.. what could be better than that!”

On how he’s feeling:

“I feel much better..first part of season was a little rough, I wasn’t 100%, not making excuses, but I’m starting to feel a lot better..getting in the groove. I feel great. I really enjoy going out with these guys and competing.”

Does #99 want to be in the backfield for a trick play:

“I’m all for that. I wanna be out on the field all the time. I really enjoy playing.”

On whether Ben Roethlisberger should be in the discussion for league MVP:

“No question about it. Nobody’s played as good as he has, in my opinion, and no one has been as consistent as he has. So, yes I very much think that he should be at the top of that list.”

Brett also discussed his Defensive Coordinator, Dick LeBeau, taking on Eli Manning and more. You can listen to the entire interview HERE.

Steeler Nation strong in Frostburg, MD!

This photo is from Darren Johnson, with his lovely fiance, Britteny and their adorable daughter, Jada!

Darren said he’s letting his beard grow, but knows he has not quite reached Da Beard status yet.

Thanks to Darren, Britteny and Jada for sharing their photo.

Autograph signing:

Brett will be signing autographs at Diehl Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Viper in Robinson on November 10. He will be there from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. so stop by and say hello to Da Beard (and Brett).

 

November 8, 2012

KNOWING WHO THE TRUE HEROES ARE

“Thanks for a great time at the 171st Air Force base! We appreciate all you do.”–Keisel, after his visit to the base.

From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:

As Steelers Jonathan Dwyer, James Harrison, Doug Legursky and Brett Keisel entered one of the hangers at the Air National Guard’s 171st Air Refueling Wing in Pittsburgh, you could see the excitement on the faces of those who serve this country, seeing players they cheer for on Sunday afternoons right in front of them.

But for the players, on this day they weren’t the heroes, the ones people look up to. Not even close. It was the men and women in uniform who were the heroes.

“You get to see what they do to protect and serve us and give us the freedoms we have,” said Harrison. “It’s obvious they are the true heroes. We go out here and play a game and we consider it battle. They go out there and put their lives on the line and they don’t come home. I’m going to come home after a game.”

The visit, done in conjunction with USAA, was a part of the Steelers “Salute to Service” in honor of Veteran’s Day. The players were there to say thank you to those who serve the country and learn a little bit more about what they do on a daily basis.

“It’s a great opportunity and we are so happy they came here,” said Colonel Tony Carrelli, Wing Commander at the guard base. “One of the great things about a guard unit is we are a community Air Force, we are the Pittsburgh Air Force. We are strong to our ties to the community. There is such great support. Any time we can host someone on the base it’s a great opportunity because they are so supportive of us.

“It was awesome,” said Keisel, who has family currently serving and many military veterans in his family as well. “All of these people here are our heroes. They protect us, protect all of our rights. To have the opportunity to and bring my son and show him about these guys and what they do is awesome.”

Read Ms. Varley’s entire article here.

View more photos here.

And, view a video of the visit here.

Check out the news from November 7 for information on the 65 Roses Sports Auction to be hosted by Mr. Keisel.

 

November 7, 2012

EVENT REMINDER: 65 ROSES SPORTS AUCTION

Join Brett and many of his teammates on December 6, as he hosts the 65 Roses Sports Auction.

The event benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

From the CF website:

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit with your Pittsburgh Steelers. This unique event, hosted by Steelers team captain and Honorary Chairman, Brett Keisel, includes your very own keepsake football that can be used during the autograph session by attending Steelers players, buffet style dinner and more. Don’t miss out on this annual sport spectacular which also features a live and silent auction with memorabilia from your favorite hometown teams and much more!

The event will be held at McFadden’s Restaurant in Pittsburgh.

More details, including the time and information on purchasing tickets can be found on the right side of this page, under Events and Appearances.

This is a great chance to meet Mr. Keisel and his teammates. The guest list is amazing and you will be able to use the keepsake football provided with your ticket to obtain autographs from your favorite Steelers. Please note due to the popularity and demand of this event, we are unable to permit outside items to be brought to the event for autographs.

You can view photos from previous years of the event here.

We hope to see you at the event on December 6!

To learn more about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, please click here.

 

November 5, 2012

THE REVENGE OF THE STEELERS’ 30-SOMETHINGS

From George Bretherton, The New York Times:

This time the moment came less than a month ago, and it seemed very real. It can best be described as the annual notion that the aging Steelers are on the road to decline.

Guess what? That idea looks wrong again.

On Oct. 11, red flags shot up when Tennessee tight end Jared Cook caught a third-down pass from Matt Hasselbeck with less than a minute to play against the Steelers.

The stunning 26-23 loss came two plays later when Titans kicker Rob Bironas made a 40-yard field goal as time expired.

Guess what? The Steelers haven’t lost or allowed a fourth-quarter touchdown since their Music City Meltdown. In the Steelers’ 24-20 victory on Sunday, they dominated in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Giants, 14-0, while not allowing them a first down.

Brett Keisel (34), Harrison (34) and Ryan Clark (33) sparked the Steelers’ defense on the Giants’ second series, another three-and-out that yielded only 3 yards.

Read more about the other 30-somethings who contributed big plays, including Ben Roethlisberger and Casey Hampton, here.

“We got your back Coach”:

After the fake field goal called by Coach Tomlin failed, the Steelers defense knew they had to have their coach’s back.

From Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

Fortunately for the Steelers, their defense had already turned the game around. In fact, from the moment New York went ahead, 20-10, with 1:32 left in the third quarter, Dick LeBeau’s forces flat out suffocated Eli Manning and one of the most accomplished fourth-quarter offenses in the modern NFL. Excluding its three punts, New York ran only nine plays in the fourth quarter (three three-and-outs), nine plays that netted minus-18 yards. It was precisely that gathering dominance that notarized the mental license for Tomlin’s goofy special teams caper.

“When we came off the next time, [Tomlin] said, ‘Way to have my back!’ We’re starting to play together as a team, which is what it takes to beat We’re starting to get better.”— Keisel

Read the rest of Mr. Collier’s article here.

Post game interview:

Listen to Keisel’s post game interview here.

Game photos:

Click here for game photos!

 

November 4, 2012

TRIPLE STACK OF HOTCAKES

“Triple stack of #hotcakes! Da Boys played tough tonight. Proud to be a Steeler! Onward and upward!”— Keisel, after the 24-20 win over the Giants.

The Steelers knew this would be a tough game. The Giants are the defending Super Bowl champions, and they have been playing great football on both sides of the ball.

And, traveling to New York and New Jersey would be tough after Hurricane/Super Storm Sandy devastated the states.

The team was not put off about having to travel there and back as a one day trip, they were concerned for the people who lived there and who were going through so much more than anyone could imagine.

“When you look at it, it’s a minor inconvenience considering what those people in New York and New Jersey went through. You have seven million people without electricity, and a football game pales in comparison to that. You just hope you can do your best to take their minds off such a travesty for a couple of hours by playing some football.”— Max Starks

“Not having power to go to and from work, they’re really fighting through it, so this is minor compared to what they’re going through.”— Keisel

The Steelers made the decision to travel on Sunday instead of Saturday so they would not take up hotel space from those in true need of shelter.

Game news:

The Steelers defense started off tough forcing the Giants to punt on their first possession, and they held strong throughout the game.

From Steelers.com:

On the Steelers’ first touchdown drive, which was set up by Ike Taylor’s interception, Isaac Redman carried six times for 34 yards on a drive that covered 58 yards on 11 plays. The touchdown came on a pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Emmanuel Sanders, who went high for the ball and came down with both feet inbounds along the back of the end zone.

The game started off well, but with some questionable calls, the Giants got themselves right back in it and took the lead. Refusing to give up, the Steelers held strong and found a way to win…and afterwards got right back on a plane to head back to Pittsburgh.

Read more on the game here.

I will post more news and photos tomorrow evening. Get some rest Steeler Nation! And, please take time to send some positive thoughts and prayers to those still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane/Super Storm Sandy.

 

November 2, 2012

FAN LOVIN’ FRIDAY

Keisel and the Steelers are so fortunate to have a huge and loyal fan base supporting them year round.

We appreciate all the photos fans are sending and we wanted to share some on the site today for a FAN LOVIN’ FRIDAY!

In today’s news photo it looks like someone has a little crush on Da Beard.

For those who follow the always entertaining, always hungry Hamptons Gut on Twitter…this is his adorable almost-three-year-old daughter.

From DaGut:

“My daughter turns 3 next week and this is what she wanted to get! First thing she says is he has a cute hair “do” and then sneaks a kiss.”

Brett and his teammates really enjoy the antics of Hamptons Gut, and we think you will too..so be sure to follow Hamptons Gut on Twitter.

His bio: “Large, round, soft and lovable. I enjoy short walks to the fridge during the week and snacking on quarterbacks during the weekend.”

Fans support of the Da Beard 4 Da BOO+Bees shirts:

Fan Teri Harkins shopwing off her new Da Beard shirt and her own version of Da Beard!

Thanks to all the fans who purchased the fun t-shirts to benefit breast cancer research.

From the sales, Brett and his Da Beard Gear crew donated 5k to Glimmer of Hope.

See the October 30 news for details and photos.

View more photos of fans and Brett’s teammates wearing the t-shirts HERE.

Thank you to Brett for the free autograph signing held at training camp:

Keisel and his Da Beard Gear crew held a free autograph signing this past summer during training camp. They wanted to thank fans for all their support. Many fans attended, as did Brett’s teammate Antonio Brown and Brown’s adorable son AB JR.

From fan Don Woodring who attended the event with his daughter:

“My daughter, who attends college and I are very close, so we decided that our trip this summer would be to go to Steelers camp at Latrobe. It was awesome!

The players are so approachable and fan friendly. All I can say is AWESOME.

The high light of camp was the invitation (to all) to come to a local bar where Brett would be signing items for free. We went and stood in line when it was our time, Brett said hi, smiled and gave my daughter a wink. such a nice man. She still talks about how much she likes him. so when she comes home for thanking, we will put our Keisel Jerseys on for pictures to post. I posted a picture of Keisel signing my daughter’s mini helmet.I love the picture.”

You can view more photos from the signing HERE.

Halloween fan photos:

Halloween brought out many versions of Da Beard and his teammates. Check out ourHalloween Gallery.

Also, click here for previous fan photos.

 

November 1, 2012

NO SHAVE/MOVEMBER & OTHER NEWS

November must be Da Beard’s favorite time of the year as it kicks off No Shave November and Movember!

We like Jake Smith’s idea:“I think that November should be renamed “National Brett Keisel Month.”

In all seriousness, the annual monthly event does a lot to raise money for prostate cancer awareness, which is a worthy cause so we hope you will take time to learn more about the annual event.

From Ron Cook, Post-Gazette.com:

‘Old guys’ back to their same tricks:…

James Harrison, one of the many 30-somethings on the Steelers defense, was musing Sunday about the numerous critics who piled on after the defense was largely responsible for three losses in the first five games by blowing fourth-quarter leads. “Every year we’ve been getting old, for what, five or six years now? What have we been? At least top five [in the NFL] for the last 10 years? We’ve been getting old for so long that, at some point, they’re eventually going to be right. If they say it long enough, eventually it’s going to happen.”

Maybe Harrison is on to something. Maybe it’s not quite time to say that two of the more scrutinized defensive players are done. Linebacker Larry Foote and defensive end Brett Keisel made quite a resurgence Sunday. They were active and productive in the 27-12 win against the Washington Redskins and against the Cincinnati Bengals the week before when the defense made three fourth-quarter stops to save a 24-17 win.

“I expect to be there for my teammates. I want to be in the right spot for them all the time. But, occasionally, I’m not. I hate that. But it’s what you do with what’s left [of the season] that’s important. Do you sit back and feel sorry for yourself? Or do you buckle down and work harder and start making plays?”

Keisel went with the latter option. He made a huge play late against the Redskins, tackling Logan Paulsen for a 7-yard loss after the tight end caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage. Keisel was credited with four tackles, a quarterback hurry and one pass defense.

Keisel:

“I still feel like I can play. If I couldn’t do it, I don’t think coach [Mike] Tomlin and the Rooneys would have me out there. We’re in the business of winning games. They’re not going to play someone who can’t help us win.”

Read Mr. Cook’s entire article here.

Donation drive for NJ and NY:

Jergel’s Rhythm Grille will be holding a donation drive to send much needed supplies to Hurricane Sandy victims in NJ and NY. Visit their Facebook Page for the details.

More Da Beard Halloween photos:

Click here to view more Halloween photos sent by fans.

 

October 31, 2012

BLACK AND GOLD HALLOWEEN

Trick-or-treaters are out in full force, and from the looks of it, the Steelers are well represented.

Today’s news photo of Head & Shoulders for Men’s, “Mane Men”, Da Beard and Troy Polamalu, was sent by Steve.

From the Da Beard, to the throwback jersey, Polamalu-like hair and the pink breast cancer awareness wrist bands, these two did an amazing job pulling off the Da Beard and Polamalu look!

Brett asked via social media who was going dress as Polamalisa for Halloween, and Denise Petrilli Klaiber answered the call!

She pulls off the “Polamalisa look perfectly, don’t you think?

We are loving all the photos fans are sending and you will too!

Check out our Halloween Gallery.

 

October 30, 2012

GIVING BACK

Brett and his Da Beard Gear crew established Da Beard Gear merchandise as a way to give fans what they wanted…a piece of Da Beard. From t-shirts, hats and hoodies to koozies, stickers and kids gear they wanted to spread the “Da Beard” look.

Da Beard and his crew also wanted to find ways to give back to fans and the community, and they did just that with the new Da Beard gear breast cancer awareness shirts unveiled earlier this month for breast cancer awareness month. They said proceeds would be donated to breast cancer awareness, but did not reveal which foundation would receive the funds.

Last night, at Heath Miller’s Bid for Hope event, Brett Keisel surprised Diana Napper, founder of Glimmer of Hope with a $5000.00 check, which came from the proceeds of the pink Da Beard Gear breast cancer awareness shirts!

“I want to thank everyone who purchased the pink shirts from Da Beard Gear. 5K donation was made tonight at Bid For Hope. Well done everyone!”–Keisel, via his official Twitter page.

From Steelers.com:

Defensive end Brett Keisel presented Glimmer of Hope with a check for $5,000 from the sale of his pink Da Beard Gear t-shirts during October, a shirt specially designed to help the fight against breast cancer.

“We just wanted to do something to give back,” said Keisel. “Heath and his family mean a lot to us. Plus my wife Sarah had an aunt that was close to her pass away from breast cancer. My Da Beard Gear crew got together with a witty idea and I was impressed to see the shirts raised that much money in such a short amount of time.”

Read more on Heath’s event, and view a few more photos here.

Also, watch a video from the event with Heath and his teammates, including Keisel talk about the importance of Glimmer of Hope, here.

 

October 28, 2012-evening update

STACKING HOTCAKES

“Finally a stack of hotcakes. Good team Win! Onward and upward. It was Steeler weather. So we had to play Steeler football.”–Keisel, following the 27-12 win over Washington.

On a day where people living in Pittsburgh, and all over the U.S. were preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, the Steelers unleashed a hurricane of their own on the unsuspecting Washington Redskins.

Ben Roethlisberger and his offense came out strong, scoring early with a touchdown pass to Leonard Pope.

The defense had talked about the need to stop Washington QB, RG III. Other teams had not been able to contain him an entire game, so they knew this would be a huge task.

From Jarrett Bell, USA Today:

Robert Griffin III rolled through Heinz Field on Sunday, and the Pittsburgh Steelers were in no mood to serve as gracious hosts for the NFL’s most electric rookie.

He was chased, corralled, badgered and pummeled.

It was a hard-knocks lesson of a game for Griffin III, who completed 16 of 34 passes for 177 yards, and rushed just five times for eight yards. Besides the Week 5 loss to Atlanta, when he left with a concussion, they were Griffin III’s lowest totals of the season.

The Redskins opened with a nifty 15-yard run by Josh Morgan on an end-around. But by and large, the razzle-dazzle that has spiced up Mike Shanahan’s scheme — read-option runs, play-action fakes off ghost runs and other assorted sleight-of-hand tricks — did nothing to fool a defense that prides itself on sound fundamentals.

And, from Bob Labriola, Steelers.com:

What went right in the game:

On an attempted throwback screen to tight end Logan Paulsen, Brett Keisel diagnosed the play and dropped Paulsen for a 7-yard loss that set up a third-and-17 from the Steelers 24-yard line with about five minutes left in the game. Two incomplete passes later, the Steelers took over on downs with their 27-12 lead intact.

Keisel on RG III:

“He’s a great athlete. We knew he was. We knew in order to be successful we’d have to have guys on him on every snap, keep him in the pocket. I think for the most part, we did a pretty good job.”

More, from Jim Wexell, SteelCityInsider.Net:

The Steelers’ 400th win in their modern history could only be won this way:

A 100-yard rusher, a sharp quarterback, and defense.

Punishing defense. Classic Steelers football.

“It was Steeler weather,” Brett Keisel pointed out. “So we had to play Steeler football.”

On a cold and drizzly October afternoon, the Steelers punished rookie quarterback Robert Griffin and the Redskins in a 27-12 win.

Read more from Mr. Wexell here.

Game photos:

Click here for game photos!

Hurricane Sandy:

We hope everyone in the path of Hurricane Sandy and its remnants stays safe. If there is a lapse in updating on the website thorughout this upcoming week, it will be due to power outages from the storm. We appreciate your understanding.

October 28, 2012

DA BEARD IN TRAINING

David Kutek was told he could choose his own costume this year for Halloween.

So, adorable (and clever) two and a half year old David grabbed his #99 helmet, Steelers uniform, football and of course he added the legendary Da Beard to complete the costume of his favorite player.

From his mother, Angela:

“This is my son David. He is 2 1/2 and this was his idea for his Halloween costume! Loves Da Beard!”

Thank you to Angela and David Kutek for sending the photo.

We hope he has a great time dressed as Da Beard!

Looks like his beard could already give Keisel some competition!

Da Beard O’ Lantern …

Johnny Vogt decided his front porch needed a change.

Others carve witches, goblins, and black cats into their pumpkins to place on their porches, but Johnny wanted something different…something a bit classier.

” Da Beard O’ Lantern really classes up my front porch!— Johnny Vogt

What an amazing carving job! Wonder if any trick-or-treaters will dare step onto Johnny’s porch?

View larger images of David and Johnny’s photos, and more Halloween themed photos here.

Reminder..Brett Keisel Outdoor Adventure Sweepstakes:

Brett still needs a pheasant hunting partner!

We posted in the October 13th news about the contest to hunt with Brett and and a few others.

The Hunt with the Black & Gold will take place on November 20, 2012. It includes lunch with the players, guides and dogs at a local private hunting and fishing club.

Pick up an entry form at Gander Mountain stores in stores in Erie,Greensburg, Johnstown, Moon Township, Washington and West Mifflin. Entries will be accepted through October 31, with the winner announced in early November.

This is your chance to meet and hunt with Da Beard! Brett is excited for the hunt and to meet the winner:

“I am looking forward to partnering with Gander Mountain. Spending time with my family in the great outdoors is my favorite activity. This promotion is the perfect opportunity to spend time with our great fans at a first class pheasant hunt.”

Hurricane Sandy:

We hope everyone in the path of Hurricane Sandy and its remnants stays safe. If there is a lapse in updating on the website thorughout this upcoming week, it will be due to power outages from the storm. We appreciate your understanding.

October 26, 2012

FEAR THE BEARD

From Mike Massucci:

“Our son Luca before his Halloween party at school. He likes to yell FEAR THE BEARD!”

I know he is probably supposed to look scary, but he’s too adorable to pull off scary!

Thank you to Mike and Luca for sharing their photo. Fans on Twitter and Facebook LOVED it.

You can view a larger version of the photo, along with other Halloween photos, here.

We also added a great pumpkin carving of Da Beard done by Misty Tompkins, so be sure to check it out.

Keisel talks RG III:

“He is as advertised. He’s as fast as anyone out there and he’s going to be very tough to stop.”

The game against the Redskins is Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

Also, visit the Da Beard Gear World Tour Album to see a photo of Pam Mangol Bitner and her lovely mother wearing their new Da Beard Gear BOO+BEES shirts at Steelers Ladies Night Out.

We really appreciate all who have purchased the new breast cancer awareness shirts. If you are thinking of ordering one, do so soon as supplies are running very low. Proceeds from the sales will go towards breast cancer research.

 

October 25, 2012

2013 PRO BOWL VOTING UNDERWAY

The ballot for the 2013 Pro Bowl is open and voting is underway.

For the 33rd time, the annual contest between the AFC and NFC will take place at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The game will be played on January 27, 2013, one week before the Super Bowl.

Teams will be announced December 26, 2012 on NFL Network.

You Vote, They Play…

It’s that simple. Vote for your favorite player or players as many times as you’d like (we hope you vote a lot since voting is UMLIMITED). Fan votes are combined with votes from players and coaches, so we can make a difference!

The link we are providing will take you directly to the Steelers ballot, so each time you click on a position, the eligible Steelers will show first.

We’re making it as easy as possible for you to vote to send as many Steelers as possible to Hawaii!

Click HERE to vote.

The link will also remain on the right side of this page, under Pro Bowl for your convenience.

Voting ends December 17 following the Jets-Tennessee game.

Thank you in advance for voting.

And, thank you to Matt Solomowitz for creating the Pro Bowl slogan.

Want to read more about the Pro Bowl? Click here .

 

October 24, 2012

STEELERS TO UNLEASH KILLER BEES

“They’re bumble-bees. Killer bees. Go up and look at that team from 1934, it’s a pretty interesting set of cats, you know? I think it’s cool, you know, it gives us something a little different to wear and it’ll be fun to go out and put ‘em on display and hopefully get a win in them.” — Keisel, talking about wearing the throwback jerseys this weekend.

To many fans dismay, the Steelers announced they would be wearing their throwback jerseys this weekend against Washington. This is the first time this style will be worn, and many fans have already given them a thumbs down. There are also many fans who like them, and guess who else likes ’em?

Brett Keisel!

Read his thoughts (via Ken Laird) here.

When I first saw them, I wasn’t sure what to think, but after seeing them on the players, I like them too! You can see some more photos of the throwbacks from Steelers.com here.

A DaBeardly Halloween:

Charlene Sommers Offutt designed a Da Beardly Gnome to share with us!

The detail is amazing, and you can view it, along with many other Da Beardly creations here.

Shavin’ for charity:

We all know Keisel says good-bye to Da Beard after each season in a shaving event to benefit Children’s Hospital. Well, meet Bob who will also be shaving his beard for charity in February!

“Here is my beard about 7 weeks in. Will be shaving it for charity in February in honor of my best friend who passed away due to cancer. I love the new shirts! –Bob

Thanks Bob! And, thanks to all who have purchased the new Da Beard Gear Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirts!

View some photos of fans and Brett’s teammates wearing them HERE.

 

October 23, 2012

HALLOWEEN IS AROUND THE CORNER

And, Steve H. is already set with his costume! Any guesses as to who he is dressed up as?

If you plan to dress up as Da Beard this Halloween, send us a photo! We’d love to post it on the website.

Need help with your Da Beard look? Check out this Da Beard Mask!

Halloween photos:

Click here to view some more Halloween photos, including some amazing carved pumpkins!

Da Beard goes PINK:

Da Beard Gear added two new t-shirts to their merchandise line. They are in honor of breast cancer awareness month, and all proceeds will benefit breast cancer research.

Be sure to order your shirt soon as supplies are running very low!

Click here to see both designs. Brett’s favorite is the pink BOO+BEES shirt.

Signed photos:

Brett and his Da Beard Gear crew are now offering autographed photos of #99 for purchase. There are four different photos. Click the STORE link above, or click on the link to the new t-shirts to view them.

View some photos of fans and Brett’s teammates in the new shirts HERE.

 

October 22, 2012

BIG DIVISIONAL WIN IN CINCY

Steelers 24, Bengals 17

“This is the happiest I’ve been at .500 ever, I think. We need to keep things going and start stacking wins.

“It was interesting, it was a chess match there for awhile. We got in a hole you know in the beginning and we responded. We responded the way good teams do. You don’t panic. Everyone is saying, “Oh the steelers are panicked”, but we stuck to the game plan, had trust in each other to make plays and we did enough today to win.” — Keisel, from his post game interview.

From Mike Prisuta, SteelCityInsider.net:

Doug Legursky sat in a pair of uniform pants splattered by blood and looked like a guy who had no interest in taking them off. “That’s a part of the game when you don’t wear gloves,” Legursky observed. “I’m a bloody mess out there but I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Not after Steelers 24, Bengals 17.

Not after a team that had limped into Paul Brown Stadium at 2-3 and quickly fallen behind the Bengals 14-3 had managed to suddenly gather itself and literally run Cincinnati over. That’s what made Sunday night worth savoring. That and the extreme circumstances attached to the Steelers’ first AFC North Division battle of 2012 based on that 2-3 record and their 0-For-The-Road showing through previous trips to Denver, Oakland and Nashville.

Coach Tomlin talks about the team holding A.J Green:

“Big time ball for us. Like we said it was a collective effort. Rush, coverage, Dick (LeBeau) called a good game. He mixed in some zones. It was necessary to get us out of there.

Interception was turning point of the game:

From Bob Labriola, Steelers.com:

It seemed as though the Steelers were slogging their way to a loss to the Bengals, mired in holding penalties and a couple of early turnovers in a game they trailed at the time, 14-6. What they needed was a splash play, and LaMarr Woodley provided it with an interception on a play where the ball first slipped out of Andy Dalton’s hand and then bounced off the back of an offensive lineman’s helmet. The Steelers capitalized on the takeaway to score the tying points before halftime.

Read more here.

The Steelers also were helped out by the Houston Texans who beat the Baltimore Ravens earlier in the day. Also, the Bengals have now lost two division games in a row..one to the Browns and now to the Steelers.

20 Questions with Brett Keisel:

Sports Illustrated recently sat down and asked Keisel 20 rapid fire, quick hitting questions about a variety of not-so-serious topics.

Click here to check out the question and answer with #99!

 

October 18, 2012

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT

“”My mother lost her courageous battle with breast cancer four years ago. As a Steelers fan, and supporter for breast cancer awareness, I proudly wear Da Boo-Bees shirt!!” —Mike LeValley

Thanks to all who purchased one of the new breast cancer awareness tees from Da Beard Gear. And, thanks to all who are helping to spread the word on the shirts. Proceeds go to breast cancer research so every purchase brings us one step closer to a cure!

We appreciate the photos being sent of fans (and Brett’s teammates) in their breast cancer awareness t-shirts. You can view a few photos HERE.

From Mike Prisuta’s article, Big Games, Then There’s This One:

“We’re not panicked. Some people in here might say we are. I would say our backs are against the wall and we’ve gotta start winning some games, especially on the road.

This will be a big test for us. It’ll be interesting to see how we respond knowing the level of importance this game has in our season. I want to see us go out and play the way we’re used to playing around here, playing for 60 minutes. Playing as well as we did in the first half in the second half.”— Keisel

You can read the entire article here. It requires a subscription, but the cost is well worth it for all the articles and content provided.

Now, it’s time for some Advanced Music Appreciation with Polamalu, Founder & University President of the Troy Polamalu School of Deeper Learning, and Keisel who is the Dean of Students, and Professor of Facial Hair.

From Doug Farrar, The Shutdown Corner Interview: Troy Polamalu and Brett Keisel talk about hair, air guitar, and what comes after football:

“Yeah, man — we’re air guitar professionals. Notice how we express ourselves with our facial expressions, and our impressive fingerings. It was a lot of fun. — Keisel

See what you think of their air guitar skills HERE.

Brett was also asked about life after football:

“Yeah, I’ve thought about it. I think I’d like to stay in football somehow, but I feel like when I’m done, I’ll need to get away from it for a little while. This is my 11th year, and I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I really and truly enjoy coming to work — we have a great group of guys and they make it fun. It’s been a blessing to be a part of it, and to win Super Bowls, but I try to keep the focus on playing while it’s here. Like Troy says, you never know when it’s going to be gone.”

Read more of Doug Farrar’s interview with Troy and Brett HERE.

 

October 17, 2012

TROY POLAMALU SCHOOL OF DEEPER LEARNING

Brett and Troy Polamalu headed back to school Tuesday, not as students, but as guest lecturers at the University of Pittsburgh to unveil the Troy Polamalu School of Deeper Learning through Head & Shoulders for Men.

Keisel is the Dean of Students, and of course the Professor of Facial Hair.

“It’s been great doing this whole thing with Troy for Head & Shoulders School of Deeper Learning. I feel lucky to be a part of it. “ –Keisel, from this video on Steelers.com.

Pitt students were thrilled to see Da Beard and Polamalu on campus. Deanna Felicissimo tweeted: “Just shook Troy Polamalu and Brett Keisel’s hands. This is so worth the tuition!”

Click here to watch a series of fun videos with Keisel and Troy explaining the art deeper learning.

Making the rounds:

Brett is making the rounds this week on the interview circuit, discussing the upcoming game against the Bengals, the state of the defense and more. In case you missed the interviews, here are a few links…

Steelers.com.

ESPN

FSDayBreak

NFL AM

 

October 15, 2012

KEISEL’S CHAT WITH THE MEDIA

“We gotta play better, we gotta seize crucial moments in the game, and make plays when they’re there and finish teams out. We haven’t done it this year. We are working to correct some mistakes and go to a tough divisional game this week. Gotta work harder, work smarter, and focus on the little things.”

Listen to the rest of the interview via Steelers.com.

The Steelers take on the Bengals on October 21 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For those heading to Cincy, here are some ideas from Gretchen McKay on how to do your trip up right. She offers lodging, eating and sightseeing tips to various attractions in Cincinnati.

Sharp dressed men…and women and children:

Click here to view photos of the Steelers and their families on the runway for the Steelers Style Fashion Show.

Brett and his family, along with his teammates and their families, put on quite a show for the fans.

Willie Colon won the SWAG award. Check out the photos and see if you agree. They all looked great!

Also, Check out this exclusive, never-before-seen bonus footage from the 2012 Steelers Style Fashion Show. Follow the players and their families from the red carpet to the runway and backstage from Steelers.com.

Da Hunt with Da Beard…info below in October 13 news.

 

October 13, 2012

DA HUNT WITH DA BEARD

Want to hunt with Da Beard and other Pittsburgh players?

If you are 18 years of age or older, enter to win a chance from Northwest Savings !

The Hunt with the Black & Gold will take place on November 20, 2012. It includes lunch with the players, guides and dogs at a local private hunting and fishing club.

Denise Petrilli Klaiber and her husband (shown in today’s news photo) won last year and had a great time with Keisel and Doug Legursky. Thank you to Denise for sharing her personal photo with this site.

Ready to enter? Just click HERE for more details and GOOD LUCK!

Congratulations to Heath Miller. His #89 college jersey with UVA was retired today. Heath and his family attended the game where he was honored at halftime.

 

October 12, 2012

LAST SECOND LOSS

The Steelers lost to the Titans 26-23 after a last second field goal by Tennessee.

There were positives from the game such as Ben Roethlisberger passing Terry Bradshaw in Steelers all-time career passing yards after his 17-yard pass to Heath Miller. And, Isaac Redman became the first Steelers running back to have a 100-yard game receiving since Frenchy Fuqua had four catches for 116 yards against Cleveland on Nov. 29, 1970.

The Steelers defense held strong when the Titans made it to the 3-yard-line, holding them to only a field goal, and Lawrence Timmons had a nice interception in the second half.

Read more on the game here.

The Steelers once again had to deal with numerous injuries to key players like, Troy Polamalu, LaMarr Woodley and later in the game, Rashard Mendenhall. They have never used injuries as an excuse, and are not doing so now. The entire team is working to correct past mistakes while moving forward to their next opponent.

The Steelers will face the Cincinnati Bengals next on October 21.

 

October 10, 2012

TOUGHEST VENUES: STRONG AS STEEL

ESPN.com tapped more than two dozen NFL players, owners, general managers past and present, scouts, and pundits to determine the NFL’s toughest venues.

Listed at number 4 was Heinz Field.

Over the past 30 years, the Steelers are tied with Green Bay for the most home wins (129) among NFL teams. Over the past decade, their .728 home winning percentage is No. 3 overall.

Three Rivers Stadium came into being in 1970, replacing Forbes Field, at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers that form the Ohio River. As spectacular as the water views were, Three Rivers was just another one of those cookie-cutter, multipurpose stadiums like the ones built in Cincinnati, St. Louis and Philadelphia.

But something extraordinary happened in this blue-collar, big-shouldered steel city. The Steelers happened, winning four of six Super Bowls from 1974 to ’79. The fans waved their Terrible Towels and cheered their magnificent Steel Curtain defense, the explosive offense, an entire team of future Hall of Famers — and Three Rivers was their cathedral.

And then, in 2001, they blew it up. On a cold February day, 4,800 pounds of explosives took down one of sports’ greatest home-field venues. In 19 seconds it was all gone.

But not the Steelers’ advantage. Heinz Field, which sprung up just 80 feet from the old stadium, has been every bit as rugged on opposing teams. Maybe it’s because the Steelers have sold out 352 consecutive games, going back to 1972.

Last December, a Sports Illustrated poll — based on the responses of 321 NFL players — revealed that Steelers fans were the second-toughest to play in front of.

What makes Heinz Field so tough?

“The fans. We have the greatest fans in the world. There are instances where you see teams struggle with the noise. Times like that stick out in my mind.”

Read the entire article here.

 

October 7, 2012

“WE NEEDED THIS WIN BAD”

Steelers 16, Eagles 14

The Steelers defeated the Eagles 16-14 at Heinz Field today. They are now 2-2 on the season.

From Keisel’s Post Game interview:

““We still feel like we can play, we still feel like we can play with anybody.

For the most part we did pretty good today. We need to force teams to three points when they get to red-zone but 14-points is good enough usually in the NFL to get you a win.

That turnover down there [in the first quarter] in the red-zone that was big. Big turning point in the game, if they get even three points there we lose this game.

That’s a great team. They’re beat some good teams already this year. We’re even keel now, .500. We’ve got to work on going to a place on the road and getting a win, we haven’t done that yet this year. So that’s our focus.”

On the return of Harrison:

“Harrison is a “great player, we expect him to be a force for us out there. It was good to get his first game back and to get a win.

We’re all excited about that and excited that for the most part he made it out of the game healthy. He’s done a great job of staying in shape, he’s a work-a-holic. That’s why he’s in such great shape and able to play the full game today, and he’s a difference maker.”

From Bob Labriola-Defense does its part in the win :

The Eagles managed just 14 points, and Philadelphia also was held to a season-low 246 total net yards.

Running back LeSean McCoy contributed 53 yards on the ground, a season-low for McCoy, on 16 carries. Quarterback Michael Vick was limited to 16 yards rushing and 175 through the air, a season-low passing total for him. And the Steelers’ defense doubled its turnover total for the season by collecting a pair of fumble recoveries to match the two turnovers Pittsburgh had produced on defense in the first three games.

And the Steelers’ defense did all of that despite losing strong safety Troy Polamalu (calf) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) prior to halftime.

Read more of Mr. Labriola’s article here.

Read more on the game here.

Listen to Brett (and other members of the defense) post game interview here.

Coach Tomlin did not know the severity of Polamalu’s or Woodley’s injuries yet. He did indicate it would be a short week for both of them to try to recover as the Steelers play again this Thursday against the Titans.

Check out the news below (from October 3) for info on the new breast cancer awareness t-shirts from Da Beard Gear. Proceeds will go to breast cancer research.

 

October 3, 2012- Second update

DA BEARD GOES PINK

No, Brett didn’t dye Da Beard pink, but he and his Da Beard Gear crew went pink with some new t-shirt designs to support Breast Cancer Awareness month.

There are two fun styles being offered. For those asking, Da Beard’s favorite is the all pink shirt.

Da Beard Nation…support a great cause by sporting these Da Beard Breast Cancer Awareness Tee’s. Proceeds from sales will be donated to benefit breast cancer research!

Pre-orders are being taken now with shipping to begin on October 9.

Get a closer look at these one-of-a-kind-offical-Keisel-merchandise t-shirts and place an order: HERE.

There are two different shirts available. To see both of them (front and back), click on over toDa Beard Gear.

The shirts will make nice gifts for breast cancer survivors, friends, family and of course for yourself! They will sell quickly so don’t wait too long to order.

Steeler Nation and Da Beard Nation… let’s stand strong in the fight against breast cancer and join together to show our support of those battling breast cancer, the survivors and those loved ones and friends we have lost.

The previous update below has quotes from Brett’s chat with the media today.

 

October 3, 2012

BACK TO WORK

The Steelers returned to the practice field on Monday in preparation for their game against Philadelphia on Sunday.

The team announced some great news today following practice: “Full participation in practice today, by all players.”

Keisel talks about the return of James Harrison :

“James is a great, great player. When he’s out there, he’s definitely a difference-maker for us. Teams have to account for him and possibly have to double-team him. It creates opportunities for others.”

Tidbits from Brett’s interview on SiriusmxRadio:

The defense have been hearing the “old” tag for a long time now and it doesnt bother them. Just need to go out & execute.

LeBeau has handled things the same way he does after wins.

Carter and Worilds still trying to grap concepts of nickel & dime defenses. Will get better.

This week will need to keep Eagles QB Michael Vick in the pocket.

Thank you to the crew at Steelers Depot for the transcript from Brett’s radio interview.

NFL Pink- A Crucial Catch:

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the NFL is going pink to support it. Players will wear pink gear during games as will coaches and other team members.

Fans can learn more about “A Crucial Catch HERE.

You can schedule your yearly mammogram, buy or bid on pink gear, learn about ongoing fundraisers or make donations. Be sure to visit the website and share it with family members and friends. You could save a life!

Thank you to John (Steelers organization) for the information.

 

September 30, 2012

WHO’S GOT SWAG

It will be offense versus defense to see which unit has the most SWAG at the 2012 Steelers Style Fashion Show on October 5.

Team captain for the offense will be Maurkice Pouncey and team captain for the defense will be Brett “Da Beard” Keisel.

The captains were asked which unit is best dressed:

“No question-the defense. We got the most swag by far..we’ll let the tape tell that story.” –Keisel

“We’ll see who wins the Swag award.” — Pouncey.

Keisel, on being asked to Co-Captain the event:

“It’s exciting. Mr Rooney asked me to be a co-captain so I can go out there and obviously show that I have the best style on the team. Pouncey and I will be looking smooth.

It’s always fun.. you get to interact with the fans. Usually guys use this time to get their Christmas cards done ’cause their kids are all dressed up and their wives are all dressed up.”

Event details:

STEELERS STYLE FASHION SHOW

Celebrate a Night of Football/Fans/Fashion

Date: October 5

Location: East Club, Heinz Field

Time: 6:00 Cocktails and Style Lounge 7:00 Dinner 8:00 Show

Dress: Cocktail/Business Attire

Benefits: UPMC Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program and the Cancer Caring Center

Cost: $250 per person. Table $2500 and suite $3600.

Tickets: Click here to purchase your tickets to the event.

More than 40 players — including LaMarr Woodley, James Harrison and Ryan Clark — will model fashions from Nordstrom, American Eagle, Nike and more. Some will be accompanied by their wives and children. Greta and Art Rooney II and Mike and Kiya Tomlin will chair the event, a tradition for more than 30 years.

New to the event will be a Steelers Style Lounge for fans to obtain the fashions they see on the runway that night. It will also be open on Saturday and Sunday.

To read more on the event and the Steelers Style Lounge, click here.

Thank you to Steelers.com for the event information!

 

September 23, 2012

“I’LL OWN THIS”

No one stood taller in the Steelers’ locker room just now than Brett Keisel, whose neutral-zone penalty essentially handed Oakland a TD:

“There were several things there that I did that helped them. So I’m going to take the heat on this one. We let them come back and get this win, and we’ve got to chew on that. And we’ve got to chew on it for two weeks. … We’ve got to get better in a lot of areas on defense. I’ve got to get better. … Blame this one on me. I’ll own this.” — From Dejan Kovacevic.

The Steelers lost 34-31 to the Oakland Raiders tonight. Pittsburgh led for most of the game, but Oakland came back to tie the score at 31-31. As time expired, the Raiders scored a field goal to get the win.

To read more on the game, click here.

We will post more news and photos tomorrow evening. The team has a BYE next weekend, so the next game will be on October 7 against Philadelphia.

 

September 23, 2012

Q & A WITH BRETT KEISEL

Mike Bires, TimesOnline, recently interviewed Keisel regarding his journey to Pittsburgh from small town Greybull, Wyoming.

Brett Keisel loves spending time in the great outdoors. As a native of Greybull, Wyo., a small town located at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains, he’s always been an avid hunter, trapper and fisherman. “It’s a way of life,” he said.

For the past 11 years, Keisel’s life’s work has been playing defensive end for the Steelers. Selected in the seventh round of the 2002 NFL Draft, he will go down in Steelers’ history as one of the franchise’s best late-round picks.

From the Q & A:

After your college career at Brigham Young, you headed to Pittsburgh as a seventh-round long shot. Do you remember your mindset when you first got here?

“I do remember very well. I drove here from Wyoming with my wife (Sarah). She was actually my girlfriend at the time. As we drove out here, I had a lot of anxiety. I wasn’t sure if I was built to be a 3-4 defensive end. And once I got here, I‘d watch Aaron smith and Kimo von Oelhoffen. They were big, strong guys (in the 300-pound range) who would push people back. I was only about 265 at the time. I felt like I was more adept to play outside backer than to play defensive end. I remember when I first lined up on the D-line, I said to myself ‘What am I doing down here?’ “But as a seventh-round draft pick, that was a lot of my motivation. I felt I was better than that. So I kind of had a chip on my shoulder when I came in. I knew you only going to get so many opportunities when you’re a late round pick. So you have to make them count.”

Since 2006, you’ve been a starter. Since then, you’ve started in two Super Bowl games. And in 2010, you were chosen for the Pro Bowl. You and Aaron Smith (2004) are the only Steelers defensive ends to make the Pro Bowl since L.C. Greenwood made it for a sixth time in 1980. What did the Pro Bowl honor mean to you?

“It meant a lot. It’s tough for Steelers defensive ends to make it because of the scheme we play. You know, we’re taking on a lot of double teams and freeing up plays for our linebackers to make. I remember how hard Aaron Smith used to work and I always thought how awesome it would be for him to make the Pro Bowl. So when I got to go, it was a great honor that was greatly appreciated.”

What was it like growing up Greybull?

“It’s a very small town. There’s one stop light in it. About 1,500 people in the whole town. We played Class 2-A football. There are four classifications in Wyoming. We weren’t the smallest but we weren’t close to being the largest. Probably the biggest thing about growing up in Greybull was learning how to work. My parents taught me, my brother and my sisters how to work. They instilled in us a great work ethic. That also created great times with the family. We spent a lot of time with the family working on our place.”

Brett goes on to talk about the the honor of being named a team captain this season, his favorite big game harvest and his future with the Steelers. Read the entire interview here.

Also… Brett was featured in a segment of ‘NFL Films Presents’: Fear the beard. The link for it is below the Keisel Kam photo on the right side of this page.

 

September 19, 2012-Contest Winner Announced

AND..WE HAVE A WINNER!

Mark Leingang was our winner on the BrettKeisel.com Scavenger Hunt!

His answers:

1. BYU, Snow College

2. Pro Basketball Player

3. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Homeless Children’s Education Fund

4. Da Beard Gear

5. Basketball, Track

6. 2002

7. Popcorn

8. DaBeard Nation T-Shirt and CAMO DA BEARD FLEX-FIT HAT BLACK/GOLD STITCH

9. Greybull High School

10. Scott Spillman

Thank you to the thousands who entered the contest! And, thank you to Scott Spillman for providing the print to give away!

You can order a print of “Fear Da Beard” from Mr. Spillman. Information is on the right side of this page. He also has prints of other players in his “Game Face” series.

Also, thank you so much for ALL the Happy Birthday emails, Facebook messages and tweets to Brett on his 34th birthday! They are all appreciated.

We will have more contests to come so stay tuned!

 

September 19, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRETT

“Today is Brett Keisel’s 34th birthday … he’s turned out to be one of the best 7th round draft picks in Steelers history.” — Mike Bires.

Brett celebrates his 34th birthday, and one lucky fan will win an awesome present!

First annual BrettKeisel.com scavenger hunt!

The 34th person to email the CORRECT answers (email information is below) wins!

ALL answers can be found on this website or through the link to Brett’s merchandise website. Answers may differ on other websites or searches, but only answers found on the two mentioned websites will be accepted as correct.

1. Name the two colleges Brett attended.

2. If Keisel was not a football player, what career did Brett say he would choose?

3. Name two organizations (causes) Brett works with.

4. Name Keisel’s official beard merchandise line.

5. Name two sports (other than football) Brett played in high school.

6. What year was Brett drafted by the Steelers?

7. What is Brett’s “TV watching” snack?

8. List two items sold through Brett’s official merchandise line.

9.What high school did Keisel attend?

10. Name the artist who created the “Fear the Beard” painting.

Submit your answers to: trish@brett-keisel.com

Contest entry rules:

Entries MUST be received by EMAIL ONLY.

No entries will be accepted through any of the social media pages.

Please, one email per email address only (subsequent emails from the same address will be discounted).

Correct answers to the questions are all on this website or the link to Brett’s official merchandise website. It is possible Mr. Keisel has given different answers elsewhere to some of the questions we used, so to make it fair, the only correct answers we will accept are the ones used on this site and his merchandise site.

The prize:

The lucky winner will receive a print of “Fear Da Beard”! Da Beard owns the original, but the artist created prints for fans to order and he has graciously allowed us to use one of the prints as a prize in Brett’s birthday scavenger hunt.

Once we have a winner, we will announce it here.

Good luck and happy hunting!

Thank you to Haydee for finding the perfect birthday cake photo to use.

 

September 16, 2012

10TH STRAIGHT WIN AT HOME

“We (the defense) just calmed down after Jets scored on 1st two drives…so much for Steelers having an old defense.” — Keisel, from post game interview.

Steelers 27, Jets 10

The Steelers defeated the Jets and are now 10-0 in home openers. They are in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC North with Baltimore and Cincinnati.

From NFL.com:

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 275 yards and two touchdowns, and the Pittsburgh Steelers smothered the New York Jets in the second half of a 27-10 victory Sunday.The Jets did little offensively after two early scoring drives. Mark Sanchez passed for 138 yards and a touchdown, but New York hardly looked like the offensive juggernaut that piled up points in a 48-28 opening-week blowout win over Buffalo.

STAT THAT STANDS OUT:

The New York Jets had 10 offensive possessions in the game. They scored a touchdown on their first and a field goal on their second. On their other eight, they punted six times and had the clock run out on them at the end of each half. And in the second half, their offense crossed midfield only once. — Bob Labriola.

Read more on the game here.

Keisel stats:

Brett had five tackles during the game.

More game news and photos will be posted tomorrow evening.

Is it Brett…or…

Tall Cathy from 96.1?

Da Beard Gear:

Click on the Store link above to view Brett’s official merchandise.

We appreciate your patience while we restocked some items which were previously sold out.

Also, be sure to follow the Da Beard Gear crew onTwitter to keep up with new gear and contests. Speaking of contests, they may have one coming up once they get to 2000 followers..so stay tuned and spread the word to follow them.

 

September 14, 2012-afternoon edition

WHO WANTS TO SHEAR DA BEARD??

“Children’s Hospital is such an amazing place. People come from all around to get the treatment they can get at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh because the doctors are so great.. and the nurses. Please give a donation. It really goes a long way.” — Keisel

Da Beard called in to the WDVE Morning Show today to talk about the upcoming game against the Jets, and to make a special offer to fans.

WDVE is holding their annual Radiothon to rock donations for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Brett surprised the DVE crew by offering a special “Da Beard” incentive to those who donate.

Listen to his incentive here.

Donate:

Call 412-692-8900 or click here to donate online.

On playing at Heinz Field:

“It’s sacred ground. Our fans make it a very tough place for opponents to come in and get a win. I love this place, I am proud of where I’m from, but I very proud also to be a Pittsburgher. I’m proud of this team. We’re excited to get back out there and get a win.”

More news on DVE’s Radiothon is below from the morning update.

 

September 14, 2012

BECOME A ROCK STAR

Now is your chance to become a ROCK STAR forChildren’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, with the crew fromWDVE!

Shear Da Beard 2013:

Donate $100.00 and you are registered to win a VIP package for Shear Da Beard 2013! And, you also get to SHEAR A PIECE OF DA BEARD at the event!

Also today, until 10:00 a.m.(EDT), every $50.00 donation will be registered to win an autographed Brett Keisel football!

Let’s help WDVE ROCK the donations for Children’s Hospital!

Donate:

Call 412-692-8900 or click here to donate online.

Make a difference in the lives of so many deserving children and their families!

Listen live to the radiothon on WDVE until tomorrow.

Also, visit Ben Roethlisberger’s website to see what he donated to the radiothon!

I will post Brett’s interview with WDVE from this morning once it is available.

 

September 13, 2012

THURSDAYS NEWS AND NOTES

Jets-Steelers game talk:

Jets Coach Rex Ryan:

“This week we’re playing Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh. This is our third time playing them, and our third time playing at Pittsburgh. It’s about as tough a place to play as there is in football. The fans are outstanding.

“You have to go in there, this is as tough a place as we talk about playing in, and it’s based on the fact that they have an excellent football team and they get after it. They have seven players who are over 30 years old on their defense. You see that. They don’t make mistakes.

Last year they only gave up two plays over 40 yards in the passing game. They don’t beat themselves. They’re smart. Dick LeBeau is a tremendous coordinator.

They’re extremely physical up front. Casey Hampton and [Brett] Keisel do a good job up front.

They’re pretty darn good over there, this just in, obviously, the best defense in the league last year, perennial top-five defense in every statistical category. So we know it’s going to be tough sledding there.”

Click here to read more about Ryan’s take on playing Pittsburgh.

Military families and veterans thank Keisel and the Steelers for Heroes at Heinz event:

“I want to say thanks for taking your time to be at the Heroes at Heinz Field yesterday. My son Austin Rodriguez has Asperger’s Syndrome/Anxiety/OCD and has had a hard time lately. I can see from the pictures my husband took that you & the other Steelers players really made him happy yesterday. Thank you & God bless!” — Best regards, Heather Conroy Rodriguez

Austin also had a nice message for Mrs. Imler!

“Playing catch with Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood, Ryan Mundy and Will Allen at Heinz Field was unbelievable!” — Alex Clites.

“So impressed with how great Brett was with all the vets & kiddos. Thank you Brett” — Danielle DiVittorio

You can read more of Danielle’s thanks (along with photos) to the Steelers players who attended here.

“Playing catch with Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood, Ryan Mundy and Will Allen at Heinz Field was unbelievable!” — Alex Clites.

View some photos from VA Pittsburgh (including one of Keisel and veteran Jared Schomer showing off their beards), here.

And, you can read a few more comments, with links to photos, in the September 11 news below.

From the Da Beard Gear crew:

“We’d like to congratulate all who were lucky enough to win one of the Brett Keisel autographed pictures in our latest contest. We had winners from Pennsylvania, Indiana, Texas, Illinois, Maryland, Florida and California. Pretty awesome representation of Da Beard Nation!!”

Keisel and Pouncey will be stylin’ when they rock the runway as: Co-captains of Steelers Style 2012: Football/FANS/Fashion!

““We are all really excited to get out there and strut our stuff. Fans get to see us show off our fashion as players, and it’s a great way for them to interact with us. It’s such a fun time for our team. We even give out an award to the player who has the best style.” –Brett

The event will take place on October 5 at 6 p.m. in the East Club at Heinz Field. Read more from Steelers.com here.

This is a great opportunity for fans to see the players, and some of their families, show off their personal styles as they have fun on the runway.

Click here to view a slideshow from the 2011 Steelers Style Fashion Show.

 

September 11, 2012

HEROES AT HEINZ FIELD

“You think about how lucky we have it to be in this great country. One of the reasons it is great is these folks here. They put their lives on the line for all of our rights and freedoms. It means a lot to come here and tell them thank you.” — Keisel, speaking of the military veterans he met today at Heinz Field.

From Steelers.com:

On a night at Heinz Field when it was all about saying thank you to the military, all Coban Shaw wanted was an opportunity to say thank you to the Steelers. It was something he has tried to find a way to do the last six years, and on this night, on the field with some of his heroes, he was finally able to do so.

Shaw was one of about 75 military veterans who took part in “Heroes at Heinz Field,” an event annually hosted by the Steelers and VA Healthcare VISN 4 to honor veterans who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan.

So as Shaw, who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury while deployed that still brings severe headaches, met some of the players taking part he finally had that chance to say thank you.

“I have always wanted to share my thanks with the team about making a bad day better,” said Shaw. “It was a bright spot for me. I am humbled by this event. It blows my mind. These were my heroes growing up. I was born in 1975 so I just thought the Steelers won Super Bowls. My whole life has been the Steelers.”

Saying thank you definitely wasn’t a one way street. For the players who attended the event it was their turn to do the same, and for Brett Keisel it took on special meeting. His father, Lane, as well as all of his uncles on both sides of his family served in the military. His cousin Shane Keisel was deployed to Iraq, while his nephew Wes Johnson served in Afghanistan.

“It’s amazing to see all of these guys,” said Keisel. “Speaking from a military family I really appreciate their service. They are the true heroes. We are honored to be able to share a little bit of what we do with them.

The veterans shared stories of their deployment with all of the players, which included Will Allen, Drew Butler, Ramon Foster, Ziggy Hood, Keisel, Doug Legursky, John Malecki, Ryan Mundy, Max Starks, Shaun Suisham, and Greg Warren, opening up to them about the good and the bad of what they went through.

From Gary Myers via Twitter:

“Thank you for coming in on your day off to hang out with us.”

From Coban Shaw via Facebook:

“Thanks so much Sir. It was so great to finally meet you!”

And, from Sara Shaw:

“Brett- Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with my husband. There are no words to express how difficult the last six years have been on our family, war wounds are ugly and tonight was a wonderful event that was very needed. We appreciate all that you do to support our Veterans. God bless you!”

Click here to read the entire article. You can also view more photos here.

 

September 10, 2012

“WE’VE GOT SOME THINGS TO WORK ON”

Steelers 19, Broncos 31

“We’ve got some things to work on. We’ll go home, check it out and hopefully rectify it.” — Keisel, from his post-game interview .

From Bob Labriola Steelers.com:

What went right: The Broncos won the toss and elected to receive, and the Steelers defense allowed a couple of first downs, before getting off the field with a three-play series that had Troy Polamalu tackle RB Knowshon Moreno for no gain, then Ike Taylor broke up a pass for Demaryius Thomas, and then Larry Foote sacked Peyton Manning for a loss of 5 yards that set up a punt.

On Denver’s second offensive possession – on a third-and-1 – Willis McGahee fumbled and LaMarr Woodley recovered to give the Steelers possession on the Denver 47-yard line.

“We don’t ever like to give up that many points and we feel like we’re a better defense than that. We feel like we stopped them pretty good in the first half and we wanted to be better in a lot of areas.” — Keisel, on the defensive performance.

This game marked the return of Peyton Manning, in a Broncos uniform.

Brett, on the return of Manning:

“He was real sharp. He is a great quarterback and he got them the win today.”

On the team as a whole:

We’ve got some things we need to get better at. We’ll take a look at this and hopefully learn from our mistakes.”

Brett’s post-game interview came from Jim Wexell, Steel City Insider.

We all know the Steelers will bounce back from this loss. The next game will be at Heinz Field against the NY Jets.

Thank you for all the nice emails regarding Brett giving a shout out to his hometown of Greybull, Wyo. in the Sunday Night Football introductions last night.

 

September 7, 2012

TWO MORE DAYS UNTIL KICKOFF

The Steelers begin their season against the Broncos in two days. The game will be nationally televised on NBC. It is an away game for Pittsburgh, but we know it will seem like a home game with all the black and gold faithful there. Hope to spot lots of fans in their Da Beard Gear there also!

If you wear your gear, send us a photo to post on the site! Our email information is above, under Contact.

Starting strong is a key:

“It’s crucial to get started off on the right foot. We are facing a very tough opponent. Every game is important, especially AFC games. We’re excited about this opportunity, this team, going out and getting a strong start to our season. That catapults you into the rest of the season.

We are working hard to make sure that it is good. I am excited to see what this team can do for 60 minutes.

Keisel has high expectations for the team. He knows they lost some veterans in guys like James Farrior, Aaron Smith, Chris Hoke and Hines Ward, but he thinks the nucleus of veterans who remain, combined with an infusion of youth is the perfect mix.

I think the sky is the limit for this team. We have a lot of young, capable players in this locker room. They are going to get some opportunities here early. We have to be great on all three phases of the game if we expect to go where we want to go.

Every year you have a new locker room, you have new guys step up and make plays for you. That is the way it is. We miss those guys, love them, they were legendary, but we have to continue to move forward.”— From Steelers.com.

Mutal beard admiration:

As mentioned in the September 4 news, Keisel met with the Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan for batting practice.

Click here to read more on their mutual beard admiration.

And, ever wonder what songs Keisel has on his ITunes playlist or the first car he owned?

Well, Tall Cathy from 96.1 has answers to those questions and more in her new “Five Questions” segment! Listen here.

Hunt for VII contest ends 9/9:

Check out the right side of the page, under the Keisel Kam photo for information on the contest. Get entered by September 9!

 

September 5, 2012

KEISEL: THE MAN BEHIND ‘DA BEARD’

From Matt Pawlikowski, Examiner.com:

When you think of “Mr. Irrelevant” in football, that usually means a spot on ESPN during the draft, and a warm body to fill training and mini camps during the summer, before the bags are packed for home. Eleven years ago, the Steelers’ defensive lineman was just three picks shy of becoming inconsequential. But Brett Keisel has proven himself by making the Pro Bowl and earning his spot in Super Bowls. Keisel has also become a leader and a role model to his teammates.

The son of a fur trapper, Keisel is a mountain man of sorts, and while his “Grizzly Adams” appearance to some might be scary, for Steeler nation it has become a staple and “Da Beard” seems to give the Steelers strength like Hercules’ hair did.

There is more than football and Da Beard to Keisel, though. He is a true ambassador to the city of Pittsburgh. Take training camp this year. While most players like their rest after a long day of practice, Keisel payed homage to his fans by signing free autographs at a local restaurant called Dinos in Latrobe.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg. His involvement in the community is what makes him to many an Angel.

The first year of “the beard,” Keisel put on an event called “Shear the Beard” after the season, and it raised over $40,000 for UPMC Children’s Hospital. During the spring he took a group of people fishing, all for charity, and this summer he helped make the wish of a young boy, Brandon Bawdy, who has a rare form of cancer come true.

Click here to read the rest of this enjoyable article.

You can also click on the “Brett in the Community” link above for more information on the causes Brett and his family support.

 

September 4, 2012

NEWS, NOTES AND QUOTES

“It’s exciting. Now it’s time to go.. it’s time to let the chips fall where they may. Let’s rock & roll. Let’s get this thing started.”–Keisel, in an interview with WDVE’s Mike Prisuta.

You can listen to the whole interview here.

Keisel talks about the replacement referees:

“”I know that these guys are coming in here doing the best that they can, but it’s really out of our control. It doesn’t matter if we have flag football officials, we’ve got to go out and play the best that we can and hopefully get a few calls along the way.”

Click here to read the whole article.

On how the team will do with new faces:

“We had the No. 1 ranking last year, but we can improve ourselves by getting more turnovers. That’s been a point of emphasis, and we need to stop people from scoring touchdowns in the red zone. But I think we have to guys to be capable of doing that.”

Read more here.

And, from Jim Wexell (SteelCityInsider.net), more team news.

From Steelers.com today:

Keisel and Hanrahan sport the Burgh’s best beards…

Defensive end Brett Keisel and Pirates All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan have the most recognizable and best known beards in Pittsburgh, and all of sports for that matter, and on Tuesday they had a chance to compare them when Keisel took in the Pirates batting practice.

“His is good,” said Keisel of Hanrahan’s beard. “You can tell he puts time into it. It’s a commitment. Any time you want length and success, you have to make a commitment and that is what he is doing. I think it looks good.

“It’s awesome,” said Hanrahan. “I wish I was fortunate enough to grow one like that. I can only grow it on my chin. He has a big following with that beard. I just started mine two years ago and it’s kind of gross, kind of disgusting, but that is how people recognize me.”

Read the rest of the article, and see some great photos of Brett with Hanrahan and his teammates, here.

Today’s news photo (via Steelers.com) shows Da Beard and Hanrahan did some hat trading. Hanrahan tweeted to Keisel to say thanks for bringing him some Da Beard Gear merchandise.

 

September 3, 2012

TEAM CAPTAINS NAMED

Congratulations Captain Keisel and Captain Roethlisberger!

“I am honored to be named a captain of a storied franchise like the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m really excited about this team. We’ve got a lot of quick, young talent.” — Keisel, from an interview with Jim Wexell-SteelCityInsider.net .

From Steelers.com today:

The Steelers selected two players to serve as team captains for the 2012 season, the team announced through a vote of their teammates today.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will serve as the offensive captain, while defensive end Brett Keisel will serve as the defensive captain.

Read more here.

Heading to Denver next weekend?

Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post Gazette , offers some ideas for “must sees”, lodging, eating and an option for those without a ticket to the highly anticipated game!

 

August 31, 2012

STEELERS WRAP UP PRESEASON WITH A “W”

Steelers 17, Panthers 16

Most of the starters sat out the final preseason game, which gave a chance for the back-ups to try to solidify their spots on the Steelers roster.

QB Charlie Batch started the game off well with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders to put the Steelers on the scoreboard at 7-0. Chris Rainey had a great game with two punt returns for touchdowns. Unfortunately, both were called back due to penalties.

To read more on the game (and injury updates), click here.

Keisel was held out of the game as a precaution, due to his ankle injury.

From a quick interviwe with #99 during the game:

He was asked how he felt being the “older” guy:

“I feel like I am getting younger.”

On his leadership role:

“I want to be a guy these young guys can look up to on and off the field.”

On the Steelers defense:

“I think we can be really special this year.”

On his already massive beard growth:

“It’s gonna get outta control once the snow starts falling in the ‘Burgh.”

Does his newborn son have a 5:00 shadow yet:

No, but my four year old is starting to have one.

I just paraphrased Brett’s answers..not verbatim. Sorry!

 

August 30, 2012

STEELER NATION SPOTLIGHT IS ON…

Riley and T.J. Murray!

From their dad, Scott Murray:

Taking my sons Riley (10) & TJ (6) along with my nephew Adam to their first Steelers game was exciting enough. They were in awe of all the players as they warmed up and yelled as their favorites came out of the tunnel. They were really excited about the chance to maybe get an autograph.

As the warm-up ended and the players were heading back to the locker room we saw Brett Keisel, also known as “the big beard” in our house, heading towards us.

I was really happy that the boys were going to get their jersey signed by ‘Diesel’, but instead Brett simply reached into the stands and gave each of my boys one of his gloves.

Their faces lit up, and admittedly mine did too. What an incredible gesture and a moment that will last for their lifetime. They have already been Steelers fans since birth, but I know they will be fans of Brett & Da Beard for life now. Thanks Brett for making their experience even more amazing.

The gloves look a little big for the boys right now, but I’m sure they will grow into them! Thanks to the Murray’s for sending the email and photo!

Steelers Luncheon:

The Steelers held their annual luncheon today with fans.

From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com :

Excitement was in the air on Thursday afternoon at the annual Steelers Kickoff Luncheon, held at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown. Fans decked out in their black and gold packed the ballroom for the luncheon, which is hosted by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, to help kickoff the team’s 80th season.

“It’s always a great way to get the season started and see so many people here ready to go,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II. “Last weekend we played in Buffalo and I think we set a new record for Steelers fans on the road for a preseason game. It was pretty amazing. We are looking forward to continuing that kind of support. We appreciate all of the enthusiasm and support you do provide us.

Alameda Ta’amu introduced Brett Keisel, the Steelers Walter Payton Man of the Year last year.

“It’s always exciting because you know the regular season is right around the corner,” said Keisel. “That is what is exciting for me. We hang out with the fans, watch the highlights from last year and see a rookie think they have to get up there and give a speech and stumble through it. It’s exciting for me because I know the season is coming.”

View photos from the luncheon here.

The Steelers will wrap up the preseason with a game against Carolina tonight. It will be broadcast locally on KDKA.

 

August 29, 2012-evening update

A WISH COMES TRUE FOR YOUNG STEELERS FAN

From Steelers.com today:

As soon as the horn signaled the end of Steelers’ practice on Wednesday, Brandon Brawdy’s smile was a mile wide, but nonetheless the 15-year old looked slightly overwhelmed when he saw the entire team heading his way.

It was a moment he had been waiting for since his family contacted the Make-A-Wish Foundation after he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer almost a year ago, sharing with them his love for the Steelers and wanting to find a way for him to meet some of his favorite players, in particular defensive end Brett Keisel.

“It’s an amazing honor,” said Keisel. “First off that they can have one wish in the world and it’s to hang out with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the day. That’s a remarkable honor for this organization. For him to want to meet me is incredibly humbling. It means a lot to me.”

Read the entire article, and view a few more photos from Brandon’s exciting day here.

Today’s earlier news story can be read below.

 

August 29, 2012

FEAR DA BEARD

Steeler Nation..,this would make a great edition to any Steelers collection:

“Fear Da Beard” Limited edition Giclee prints, by artist Scott Spillman, are now available on museum quality paper and canvas.

These prints are limited to ONLY 500 and are signed and number by the artist and come with a certificate of authenticity.

Brett owns the original 30″ x 40″ painting that these print are made from.

This is the same print which caused a bidding war at Brett’s annual “Shear Da Beard” event earlier in the year. Coach Tomlin prevailed with his bid of $5000.00. Scott Spillman graciously donated the print for Brett to auction at the Shear Da Beard event.

Order your print here.

Please note, the shopping cart will not work with iPhones or iPads.

View more from artist Scott Spillman.

You can view fans with their Spillman prints, and a great drawing of Keisel by Scott here.

Thank you to Scott Spillman for sharing his amazing work with Steeler Nation!

Information on ordering the Fear Da Beard print is also located on the right side of this page.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by Hurricane Isaac. Thank you to all the men and women working to keep them safe.

 

August 28, 2012

NEWS AND NOTES

“The defense continues to give us a short field, which is big. Hopefully that’s a signature of our ball here in 2012.” –Coach Tomlin, following the Bills game.

From Dale Lolley:

“Man did the Steelers keep bringing the wood with their pass rush Saturday night against the Bills.

The Steelers hit Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick so hard so many times that he will likely wake up in a cold sweat seeing Lawrence Timmons and Ziggy Hood bearing down on him. Dick LeBeau was bringing a few more blitzes in this one and they were successful. They didn’t necessarily result in sacks, but those QB hits take a toll.

And, Craig Wolfley talks about the defense in his “View from the Sidelines” column:

“It’s vintage Dick LeBeau to “play your gaps” on a second-and-2 and LaMarr Woodley powered up the ham hocks and drove the Bills TE about five yards into the backfield. LaMarrr was setting the edge while in a locked out position on the TE and looking straight at the ball carrier. Ziggy Hood fought through a double team and strung it out at the line of scrimmage. Right behind him was NT Steve McClendon getting front side on the Bills’ center. The Bills’ back, Fred Jackson, had nowhere to go, so he planted and headed north.

DE Brett Keisel beat the pants off the backside tackle to come down the line and crush Jackson for no gain. Sweet Marie, this is defensive football like it was drawn up on the board.

Da Beard just walked by me, heading for the locker room sitting on the doc’s table. He was getting his ankle checked and walked past with an I-don’t-think-it’s-too-bad look on his face.

News from Tomlin’s presser today:

Brett was held out of practice yesterday and today. Coach Tomlin said they will “err on the side of caution” in regards to practice and game play for the final preseason game Thursday. You can check Quick Notes on the right side of this page for any injury related news.

Congratulations to Heath Miller, who will have his UVA jersey retired. A well deserved honor!

Hunt for VII Contest continues:

The contest will run through September 9. Details are on the right side of this page under the Keisel Kam photo. Good luck Steeler Nation!

 

August 25, 2012

STEELERS DEFEAT BILLS

Steelers 38, Bills 7

The Steelers are now 2-1 in preseason play after defeating the Buffalo Bills tonight. The defense held the Bills to seven points and caused three turnovers which led to three Steelers touchdowns.

You can read Tomlin’s press conference notes here.

You can read more on the game here.

Keisel injury:

Coach Tomlin stated Brett left the game with a mild high ankle sprain. Tomlin went on to say Keisel was held out of the game just for precaution. Brett told the media he would be fine. We will update you further as the week goes on if more news becomes available. You can check for “Quick Updates” on the right side of this page.

For those who were not able to see the game, NFL Network will replay it Monday, August 27th at 4:00 pm AND on Thursday, August 30th at Noon.

 

August 23, 2012

STEELER NATION SPOTLIGHT IS ON…

Matthew Cooper!

We first posted an email from Matthew’s dad, Joseph on August 12:

“I just wanted to tell you what a great job the Steelers Organization does at the St Vincent’sTraining Camp.

My son Matthew has been a big fan of the Steelers for many years. He is 21 and has a very rare condition called Rubenstein Taybi Syndrome. I never thought that he would ever get the opportunity to meet any of the Steelers, as he had asked to do many times.

I was transferred to Washington, PA from VA and learned of the Training Camp through a coworker at EQT. This was a prime opportunity to make one of Matt’s wishes a reality, so I took a day off last week so he could attend.

I would like to thank Brett and the whole organization for allowing the fans this opportunity to come out and get close to their idols. He got to meet Steely McBeam, which was one of the highlights of his visit.

Please extend our gratitude to everyone for making a wish come true for a very special young man.

More excitement for Matthew:

Joseph emailed us again recently to thank the Steelers and Ryan Clark:

Trish, I sent you an email and picture of my son Matthew with Steely McBeam at Training Camp a few weeks ago, which you posted on Brett’s Website. Since then one of the greatest things to ever happen to Matt or myself transpired last night at the Steelers/Colts game.

Upon entering the gate, we received 1st & Goal Scratch Tickets. When Matt scratched his he had won a pair of Pre-Game Field Passes.

We were escorted down to the field by Steelers Personnel where we remained until after the opening kick off. While there Matt received a practice ball from one of the coaches, a visit from Ryan Clark, who tried to trade him out of his hamburger hat, and an opportunity to put on a Superbowl Ring and have his picture made.

Again I have to thank and congratulate the Steelers Organization on a job well done and for making yet another wish/dream come true for Matt.

He had asked for this many times over the years and I had told him this would probably never happen. When he scratched that ticket, I knew God had blessed him with a dream come true.

Matt has never been able to do the things that normal kids do but he loves life and is a blessing to our family and everyone he meets. He is a true and loyal fan of the Steelers!

He said that the hamburger hat was now his lucky hat and that Ryan Clark was his new best friend, lol! Now he has me trying to locate him a #25 Jersey and a Super Bowl Ring (replica) for his collection.

Please thank the Steelers for this experience! –Joey Cooper

Thank you to Matthew and Joseph for sharing their story and we can see why Ryan wanted to trade for the hamburger hat..pretty cool!

Check out the August 22nd news for information on the Hunt for VII contest!

 

August 22, 2012

CONTEST TIME

How would you like to win an autographed photo of BRETT KEISEL?

Da Beard and his crew are holding a Hunt for VII contest and 7 lucky fans will win an autographed photograph of Keisel!

Wondering how to enter?

It’s simple…just place an order through Da Beard Gearfrom today through the season opener on September 9, and you are automatically entered.

The Da Beard Gear crew will randomly place autographed photos of Keisel in orders when they ship.

The store has two new t-shirts in and lots of other gear, so head on over and GET YOUR BEARD ON!

You can also click the Store link (beneath the banner) to shop Da Beard Gear.

More game news:

Keisel did not win Olympic gold, but he did receive a gold medal from Jim Wexell, publisherSteelCityInsider.Net.

From Mr. Wexell’s article, Medal Stand: Vets Debut in Style :

Last week I watched the Steelers’ newcomers closely and awarded gold, silver and bronze medals accordingly. This week I’ll start with a couple of veterans who made their first preseason appearances in the Steelers’ 26-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Gold Medal:

Brett Keisel – The right defensive end read screen to Reggie Wayne on the first play and got out to provide blanket coverage of the Hall of Fame receiver to be. Keisel’s big play, though, was made after getting past a guard and then a tackle to pressure Luck into throwing Ike Taylor’s pick-six. Keisel was a standup middle linebacker on the play, and he also did some standup DE, but his base play against the run – forcing the Colts’ OTs to run block on their side of the line – will be so important with Casey Hampton out of the lineup.

Read more of Wexell’s weekly game analysis, predictions and interviews atSteelCityInsider.Net.

Training Camp:

Camp is over, but we received a couple more photos to add to the gallery.

Thank you again to everyone who sent photos of #99! We appreciate it.

Game photos:

Click here to view game photos.

 

August 20, 2012

THE DAY AFTER

The Steelers are now 1-1 in preseason play after defeating the Colts last night at Heinz Field.

The players have moved out of their temporary living quarters in Latrobe, PA and will return to their normal in-season practice routines.

“”It’s a great chance to build your team. A lot of times, you don’t realize what you’ve got in a kid until he plays at game speed. It’s scary, because injuries can happen to anybody. But at the same time, it’s necessary…You get a feel for your team early on. You never know what’s going to happen throughout the course of the season.” -Brett, on why the preseason is important.

Dave, at Steelers Depot, gave his thoughts on the defense plays last night. His thoughts on Keisel:

Brett Keisel on the Steelers first defensive snap had great recognition of running back screen and blew it up.

Players I thought stuck out during game were Keisel, McLendon, Woodley, Allen, Timmons, Bryant, Robinson and Golden.

Click the Steelers Depot link above to read Dave’s entire analysis of the defense. His website is a great place to keep up with Steelers news.

Brett talks about Colts rookie quarterback, Andrew Luck:

“He’s a tough kid. He’s a good quarterback. I think he’s going to play a long time. (Colts offensive coordinator) Bruce (Arians) is, I’m sure, a happy man.” — (Will Graves, AP Sports.)

Game photos:

Click here to view game photos.

 

August 19, 2012

STEELERS GET WIN IN FRONT OF HOME CROWD

Steelers 26, Colts 24

“It feels great. This is a fantastic place, and what makes it fantastic is the beginning of that word, “fans.” We love it here. We have the greatest fans in the world.” — Brett talking to Teresa Varley,Steelers.com during the game tonight.

Read more from his talk with Ms. Varley here.

Brett played in his first preseason game of 2012 and had two tackles. Since it was the second preseason game, the starters did not stay in long.

The Steelers defense intercepted Colts quarterback Andrew Luck twice, with one of the interceptions being a pick six by Ike Taylor. Luck threw the interception as Keisel was bearing down on him.

Colts quarterback Chandler Harnis was also intercepted.

“It’s a big goal of ours this year — we have to get more turnovers and get our offense back on the field, if we can do that, I think we’ll win a lot of games.” — Keisel, from an article by Alan Robinson, Trib Live.

Game photos:

Click here to view a couple photos. I will add to the gallery if more photos become available.

Listen to Keisel’s post game press conference here.

 

August 18, 2012

WISHES REALLY DO COME TRUE

From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:

As 13-year old Christopher Naegeli watched the Steelers morning practice at training camp, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came behind him, then knelt down beside him and started talking football.

The teenager who a few minutes earlier was joking with his mom and sister, got quiet and shy, meeting his hero for the first time. But after a few minutes Naegeli, who has spina bifida and came to camp through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, warmed up not just to Roethlisberger but also to Coach Mike Tomlin, LaMarr Woodley, Ryan Clark, Brett Keisel, Dick LeBeau, Larry Foote and the rest of the players who came over to meet him, sign his football and joke around.

Read more and view more photos from Christopher’s day with the Steelers here.

Home Run Derby:

Coach Tomlin held a Home Run Derby last night, and while it may not have been as high scoring as we see during the All-Star break of MLB, the players had a great time.

Jim Wexell, SteelCityInsider.net reported that Keisel was the captain of the defense and Ben Roethlisberger was the captain of the offense.

The defense prevailed, thanks to Larry Foote who scored the lone home run of the evening.

You can read more on the game (and view photos) here.

Camp photos:

You can view the Training camp Gallery here.

There are several pages of photos.

Thank you to all the fans who attended camp to support the Steelers. Steeler Nation is truly the best. We appreciate all the photos you sent of #99 from camp! Let’s get ready for Steeler Football 2012!

 

August 17, 2012

BRETT’S BEARDED BEAUTIES ARE A HIT

“I’m used to seeing lots of guys with fake beards, but not a single woman, let alone several showing up as a bearded army.

I had to go over and tell them I liked what I saw. When I first saw them I though, man, those girls are real Bearded Beauties. They live up to their name.” — Keisel in an interview with Rebecca Nordquist-ESPN the Magazine.

Shown in the photo with Brett are (from left), Beth Elder, Bonnie Liska, Dawn Conley, Christine Taylor and Poppy Prichett.

Brett’s Bearded Beauties arrived at the Steelers Women’s camp in their Bearded Beauties t-shirts and of course wearing their own version of Da Beard.

The Bearded Beauties were awarded “Best Dressed” at camp.

Lookout guys, you may have some competition in the annual beard contest we hold on this site! Ladies-don’t toss those beards out yet!

Pick up the latest copy (August 20 edition) of ESPN the Magazine to read more.

Thank you to Rebecca Nordquist and ESPN for helping Brett’s Bearded Beauties go nationwide!

Thank you to Cassandra Buncie from BlackNGoldGirls for all her help in connecting us with Brett’s Bearded Beauties. Be sure to visit her website for some awesome Black N Gold Gear.

You can also read an article Cassandra wrote about the Women’s Training Camp here.

From the article:

“Brett’s Bearded Beauties” took camp by storm, led by matriarch Bonnie Liska, her two daughters and close family friends. This is their eighth year at camp, and this year they were rewarded for their creativity by Brett Keisel himself. Nearing the end of practice, he crossed the practice field to take a moment to thank and speak with the group.

“I was like, ‘Mom, Brett’s crossing the field. Mom, he’s coming this way,’ and before I knew it it he was right in front of us,” said Dawn Elder Conley. “Brett was so awesome. He asked us about our day and thanked us for our effort. Camp gives us this opportunity. It’s something we cherish and as a family will continue to do.”

Photos of the group with their namesake landed in newspapers as far away as California.

Starters to get more work vs. Colts:

From Steelers.com:

The Steelers play their second preseason game on Sunday night when they host the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field and as expected the starting units will see more playing time.

“I’d like for them to play about twice as long as they did last time out,” said Tomlin. “That’s always a general reference but I always reserve the right to change it based on circumstance, performance, time of possession and things of that nature.”

You can read the entire article here.

Reminder: The Sunday night game vs. the Colts will be nationally televised on NBC at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

Steelers brings smiles to kids:

From the Steelers.com blog:

The Steelers hosted Variety the Children’s Charity at camp on Thursday, giving the kids a chance to meet some of their favorite Steelers players after practice and bringing huge smiles to their faces.

Click here to view a couple photos from the visit.

Keisel met with NBC Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth at practice Thursday. Steelers.com reports the NBC crew was in town preparing for the Sunday Night game.

Photos:

To view photos from camp click here.

There are several pages of photos.

We still have many more fan photos to post so check back over the weekend.

 

August 15, 2012

NEWS AND MORE PHOTOS

From Steelers.com today:

Defensive end Brett Keisel missed the Eagles game because of the birth of his third child, son William Atticus, but will be back in action on Sunday night against the Colts.

“I am excited to get a game in,” said Keisel. “We get to play in front of our fans. It’s going to be exciting.”

“I hope we can get after him,” said Keisel of Luck. “I am sure Bruce has a good idea of what we run here. He is a great quarterback, a lot of potential. Hopefully we can rattle him a little bit.”

Keisel kids are good luck:

Keisel is hoping the birth of his son is a good omen for the team.

When his oldest son Jacob was born the team won Super Bowl XLIII. The year his daughter Grace was born the Steelers lost in Super Bowl XLV.

“Every time we have had a kid we went to the Super Bowl so I want that trend to continue,” said Keisel, who said William and his wife Sarah are doing well. “I had my son we won Super Bowl XLIII. I had a daughter we lost Super Bowl XLV. So I had another son because I wanted us to win.”

You can read the entire article here.

Today’s news photo is of fan Brittany Vinglish sporting the female version of Da Beard. You can see a larger version of the photo, and more here.

There are several pages of photos.

 

August 12, 2012

FAN PHOTOS AND MESSAGES

It’s a fan Sunday here at BrettKeisel.com! Thank you to all who have sent photos, emails and messages from camp. Steeler Nation is amazing!

Biggi, from BHR.Photography sent some great photos of Keisel from camp.

You can view a few of them, along with all camp photoshere.

She has more photos of Brett and his teammates here for viewing and for sale. The prices are reasonable so check ’em out. Please do not edit or remove the watermarks if you share, and be sure to give BHR. Photography credit. It was very gracious of her to share her professional photographs.

From Joseph Cooper:

“I just wanted to tell you what a great job the Steelers Organization does @ the St Vincent’sTraining Camp. My son Matthew has been a big fan of the Steelers for many years. He is 21 and has a very rare condition called Rubenstein Taybi Syndrome. I never thought that he would ever get the opportunity to meet any of the Steelers, as he had asked to do many times.

I was transferred to Washington, PA from VA and learned of the Training Camp through a coworker at EQT. This was a prime opportunity to make one of Matt’s wishes a reality, so I took a day off last week so he could attend.

I would like to thank Brett and the whole organization for allowing the fans this opportunity to come out and get close to their idols. Although my son didn’t get to meet Brett, Ben, Heath, Troy, Antonio, etc., he did get a few autographs from other players and got to meet Steeley McBeam, which was one of the highlights of his visit.

Please extend our gratitude to everyone for making a wish come true for a very special young man.

Click here to see a larger view of Matthew’s photo and to see a fan photo from 2005 of Brett with Alexandria Harman, who met him at a Steelers basketball game.

Thanks again for all the messages and photos!

Reminder… camp will be closed tomorrow so no public practice. View the remainder of the schedule on the right side of this page, under Training Camp 2012.

Also, please remember, training camp is a great time to obtain player autographs, but it is NOT a guarantee. The players are happy to greet fans and sign autographs, but their main focus is on preparing for the upcoming season. There are times when they are instructed by coaches to go straight to the trainer, doctor or meetings directly after camp so autographs are not always possible.

They greatly appreciate Steeler Nation’s support everyday at camp, and try to get to as many fans as possible, but they cannot guarantee autographs to all.

From the Steelers organization: The best time to obtain autographs from the players is after practice. There are areas designated for fans to stand to obtain the autographs. There is no formal setting for player autographs on a daily basis.

Fans have been great and very understanding, but I wanted to just post a reminder.

 

August 10, 2012

IT’S A BOY!

“I’m proud to announce that my wife and new son are doing great! Babies sure are a miracle. — Brett

Congratulations to Brett and his family on the birth of their son!

Steeler Nation is happy for the Keisel’s:

Newest member of DaBeard Gear Crew! — Da Beard Gear crew

Congratulations to you and Sarah from HCEF! We are so happy for the both of you. —Homeless Children’s Education Fund

Congratulations @bkeisel99 on the birth of your son!! Little, Bitty, Bearded, Steeler, Baby!!!— Misty

Congrats on the baby big man! All the best this season – I’m sure the baby will bring some luck to Steeler Nation an your family! — Michael West

Congratulations to #99 Brett Keisel and his wife on a new baby boy! Here’s to a happy, healthy and beautiful family life — Alison Onega

CONGRATS!!!!! Yes babies are a miracle; and they also grow up in the wink of an eye! — Haydee Sampedro

Congrats to Da Beard and family on their latest bundle of joy! — Anne Cooper

Congratulations Brett!!! May a billion blessings rain upon your new baby and the rest of your family. —Diana M. Davis-Alvarez

Congratulations! Does he have a beard yet? lol Seriously, congratulations. Hope baby and mama are doing well. — Jack Anderson

Mr Keisel, congratulations you and wife, and I wish you nothing but blessings, and thank you for adding one more family member to the STEELERNATION. — Danny Arguelles

Huge congrats on the Little Miracle my man! Nothing like holding your son for the first time — Rob Gratson

You’ll love the name J-I-M, Keis. It’s old, but rock-solid. — Jim Wexell

And, more congrats from the folks over at SteelersXTreme and Steelers Universe!

Thank you to Steeler Nation for all the messages via Facebook, email, Twitter and various fan forums. We could not post all of them, but greatly appreciate the outpouring of well wishes and congratulations.

And, from Steelers.com today:

Steelers make a wish come true

Safety Troy Polamalu made a day at training camp special for 11-year old Teddy Theys, who got to meet his favorite Steelers player and many others thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Theys attended one of the team’s morning practices, receiving a personal welcome from Coach Mike Tomlin before meeting Polamalu and hanging out with him on the practice field.In addition to meeting Polamalu, Theys also met Brett Keisel and Ben Roethlisberger on the field, and then the rest of the players once practice ended.

Read the entire article, and view more photos here.

Photos:

To view photos from camp click here.

There are several pages of photos.

 

August 9, 2012

FIRST PRESEASON GAME IN THE BOOKS

Steelers 23, Eagles 24

They say the game isn’t over until the final whistle blows. This was true tonight for the Steelers as the Eagles scored a field goal with just seconds left in the game clock, giving them a 24-23 lead over Pittsburgh.

Tomlin, in his post game press conference, termed this game as “lessons learned” for his young Steelers.

Keisel update:

Thank you for all the emails and messages regarding Brett’s absence tonight. He was excused tonight for a family matter, but he is fine. We appreciate your concern. Steeler Nation truly has the best fan base!

Photos:

To view photos from camp click here.

There are several pages of photos.

 

August 7, 2012

FROM THIS MORNING

Keisel was interviewed by the NFL AM this morning. If you missed it, don’t worry! We have the link to listen to his interview courtesy of NFL AM.

He was asked about his “ride” to training camp. Keisel, (who arrived on a Kubota tractor), said he decided to take his “work” vehicle to camp.

Brett talked about the first game of the season, which is against the Denver Broncos:

“We got some tricks. It’s going to be exciting going against the legendary Quarterback in Peyton Manning. We are excited for the game and we’re gonna be ready.”

And, of course his legendary beard was mentioned:

“Two months in growth goin’ right now. It’s gonna be bigger and better than ever.”

Listen to the entertaining interview here.

Two years ago today:

The great Dick LeBeau was inducted into the Hall of Fame. We posted a link to his amazing speech underneath the Keisel Kam photo to the right.

Photos:

To view photos from camp click here.

There are several pages of photos.

 

August 3, 2012-evening update

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

“Words can’t explain how much Aaron has taught me, not just on the football field but about being a man. I look up to him so much I don’t know if I will ever be able to repay him for what he has taught me.

It will be emotional, but I have had time to wipe the tears away and enjoy and celebrate the career he had. I will never be able to repay him for what he has done for me and the organization.” — Keisel talks about his friend and teammate, Aaron Smith.

The Steelers annual night practice was tonight. Fans and players look forward to it every year. This year was special though. Prior to the start of practice, four players officially retired as Pittsburgh Steelers.

Willie Parker, Joey Porter, Marvel Smith and Aaron Smith attended the practice and were brought onto field in front of their teammates, the Steelers Organization and Steeler Nation to retire from the game of football as Steelers.

From Steelers.com:

The lights will be shining on four former Steelers one last time on Friday night as they officially retire from the NFL as Steelers at the team’s night practice at Latrobe Memorial Stadium.

Willie Parker, Joey Porter, Aaron Smith and Marvel Smith, all members of at least one Super Bowl winning team, will be honored prior to the practice.

“All four are great Steelers,” said defensive end Brett Keisel, who played with each of them. “They were great players here. Aaron has taught me so much, how to play, approach it, play with technique. Marvel Smith, we competed like crazy when I was a younger player, he used to dominate me. “All four of them are Pro Bowlers. Joey was our fearless leader. He had a method to his madness for sure. And Willie, he was a great player that came from free agency and worked his way into a starting role.”

Keisel is happy all four will get a proper send off and thank you by the thousands of fans expected at the night practice.

Click here to read the entire article.

You can also click here for interviews with the retired players.

Photos:

To view photos from camp click here.

There are several pages of photos. The site will be undergoing updates for a few days, so I will update more photos from Friday Night Lights and camp once the updates are complete.

 

August 3, 2012

TRAINING CAMP ROLLING ALONG

Camp is moving along. Hard to believe it’s time for Friday Night Lights and the first preseason game is next week!

Thank you to all the fans who are sending photos of their time at camp. Today’s photo is of Sean Madden. He is an adorable three-year old who came all the way from Maryland with his family to visit camp.

From Sean’s mother, Jackie Madden:

“I wanted to thank you for taking the time to stop and meet our son Sean yesterday. It was the highlight of an exciting day for him. Thanks so much!”

From his great grandmother, Anna Vilani:

“Brett, it was so nice of you to take time out to talk to my Great Grandson, Sean on Wednesday at the Steeler Camp. He is a great 3 year old fan of the Steelers and his parents came from Maryland for Sean to see the Steelers in person. We are all Steelers fans who are proud of our team! Go Steelers! Thanks for being so kind. God Bless.”

And, from his grandmother, Kathleen Moran:

“That’s my grandchild. We brought him up well. Go Steelers!!!! Couldn’t stop talking about fist knuckling Brett. Hope he doesn’t ask Pop Pop for a truck like that on his sixteenth birthday!”

Sean and family: THANK YOU for coming to camp!

Visit Brett’s official Facebook page to see all the greetings from Steeler Nation! We all wish Sean and his family the very best!

WDVE media day:

Brett (and Da Beard) met with the WDVE Morning Crew to discuss training camp, his arrival to training camp, and the upcoming season.

Missed the interview? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Click here to listen.

You can catch all the interview they did with Brett’s teammates also here.

Fear Da Beard 2012:

The updated version is here.

Photos:

To view photos from camp and Brett’s autograph signing, click here.

There are several pages of photos.

 

August 2, 2012

FANS EXCITED TO MEET #99

Fans attending camp are hoping to collect as many Steelers autographs as possible. And, the players are helping out as best they can. Keisel and his teammates hands are probably cramped from all the autographs they are signing, but they love it.

Today’s news photo is of JoJo Gratson who collected TONS of autographs on his Devine Pets dog.

JoJo’s dad, Rob, said he was proud to have #99 sign the dog “right on top.”

The Gratson’s are HUGE Steelers fans, and have been awesome supporters of Brett and this website. You can view more of their photos in the training camp gallery.

The dog was designed by Tammy Devine Palmer, of Devine Pets. She is in the process of making one for EVERY player on the Steelers roster, and she said she needs to complete 14 more to finish. Tammy also donates many of them to various charities. Visit her site if you want to order one.

She made this one special for Da Beard. One fan named it, “Doggie McBeard”.

Great work Tammy!

Keisel has enjoyed all the fans attending camp. It’s great to hear from fans about how thrilled they are to get to meet him and his teammates “up close and personal” and we appreciate all the photos being sent to us to share here on Brett’s website. Keep ’em coming!

Magazine alert:

Remember Brett’s Bearded Beauties? If not, check out the news below from July 29. ESPN The Magazine loved their creativity and contacted us to interview the ladies and Mr. Keisel. The issue should be out next week. We will keep you posted.

Kick Off the 2012 Season at Annual Steelers Luncheon:

For ticket information, click here.

Ike Taylor, Antonio Brown and Da Beard wearing their new 2012 Da Beard Gear Hunt for VII shirts!

Da Beard Gear:

The crew is no longer in Latrobe, but you can still order gear online. Click the STORE link above.

To view more photos of teammates and fans wearing their Da Beard Gear, click here.

Photos:

To view photos from camp and Brett’s autograph signing, click here.

There are several pages of photos.

 

July 31, 2012

BACK TO CAMP

The players got a small break on Monday as there was no practice. Today it was back to work though, and the fans returned with the players to Latrobe.

NFL.com reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala caught up with Keisel to see how training camp was going for him this year.

From her article:

Brett Keisel is everything you think he is. Yes, the beard — already in midseason form — is fun. Yes, the fact that the veteran defensive end drove a tractor to camp was fun — ludicrously so. But Keisel is still motoring on the football field, too. He doesn’t even look remotely like a guy entering his 11th season — or like he’s thinking about slowing down. “What? No,” Keisel said when asked if camp gets old a decade in. “I love this.”

To read her entire article, which includes her observations on the Steelers training camp, click here.

Da Beard Gear Crew:

Sadly, their time in Latrobe had ended, and they are making the journey back home to Wyoming. The good news is, they will be shipping your orders once they return home so be on the lookout for your gear!

Don’t worry if you did not make it to Latrobe to purchase your Da Beard Gear. You can order online by clicking on the STORE link beneath the banner.

Photos:

To view photos from camp and Brett’s autograph signing, click here.

There are several pages of photos.

 

July 29, 2012-evening update

KEISEL LOVES THE INTENSITY

“That’s the way we want it. We want it intense. It’s the job of those of us who have been around to make sure the intensity stays this high.”” — Brett, after practice today.

From Steelers.com:

With the players in pads for a second straight day the intensity continued to build as the Steelers practiced on Sunday afternoon at St. Vincent College.

Keisel did his part before practice got rolling, firing the guys up and getting them ready to go.

“It’s a great sport,” said Keisel. “It allows you to go out and compete in the most physical way possible. That is what I was trying to tell them…relax, let’s go out there and compete and fight and have fun.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Photos:

To view photos from camp and Brett’s autograph signing, click here.

There are a couple pages of photos.

Reminder:

The players have the day off on Monday, so there is no public practice.

 

July 29, 2012

BRETT’S BEARDED BEAUTIES

Da Beard Nation has hit Latrobe!

From Mike Bires, Times Online:

At practice Saturday, five fans watched from the sideline wearing fake beards that resemble the famous facial hair of Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel.

But what made these five spectators stand out even more was the fact they were women.

“We’re the ‘Bearded Beauties,’ ” said Bonnie Liska of Jeannette.

Several months ago, Liska and four of her relatives and friends decided to attend the annual women’s football clinic the Steelers host at training camp each summer. To spice up their experience, they decided to attach bears to their faces when they were allowed to watch practice.

“You girls look great!” Keisel said as he posed with them for a picture during a break in practice. “Did you all have fun today?”

You can read the entire article here here.

From Brett to the Bearded Beauties:

“I had the pleasure of meeting these lady’s today who participated in woman’s fantasy camp.”

Click here to watch a video from camp, and to see what award the “Bearded Ladies” won.

Thanks to Brett’s Bearded Beauties- Bonnie Liska, Beth Elder, Dawn Conley, Christine Taylor, and Poppy Pritchett for reppin’ Da Beard Nation!

Photos:

To view photos from camp and Brett’s autograph signing, click here.

There are a couple pages of photos.

Check out the news below for information from the free autograph signing Keisel and his Da Beard Crew held today!

 

July 28, 2012

DA BEARD MANIA

Keisel and the Da Beard Gear crew held a free autograph signing event today at Dino’s Sports Lounge in Latrobe. As a surprise to fans, Keisel brought a teammate along.

He teased Da Beard Nation with this post on Facebook and Twitter prior to the meeting:

“We are on our way to Dino’s. I have a special guest with me. He can only stay for a few minutes cuz he has a press conference at noon.”

Fans picked up on who it was immediately since most had heard of Brown’s new contract announced Friday, and knew he had a press conference scheduled today.

Brown and his son, Antonio Jr. arrived with Da Beard and the fans were thrilled!

From Brett and the Da Beard Gear crew following the signing:

“Thanks to everyone who showed up to Dino’s. Nice meeting everyone!”

Thanks also to Antonio Brown (and Antonio Jr.) for the surprise visit, and congratulations on your new contract! Well deserved!

For those who missed Brown’s press conference, you can listen here.

It was great of Antonio to give a shout out to Da Beard Gear and Keisel. His son was sporting the new Hunt for VII shirt, as Brown said: “We just came from a gathering with Brett Keisel at Dino’s so we are definitely on board for FEARIN’ THE BEARD!”

Thank you to all who attended, and a huge thank you to Dino’s Sports Lounge for hosting the Da Beard crew during camp, and for allowing Keisel to hold his autograph signing event there. The guys encourage everyone to head over there for Dino’s great food. They suggest trying the wings and ribs.

Photos:

To view more photos from the signing event today, and a few photos from camp, click here.

Thank you to all who have posted via Twitter and Facebook to say thank you to Keisel for the autographs at camp! You can view the tweets and Facebook messages by clicking the social media links at the top of this page.

Join Da Beard Nation! Click the Store link beneath the banner to purchase Keisel’s official Da Beard Gear merchandise!

 

July 26, 2012

FREE AUTOGRAPH SIGNING

Latrobe autograph signing:

Keisel will be signing autographs on Saturday July 28 from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. at Dino’s Sports Loungein Latrobe, PA.

Da Beard and his crew will be there to greet Steeler Nation and to unveil the latest Da Beard Gear merchandise.

From Brett:

I will be at Dino’s Sports Lounge in Latrobe on 7/28 from 11am-12pm to sign autographs with my crew. See you there!

Signing information:

Brett and the Da Beard Gear crew want to thank Steeler Nation for their support, so this will be a FREE autograph signing! Yes, we said FREE!

Fans can bring one item (per person) to be signed free by Keisel. Due to the time constraints, Brett will not be able to pose with fans for photographs. He only gets a limited time away from camp, and he wants to ensure as many fans as possible get to have an item signed. We thank you for understanding.

Sorry, NO mail in items will be accepted for this signing.

Stop in to meet Keisel and his crew… and grab some of Dino’s famous wings!

The Da Beard Gear crew will be in Latrobe from July 25-29.

Da Beard Nation shirts:

Da Beard Gear added a couple new shirts which have been a hit with Keisel’s teammates. One was posted below in the July 26 news, and today they released the Da Beard Nation shirts!

Get a close up look here.

Camp news:

Keisel talks about the rookies:

“You never want to let a rookie beat you, ever. Coach Mitchell told me that a long time ago. He said, ‘I would never let a rookie block me, ever.’ So that’s just the mentality you have. You want to come in and show these young guys how we play football and what type of defense we have.” – From Steelers.com.

 

July 26, 2012-afternoon/evening update

KEISEL READY TO SEE WHAT YOUNG PLAYERS CAN DO

From Steelers.com:

Defensive end Brett Keisel is looking forward to the first training camp practice, when the speed picks up and the team gets their first real look at what young players are capable of.

“I am very excited,” said Keisel. “We have a young group of guys coming in here. This is where you define your team and figure out who is going to help you win games throughout the season. You don’t know what guys are capable of until they put on the pads and go full speed. It will be interesting to see who steps up and makes plays.”

You can read tne entire article here.

We will continue to update training camp news and photos as they become available.

 

July 26, 2012

HUNT FOR VII

The 2012 Hunt for Seven begins!

Be one of the first to get your hands on one of these beauties! The front has a shot of Keisel doing his QB sack celebration and the back has the 2012 season schedule.

Da Beard Gear unveiled one of their new t-shirt designs yesterday and the consensus was…they are a HIT!

Keisel’s teammates and Steeler Nation love them. They were not going to be available on the website until next week, but due to the large volume of fan requests, they are available NOW!

Click the STORE link above (below the banner) to enter the world of Da Beard Gear-Keisel’s official merchandise.

To get a closer look at the new t-shirt, click here.

More new gear is available at Dino’s Sports Lounge in Latrobe. THe Da Beard Gear crew is there dailyn, until July 29, from 11am-2pm and 6pm-close. You can meet the crew and check out the latest in Da Beard Gear merchandise. The rest of the new merchandise will be added to the website for online sales soon.

Latrobe autograph signing:

Keisel will be signing autographs on Saturday July 28 from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. at Dino’s Sports Lounge in Latrobe, PA.

Da Beard and his crew will be there to greet Steeler Nation and to unveil the latest Da Beard Gear merchandise.

Signing information:

Brett and the Da Beard Gear crew want to thank Steeler Nation for their support, so this will be a FREE autograph signing! Yes, we said FREE!

Fans can bring one item (per person) to be signed free by Keisel. Due to the time constraints, Brett will not be able to pose with fans for photographs. He only gets a limited time away from camp, and he wants to ensure as many fans as possible get to have an item signed. There is no guarantee that every fan will get an autograph as it will depend on the number of fans there. We thank you for understanding.

Sorry, NO mail in items will be accepted for this signing.

 

July 25, 2012-see late evening update below

DA BEARD ARRIVES

Fans, teammates and media have discussed what vehicle Keisel would drive into camp this year. Not sure any of them guessed correctly.

Brett arrived to Latrobe in a Kubota tractor.

From Steelers.com:

Players have been arriving at camp in over-sized SUVs, luxury sports cars and the like, but defensive end Brett Keisel made the entrance of the day in a huge orange Kubota Tractor. Keisel pulled up behind the dorm then dumped his luggage from out of the front loader.

Keisel did not drive the tractor the entire way from home, but just the last 20 miles of the trip – which took about an hour.

“I got some looks,” said Keisel. “People were like what is this guy doing. It was a lot of fun. I love driving these things because it reminds me of my childhood.”

Keisel joked that next year he might have to arrive on some type of live stock, maybe even a horse. “I think that was the rumor; that I was going to come in on a horse,” said Keisiel. “I was like, that is a good idea, I wish I would have thought of that.”

Media comments on Keisel’s arrival:

Mike Prisuta (Times): “Keisel has Da Beard almost in mid-season form.”

Matt Maesel (WJAC-TV Sports): “Brett Keisel showed up in this ride today. Said he drove it on the parkway….Riiight. Awesome nonetheless.”

Alby Oxenreiter (WPXI-TV): “Brett Keisel showed up to training camp on a tractor!”

CBS Twitter: “In the over-the-top arrival dept., Brett Keisel’s Kubota front-loading tractor wins hands-down thus far.”

Da Beard arrives in Latrobe also:

“Da Beard Gear is excited to be in Latrobe, PA July 25-29 for the opening of Steelers Training Camp.

Our newest designs as well as the classics will be available from 11am-2pm and 6pm-close at the place with the best wings around, Dino’s Sports Lounge in Latrobe.

We hope to see the entire Beard Nation as we begin the Hunt for 7!!”

View photos of Brett’s arrival today here.

View more photos of the players arriving at camp here.

Late evening update:

From Mike Bires, Times Online:

For his 11th training camp, Brett Keisel wanted to arrive in style. So he drove one of his favorite vehicles — a bright range Kubota tractor.

“This has to be a first,” said Keisel, the Steelers’ veteran right defensive end. “It’s my way of saying ‘Hard work pays off.’”

Keisel got the tractor — a M4070 model that he calls the “Bad Boy” — from his friends who own an outdoor power equipment store in Washington, Pa. In exchange for appearing in a commercial for the store, Keisel was given a tractor to use on his farm in the North Hills.

“We have a deal going,” Keisel said. “They let me drive one around my house a little bit to work on my fields. So I thought it would be a fun idea to show up to camp with this.”

Click here to read the entire article.

 

July 23, 2012

TRAINING CAMP 2012

Latrobe..here we come!

It’s that time of year again…training camp 2012 begins on July 25.

The players report on Wednesday July 25. The first official practice will take place Thursday, July 26. The first practice open to the public is scheduled for Friday, July 27, at 2:55 p.m. Only the afternoon practices are open to the public.

Camp schedule:

For the camp schedule and directions, click here.

Keisel autograph signing:

Keisel will be signing autographs on Saturday July 28 from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. at Dino’s Sports Lounge in Latrobe, PA.

Signing information:

Brett and the Da Beard Gear crew want to thank Steeler Nation for their support, so this will be a FREE autograph signing! Yes, we said FREE!

Fans can bring one item (per person) to be signed free by Keisel. Due to the time constraints, Brett will not be able to pose with fans for photographs. He only gets a limited time away from camp, and he wants to ensure as many fans as possible get to have an item signed. We thank you for understanding.

Sorry, NO mail in items will be accepted for this signing.

From the Da Beard Gear Crew:

“Da Beard Gear is excited to be in Latrobe, PA July 25-29 for the opening of Steelers Training Camp.

Our newest designs as well as the classics will be available from 11am-2pm and 6pm-close at the place with the best wings around, Dino’s Sports Lounge in Latrobe.

We hope to see the entire Beard Nation as we begin the Hunt for 7!!”

Stop by the website throughout camp as we will be posting photos and news daily. We hear Antonio Brown is excited to see what kind of car Da Beard will drive to camp..so stay tuned.

 

July 20, 2012

DA BEARD AUTOGRAPH SIGNING

Latrobe autograph signing:

Keisel will be signing autographs on Saturday July 28 from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. at Dino’s Sports Loungein Latrobe, PA.

Da Beard and his crew will be there to greet Steeler Nation and to unveil the latest Da Beard Gear merchandise.

From Brett:

I will be at Dino’s Sports Lounge in Latrobe on 7/28 from 11am-12pm to sign autographs with my crew. See you there!

Signing information:

Brett and the Da Beard Gear crew want to thank Steeler Nation for their support, so this will be a FREE autograph signing! Yes, we said FREE!

Fans can bring one item (per person) to be signed free by Keisel. Due to the time constraints, Brett will not be able to pose with fans for photographs. He only gets a limited time away from camp, and he wants to ensure as many fans as possible get to have an item signed. We thank you for understanding.

Sorry, NO mail in items will be accepted for this signing.

Stop in to meet Keisel and his crew… and grab some of Dino’s famous wings!

The Da Beard Gear crew will be in Latrobe from July 25-29.

Photo note:The photo used for today’s announcement is from the Da Beard autograph signing in Sheridan, Wyo last summer. Brett is with Michael McGuire (Da Beard Gear crew member) and Lance Christensen.

 

July 18, 2012

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES SCREENING

From Dan Gigler, Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

“The Dark Knight Rises” producer Thomas Tull, Legendary Entertainment CEO and a minority owner of the Steelers, hosted the screening as a salute to Pittsburgh.

And red carpets? Nah. Try red bricks instead. The VIPs came in on the same sidewalk as everybody else, a point not lost on Steelers guard Doug Legursky, who was in attendance along with at least a dozen teammates. “This is the Pittsburgh premiere. We’re just walking on gum-filled bricks down here,” he laughed. “At the L.A. premiere, they’ll [put down] the red carpets. We like it this way a lot better.”

Some who attended the screening included, Keisel, Heath Miller, Max Starks, Doug Legursky, Hines Ward, Jerome Bettis, LaMarr Woodley, Jerricho Cotchery and Greg Warren.

Da Beard’s review of the movie:

“Man, it was awesome. First off, the movie is incredible.

For Thomas (Tull) to allow us to be a part of this great movie, it’s a real honor.

It’s weird seeing my face up there, but it was cool.”

Video:

Watch a video of the Steelers arriving, watching the introduction and being interviewed here.

Max Starks gets signed:

Max was signed yesterday to a one-year deal with the Steelers!

From Keisel:

“My man Max is back! Congratulations!!”

Da Beard Gear days at camp:

We are excited to announce that the Da Beard Gear Crew will be hanging out with Steeler Nation and selling merchandise at Dino’s Sports Lounge in Latrobe, PA. on July 25-29. Exact times will be available soon.

The Da Beard Gear Crew is very excited to work with Dino’s and we look forward to seeing Steeler Nation GET THEIR BEARDS ON as the Steelers begin their Hunt For 7!

Stop by Dino’s Sports Lounge for a bite to eat (we hear their wings are Da Best), meet Keisel’s Da Beard Gear crew and check out the latest official Brett Keisel merchandise!

From Dino’s website: Pittsburgh sports fans drive out to this beloved Latrobe bar for the atmosphere, and to chow down on Dino’s most popular fare — the Wings of Joy,” Steel says. Sports memorabilia adorns the walls, much of it dedicated to the Steelers, who train in Latrobe, about 35 miles or so from downtown Pittsburgh.

What better way to kick off the Hunt for 7 then with fellow Da Beard Nation fans! Wear your gear, or purchase it from the Da Beard crew at Dino’s!

Click the STORE link below the banner to see current merchandise available.

Stay tuned for more news on the events at Dino’s!

 

July 13, 2012

KEISEL LENDS A HAND

Football played an important role in Brett’s life growing up, and of course, it still does. He wants the same for the children at Rock River School in Wyoming, so he helped lend a hand to get a football program started there.

From Eve Newman, Laramie Boomerang:

Rock River School will field a six-man football team starting this fall. Principal Ron Leathers said Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel, who grew up in Greybull (Wyo.), helped arrange a $5,000 matching grant from the National Football League.

With the help of 26 donors from the community, the school raised more than $7,000 in three days to match the grant, giving it $12,700 to launch the program.

Leathers said the school and the community are very excited about the new program, which gives students another fall sport to play in addition to cross country.

“I think it will add a lot of excitement to the school and give our boys something to look forward to in the fall,” he said.

 

July 12, 2012

ASK THE DIESEL

The Diesel took some time to answer a few questions submitted by fans recently. You can scroll down on the right side of this page to look over previous “Ask the Diesel” questions and answers.

Ask the Diesel:

I live in central Pennsylvania and love to kayak and fish. My question is: Brett I know you are an outdoorsman but have you had the chance to fish for any PA smallmouth? If so, what’s your personal best? Secondly you are in PRIME musky country In Pitt. Have you got a chance to hunt any muskies? You are my favorite player on and off the field. Thank you for your time man!– Rob Swann

I haven’t had the chance to fish for either. Todd Haley says he knows a good place for Musky and agreed to take me sometime.

Does the added weight of da beard give his neck and delts more of a workout? – Connie– long time Steelers fan in Arizona

DaBeard is light as a feather and strong as a Bull.

I was wondering if there’s any kind of crazy things/ adventures ( like a bucket list) that you’d like to do?– Dan, NYC

I would like to sky dive one day.

What has been your favorite game so far in your career?– Bob Simmons, Hudson, NY

Hard to pick a favorite. Tough to beat 2 Super Bowl victories.

I know that Mr. Keisel is an avid hunter but I am not sure of his shoe size. I wear a size 15 and cannot find hunting boots in that size. If it were possible in passing to find out what outfitter he used to have boots made, it would be greatly appreciated. – Justin Doty

I wear a 14. Cabela’s has some large sizes as well as Gander Mountain.

Any advise for a young DE player?– Michael Jablonski Worthington, Ohio

Don’t let anyone outwork you.

I am always wondering what does it take to be a professional football player? What is your motivation to step on the field and be the greatest of all? And one completely irrelevant question, what genre of music do u listen to?– Sina Talebian

There is a lot of work that’s involved in being a Pro. You have to handle business when nobody is watching. Do all the little things that will help you succeed. I have a strong desire to win, and I love to compete. I listen to everything..depends on what mood I’m in. My favorite band is Pearl Jam.

Where can I find your jersey, man? I have checked Steelers.com and NFL.com. Any idea where to find adult and youth sizes. I see fans on message boards & all over social media looking for them so I know they would be a big seller! – John Timmons Chicago, IL

Thanks. I’m working on getting jerseys to sell on my website. Stay tuned.

Thank you to everyone who sent questions. If your question was not answered in this segment, it may be in a later one. Thank you also to Brett for taking the time to answer the questions!

 

July 11, 2012

TERRIBLE TOWEL DRAWS ATTENTION EVERYWHERE…

Even at a Super Bowl victory parade for the New York Giants!

NYC police sergeant, Alex Lago shows Steeler Nation going strong amidst the thousands of Giants fans cheering on their Super Bowl winning Giants team.

He held his Terrible Towel up proudly for all to see saying “it was a good time and it was all in good fun.”

Lago has been a Steelers fan since childhood, although he’s from New York. His co-workers tease him about being a Steelers fan as his desk at work is covered in Steelers gear.

Tough to be a Steelers fan in New York, but as we all know, Steeler Nation is EVERYWHERE!

Thank you to Sergeant Lago for sharing his photo, which appeared in the Pittsburgh Press after the parade.

 

July 10, 2012

STARTIN’ THESE BABIES OFF RIGHT!

Sharing a name…

Amanda Coleman tweeted a photo of her son, who has something in common with Brett.

They both share the name KEISEL!

Keisel was a month old in this photo.

He’s lookin’ good surrounded by the Terrible Towel!

Steeler Nation fans Curt Brown and his wife shared a couple photos of their kids, Camden and Savannah.

From Curt:

Just thought you might enjoy these photos of my kids! We train them right here in western North Carolina. Big time Steelers following here. We were In Pittsburgh for the last Bengals game. Brett had an awesome game and of course Steelers win 35-7. Keep working hard and lets get number 7!

Curt is also a big fan of Da Beard Gear merchandise:

Da Beard Gear is by far and away the coolest memorabilia out there!

Thanks to the Brown’s and Amanda for sharing their photos with us. And, good to know they’re startin’ those babes off right by teaching them all about Steeler Nation!

More Mexico City photos:

Click here for photo sent by Hector E. Sánchez A.

Thanks to Hector and to all who shared photos from the camps!

Da Beard Gear Crew:

Be sure to read the post below for information on Da Beard Gear Days at Training Camp!

 

July 9, 2012

DA BEARD GEAR DAYS AT TRAINING CAMP

We are excited to announce that the Da Beard Gear Crew will be selling merchandise at Dino’s Sports Lounge in Latrobe, PA. on July 25-29. Exact times will be available soon.

The Da Beard Gear Crew is very excited to work with Dino’s and we look forward to seeing Steeler Nation GET THEIR BEARDS ON as the Steelers begin their Hunt For 7!

Stop by Dino’s Sports Lounge for a bite to eat (we hear their wings are Da Best), meet Keisel’s Da Beard Gear crew and check out the latest official Brett Keisel merchandise!

From Dino’s website: Pittsburgh sports fans drive out to this beloved Latrobe bar for the atmosphere, and to chow down on Dino’s most popular fare — the Wings of Joy,” Steel says. Sports memorabilia adorns the walls, much of it dedicated to the Steelers, who train in Latrobe, about 35 miles or so from downtown Pittsburgh.

What better way to kick off the Hunt for 7 then with fellow Da Beard Nation fans! Wear your gear, or purchase it from the Da Beard crew at Dino’s!

Click the STORE link below the banner to see current merchandise available.

Stay tuned for more news on the events at Dino’s!

 

June 26, 2012

STEELERS A HIT AT CAMPS IN MEXICO

From Steelers.com:

Brett Keisel knew that the Steelers had a huge following in Mexico, but he never realized how big until he was part of two fan camps the team hosted this past weekend in Mexico City, Mexico.

“It was amazing,” said Keisel. “I heard Steelers Nation has a huge following in Mexico, but it blew me away when I got down there and saw how many people were there, how excited and grateful they were to see us. It was an eye-opening experience. You figure we never play there, but they know so much about the game and are huge fans.”

The Steelers hosted a one-day Fan Camp that drew 650 adults at Tecnológico de Monterrey University at Santa Fe. Keisel and teammates Charlie Batch, James Harrison, Ryan Mundy and Emmanuel Sanders, as well as Steelers alumni Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley, conducted individual drills, teaching the group the ins and outs of the game.

The following day 350 kids attended a Youth Camp where the players taught individual drills needed to participate in football, all the while encouraging the kids who might not have experience playing the game.

“The attitude of all the Steelers involved made the event and the experience a blast for all the participants,” said Christian Septien, from Pasion Acerera in Mexico. “Both groups, kids and adults, had the opportunity of meeting players and seeing that beyond being excellent athletes, they are excellent human beings who are willing to share experiences, knowledge, a smile or a good time. The fans really appreciate all the efforts.”

Click here to read the entire article, and to view the photo gallery and video.

And, click here for photos sent to this site of Keisel at the camps.

 

June 23-24, 2012

EL BEARDO GOES TO MEXICO CITY

“Thanks to Steeler Nation in Mexico! Your enthusiasm and appreciation for our team is incredible. Gracias mi amigos!”-Keisel after his weekend in Mexico City hosting Steelers fan camps.

Today’s news photo is from Francisco Guadarrama Garcia: “Respect El Beardo. Thanks Brett for a very fun day.”— with Ely Leñero Reveles and Flaco ‘tres Tres.

Keisel, Ryan Mundy, James Harrison, Charlie Batch and Emmanuel Sanders represented the Steelers in Mexico City this weekend for two fan camps. Steeler Nation Mexico could not have been more excited for the players to arrive and get the camps going! From the moment the camps were announced a few months ago, the site started receiving emails from excited fans waiting to meet Da Beard (or El Beardo as the WDVE crew refers to Brett).

A few messages and emails received through Twitter, Facebook and email:

It was a pleasure to have you here in Mexico. Thanks for all your kindness. See you in Pittsburgh.Fernando Von Rossum

Brett, thank you for the fun weekend! It was awesome meeting you and for being so kind and willing with your time.Alex S.

You are a beast on the football field and gentleman in person. So down to earth and outgoing. Thank you for giving me something to cherish forever! Go SteelersTomas Fierdo

I think that today is in my top ten better days of my life! Thanks Brett for coming to Mexico.Hector E. Sanchez A.

Well, Mr. Keisel, I hope you’re having a blast in my town, Mexico. I told you Steeler Nation is huge in Mexico. Thank you for taking time of your busy life to go and teach young Mexicans how to play the game I love!Danny Arguelles

I met Da Beard! Have watched him on my TV for years and never thought I’d get the chance to shake hands with my idol. And to find out he’s truly a great person and very classy! Thank you to all of the Steelers who took time to visit us. Will never forget it.Edgar D.

Photos galore:

You can read more comments from fans who attended the camps, and view their photos here

A huge thanks goes out to all who sent us photos and comments. They are greatly appreciated!

You can also read more fan comments by visiting Brett’s official Facebook and Twitter pages. The links are at the top of this page. If you don’t follow him on Twitter or Facebook, now is your chance! Keep up with the latest news, photos and contests through his social media pages.

 

June 21, 2012

WHAT A BIRTHDAY

Billy Borman had a great day on Monday. Not only did he get to attend Big Ben’s Youth Football Camp, and not only was it his birthday…but he was also surprised to see his favorite player as an assistant at the camp.

From an email Billy’s mother, Leslee sent:

I just want you all to know that my son traveled from Raven country up to PA to attend Ben’s Football camp. He never thought that he would get to see his favorite player!

HE LOVES THE DA BEARD!! Brett gave him a high 5! He really made his day, not to mention it was his birthday!

I just wanted to say thanks for making it so special for him!

Click here to view camp photos sent to the site.

Happy Birthday Billy! Sounds like you had a great day!

Da Beard Gear help out the community:

From the official Twitter page of Big Horn Rams Football:

Thanks to Brett Keisel and Da Beard Gear for helping sponsor our Lil Ram Football Camp!

Way to go Da Beard Gear and good luck this season to the Rams football team!

Da Beard Gear offers official Brett Keisel beard merchandise. They also are proud to sponsor the Lil Ram Football Camp and are looking forward to being involved with other community programs.

 

June 20, 2012

EL BEARDO HEADIN’ TO MEXICO CITY

“I’m excited to go down and meet Mexico Steeler Nation!”

Keisel chatted with the Morning Crew on WDVE today.

As usual, he provided quite an entertaining interview.

Highlights:

When Keisel was asked why he thought Mexico had such a huge Steelers fan base:

“Because we’re winners. Mexican Nation recognizes the six Lombardi’s we have in our building..which is more than any other NFL franchise. Why wouldn’t you wanna root for us?”

The DVE crew chimes in: MUCHOS LOMBARDI’s!

Can El Beardo speak Spanish?

“All the Spanish I know is from the mouse on Looney Tunes. I know a little bit but not very much. The last Spanish class I took was in high school.” They’ll just be lookin’ at me and lookin’ at Da Beard.”

Where are you in the growing (of Da Beard):

“It’s coming back strong. We finished Mini Camp & I had a small beard..decided I am gonna let this thing go from now on. It’ll be bigger and more beautiful than ever.”

Talking about the NFL Films segment that will feature Brett this fall:

“I sang the Fear the beard song for them!”

How many years he has left in the league:

“Oh man, I’m gonna play forever. The beard started my second career so really I’m only in my third year now. The beard has to get a Lombardi!”

Click here to listen to the entire interview.

There is much more he talks about, including the fun he had at Ben Roethlisberger’s football camp. He also gives Ben some advise about throwing a pass to EVERY single camper, so be sure to check out the fun interview.

 

June 19, 2012

THE BIGGEST QUARTERBACK IN THE NFL

From Jessica Sinichak, Cranberrypatch.com:

Ben Roethlisberger took to the football field Monday—but it wasn’t to face down an opposing defensive line. For the second year in a row, the Steelers quarterback is hosting the Highmark Ben Roethlisberger Football ProCamp for boys and girls ages 7 to 14 at Seneca Valley’s NexTier Stadium.

Joining Roethlisberger on the field Monday was the Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel, who tossed a football with attendees during a mini-game. The move prompted a ProCamp announcer to describe Keisel, sporting his trademark beard, to the crowd as “The biggest quarterback in the NFL.”

William Dupray sent some great photos of Assistant Coach Da Beard. His children, Jack and Hannah attended the camp from Fairfax, VA.

Click here to see his photos and more. Thank you to Mr. Dupray and to all who took the time to share their photos and stories from camp!

To learn more about Ben’s football camp, and to view more photos, visit BigBen7.com.

 

June 18, 2012

DA BEARD GOES TO CAMP-SEE EVENING UPDATE BELOW

The Steelers training camp is over a month away, but Keisel did go to camp today. He joined Ben Roethlisberger at his annual youth football camp.

From Brett today:

“Had a blast at Bens football camp! These kids are hilarious. One kid caught a long ball from Ben and all the parents had to do jumping jacks!”

You can view photos of Brett at the camp here.

If you have photos you would like to share, please email trish@brett-keisel.com.

Thank you for all the emails from parents who said their kids were thrilled to see Da Beard at camp. From the messages and emails we are receiving, it sounds like the kids had a great first day of camp with Big Ben and his helpers!

To learn more about Ben’s football camp, and to view more photos, visit BigBen7.com.

The photo used for today’s news was taken by Stephen J. Nesbitt, Michigan football beat writer and @michigandaily managing sports editor, ESPNU campus rep and Pittsburgh P-G intern.

More photos from the Nemacolin Five Alarm Mountain Madness Chili Cook-Off:

JC Covalesky sent some great photos with Brett from the chili cook-off, along with this email:

Here’s a few pictures. I met Brett when I traveled from Southern California to judge the finals tables for the Five Alarm Mountain Madness chili cook-off held recently at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.

As a lifetime STEELERS fan, living away from the Pittsburgh area since I was 17, it was an AWESOME experience and weekend. Brett, Michele & Bob (Rosenthal), Carol & Dave (Hancock), and I spent Saturday evening together after the chili cook-off ended.

I’ve always considered Brett to be a “Class Act” and found out first hand that he is much more!

Thank you to JC for the photos and email, and to all who sent camp photos!

Click here to view his photos, along with others from the chili cook-off.

And, speaking of camp…

The 2012 Steelers Training Camp begins on July 25. To view the schedule, scroll down the right side of this page.

The Da Beard Gear crew will be at camp from July 25-29, so be sure to stop by and say hello to them, and check out Keisel’s official Da Beard Gear merchandise. We hope to spot lots of Da Beard Gear at camp!

Evening update:

A sampling of the emails and social media messages we have received today:

Brett, thank you so much for the surprise, well it was a surprise to us at least, appearance at Ben’s football camp. My son was excited to meet Ben and it was an added bonus to meet you also. The time you and Ben spent with the kids was amazing. My older sons have been to camps before held by professional athletes but the athlete never stayed the whole time. They just made a quick appearance. Not the case at this camp. Thank you!” Mary Jones

I know u r talking about my two girls from Indiana that won’t stop talking to you and Ben! Great day! Best camp out there!Joe Mulinaro

It was awesome! My son LOVED it! You were amazing with the kids! The jumping jacks were fun!–Jaime Filek Melio

Brett, you are a class act. This is probably your last time off before training camp, and we know you have a family, yet you took time to make these kids day! You will always be a champion to your fans!Sara Petrowsky

Loving that Brett came out today for the kids. They are having a blast at Ben’s camp. Thanks Mr. Keisel!!!Michele Rodi

Keisel the Diesel made my daughters day. She loves Da Beard and always makes her Fear Da Beard face. We will never be able to afford a game at Heinz Field, so this was perfect. She was able to actually meet you face to face and had a blast!John Dye

My son saved up his own money to go to Ben’s camp. He’s a huge fan of you and Ben. When you walked on the field, I wish I’d had a camera to capture his expression. The excitement in his face is something I will treasure forever. I know you have kids so you know how it feels to see your child’s face light up. Thank you for doing that for all the kids today. You’re one heck of a man. Please tell your parents thank you for raising such a wonderful person.Jessie Spiro

Da Beard is a great athlete and personality, but he’s an ever better person. Class act all the way. Thanks for being so involved today. It was clear your focus was not the media or fan attention, but it was on the children and they realized it. Ed Carey

We appreciate all you do for your fans Mr. Keisel! It was awesome to finally get to see you in person after we’ve followed your career. Not only were you great today at camp, but your great everyday in all you share on your website. You have a great team. We love having a one stop place for news and photos and your gear is the best!Tim Spiegal

We could not post all the emails and messages, but thanks to all who sent them. There are a few more posted under photos in the gallery, so be sure to check them out!

 

June 15, 2012

MINI CAMP WRAPS UP

“I’m a faith guy. I believe we’re going to hoist that Lombardi in New Orleans.” –Keisel on the 2012 Steelers (Mike Prisuta interview).

Day three of mini camp was a short one, and the team is now off for a bit until July 25 when training camp opens in Latrobe, PA.

Here are a few quotes and observations from #99 over the last few days:

From an interview with WDVE’s Mike Prisuta:

On opening the season in Denver:

“Luckily we’re gonna have a chance to go back out there and hopefully rewrite some wrongs.”

On the rookies:

“I’m impressed with some of these guys so far. We’ve always gotta have young guys coming in & helping every year.

Advise Keisel gives to the rookies:

“There’s an opportunity here, and you guys need to take advantage of it. You can’t just step into a great organization like this and think you’re gonna make the team overnight. You gotta put forth the work, put forth the effort. Do something everyday that impresses these coaches so you can be on this team that’s hopefully going towards a championship.”

Click here to hear the whole interview.

And, from Jim Wexell’s website, Steelcityinsider.net:

Brett Keisel on young players that have impressed him:

“I like our young linebacker No. 51 (Sean Spence), he’s moving around well. No. 46 (Adrian Robinson) is moving around pretty quick. And little 2-2 (Chris Rainey) is like lightning in a bottle, he’s gonna be tough.”

To read the entire interview, written by Mike Prisuta, subscribe to Steelcityinsider.net There are also many free interviews to read on Wexell’s site, but the paid membership is well worth the price.

 

June 14, 2012

MINI CAMP-DAY TWO

The Steelers wrapped up day two of their three day mini camp Wednesday. They will have one session today before mini camp ends. The team will be scheduled to report to training camp towards the end of July. Reports state training camp will begin in Labrobe on July 25.

From Mike Prisuta’s Twitter feed:

Brett Keisel on working against Adams repeatedly Wednesday: “I beat him most of the time but that’s just me. He’s got potential.”

Keisel on Adams and David DeCastro: “They want them to come in and contribute right away. So far I think they like what they see.”

Read more on how day two went from Steelers Depot.

Da Beard Gear update:

The Da Beard Crew will be headin’ to training camp this year! Be sure to stop by and say hi to them. They love meeting the fans of Steeler Nation. We hope to see many fans sporting their Da Beard gear there.

 

June 13, 2012

KEISEL SET FOR CHANGES

Veteran DE will be expected to help lead a younger group with many new faces.

From Matt Pawlikowski, Lancaster Online today:

For 11 years, Steelers defensive lineman Brett Keisel has heard it all. From when he was a seventh-round draft choice, just three picks shy of bearing the label, “Mr. Irrelevant,” where most thought he would not make the team, to comments that age has crept up on both him and his vaunted unit, there always have been doubters.

All Keisel has done is not only make the Pro Bowl, but also earn two Super Bowl rings to go with it. Even more important is the respect he garners inside the Steelers locker room as a leader. This year he will be looked up to even more, as the team faces what many have called a “changing of the guard.”

“They are calling me the old general, but it’s great. I’ve been hearing that for a long time even when I wasn’t old,” Keisel said. “I feel so lucky. I’ve been here my whole career, so watching some of these younger guys take a more predominant role and watching them grow, that’s what the Steelers are all about.”

While there will be a lot of new faces vying for positions on the defense, especially at left cornerback, where Gay was a starter, Keisel welcomed the young blood.

“A lot of these kids need to get ready,” Keisel said. “We need to have several sets who can rotate in and out on the line, guys who can come in to spell us and keep us fresh. A lot of them have an opportunity.”

“It’s different, but as a veteran every year is different. Every year you have a new team, every year you have a new crop of young guys come in, so it’s exciting.”

Read the entire article here.

Mini Camp chatter:

Keisel: “I am very impressed on how Ben has grasped this offense. We are only going to go as far as he can take us.”–From Mike Prisuta’s Twitter feed.

Check out the post below for photos of Brett at the Nemacolin Five Alarm Mountain Madness Chili Cook-Off this past weekend.

 

June 12, 2012

NEMACOLIN FIVE ALARM MOUNTAIN MADNESS CHILI COOK-OFF

Who better to judge a Five Alarm Mountain Madness Chili Cook-Off than Pittsburgh’s own Mountain Man, Brett Keisel? He was one of the celebrity guest judges at the event which was held at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort this past Saturday.

Fellow Beardsman Matt Stark (shown in the photo to the left) was on hand at the event, and shared some great photographs.

Da Beard may have some beard competition this season from Matt!

Click here to view his photos and a couple others sent by fans.

Thanks to all who attended the fun event!

Check back later for news on mini-camp, which began today.

 

June 6, 2012

HELP DAD GET HIS BEARD ON

Father’s Day is just around the corner. Why not treat dad or that special guy in your life to a unique one-of-a-kind gift this year? Help them “GET THEIR BEARD ON” by gifting them with a hat or t-shirt from Da Beard Gear.

This is the one and only place to purchase official Brett Keisel beard merchandise.

Don’t let dad get left out of the beard craze…click this link to GET DAD’S BEARD ON!

OTA Tidbits:

From Mike Prisuta’s Twitter feed today:

Brett Keisel on what he’s seeing: No. 51 (Sean Spence) is moving around well. No. 46 (Adrian Robinson) is moving around pretty quick.”

Keisel also had this to say of Chris Rainey; “Little No. 22 is like lightning in a bottle. He’s gonna be tough.”

 

June 4, 2012- Evening update

GOIN’ FISHIN’ WITH #99

“Why not do something charitable where people can bid on coming out spending the morning with us fishing you know we’re out here fishing anyways so we might as well do something to benefit others.” — Keisel

Keisel decided to go fishing today, and he took along some lucky contest winners!

From KDKA today:

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Brett Keisel took a group of lucky contest winners fishing today at a sporting club in Bridgeville.

If there’s anyone in southwestern Pennsylvania that looks more like a mountain man than Keisel, he’s hard to find.

“I grew up like, ‘…This is so much fun being out in the wild and see shooting stars and catching fish,’ you know that’s what I love doing and that’s what I’m trying to pass on to him (Brett’s son),” Pittsburgh Steeler Brett Keisel said.

Click here to read the entire article. Click here to watch a video from today’s fishing trip.

Da Beard on Da Cake

Cake designer extraordinaire, Robin Vogel put her amazing skills to work again to create another Da Beard cake. This time she used the Da Beard Gear t-shirt logo from this past season.

To view Robin’s other Da Beard cake, click here.

If you missed the previous update from this morning, check out the post below.

 

June 4, 2012

THE BEARDED SAGE

From Dan Gigler’s (Pittsburgh Post Gazette) article,Steelers’ Heyward, Hood hold up their end:

In the 30 years that the Steelers have employed the 3-4 defense, there have only been 20 primary starters on the ends, and 16 did so for multiple seasons — Goodman, Beasley, Keith Gary, Keith Willis, Edmund Nelson, Donald Evans and Kevin Henry to name a few. With rare exceptions, it’s been an orderly procession of veterans breaking in, teaching and ultimately passing the torch to younger players.

Recently retired Aaron Smith made his first career start in 2000, just down the line from five-year starter Henry. A few years later, in 2003, rookie Brett Keisel studied under veterans Smith and Kimo Von Oelhoffen. Keisel first started in 2006, and with Smith began the tutelage of first-round picks Ziggy Hood in 2009 and Cam Heyward last year.

Now Keisel finds himself in the role of the bearded sage at the position with Hood and Heyward vying to replace Smith — and the crater-sized vacuum of leadership and skill he leaves behind. Hood has the inside track, having seen significant starting time in the past two seasons in place of the oft-injured Smith. Keisel believes Hood is ready.

“Ziggy’s been fortunate because since the day he got here he’s been basically forced into playing,” Keisel said. “When Aaron went down his rookie year, he had to come in and play right away so he has those mental reps, those physical reps, those game reps that you can’t get any other way. “You can go out here and practice all you want, but until you take it out and do it at game speed — it’s a whole other level. Luckily for him, he’s been doing that now for three years, so stepping into this role as the starter from the get-go I don’t think will be a big transition at all for him.”

Keisel also talks about Cameron Heyward:

“I believe in him, I do. I feel like he’s the type of guy that has the type of character that’s going to come in and keep the ship rolling in the right direction,” Keisel said. “I have all the confidence in the world in Cam, and when the day comes when I hang up the old No. 99, he’ll do a great job.”

Which — for 30 years — has been the Steelers plan.

Click here to read the entire article.

Da Beard spotted in the Big Apple:

“Just met a very nice fan in Riverside Park, NY. She was rocking a Steelers hat along with her young child. Steeler Nation in the Big Apple!” — Keisel

The fans sent Brett (via Twitter) the photo they took with him saying:”Thanks for being awesome. Steelers fans in NYC love ya!”

From the Da Beard Crew:

“DaBeardNation… who would like to see DaBeard Gear and crew in Latrobe this July?”

They also hinted there may be some contests in the upcoming weeks..so stay tuned! Sounds like some exciting opportunities await Da Beard Nation!

Keep up with Da Beard Gear on Twitter here.

 

June 1, 2012

MOP CROP

As mentioned in the May 18 news below, 10-year-old Riley Toth decided he wanted to do something to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. So, after reading about Keisel’s Shear Da Beard event, Riley set up an event of his own.

He had his mop cropped to benefit Make-A-Wish. In doing so he raised an amazing $3,800!

Riley’s mother, Robyn, sent a before and after photo. As you can tell, Riley had quite a mop to crop!

His mom admitted she cringed when Riley told her his idea to cut his gorgeous hair, but said when she learned of his intentions to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, she was all for it.

From Mrs. Toth:

Now he (Riley) told me he wants to start a company where, if people donate to Make-A-Wish, we can help them organize their fundraising event.

When he told the crowd that this experience was the best of his life, he truly meant it and I have a funny feeling our lives will never be the same again.

Yes, as we mentioned, he is only 10-years old!

What an amazing and caring young man.

Scroll below to the May 18 news to read more about Riley’s inspirational event.

Thank you so much to both Robyn and Riley Toth for sharing their story.

OTA’s:

Two rounds of OTA’s are now in the books. Click here to see a few photos of Keisel attending the OTA’s.

 

May 25, 2012

DA BEARD IS BACK

“It’s different, but as a veteran, it is different every year. Every year you have a new team. There are a lot of great opportunities for some of these young guys to get a grasp of the offense, defense or special teams like I did.” –Keisel, speaking on returning to the field for OTA’s (organized team activities).

To listen to Brett’s entire interview, click here.

Memorial Day Tribute:

Steelers coaches and staff honor fallen heroes on Memorial Day-Click here to watch the video.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Updated on Riley Toth:

Thank you for all the kind emails and social media comments on Riley’s Make-A-Wish event (news on the event is posted below). Riley’s mom, Robyn, is going to send some photos of Riley-before the shearing and after. We will post them as soon as they’re received.

May 18, 2012

SHEAR DA HAIR

No, Brett isn’t shaving his head, but he inspired 10-year-old Riley Toth to do so.

From Sharon Lee Tegler, Capital Gazette.com:

When Shipley’s Choice Elementary fourth-grader Riley Toth came up with the idea of shaving off his long blond hair to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, his mother Robyn cringed.

She adored his long locks, but she acquiesced and now she’s glad for it. By promising to cut his hair in return for donations, her son raised an amazing $3,800.

In accordance with the stunning response, Riley’s official “shearing party” mushroomed from a small gathering at the Toth house to a festive event for more than 100 people at Kinder Farm Park. Luckily, Friday evening’s gorgeous sunset provided a perfect backdrop for the outdoor occasion.

Friends, family members, classmates and sports team pals dined on pizza and snacks and teased Riley about his soon-to-be-gone hair. The 10-year-old said his fundraising idea was inspired by Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive lineman Brett Keisel who shaved his beard in February to raise money for cancer research.

Please click here to read the rest of Riley’s inspirational story.

From Riley’s mother, Robyn Toth: “Thank you Brett for inspiring children to follow in your footsteps.”

Thank you Riley Toth for setting an amazing example for others.

 

May 16, 2012

FIVE ALARM MOUNTAIN MADNESS CHILI COOK-OFF

Alright Steeler Nation, here is your chance to set Keisel’s taste buds on FIRE!

Brett, along with Cameron Heyward, Phil Bourque, and Arron Asham will be the celebrity judges for the 3rd Annual Five Alarm Mountain Madness Chili Cook-Off held at at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort on June 9!

Participants can compete in three categories: Red Chili, Chili Verde and Salsa. Over $5,000 in cash prizes with a $2,000 prize to the 1st place Red Chili!

Ready to get cookin’?

Before you do, be sure to learn more about the eventhere.

Hat, hats..and more hats:

Brett is wearing the official Da Beard Gear Flex-Fit Hat. It’s a hit with both men and women (and kids have been known to wear ’em too)!

The hat comes in S/M and L/XL.

You can check it out here.

Click here to view Keisel sporting the camo version of the hat and also the 2012 Steelers New Era hat.

May 7, 2012

MOTHER’S DAY…

…is May 13–which is rapidly approaching. Are you ready?

Sure, flowers and candy are nice, but how about a gift that will bring your mom’s inner beard out? Something fierce, yet feminine, like the Da Beard Ladies Burnout Tee shown here.

Show mom you thought about her gift…stepped outside of the “routine” gifts and bought her what she really wanted: Da Beard Gear!

If your mom is a ballcap kind of gal, Da Beard has you covered with the Da Beard Flex- Fit Hat (which also comes in camo style). If she is a beach, pool or boat kinda gal, how about a Da Beard drink koozie to keep her drink nice and cool on those hot summer days!

Click on over to Da Beard Gear to view all of their items. We know you will find something to put a big smile on mom’s face…or a ferocious Da Beard growl! Make mama happy this Mother’s Day with a gift from Da Beard Gear!

Da Beard is heading to Mexico City:

Brett, James Harrison, Ryan Mundy and Emmanuel Sanders will be hosting two Steelers fan camps in Mexico City, Mexico.

From Steelers.com:

The one-day Fan Camp for adults will take place on Saturday, June 23, in Mexico City at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Santa Fe. The fan camp will include individual drills directed by Steelers’ players. The one-day Youth Camp on Sunday, June 24, will introduce the kids to a number of individual drills needed to participate in the game of football.

Registration:

Click here to register.

For those who are attending the camps, feel free to send us your photos. We’d love to post them on the site.

 

May 2, 2012

NEWS AND NOTES

May is here and we know what that means…time for OTA’s and mini camp!

The Steelers will hold mini camps on May 22-24, May 29-31 and June 4-7. Mini camp dates will be May 4-6 (rookies) and June 12-14.

Da Beard is heading to Mexico City:

Brett, James Harrison, Ryan Mundy and Emmanuel Sanders will be hosting two Steelers fan camps in Mexico City, Mexico.

From Steelers.com:

The one-day Fan Camp for adults will take place on Saturday, June 23, in Mexico City at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Santa Fe. The fan camp will include individual drills directed by Steelers’ players. The one-day Youth Camp on Sunday, June 24, will introduce the kids to a number of individual drills needed to participate in the game of football.

Registration:

Registration will begin on May 4. The article on Steelers.com includes the link to register.

Event reminder:

Alright Steeler Nation, here is your chance to set Keisel’s taste buds on FIRE!

Brett, along with Cameron Heyward, Phil Bourque, and Arron Asham will be the celebrity judges for the 3rd Annual Five Alarm Mountain Madness Chili Cook-Off held at at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort on June 9!

Participants can compete in three categories: Red Chili, Chili Verde and Salsa. Over $5,000 in cash prizes with a $2,000 prize to the 1st place Red Chili!

Ready to get cookin’?

Before you do, be sure to learn more about the event here.

 

April 24, 2012

HARD WORK PAYS OFF

From Steelers Digest, December 2011:

Though not highly drafted, Keisel didn’t need much time to become highly regarded by his new employers.

“This guy has so much athleticism,” said John Mitchell, then and now the Steelers D-Line coach. “He’s a guy who could have played at a major college basketball program if he wanted to. He could run. He could have been a track athlete.”

Keisel almost immediately became a game changer as a member of the Steelers special teams.

“He was a demon,” remembered Mitchell. “Here’s a guy who’s 6-foot-6, close to 300 pounds, flying down the field and taking the heads off people. That’s where he got his chance. Then when some guys left, Brett stepped in, and he never looked back. He’s such an intelligent player. He’s one of the best technique players I’ve ever coached.”

By the start of the 2006 season, Keisel was ready, and the team allowed veteran DE Kimo von Oelhoffen to leave as a free agent. Brett Keisel was a starting DE in the NFL, for the defending Super Bowl champions.

To read the entire article, click here.

#99 was making a name for himself with the Steelers organization and with Steeler Nation. He harassed quarterbacks with pass deflections and his sacks became well known by fans and teammates.

He was known for his athleticism and and smart play.

From some of Brett’s teammates on the D-Line:

Aaron Smith:“There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the most athletic. The way he can run, move and the things he can do-there’s no more of a complete athlete than him on this team.”

Ziggy Hood:“There isn’t anyone he can’t run down. That shows a lot about his character. We never think we don’t have a chance to make a play, because there’s always positive energy coming from him.”

Cam Heyward:“He’s a beast. Sometimes he’s the most athletic player on the field, for either team. He’s a great leader. He always wants to be better in practice.”

A few of #99’s accomplishments:

Two-time co-winner of the Hard Hit award.

Co-awarded the “Chief Award”, given annually to the player who best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation with the media.

Two Super Bowl victories..three Super Bowl appearances.

79 yard interception return for a touchdown.

Selection to the Pro Bowl (he was unable to play due to a Super Bowl berth).

Named Steelers 2011 Man of the Year Award.

The above is not his entire list of accomplishments, but just a few. You can read more about Brett’s Bio by clicking the link below the banner.

Keisel is not only a great person on the field, but off the field as well. He works closely with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and with the Homeless Children’s Education Fund. You can read more about his work with them, and others, by clicking the link to “Brett in the Community” above.

Legendary Beard:

Not many players have double identities. Keisel has been known for several nicknames: The Diesel and Mountain Man to name a few. A few years ago, Keisel decided to grow out his beard. He would stop shaving in the summer, usually before training camp, and then “let it go” until the end of the season. The first year resulted in a Super Bowl berth.

“I think it just came from Pittsburgh. We’ve got a great hockey team and they grow their playoff beards out and I saw those guys looking burly and thought, ‘You know what? After mini camp in June, I’ve got seven months until the Super Bowl and we’re trying to win our seventh Super Bowl, so I’ll see if I can let this thing (grow) for seven months and this is the result.”

Keisel called it “Da Beard” and the name grew to epic proportions. Fans were enamoured of Brett Keisel and Da Beard.

His beard had its own Facebook and Twitter pages and there is a “Beard Yourself” site where fans can upload their own photo to see how they would look with a legendary beard.

The media caught on and Brett and Da Beard gained a national following. He filmed anational commercial for Head & Shoulders for Men with teammates Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward, and they (Brett and Da Beard) attended Media Week for Super Bowl XLVI.

Everywhere they went fans (and the media) wanted a piece of Da Beard. “Fear the Beard” became a hit slogan.

At the conclusion of the last two seasons, Keisel has shaved his beard for charity in an event called “Shear Da Beard.” Fans could attend to watch the legendary beard be shaved to benefit cancer programs at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC.

After this past years event:”Even though Da Beard is no more, its legend will live on forever. All proceeds raised during the event, and through donations for those who could not attend, will be donated to cancer programs at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC. Da Beard will be fighting cancer for years to come!”

Each event raised over $40,000 for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC.

Da Beard Gear:

In 2011, Brett and two close friends, Michael McGuire and Will LeDoux, launched Da Beard Gear-a place for fans from all over the world to GET THEIR BEARDS ON!

From the Da Beard Gear site:

You have just discovered the OFFICIAL gear of the beard voted by NFL Network as the greatest in NFL history! Grown by 2 time Super Bowl Champion and 2011 Pro Bowler, Brett “The Diesel” Keisel of the Pittsburgh Steelers. DA BEARD has an identity all its own. From the rugged Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming to the Three Rivers of the Steel City, DA BEARD gear will leave you looking savage while showing your support for DA BEARD! So wherever you may be in the world… GET YOUR BEARD ON!

Da Beard was already well known, but the launch of Da Beard Gear propelled the name worldwide. Fans from all over the world wanted to get their beards on.

In true Keisel style, he and the Da Beard Gear crew made sure to launch the gear with an autograph signing in Wyoming-Brett’s home state.

Keisel’s fans, friends, family and teammates helped to spread the word, and Da Beard Gear became a huge success. Click here to see photos of them in their Da Beard Gear.

Yet another venture turned into success by hard work from that kid from Wyoming. Not bad for a guy drafted in the seventh round (242nd overall)!

Fans… training camp and the new season are just around the corner-be sure to stock up on your official Keisel Da Beard Gear so you’re ready!

Have a suggestion for new merchandise you would like to see Da Beard Gear offer? Let us know!

 

April 22, 2012

DRAFT DAY-LOOKING BACK (PART THREE)

Brett Keisel’s dream since the third grade had come true on April 21, 2002 when he was drafted into the NFL. Now, it was time to do what he had done his whole life…work hard and prove to the Pittsburgh Steelers that he belonged on their team.

From an interview with Steelers.com:

“I am just still in shock and glad I can come out to Pittsburgh and hopefully get a spot.”

You can read the whole interview here.

Coach Cowher talks about drafting Keisel:

Brett Keisel, the last guy we took, defensive lineman, defensive end. Played opposite Ryan Denney at BYU. Good, tough, motor guy that, again, plays hard. He can grow into the 290 range. We love his speed. Just has to learn to work and play in the scheme.”

Proving some wrong…

An excerpt from a blogger who gave a Steelers Draft Day Analysis:

Draft Day Impressions: The Steelers really wanted Keisel’s linemate, DE Ryan Denney in the 2nd round, but Cower nemesis and Buffalo GM Tom Donahue traded up with the 49ers to steal him away. So instead, the Steelers settled for Keisel in 7th. He probably will never start a game for the Steelers, but you never know until you put the pads on and play the game, as Hall of Famer Chuck Noll used to say. Grade: C, predicted grade after 3 years: D

The blogger certainly called that one wrong! Not only would Keisel become a starter, he would become a key player in two Super Bowl wins, a number 1 rated defense, and he would be selected to the Pro Bowl, which as Steeler fans know, is very difficult for a Defensive End in the Steelers system.

In fairness to the blogger, he did update his “Draft Day Impressions” to say he was both surprised and impressed with Keisel’s play year after year.

If you are wondering about the “talk” of Ryan Denney, and how we ended up with Keisel instead of him, Jim Wexell explains it in his current day reflection of Brett’s career.

For those not familiar with Mr. Wexell, he is an author and a publisher at Steelcityinsider.net.. If you are not a subscriber to his site, you are missing out on great draft, player and game analysis. It’s worth a visit (or several visits) to his site.

I asked Mr. Wexell if he had time to write a little something about what he remembered from when Keisel was drafted. I knew he was busy with draft analysis, so I just expected a quick quote, but he provided so much more. This is one of my favorite write-ups on Brett, and I know you will enjoy it also!

From Jim Wexell:

When I look back into my notes from draft weekend 2002, I’m reminded that Brett played opposite Ryan Denney on the defensive line at BYU. I remember that Denney was supposed to be the Steelers’ second-round draft pick that year. That information came out after the Bills had drafted Denney right before the Steelers’ turn, and Bill Cowher hit the roof because his nemesis Tom Donahoe — fired two years earlier by the Steelers — was the Bills’ GM.

Cowher ordered a phone dump of the premises and found out one of the secretaries had called Donahoe that day, and so she was fired (she maintained innocence of Ryan Denney throughout, and those who knew here believe her).

But anyway, the Steelers were “stuck” with Antwaan Randle El and, as I like to say, Brett Keisel in the 7th round because Cowher had scouted Denney so extensively that he had to take a BYU DLman.

Isn’t that typical of Cowher’s dumb luck? I don’t even know what became of Denney’s career but we do know that ARE and Keis were key players in the run to Cowher’s Super Bowl title.

Of course, the Steelers had been scouting the BYU DL since 2001 when they added Chris Hoke after the draft as a free agent. Hoke obviously was still with the team in 2002 and I asked him about that BYU DL with him, Brett and Denney.

“We were all real close and we played a lot of pranks on each other,” said Hokie. “Me and Hans Olson (Colts) were always pulling jokes, and Keisel, a great guy, was always in on them.” Who was usually the butt of the jokes?

“You know Ryan Denney, the guy who was drafted by Buffalo? He was the butt of a lot of jokes. He couldn’t handle it. Either could (Simanli) with the Patriots. We’d take their helmets, hide their helmets. They’d get pissed. We had a lot of good times.

“At BYU, when we won a game, the following Thursday our Dline coach had us all over and his wife made homemade donuts and homemade ice cream. And on Halloweeen once we all dressed up. We had fun times. We pulled a lot of jokes on each other and sat around and laughed. Keisel’s a great guy. I’m really excited. He’s the first guy I really know out here, and it will be good for him, especially on the field. I remember when I first came in, it was crazy. I’m giving him a little edge.”

Why are so many of you BYU D-linemen landing in the NFL?

“I think it’s a tribute to our (retired) Dline coach. In the last two years he has five guys in the NFL. He taught us a great deal.”

Are the systems similar?

“No, we ran a 4-3. I don’t know how it works out. Keisel’s real athletic, too, so I think that once he gets the defense down and gets more comfortable he’ll do really well.”

At the time, Keisel was lauded by draft analysts for his athletic ability, but was criticized for his change-of-direction skills and hand usage. Obviously he’s overcome those negatives in a sound, bordering on spectacular, 10-year career.

And he still has some great years ahead. He’s been durable and still seems fresh. I see no signs of wear or tear, and he’s moving up into a true leadership role with the team. I’ve heard that Mike Tomlin intends to name him defensive captain this season.

It’s funny that Brett’s taking on the Aaron Smith persona of consistent, reliable team leader, and that we in the media are always asking him about Smith’s affect on him as a mentor, and Brett, ever the humble, gracious man, falls right in line and gives great praise to Smith as a mentor, but I think it’s time we all give Brett his due as his own man. He’s different than Aaron. Maybe he’s not the run-stopper Aaron was (who is?), but Brett is probably a better pass-rusher and might just be a better playmaker. He’s also a more vocal leader, so he’s not just Aaron Smith II, no matter how much that title may honor Brett.

You know, sometimes we all believe the humility stuff that’s spewed by classy people, and I just hope we’re not all buying in completely because Brett is a great player and leader in his own right.

So here’s to 10 more years of Brett Keisel, and then to 15 years from players like Cameron Heyward and those Brett has and will continue to influence. It’s a circle of success, this Steelers Way.

Well said Mr. Wexell and thank you so much!

Read more on Brett’s career, including statistics from his first year with the team, here andhere.

Scroll down for parts 1 and 2 of the Draft Day Look Back series.

Thank you for all the great comments on Facebook and Twitter wishing Brett a Happy Anniversary and thanking him for coming to Pittsburgh! They are appreciated!

 

April 21, 2012

DRAFT DAY-LOOKING BACK (PART TWO)

And, the Pittsburgh Steelers select…

…DL Brett Keisel.

On April 21, 2002 the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Brett Keisel late in the 7th round.

“I picked up the phone and the caller asked ‘How would you like to be a Pittsburgh Steeler?'”

“As fast as I could say yes, I did.

It was just unbelievable. Pure joy. I can’t even begin to explain it. It is just an exceptional feeling. It’s a dream come true..a dream I’ve had since the third grade.”

From Marlys Good’s article, Steelers choose Keisel in 7th roundGreybull Standard,-April 25, 2002:

Sunday afternoon. Time running down in the football draft that had sports fans glued to their television sets all weekend. Then the magic words–“and the Pittsburgh Steelers select…DL Brett Keisel.

Just seconds before the news hit the screens, the phone rang in the home of Brett’s parents, Connie and Lane Keisel, in Fairview Utah.

“I picked up the phone and the caller asked ‘How would you like to be a Pittsburgh Steeler?’ As fast as I could say yes, I did. It was just unbelievable. Pure joy. I can’t even begin to explain it. It is just an exceptional feeling. It’s a dream come true..a dream I’ve had since the third grade.”

The Greybull High School grad said that when he was younger, he wasn’t sure the dream would be realized, but, “Once I started playing at BYU, I knew this day would come.”

Pro scouts had been looking at Keisel during his junior year, but when he was injured as a senior, his confidence waverled slightly.

“I wasn’t so sure. You always wonder what is going to happen-injuries and things like that. You never know. I could have blown a knee and been all done. You just take everyday, don’t think about it, and just go play.”

He ended up having an outstanding senior year for the Cougars, played in the Senior Bowl, where he had another outstanding performance, then signed with an agent, and began working out in Phoenix through Jan. and part of Feb. From there he went to the Combine in Indianapolis. It was a wake up call.

“There were 32 teams, each with about 10 people and about 40 people from each position. It was huge. You always wonder, but it was so crazy. There were so many people and you think ‘What are my chances?’ but you just do the best you can.”

It was originally thought that Keisel would be picked in an earlier draft, But Saturday came and went. “Then Sunday I kept thinking ‘it will come this morning.’ I thought the fourth or fifth round. It still didn’t come, didn’t come and didn’t come. By the sixth round I started getting calls (from different teams) asking me if I wanted to come play there, what kind of a system I liked playing under, but no one was picking me up”

While Brett was on the phone, the 35 or so guests, which included his brother and sister-in-law, Chad and Jamie and their sons, Gabe and Zack from Greybull, youngest sister Kalli, who is attending BYU, and extended family and friends, that included Greybull grad Sarah Johnson, were trying to get information to see what was going on. “Then it came on the screen and our whole house cheered.”

Lane Keisel was perhaps more nervous during the wait than his son. “He is undoubtedly my most intense-biggest fan, and he was having a harder time that I was I think,” Brett said with emotion. “He kept going outside, coming back in, going back out.”

In a statement follwing the draft, Steeler Coach Bill Cowher said, “And Brett Keisel, the last guy we took, defensive lineman, defensive end. Played opposite Ryan Denney at BYU. Good, tough, motor guy that, again, plays hard. He can grow into the 290 range. We love his speed. Just has to learn to work and play in the scheme.”

Brett just laughs, “I can do that (gain weight).”

Surrounded by family:

Connie Keisel knew in high school that this was what he wanted, and that he had chosen football (college-level) over basketball because he thought he had a better chance of going to the next level. “But I honestly didn’t think it would happen. You just support them, love them and help them.”

Connie said that, “It is just a real thrill. So few get this chance. Looking on the web page, we saw about 25 signed as free agents, but they (Steelers) signed just seven or eight in the draft. I though, ‘Wow. They chose Brett above all the others there!'”

The Keisel house was packed with about 35 people, down from the 75-plus expected originally until a full-blown blizzard kept some away. “We had a pretty good time Saturday,” she said, but by Sunday the mood had changed.

“We were all exhausted; emotionally drained. All of us were tense and felt so horrible for Brett. There was so much emotion.” Connie said her son would watch the draft, go downstairs to play some pool, come back up, then disappear to play Ping-Pong. But then came “the call” and all the suspense and waiting was over.

Brett leaves Fairview Thursday, but had to do a little shopping before making his Pittsburgh debut. There will be rookie camp, press conferences and a banquet, and “I have to get some ‘rags’ to wear,” he said.

His mother explained that her son is not exactly a clotheshorse and his casual wardrobe would have to be expanded to include some dress clothes. But, she predicted, the first purchase will probably be a “new truck. He’s been driving a little dumpy car for the past few years.”

Always a Buff:

Brett might be a “Utahan” now. And he might have been a BYU Cougar during his college years, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots.

He sharpened his teeth on opponents while playing for the Greybull Buffs, in football, basketball and track. And he knows he has a huge following in his home town.

‘To my fans back there, I want to just say thanks for all the support-there is plenty more to come. I love Greybull. It will always be home. I’ll always be a Buff.”

Thank you to Connie Keisel for the photos (and articles) used in today’s news post. The first one shows Brett receiving “The Call” from the Steelers (along with his brother Chad who was watching it all unfold on television). The second photo is of Brett with his adorable nephews, Gabe and Zack, as he waits to hear his name called in the draft.

Check back tomorrow for some post draft reflections, and a current day reflection write-up on Keisel from Jim Wexell, author and publisher of Steelcityinsider.net.

Stay tuned!

 

April 20, 2012

DRAFT DAY-LOOKING BACK (PART ONE)

With the 2012 Draft Day quickly approaching, we thought it would be nice to take a trip down “Draft Day Memory Lane”..all the way back to the 2002 draft. You know..the one that brought Brett Keisel to Pittsburgh.

On April 21, 2002, Brett Keisel was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. How he ended up with the Steelers is an interesting story..but first let’s take a look at the day before the draft. Before Keisel, from the small town of Greybull, Wyoming, knew if or when he would be drafted into the big leagues.

From Dick Harmon’s article, All Keisel can do now is sit, wait. (The Front Row-April 20, 2002):

Brett Keisel comes from a real American family. His kin likes wide open spaces, horses, freshly baked pie, a good deer hunt, friends that don’t lie and a fireproof flag.

On draft day, Brett will be at his parents’ home located on a small ranch in Fairview. There he’ll be relaxing with his older brother, Chad, who’ll come down from Greybull, Wyo. They’ll be pitching a few horseshoes and shooting pool as ESPN blares on and NFL draftees go down like solitaire cards.

Once upon a time, after Brett’s father, Lane, retired as an Orem firefighter and moved his family and wife, Connie, to Wyoming, their son kept growing like a bull. He was the biggest kid in town, and in high school, nobody but skinny Matt Koeller was taller than Brett. It would take two of Matt to be as thick as one Brett.

After earning all-state honors in basketball and football, Brett did the natural things thing as the town’s best athlete-he moved on to college, where he enrolled at BYU.

This weekend, it’s uncertain if Brett will be drafted. If he is, he’ll be the first player from Greybull drafted since Wyoming linebacker Jim Crawford ended up with the Raiders.

This week, Brett received all kinds of phone calls from NFL teams. Calls on Thursday alone were from the Redskins, Eagles, Dolphins, Jaguars Packers and Steelers.

Scouts wanted to know if he’d stubbed his toe; if he was healthy as the last time they saw him; if he pulled a hamstring, groin or calf muscle pitching horseshoes; and if all his numbers from the tests were on the level heading into draft day. Some wanted to know where he could be reached if he got drafted.

For Brett. who hobbled around much of BYU’s 12-2 season with an ankle sprain and a hamstring pull, it’s exciting. “It’s a dream come true,” he says.

Life has changed since he limped off the field at the Liberty Bowl. He’s healed. He played well in the Senior Bowl. He’s been through the NFL Combine where he was tested, jabbed, timed, probed and X-rayed. NFL gurus have toyed with his body and his mind. one question that he was asked was if he could kill little animals.

“It was weird,” he says. “Some questions were goofy.”

Now, Brett is a world apart from last December. His future is on the line. The next 48 hours, his life will be in a sort of suspended animation. He’s at the mercy of ex-jocks, men with caps and grease pens and chalk boards.

“It seems like forever since I put the pads on and played football, ” he says.

If he amounts to anything come Monday in the eyes of the NFL, Brett credits his coach, Gary Crowton, and conditioning coach, Jay Omer.

“They pushed us to the limits and it’s been great,” Brett says.

The next two days will seem even longer once the draft starts this morning. You can only toss so many horseshoes with big brother Chad. Shooting pool will also grow old.

He’ll get the call or his agent will. Or there will be no call at all and free agency will call his number.

This is serious business now. Playing games is no longer for fun, but for money, and Greybull’s once giant manchild is waiting like a hay field to be moved.

“I’m going to just relax. Whatever happens, happens. I did everything I could and I can’t do anything more, ” Brett says.

It’s a simple approach and one that should work for this guy who could be happy in a wide open field or a crowded stadium.

Somebody just needs to call. Big Brett is waiting as well as a regular big guy can do.

Check back tomorrow for the story of Keisel’s draft day experience, complete with interviews from Brett and his family, and a photograph of Keisel as he receives “The Call” from the Steelers. We will also have comments from Brett’s first NFL coach, Bill Cowher, as he talks about the 2002 draft picks, and a great current day reflection write-up on Keisel from Jim Wexell, author and publisher ofSteelcityinsider.net.

Stay tuned!

 

April 16, 2012

FIVE ALARM MOUNTAIN MADNESS CHILI COOK-OFF

Alright Steeler Nation, here is your chance to set Keisel’s taste buds on FIRE!

Brett, along with Cameron Heyward, Phil Bourque, and Arron Asham will be the celebrity judges for the 3rd Annual Five Alarm Mountain Madness Chili Cook-Off held at at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort on June 9!

Participants can compete in three categories: Red Chili, Chili Verde and Salsa. Over $5,000 in cash prizes with a $2,000 prize to the 1st place Red Chili!

Ready to get cookin’?

Before you do, be sure to learn more about the eventhere.

 

April 4, 2012

NEWS AND NOTES

The Steelers released their 2012 Preseason Schedule today. The team will have one nationally televised game on August 19 against the Colts.

The away games are against Philadelphia and Buffalo. The home games are against the Colts and the Panthers.

Nike unveils new uniforms:

The Steelers released photos of the new Nike uniforms yesterday. You can click here to take a look.

Fans comments via email, Twitter and Facebook have been positive in regards to the new uniforms.

From the Da Beard Gear crew: “We love em, cuz they didn’t change the Steelers much! Best uni’s in sports!”

What does #99 think?

“The Pittsburgh Steelers are a storied franchise. It’s built around a winning tradition. Part of that is black and gold. I can’t imagine the Rooneys switching to a new uniform.

But we’ll be looking sharp out there in our new Nike uniforms and hopefully they will help us win a lot of games and bring that seventh Lombardi Trophy we are all looking for.

I am one of those guys that are really superstitious about my jersey,” said Keisel. “I used to tape underneath my pads. They are telling me I don’t have to tape anymore. It’s form-fitted. I am excited to wear it. Nike has the best product out there. It’s time for a change and we are looking forward to our new Nike uniforms.”

Update on Coach Kirby Wilson (via Steelers.com):

Kirby Wilson, badly injured in a Jan. 6 fire at his home in a Pittsburgh suburb, visited the Steelers practice facility this afternoon. Wilson’s appearance was a visit and not a return to work, but it still marked another milestone in the significant progress he has made in his rehabilitation.

Great news!

And, for those of you who have asked if the new uniforms will have any Da Beard accessories…I doubt it BUT you can get your beard fix at Da Beard Gear!

They offer official Brett “Da Beard” Keisel tee’s, hoodies, hats, stickers and more! Get your gear before training camp and the new season starts!

Keep up with Keisel this offseason via his official Twitter and Facebook pages. The links are at the top of this page. Brett just posted a few photos from his recent fishing trip on the Green River.

 

March 13, 2012

STEELERS BASKETBALL 2012

I posted a few of the upcoming games for the Steelers basketball team on the right side of this page, under Steelers Basketball. It is not the full schedule, and I will update with more games as they become available.

Please be aware, I do not have information regarding which players will be appearing at each game.

The games are a lot of fun and proceeds from them goes to various charities. If you can get to one (or more) of the games, you’ll have a great time..and you’ll be helping out a great cause!

There are autograph sessions with the players, and many times there are raffles with great prizes.

Click here to see some photos of Keisel playing basketball from previous years.

 

March 6, 2012

FANS NAME THEIR FAVORITE KEISEL MOMENTS

Awhile back we asked fans what their favorite Steelers games or plays were. Next, we wanted to hear about their favorite Keisel moments or plays.

Via Facebook and email, fans sent in their favorites.

Can you guess the play fans named the most as their favorite?

The play fans liked the most was Brett’s 79-yard interception return for a touchdown against Tampa Bay in 2010.

INT for touchdown vs. Tampa Bay! –Muhammad Usman

My favorite Keisel moment was his pick six in Tampa Bay. Watching him score that TD and seeing the excitement on his and his teammates faces is something I won’t ever forget. — Joanna Dixon

Watching the Diesel lumber down the field to score the TD was the awesome. The big guy can move! #99 deserved that pick six! — Josh Douglas

Other fan favorites:

My favorite player (Woodley) causes, and my wife’s favorite player (you) recover the fumble that locks the 6th Trophy. –Shawn Cooper

Gabbert sack for a 10 yard loss against Jax! –Richard Grizzard

Brett leading the way for Harrison’s pick 6 super bowl against Cardinals! Brett is an anchor & love his superb D line work! He’s always headed up against the other teams best offensive lineman and still shines every week! –Brandon Johnson

Playoffs a few years ago against the Chargers diesel sacked rivers for a huge loss… Place went nuts!!! –David Dodson

I was at the Denver game in 2009 when #99 sacked Denver QB Orton not once, but twice. Great memory! — Dan Rogers

There are too many great plays to name, but watching his pass deflections in about every game is amazing. The big guy can jump higher than anyone I’ve seen and his arm reach is incredible. — John Mercury

I saw Brett’s sack on Carson Palmer (when he was with the Bengals) a few years back. He beat out several O-linemen. Was my first Steelers game and he rocked it! — Shannon Spector

Any time he gets an arrow from his back quiver and shoots his longbow after a sack. — Aaron Ward.

THE KREW’s FAV “SIR BRETT’s” moments are EVERY GAME when he’s DONE his J.O.B. & ya can tell b/c “THE STEAM” is usually com’n off his HEAD & ICILES are form’n on DA’BEARD we all KNOW & LOVE! Also, a SPECIAL FAV’ for THE KREW is being AMAZED by BRETT DAILY…as he NOT only plays the ROLE of HUBBY, DADDY, SON, ETC. but he CONTINUE’S to give TIRELESSLY to “1 NATION & many OTHERS who BENEFIT greatly from *BRETT: Just being BRETT & a FAN FAVORITE*! Thank you, SIR…”1 NATION loves you: 365…24/7!* PS: We need another PHOTO SESSION & CHAT…THE KREW misses YA! — Denise Petrilli Klaiber

Strip sack on Tom in the Burgh this past season. I proposed to my fiance on that trip! –Matt Kerr (Matt, we hope she said YES!)

You’re such a big part of our Defense , it’s hard to pick one but the Brady sack was beautiful and your touch down against Tampa . I was running with you in the living room. My kids thought I had Gone crazy. You rock! –Anne Gros-Gean Long

The strip sack of Brady was by far my favorite #99 moment. You played a great the whole game and then sealed it with the strip sack! — Jeff Honaker

Goin’ back to the beginning:

I remember when Brett was just starting out with the Steelers. I was sitting next to my dad and watched this big old dude wearing #99 barreling down the field and just demolish a blocker on a kickoff… I grabbed the media guide and looked him up immediately. I’ve known to look for Keisel every play since. — Nick Sero

Coach should show rookies on special teams tape of the way you did it when you were on special teams Diesel. You worked your tail off to prove yourself and were explosive. Hard work paid off! — Wayne Durbin

Off the field favorite moments:

How about a shout out when he did Steelers Ladies Night? Loved it! I’ll always love his sack dance. — Pam Mangol Bitner

I met Brett at Ladies Night and was so impressed with how down to earth he was. Such a sweet guy! I love him on the field but think he is just as great off! — Sarah E.

I love all his sacks and great play on the field, but what makes me love #99 even more is all he does off the field. The money he raises for Children’s Hospital through Shearing his beard is amazing. He takes his role in the community seriously and always seems to be involved in helping raise money for various causes. — Gina Oxley

I loved his TD against TB! I also love the work he does with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He has raises so much money for research and it is so great seeing him so involved. He doesn’t just lend his famous name, he also takes time to learn about various treatments and he is so great with the kids at the 65 Roses Sports Auction. It’s clear they are near and dear to his heart. — Brenda N.

Thank you all for all the comments and emails! We could not post all of them, but we appreciate each and every one of you who took time to comment and email us!

 

February 24, 2012

SHEAR DA BEARD II A GIANT SUCCESS

Thanks to Mr. Keisel (and Da Beard), WDVE, The Pittsburgh Steelers, Head & Shoulders, Sport Clips, PNC, Diesel Club Lounge, and of course, STEELER NATION, the Shear Da Beard II event raised close to $40,000 for cancer programs at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC!

Between the original Shear Da Beard and Shear Da Beard II, about $80,000 was raised. Amazing! Da Beard may be gone (for now) but its legend will live on forever!

If you still wish to donate to Children’s Hospital, in honor of Da Beard, please click here.

Also, don’t forget about the Shear Da Beard photo sale. All proceeds benefit The Homeless Children’s Education Fund and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Click here and here to view the galleries.

 

February 21, 2012

FREEBIE FEBRUARY

Freebie February days are winding down at Da Beard Gear! Fans have EIGHT days left to place their order and possibly get it for FREE!

For orders placed in the Online Da Beard Gear storeduring the month of February, we will select FIVE of those to be completely free of charge! No matter how large or small your order is, it will be eligible to become a freebie.

From a happy winner:

“We ordered our Da Beard stuff last week. Can’t wait 2 get it!! Also, thanks for our FREE order. We still can’t believe we actually won. THANKS!!”–Kathy and Rob-Warren, OH

Will you be the next lucky winner? GET YOUR BEARD ON at Da Beard Gear and find out!

Camo Gear

We know DA BEARD looks good in Black and Gold, but DA BEARD looks SAVAGE in camo!

Check out the selection of camo gear which includes t-shirts and hats.

The front of this camo t-shirt has DA BEARD logo with KEISEL 99 on the back. The logo and wording is black with a gold outline.

A perfect addition to any hunters attire.

OH…ladies

Show your support for Da Beard in this “burnout” tee.

Da Beard logo printed with a distressed look on the front.

Athletic, snug fit, capped sleeves with a solid color rib neck trim. Unique dyeing process gives this garment a tone-on-tone appearance.

Hoodie time

As the colder weather begins to grip Da Beard Nation we are now offering a nice warm hoodie.

The hoodie is made by Gildan. It is all black (the white piping/outline in the photo is just there for aesthetics), 50/50 cotton/poly blend.

The front has DA BEARD logo printed with a diamond plate and steel look while the hood has KEISEL 99 printed on it.

View the gear in closer detail, along with all the other items offered at Da Beard Gear here.

Whether you need some warm gear for the winter, like a beanie or hoodie, or want to stock up on t-shirts, stickers and drink koozies for the summer and upcoming season, Da Beard Gear has something to fit your needs.

Training camp will be here before we know it, so now is a great time to stock up.

 

February 15, 2012

EDUCATION: A CIVIL RIGHT FOR ALL CHILDREN

On Friday, February 10, U.S. Attorney David Hickton joined Pittsburgh Steelers Brett Keisel, Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Linda Lane, Allegheny Intermediate Unit Executive Director Dr. Linda Hippert, and Homeless Children’s Education Fund Director Charles LaVallee, to generate awareness of the challenges facing children and youth experiencing homelessness. The goal is to ensure that homeless children are enrolled, attending, and succeeding in school.

“Children and youth experiencing homelessness are faced with unique barriers to obtaining an education and represent the most educationally at-risk student population,” said U.S. Attorney Hickton. “The simple fact is that the homeless children crisis is a civil rights issue. By law, these children deserve equal protection and opportunity.”

Last year, the Pennsylvania Department of Education reported an increase in homeless children and youth enrolled in the 2009-2010 school year, bringing the numbers to a total of 18,204 across the state – this presents a 55% increase over a three year period in Pennsylvania. These numbers, which do not include non-enrolled children, have been attributed to many things including the recent recession, the high unemployment rate, and the foreclosure crisis. These numbers only include those enrolled in school and do not include those yet unidentified.

Pittsburgh Steelers Brett Keisel put it all into perspective saying, “As a father of two children myself, the rights and future of these kids mean so much to me. I want children experiencing homelessness to have the same education and opportunities my kids have.”

Brett and his wife, Sarah are Advisory Board Members for The Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF) and work closely with them throughout the year.

Read more about their work in the “Brett in the Community” section above. Click here to learn more about HCEF.

Also, be sure to check out the news from February 15 to see how you can help donate to their cause through a Keisel/Da Beard photo sale.

Champions for Children:

The Thirteenth Annual Champion for Children’s Benefit will be held on March 5, 2012. Brett and Sarah were awarded with the Champions for Children award in 2011, and will be in attendance this year at the event.

The event will be held at the Rivers Club. There will be a buffet, live music for dancing and an auction where one can bid on a variety of amazing items. One prize package is entitled the “Keisel Special”:2 sets of VIP tickets for the St. Vincent 2011 Steelers Training Camp; 2 Steelers jerseys – one signed by Brett and the other by Troy Polamalu, and a basket of Steelers gear.

Tickets for the event will be available at the door should you not have purchased them ahead of time.

General admission is $100. Patron tickets are $300. American Express, Visa, and Master Cards as well as personal checks and cash are accepted. We cannot, however, accept bank debit cards. Have a question or wish to purchase tickets in advance? Call HCEF at 412-562-0154.

Please be aware, this event does not include an autograph session with Mr. Keisel. Please refrain from bringing items to be autographed. Thank you!

 

February 15, 2012

PHOTO SALE FOR GREAT CAUSES

If you missed Shear Da Beard II, or if you attended but want something to commemorate it, we have a great news for you!

Photographer Carol Maurin, owner of Carol Maurin Photography, took some amazing photos at the event. She captured the introduction of Da Beard, the shearing, parts of the auction and..of course…the return of Brett “The Sharp Dressed Diesel”!

She is offering us the chance to purchase prints, mugs, photo key chains, buttons and magnets to remember the event. The prices are great and best of all, you will be helping two worthy causes with your purchase, as all proceeds go to The Homeless Children’s Education Fund and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!

This is a very generous offer by Carol Maurin and Mr. Keisel. Both want to make this a big donation to both causes, so please spread the word!

These are unique photos from a one-of-a-kind event. Grab your chance to own a keepsake item showing Brett’s legendary beard, or showing him Da Beard-less. There are also photos of his teammates, coaches and the entertainment groups.

Click here to view the gallery.

To check on prices, click on the photo you are interested in. Next, click at the bottom right of the page on “Add to Cart” and the prices will appear. At the top right of the price chart you will see Prints and Products. The prints are the prices to order prints of the photo, and the products are the mugs, buttons and other novelty items.

The original, first edition Da Beard:

Carol and Brett held this same promotion last year, when he sported the first edition Da Beard. You can view and order prints (before and after the shearing) in that gallery also. All proceeds there also benefit the Homeless Children’s Education Fund and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Click here to see the gallery.

There are some great photos in both galleries. Carol perfectly captured Brett’s personality in each photo. Both photos shown in today’s news are available for sale. Visit her galleries to see larger copies with better resolutions.

Thank you to both Carol and Brett for making this possible!

While on Carol’s website, be sure to view her other galleries. She is very talented, so keep her in mind if you need a photographer in the future.

Information on both The Homeless Children’s Education Fund and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation can be found in the “Brett in the Community” section above.

 

February 13, 2012

FANS THANK DA BEARD

I wanted to share an email sent from Jennifer Lips. Her niece, Heather met Brett when he visited Children’s Hospital last week.

From her email:

Brett, On 2/6/12, you visited my 14 year old niece, Heather, at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

You saw her when she was up and doing well, but just 3 days before, we were not sure if she was going to make it. She was on a ventilator for 6 days, in a medically induced coma, and the doctors could not give us an exact diagnosis.

Just wanted to mention a word of “thanks” for spending time with her. Although she admitted she didn’t know who you were, she thought you were so nice and she keeps repeating what you told her before you left the room, “get better beautiful”. She thought that was awesome.

I am thrilled to inform you that she left the hospital with the basket you gave her and great memories of a Steeler who took his time to visit her.

Many thanks to you Brett for your kindness and thoughtfulness!

Jennifer Lips-Proud aunt of Heather Lips.

Jennifer and her family sent the lovely photo showing Heather’s mom, Charlene, and Heather with Mr. Keisel. They granted permission to post the email here on the site. Also, Jennifer sent an update on Heather, saying “She is continuing to get stronger and will be starting rehab at the Children’s Institute next week. Unfortunately, she’s not allowed to return to school this year. It’s hard for her because she likes school and is a good student.”

Please keep Heather Lips and her family in your thoughts and prayers!

Fan reaction to Shear Da Beard:

“From mountain man to GQ. I bet your wife will LOVE seeing your face again. Thanks for not only being an awesome Steeler~ thanks for being an all-around good guy:)”–Amy Shorr Staff

“Just a shout out from Packer Nation to commend you on the great job you guys are doing for the kids….my friends kid is a patient there and it’s great to see you guys give back to the community.–Tom Schuster

“Brett, I am a Patriots fan, so I don’t have a ton of love for the Steelers-lol, but after seeing what you did for Children’s Hospitla and seeing how Steeler Nation rallied around you, I will always have a spot in my heart for the Steelers. Of course, only when you aren’t playing my team!”–Susan Preest

“I may be a Colts fan, but it’s hard not to root for #99 after what he did for those kids. My son was at our local Children’s Hospital for 2 years and I know how difficult it is as a parent watching your child go through pain. Seeing Mr. Keisel and his teammates visit with the kids made my day. He inspired me to start sending gifts to families and kids there. I may be part of Colts Nation, but Steeler Nation is a close second now thanks to Brett.”–Tom Schaffer

“I just seen this on the news, my 2 year old daughter is currently at childrens on the 9th floor, and I just want to thank you….people like you make a difference, for kids with cancer.”–Christa Walker

“Mr. Keisel, It is fantastic to see an athlete who appreciates what he has, loves what he does and gives so much back to his community. Thank you for all you do!–Bill Paananen

“Does Chad need a job as an O-lineman?”–Bruce Clark

“Da Beard faintly whispered “I’ll be back…”–Kyle Simpson

“Good job Elijah! Prayers for you and your family were answered. Look forward to hearing about Elijah’s Army again. Thanks Mr. Keisel for all you do for all of Pittsburgh.”–Tina Smith

“When my son was in Children’s many years ago he was able to meet several Steelers. He was very sick and at 9:00 PM the doctor came in and said “why is he here?” He had gain so much strength after their visit & We were on our way home by 11:00 PM Thanks. it means a lot to those kids.”–Gay Vroble

“Let them know how much it REALLY does mean to the kids that they visit. I was in Children’s for four months straight with leukemia when I was 13… it was the brightness of your day when a Steelers player showed up and could turn an awful day into a smiling day!”–Renee Minnemeyer-Climo

“Brett, last night’s event is just another exhibit of why I am proud to say I am a member of the Steeler Nation. God bless.”–Rob Swan

“Trish, please let Brett know how thankful we are to him and his teammates for visiting our child at Children’s Hospital. They gave us reason to smile after a very rough week, and we cannot put into words how grateful we are. Seeing our child smile for maybe the first time in days is something we will treasure for the rest of our lives.”–Gina

“We loved seeing Brett’s family there to support him and so cool seeing them in dabeard shirts and caps!”–Sharon Post

Thank you to all who took the time to email or comment on Brett’s social media pages. We were not able to post every single message, but they are all appreciated. Da Beard may be gone, but its legend will live on!

 

February 10, 2012

DA BEARD WAS SHEARED

What a great way to end the reign of Da Beard II! Da Beard is gone (for now) and the Diesel is back.

Even though Da Beard is no more, its legend will live on forever. All proceeds raised during the event, and through donations for those who could not attend, will be donated to cancer programs at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC. Da Beard will be fighting cancer for years to come!

This was all made possible by the generosity of Mr. Keisel, his family, teammates, coaches, sponsors and most of all..by the FANS! Diesel Club Lounge was packed with fans all there to support this great cause.

From KDKA:

“Even now, looking in the mirror it’s strange because I’ve had the beard for so long, but it was a great night down here. Pittsburgh, of course, showed up. That’s what makes Pittsburgh special, though is they have grasped onto this idea and really made it what it is today. If the fans didn’t respond the way they did to it, I wouldn’t do it.”–Keisel speaking to KDKA after the event.

Final totals are not yet known. Last year the event raised over $40,000! Fans were there from all over the country to pay tribute to Da Beard and to support Children’s Hospital. Steeler Nation is truly Da Best!

I will also say, it was great to receive emails and Facebook messages from fans of other “Nations”, such as Green Bay, New England, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Denver, and the Colts..just to name a few. All commented that, while they were not Steelers fans, they were impressed with Mr. Keisel’s generous act and loved seeing all the fans rally with him.

Video:

Click here to watch some video highlights of the event.

Photos

You can click here and here to see photos from the event.

The t-shirts and hats worn by Brett, his family, coaches and teammates at the event can be purchased from Da Beard Gear.

 

February 9, 2012

THE DA BEARD-LESS KEISEL-SEE UPDATE BELOW

Da Beard is no more. Shear Da Beard II was held tonight at Diesel Club Lounge to benefit cancer programs at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC.

Who got the first swipe at Da Beard?

Fittingly, the honors went to Aaron Smith’s son, Elijah who battled leukemia at Children’s Hopsital.

Some of the other celebrity barbers included, Art Rooney II, Coach Mike Tomlin, defensive line coach John Mitchell and teammates James Harrison, Doug Legursky, Heath Miller and Chris Hoke.

The crowd witnessed two shearings for the price of one as Father Beard (Brett’s dad, Lane) had his beard sheared also.

Fans in attendance commented that Brett and James Harrison were the best auctioneers ever. Coach Tomlin must have felt the same as he was said to have purchased a Keisel portrait during the auction.

We will post the amount of money raised for Children’s Hospital once final totals are complete.

You can click here to see some photos from the event. We will add more soon.

It was great seeing Brett’s coaches, family and teammates sporting Da Beard Gear at the event! If you have not ordered yet, now is a great time to do it. Five random orders will be selected to receive their order FREE! It’s Freebie February at Da Beard Gear!

Stay tuned for more news and photos!

Update:

Click here to read more about the event tonight!

 

February 7, 2012

SHEAR DA BEARD II

The shearing is nearing! Two more days until Da Beard is gone. Keisel is set to have his beard shaved on Thursday, February 9 at Diesel Club Lounge.

From Brett: “Only a few days left until Shear Da Beard. If you collect Steeler memorabilia you will want to be there.

I’m auctioning off some one a kind items. You can get your beard on with some Da Beard Gear and jam to Chris Higbee and Donnie Iris!

Not to mention watch my teammates, coaches, and friends cut this animal off my face. All towards a great cause at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC. See you Thursday!”

Click here to order your tickets. Hurry, before they are all sold out.

The event is sponsored by: WDVE, PITTSBURGH STEELERS, HEAD & SHOULDERS, SPORT CLIPS, PNC, DIESEL AND LOCAL BAR + KITCHEN. EVENT IS 21+ ONLY.

For those who cannot attend the event, but wish to donate to Children’s Hospital, please clickhere.

More details on the event are posted on the right side of this page under Events and Appearances.

Click here to see a larger view of the event announcement.

 

February 6, 2012

DA BEARD TAKES IN A PITT GAME

Keisel (and Da Beard) attended the Pitt game against Villanova this weekend, with Pitt winning 79-70.

Brett tossed some t-shirts into the crowd at halftime, which made the fans (especially the ZOO section) very happy!

Today’s news photo was sent by Rhonda. Brett is shown with Lizzie Martin (left) and Emily McTish, Rhonda’s niece (right). Both are juniors at Pitt.

Thanks to Rhonda for sharing the photo and congratulations to Pitt on their win!

As many of you know, Brett works closely with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and hosts a fundraiser, The 65 Roses Sports Auction, yearly to benefit CF research.

You can click here to read more about Brett’s involvement with the event, and about Doug Sarkis who is also involved with the event. You can also read more about Brett’s work with CF in the “Brett in the Community” section (the link is at the top of this page).

Freebie February:

Looking to add to your Keisel collection? Now is a great time to order from his official merchandise line, Da Beard Gear. Why? Because it’s Freebie February!

For orders placed in the Online Da Beard Gear store during the month of February, we will select FIVE of those to be completely free of charge! No matter how large or small your order is, it will be eligible to become a freebie. Note: Contest winners will be notified shortly after their order is placed if they are one of the lucky five. Good Luck!

If you are attending Shear Da Beard II, order your gear soon so you can wear it to the event. It would be great to see a lot of Da Beard Gear in the crowd!

Shear Da Beard II:

Check under Events and Appearances on the right side of this page, for details on the event! There is also a link to donate to UPMC if you cannot attend the event.

 

February 3, 2012

ASK THE DIESEL

Have a question for Brett “The Diesel” Keisel? Send it in, and the Diesel just may answer your question here on his site! Information on “Ask the Diesel”, along with previously answered questions, is on the right side of this page, below the Steelers schedule.

Latest additions:

Q. What is your favorite childhood memory?– Haydee S. -New Mexico

A. As a young boy my favorite memory was camping with my parents and brothers and sisters.

Q. Brett, what is the name of the company that make those wrist guards/braces that you and alot of players wear. Been trying to find them everywhere with no success for my son who’s a D lineman. Any help would greatly be appreciated! Thanks!– Scott Kramer

A. Donjoy makes the wrist rockets I wear. They work great.

Q. What is your favorite food?– Gabe Johnson, Pittsburgh PA. (By the way I love my Da Beard Gear. Getting ready to order some more!).

A. My favorite food is Meat and Taters.

Q. What is your recommendation for a great dinner spot for a first time Burgh visitor? –Ashley Meade

A. There are several great places to eat but if you come to Pittsburgh you have to try Primanti’s. (Click here for locations and menu.).

Q. What is one of your favorite vacation spots?– Brandon M., Chicago, IL.

A. The Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming.

Q. One place we must visit when coming to Pittsburgh for the first time-besides Heinz Field? –Sarah Evans

A. Mt. Washington. Incredible view of the city.

Thank you to all who sent questions! Keep them coming.

The countdown is on the Shear Da Beard II!

The shearing will take place on February 9. Details on the event, and a link to order tickets is under Events and Appearances on the right side of this page. If you cannot attend, but wish to donate to the event, there is also a link to do so.

Fan response to Shear Da Beard II:

As a parent with a child in the care of Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh in the oncology department, I just want to thank you. Many athletes have causes because of their children, but only a Steeler would take up a cause for his teammates child. Your heart is as big as your beard. Thank you.–John Gorham.

I may not be a Steelers fan Brett, but what you are doing is great for the kids.–Robert Rickard

If you lost anything while growing this beard…I’m sure you’ll find it when you shear the beard!–Betty Hazlett

Great cause wish I could be there to see that. This is why I love the Steelers they always give back just as much love as they get. STEELERS4LIFE!!–Nanatte Brooks

Brett, my daughter spent years in and out of our local Childrens’s Hospital in Columbus, Oh. being treated for cancer. I know how important donations are to hospitals because we were blessed to receive donations to help with medical funds for our daughter. She is doing well after 5 years in and out of the hospital. She is doing well because of people like you who realize the importance of donating to important causes such as cancer. I wasn’t a Steelers fan before, but you can bet I am now. I cannot attend the event, but I made a donation in my daughters name. Thank you on behalf of all parents and kids who have dealt with cancer. You are making a difference!— Tom, Columbus, OH.

I live too far away to attend the event, but will donate to this cause. You doing this for your teammate (and for all the children who are dealing with cancer) reminded me how important it is to give back. Even if we can’t donate money, we can donate time. I recently went through your website, and was amazed at all you do in the community outside of football. Thoroughly refreshing. Your parents sure raised you well!–Sharon S, Columbia, SC.

Love the beard, but love the idea you are shaving it for such a great cause.–Melissa Dixon

Are we sure Brett didn’t take Troy’s shampoo?–James Bonchin

Thanks to all who emailed or commented on Brett’s social media pages! We couldn’t include every email or comment, but all are greatly appreciated.

Freebie February:

Be sure to check out the news below for information on FREEBIE FEBRUARY at Da Beard Gear! Great time to stock up on your Keisel merchandise. If you are attending Shear Da Beard II, we’d love to see Diesel Club filled with Da Beard Gear!

February 2, 2012

FREEBIE FEBRUARY AT DA BEARD GEAR

Looking to add to your Keisel collection? Now is a great time to order from his official merchandise line, Da Beard Gear. Why? Because it’s Freebie February!

For orders placed in the Online Da Beard Gear storeduring the month of February, we will select FIVE of those to be completely free of charge! No matter how large or small your order is, it will be eligible to become a freebie. Note: Contest winners will be notified shortly after their order is placed if they are one of the lucky five. Good Luck!

If you are attending Shear Da Beard II, order your gear soon so you can wear it to the event. It would be great to see a lot of Da Beard Gear in the crowd!

Fan email:

An email from Todd Caldwell, Pendleton, IN.:

I unfortunately missed Brett earlier in the day on Monday but after a break at work, headed over to Pan Am Plaza in the afternoon.

I changed into my DA BEARD hoodie and waited around because I knew (thanks to your Facebook posts) that Brett was going to be on Scott Van Pelt around 2:45. I managed to catch Brett just before he entered the secure zone at the ESPN set and he took time to shake my hand and pose for a quick photo. He thanked me for wearing the hoodie and said it looked really great.

I had a security guy ask me about the hoodie and when I explained who DA BEARD was, the guard said he had a chance to be around Brett at the Mike and Mike show and that Brett was a super nice guy.

Living in Indy, I get way too much Colts stuff so having Brett in town was great. He is a great representative of the Steelers and it showed. Please pass along my thanks to him for coming to Indy and taking the time to chat with fans.

Almost forgot, DA BEARD hoodie got a quick shot on ESPN too. The other photo attached is me in the background of The Herd after Brett’s appearance. Although you cant really read it, that’s me in my DA BEARD hoodie.

Click here to see his photos.

Check the news below, or on the right side of this page (under Events and Appearances) for details on Shear Da Beard II.

 

February 1, 2012

APPEARANCES AND PHOTOS

Shear Da Beard II (also known as the Second Annual Mountain Man Makeover) will be held on Thursday, February 9 at the Diesel Club Lounge (1601 East Carson St. Pittsburgh, PA). Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. and the shaving ceremony will commence at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are $25.00-the price includes admission to the one-of-a-kind event, your first drink, appetizers, opportunities to win lots of prizes, and live entertainment provided by Donnie Iris and the Chris Higbee Project. Attendees will also be able to purchase limited edition items, such as a framed before and after photo of Keisel-which comes with or without a lock from his famous Da Beard!

And, of course, you will be on hand to witness THE SHEARING OF DA BEARD!

The celebrity barbers have not been announced, but Brett said possibly Aaron Smith and his son, Elijah may be on hand. Also, his father, Lane (Father Beard) will be there, and plans to shave his beard too!

Two shearings for the price of one!

Read more about Father Beard, why Brett chose Children’s Hospital and about Da Beard showing up at a Pitt game here.

Brett is donating all proceeds from the event to cancer programs at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC.

Ready to order your tickets?

Click here to order your tickets. Hurry, before they are all sold out.

The event is sponsored by: WDVE, PITTSBURGH STEELERS, HEAD & SHOULDERS, SPORT CLIPS, PNC, DIESEL AND LOCAL BAR + KITCHEN. EVENT IS 21+ ONLY.

Also, thank you to artists Scott Spillman and Denny Karchner, Western Art for donating prints they did of Keisel to be auctioned at the event! Click on the respective links to view their amazing work! Also, you can purchase prints of the portraits each did of Brett. The information to order Denny’s portrait of Brett is here. and the information for Scott’s is on the right side of this page, under “Fear the Beard” prints.

The prizes last year were amazing and everyone had a great time, so if you are able to attend, I highly suggest it!

Click here to see a larger view of the event announcement.

For those who cannot attend the event, but wish to donate to it, please click here.

Thank you to Andrea Kunicky, and everyone at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC for providing the donation information!

Brett to speak on behalf of the Homeless Childrens’s Education Fund (HCEF):

Mr. Keisel and US Attorney David Hickton will hold a press conference in February to “generate awareness of the plight and promise of children and youth experiencing homelessness, and to facilitate their enrollment, attendance, and success in school in accordance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.”

From the press release:

At the 2011 Summit II in Pittsburgh, U.S. Attorney David Hickton said:

“Homeless youth and children are faced with unique barriers to obtaining an education. They are also the most educationally at-risk student population. Children experiencing homelessness are more likely to drop out than graduate and more likely to become homeless and unemployed as adults… The homeless children crisis is a civil rights issue. Homeless children deserve equal protection and equal opportunity under the law.”

Brett and his wife, Sarah have been committed advisors, supporters, and partners in our efforts to provide “Hope through learning” to children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Thank you to HCEF, Mr. Keisel and US Attorney David Hickton for all they are doing.

To learn more about the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, please click here.

You can also read more about Brett’s involvement with them by clicking on the “Brett in the Community” link at the top of this page.

SB Media Day Photos:

Visit the Head & Shoulders for Men Facebook Page for more photos of Brett at Media Day this week!

 

January 31, 2012

DA BEARD THE STAR OF MEDIA DAY

Keisel’s time in Indianapolis with Head & Shoulders for Men is winding down today. He had several media interviews Monday (links to the podcasts are in the January 30 news), and today he switched places and he was the media. Da Beard was the official hair correspondent for Head and Shoulders for Men.

From Brett’s Twitter page today: “Just pulled up to the media tent at #SuperBowl46 with @HSforMen. Things are about to get Hairy.”

Keisel had “hair” questions for Tom Brady, Justin Tuck and Wes Welker, just to name a few.

The verdict on Keisel as a media correspondent?

From Brett Arthur, National Post,

Brett Keisel’s beard is the star on Super Bowl media day.

Just when you figured there was no real star of Media Day, there it was, in all its glory. It was Viking-like, wavy, towering, magnificent. It could only be one thing: Brett Keisel’s beard.

The Pittsburgh defensive lineman was here, attached to the beard, and spent his time asking players what shampoo they used, since he was here for Head and Shoulders.

But it didn’t matter what he asked, or what they said. That beard. Even ol’ Inez snuck a peek, when she could. So sure, some people tried to be unusual, and garner attention. But Brett Keisel’s beard is here, everyone. The rest of you can all go home.

You can read his entire article (and view a photo of Keisel, the correspondent) here.

Visit Brett’s official Facebook page (the link is in the top right corner of this page) to view photos of Keisel’s time in Indy. We’d love you to “like” the page, but even if you are not a “Facebooker”, you can still view the page without joining.

 

January 30, 2012

KEISEL TAKES ON INDY

Brett made his way down Radio Row today in Indianapolis. He was there with Head & Shoulders for Men, appearing on various ESPN shows such as Mike and Mike, The Herd and Sportscenter.

Keisel talked about the Steelers, the Super Bowl and of course about his legenary beard. Just about every person who interviewed him commented on how amazing the beard looked. Brett gave credit for Da Beard’s greatness to Head & Shoulders for Men, saying it made his beard “more full” and “more beautiful” then ever.

Twitter abuzz over Da Beard:

“I touched it and got electrocuted. The Beard has special powers.” —Jason Romano.

“D-lineman Brett Keisel is on our set! We need a separate chair for his beard!”Mike & Mike.

“Can I touch your beard? It’s so soft!!”–Colin Cowherd, The Herd.

A few of Keisel’s podcasts:

Mike and Mike

The Herd

Scott Van Pelt Show

NFL Network

NFL Network

The Jim Rome Show

Keisel chat:

Some fans chatted live online with Brett. Click here to read the transcript.

Be sure to visit Brett’s official Facebook and Twitter pages (links are at the top right of this page) for more photos and news from his travels today. He gave his Super Bowl prediction (winner and score) on Facebook. Check it out to see if you agree.

Thank you to Head & Shoulders for Men for sending Keisel to Indianapolis. Stay tuned to see what he will be up to on Tuesday!

 

January 28, 2012

KEEPIN’ UP WITH DA BEARD

Da Beard will be in Indianapolis with Head & Shoulders for Men during Super Bowl week. So far, there are three appearances for him on ESPN .

January 30 appearances:

Mike and Mike in the Morning (ESPN Radio/ESPN2) at 9:00 a.m.

The Herd (ESPN Radio/ESPNEWS) at 10:30 a.m.

Scott Van Pelt Show (ESPN Radio/ESPNEWS through 3 p.m. ET) at 2:45 p.m.

Please be aware, times are approximates.

Click here for the entire ESPN schedule.

If you are in the Indy area this week, be sure to stop by the Pan Am Plaza to see Keisel! Wear your Da Beard Gear!

 

January 27, 2012

DA BEARD IS HEADIN’ TO INDY

Keisel will be in Indianapolis next week with Head & Shoulders for Men. Be sure to follow his Twitter and Facebook pages (links are at the top right of this page) to keep up with Da Beard as he chats with several ESPN personalities.

Tweet from ESPN:

Steelers DE Brett Keisel will be on-set w/ ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike Monday in Indy. Come to Pan Am Plaza to see the beard!

You can also send questions in to SportsNation for Brett. Click here for more information.

Shear Da Beard II:

As you know, Da Beard’s days are numbered. The shearing is set for February 9. Details are in the January 25 news. All proceeds from the event benefit the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC. For those who cannot attend the event, but wish to donate to it, please click here.

Thank you to Andrea Kunicky, and everyone at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC for providing the donation information!

 

January 26, 2012

BEST WISHES TO CHRIS HOKE

“When I walked in here 11 years ago as an undrafted free agent, I had a lot of dreams. But in my wildest dreams I would have never believed that I would be standing before you guys like I am today, 11 years later. I think everything happens for a reason, but I am glad I went out playing well. I gave everything I had to this game. I have no regrets. I am blessed to be able to go out on a high note like that.” –Hoke, from his press conference today.

Keisel, Hampton and Aaron Smith all attended the press conference and you could tell by the look in Hoke’s eyes it meant the world to him to have them there.

“The support I’ve gotten from these guys over the years and the relationships we’ve built, not just with each other but with our families and children, it’s been great”, said Hoke.

Keisel talks about what Hoke means to him:

“He means so much to me personally,” said defensive end Brett Keisel, proudly wearing a Brigham Young t-shirt, the school both he and Hoke attended. “He took his job so seriously and worked so hard every day. Everyone that was around him saw that. It resonated through all of us. There will be a big hole left in the defensive line room without him in there. He had a great career here. He is a great guy, a great competitor and a big reason why we won two Super Bowls.”

Click here to read more and to see the photo gallery (courtesy of Steelers.com).

Best wishes to Mr. Hoke and his family! Thank you for all you’ve done on and off the field.

Pro Bowl updates:

Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Ryan Clark, James Harrison and Mike Wallace are in Hawaii preparing for the Pro Bowl. Catch updates on the fun here.

Shear Da Beard:

The shearing is on! Check out the news from January 25 (below) for all the details! Get your tickets now-they are limited!

 

January 25, 2012

DA BEARD’S DAYS ARE NUMBERED

Keisel was on WDVE this morning with a big announcement. Shear Da Beard II (also known as the Second Annual Mountain Man Makeover) will be held on Thursday, February 9 at the Diesel Club Lounge (1601 East Carson St. Pittsburgh, PA). Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. and the shaving ceremony will commence at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are $25.00-the price includes admission to the one-of-a-kind event, your first drink, appetizers, opportunities to win lots of prizes, and live entertainment provided by Donnie Iris and the Chris Higbee Project. Attendees will also be able to purchase limited edition items, such as a framed before and after photo of Keisel-which comes with or without a lock from his famous Da Beard!

And, of course, you will be on hand to witness THE SHEARING OF DA BEARD!

The celebrity barbers have not been announced, but Brett said possibly Aaron Smith and his son, Elijah may be on hand. Also, his father, Lane (Father Beard) may be there. According to Brett, his dad is still sporting his own beard.

Brett is donating all proceeds from the event to cancer programs at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC.

Ready to order your tickets?

Click here to order your tickets. Hurry, before they are all sold out.

The event is sponsored by: WDVE, PITTSBURGH STEELERS, HEAD & SHOULDERS, SPORT CLIPS, PNC, DIESEL AND LOCAL BAR + KITCHEN. EVENT IS 21+ ONLY.

For those who cannot make it, but would like to donate to the event, I will post a link (if available) to do so.

The prizes last year were amazing and everyone had a great time, so if you are able to attend, I highly suggest it!

Click here to see a larger view of the event announcement.

I will also post the information on the right side of this page, under Events and Appearances, so you can locate it anytime.

Click here to see photos from the inaugural Shear Da Beard.

Da Beard Gear:

If you have purchased Keisel’s official Da Beard Gear, this is a perfect event to wear it! We hope to see lots of Da Beard Gear at the event. If you want to order, click on the “Store” link below the website banner. Show your love for Da Beard at Shear Da Beard II!

Also from the interview:

Keisel said his injury is healing well and, for now, no surgery will be needed. Great news!

Celebrating a promise kept:

Click here to read about Brett’s attendance at a Penguins game recently, which celebrated the graduation of RMU’s first graduation cohert of Pittsburgh Promise. There is a photo of Brett and James Farrior with some of the graduates, and the article explains more about The Pittsburgh Promise School.

Update:

WDVE posted a link to their interview with Keisel. Click here to listen.

 

January 11, 2012

PAYING IT FORWARD

We all know how important helping others is to Mr. Keisel and his teammates. They host and attend benefits to raise money for various causes every year.

Brett also held a “Pay it Forward” contest this past Thanksgiving to give fans a chance to tell how they helped others. We read about so many great things Steeler Nation did for others.

Ten-year-old Hunter Dittman took the “Pay it Forward” theme to heart recently during the Parker Polar Bear Plunge. The event was held January 1 (you can read about it in the December 29 news below).

Anyone who donated to the cause was entered in a drawing for an autographed football Mr. Keisel donated.

Hunter won the football and was excited since she is a huge Keisel fan. She wore his jersey while taking the plunge in the 38 degree water!

What did Hunter do with the football?

From an email sent by Scott Dittman:

Even though she loves the ball, she has decided to donate it back to Camo Cares/Hunt Of A Lifetime so it can be used to raise more money for sick kids during their event in Fryburg, PA on June 23rd, 2012, where she is a volunteer.

Camo Cares/Hunt of a Lifetime raises money to help terminally ill children fulfill their dream hunt.

More from Mr. Dittman:

We had well over 500 plungers this year, setting a new record. More importantly, we more than DOUBLED the charitable donations from last year, going from $4,000 to over $8,500! Brett’s autographed football and shaving my beard in the water gathered over $2,700 as a part of that total, which meant I had my head shaved as well.

Scott went on to thank Brett for his donation.

Today’s news photo is of Hunter with the signed football from Brett. Click here to see a larger version of the photo, and one of Scott as he is about to have his beard (and head) shaved.

Thank you to Scott for sharing the photos and news, to Hunter for such a caring heart, and to Mr. Keisel for his donation to the great cause!

 

January 10, 2012

BEST OF DA BEARD CONTEST WINNER

January 9, 2012

STEELER NATION PROUD OF THEIR TEAM…

…and they’ve shown it through emails and messages on Brett’s Official Facebook and Twitter pages.

Here are a few of what we received:

“Steeler Nation loves you and we are proud of the great come back. Get healthy in the off season and come back with a vengeance!!!” —Haydee Sampredo

“Great season. Hope you get well soon and also hoping for another town hall meeting. Proud of all of you!”–Anne and Emily Cooper

“Bro….it’s all good! There is NO TEAM that is more resilient through injury & circumstances…I am PROUD to support & be a fan such an AWESOME organization & you guys the players! You guys are the model for what “TEAM” means and for how you go about your business. From Coach T down to the staff…love y’all my brotha & no doubt we WILL BE BACK for that “#7″ next season! Be Blessed…BLACK N YELLOW 4LIFE for the Good Ole Mississippi!”– Danny Green

“*GOOD NITE until we HAVE FUN again in SEPT 2012* ….LUV ya Fella’s! THANKS 4 the EFFORT! Now you can MEND! CONGRATS to the BRONCO’s…May they ENJOY their Well Deserved BIG WIN & to the STEELERS for giv’n us the “BEST GAME” of the WK-END! May the REST follow your lead? That’s what GOOD FOOTBALL is ALL about! As ALWAYS….24/7 & 365! ….THE KREW ….PS: B sure to let us KNOW WHEN you’ll be DONAT’N DA’BEARD & once again being “HEAVEN SENT”???”–Denise Petrilli Klaiber & Kaliber Krew

“It was a tough loss, hate to see the season end, but one thing about the Steeler Nation…..we love our tean, win or loose….get thoes injuries all healed (I know you just hated leaving the game) and we will begin again the ‘hairway to seven’ quest next season.”–Erin Confer

“THANK YOU FOR A GREAT SEASON! You gave it your all. Now heal fast for next year! Much love.” — Boss Steeler Chick

“To Mr. Keisel and the team: Thank you for yet another great season. We were with you for the wins and the losses and are proud of you no matter what. Get healed and healthy and we’ll see you back next season. Have an enjoyable offseason.”– Scott Johnson

“You guys are a class act from the front office down.. I bleed Black and Gold.. and love being part of the steeler nation…. looking forward to a healthy 2012 season.” — Jeff Shifflett

“Thank you for a great season…proud Steeler fan. Hope you come to Valley High School in March for DARE basketball. May the entire Steelers team have good health!” — Keith Piecka

“Thank you for your tremendous season and your hardcore effort. Good luck with the healing from your injuries. We look forward to an even greater year next season!” — Hy Simhan

“Steelers Defense still has a place in my heart! Thanks for a great season.” — Megan Laughlin

“So proud of the way you guys fought back to get in the game!! Keep your heads up!”– Carolina Quintero

“You guys are still the best Defense the NFL has ever seen Brett !! Sorry about the loss, I feel it with you even though you guys did all the work !! Hope all of you have a quick and complete recovery !!” —Brian Shook

“Da Beard will be back! Thanks to you and the team for always making us proud. You are all class acts on and off the field. Not many fans can say that about their teams these days, but Steeler Nation sure can. Thanks for all your interaction on FB and Twitter. You are great to us fans and we are lovin’ your Da Beard Gear. Hope to see it stick around!” — Tim Hess

“Trish, please tell Brett we hope he is ok and gets healed. He is a leader on our D and we need him back. Rooneys better realize it. Thank him for all he does during games and off the field with CF and other causes. Because of his efforts they are making progress with CF and we applaud him!” —Shannon Patterson

“Keisel, heal up my man. You are da best. Team isn’t same when you aren’t out there. Thanks for all you and the team do. Stay classy. Hope to see you do another chat with fans. I would love to be able to talk with you even if just for 1 question.” —Paul Snyder

“Prayers for a speedy and uneventful recovery. A part of me is relieved season is over so that my beloved players can heal. We had a winning season and made playoffs. Thank you.” —Deborah McCabe

“I’m proud of you guys! Win or lose, you guys give it all you’ve got and your fans, the Steeler Nation, is proud of you! Heal quickly & we’ll get em next year!” — Beth Burks

“I hope u feel better soon Da Beard!! Da Beard Strong in AZ!” —Tito Medina

“I hope you get well soon Brett. Take care and get better for next season.” — Scott Spillman

“Thank you to the Steelers for giving us another great season. So many teams never make it to the playoffs year after year, yet we are treated to it pretty much every year. That is due to your dedication and focus. Bless you and your family. And, thanks for dabeard Gear. We love it and we love your website. The updates are great since we don’t get alot of Steelers news in NE.” —Susan Fetters

“Keisel, you and teammates played lights out all season. Didn’t end the way we wanted, but when we say there is always next year, we are serious. There is always a next year for our black and gold. We are spoiled by post season play and SB wins-and we love it. Thank you. Love this site and dabeard stuff. You have good people helping you out. Anytime I email it is answered so quickly and kindly. You are so great to the fans and I really enjoyed the chat you did a few months ago. Can we do it again?” —Tina Hammond

Sorry we could not post every email and comment, but stop by the Facebook and Twitter pages (links at the top of this page) and check out the great comments, and feel free to leave one of your own!

The photo used for today’s news (the first photo) was designed by Michael Johnson.

 

January 8, 2012

TOUGH WAY TO END GREAT SEASON

“Really, not a lot to say. I’d like to extend congratulations to the Denver Broncos, their staff and players. They played a good football game, of course, and did the job and won. They persevered. I’m proud of our guys and the way they fought but, obviously, we’re not in it for the moral victories, it wasn’t enough. They made the significant plays tonight, particularly the chunks that allowed them to win. We accept responsibility for that like we have through many, many legs of this journey this year. But we fell short.”–From Coach Tomlin’s post-game press conference.

Despite being riddled with injuries, the Steelers never gave up in their overtime loss to Denver (29-23). They were down by 10 points late in the game and came back to tie the game 23-23, sending it to overtime. The Broncos won the ever important coin toss and scored a touchdown on their first possession to get the wildcard win.

To read more on the game, click here.

I will update any injury news on Keisel, if it becomes available.

It was a tough ending to a great season. The team finished strong at 12-5 and gave fans reasons to cheer each week as another hotcake was stacked. There were bumps in the road, but the team (and fans) never gave up. They fought hard each week until the final whistle blew tonight in overtime, ending their season.

Check back for more news throughout the week, along with a year end wrap up. The Best of Da Beard contest winner will be announced Tuesday.

We appreciate all the positive messages on Facebook and Twitter. Steeler Nation truly has the best fans!

A message from the Da Beard Gear crew:

Thanks for all your support this year. Best fans in the world without doubt! Love you guys and we will be back!

 

January 4, 2012

FRIDAY NEWS AND NOTES

Articles of interest:

Ron Cook: Longtime veterans approaching finish line.

Defensive end Brett Keisel said he tries not to think about the gang breaking up. He had a superb year and is expected back next season for his 11th NFL season despite the fact he will turn 34 in September. He said there already is a different feel in the locker room and meeting rooms without Smith and Hoke, another extremely popular player. Smith joined the Steelers as a fourth-round draft choice in 1999, Hoke as an undrafted free agent in 2001.

“We’ve been together for a third of our lives,” Keisel said. “During the season, we spend more time with each other than we do with our families.How awesome would it be for those guys to go out as champions?” Keisel asked. “I mean, they’re already champions and they’ll always be champions. But to get back to the big dance and win it, man, that would be the perfect ending.”

From the Washington Post: Road show: Steelers fans make themselves right at home in any stadium.

Broncos linebacker Joe Mays was strolling through the grocery store earlier this week when he spotted a family decked out in Pittsburgh Steelers garb. The invasion of Pittsburgh fans has already begun. In his own neighborhood, no less.

Wait until Sunday.

Billed as Broncos country, this region will be transformed into Steelers territory with Ben Roethlisberger & Co. arriving in the Mile High City for a first-round playoff game.

And, if you haven’t read the article, Brett Keisel: Grounded by Greybull, from the December 24 Steelers Gameday, here is a link. You won’t want to miss it.

Best of Da Beard Contest:

The contest is now closed. We have some great entries so picking a winner will be tough. Check back next week to see who won. Thanks to all who took the time to enter.

Click here to see the entries.

Da Beard Gear Fan Appreciation:

Any order placed (while the Steelers are in the playoffs) with Da Beard Gear will receive a free Da Beard sticker and drink koozie! The link is above under Store. Get your beard on with Da Beard Gear!

Thoughts and prayers:

Go out to Kirby Wilson and family.

Coach Wilson suffered serious injuries during an early-morning fire at his home.

Coach Wilson has been with the Steelers organization since 2007.

Sports writer Jim Wexell said this about Coach Wilson:

“Wilson is a unique character and one of the most loved people in the building here on the South Side.

The Steelers issued an official statement, which can be read here.

 

January 4, 2012

FEAR THE BEARD PRINTS

This amazing painting was created by artist, Scott Spillman .

“Fear the Beard” is now available in a very special limited edition Giclee print. Brett owns the original, but Scott is offering fans a chance to purchase a print.

This print is of the highest quality and limited to a very small edition of only 500 prints. The prints are available in 16 x 20 inches and 11 x 14 inches. Each print is hand signed and numbered by Scott Spillman, the artist, and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

The cost is as follows:

For 11 x 14 signed and numbered prints – $35.00.

For 16 x 20 signed and numbered prints – $55.00. Shipping is not included.

You can see a closer view of the painting here.

Ready to add this one-of-a-kind print to your collection?

For credit card orders, call 727-389-6185.

To pay through PayPal check or money order, you can email Mr. Spillman.

Email: da_beard_prints@yahoo.com to get the order process started.

Please include your name, address, an email address you can be reached at, and the size print you would like. Also, if you have any questions, you can email Mr. Spillman and he will be happy to assist you.

Learn more about Scott Spillman and his work here.

Keisel talks about playing on the road:

“We’ll be fine going on the road. It can be done. We’ve done it before.”

Talking about Ryan Clark not playing in Denver:

“This is a great game but it isn’t worth your life. He’s lost a lot of his body parts going out there and playing. Mundy and (Will) Allen need to step up and play great ball.”

 

January 3, 2012

BRETT KEISEL: GROUNDED BY GREYBULL

Brett was featured in the Steelers Gameday program on December 24.

From the article:

He’s a long way from Greybull, and he has been for quite some time. But that only refers to physical distance. Emotionally, mentally and spiritually, he’s never left.

Greybull, Wyo. is located between the Bighorn National Forest and Yellowstone National Park. It’s a town of less than 2,500 people and has one traffic light. Greybull is Brett Keisel’s hometown, where he was raised, where he was taught the important things a boy needs to become a man. “It’s a different place,” said Keisel. It’s definitely slower there. It’s hard to explain if you’ve never been there. I love going back and recharging my battery.

By the time he was 10, Brett was assigned a handful of duties on his family’s cattle ranch. one of which was learning how to drive the work truck. “I will never forget learning how to drive a stick shift. 3500 Chevrolet, when I was like 10-years old,” said Keisel. “Dad put me in the truck and was like, ‘Go straight. When it’s done, push the clutch in and shut the key off.'”

Nowadays, it’s hard to find a teenager who has those types of skills, let alone one who does daily chores. Convincing an adolescent to put down the cell phone or IPad can pass for parenting in some homes, but for Brett, those years of his life were dedicated to family and hard work. “My dad taught us how to work,” Keisel said.” Growing up on a farm, you need your family’s help. It was great work-ethic training.”

It wasn’t all work; at least that’s not how he remembers it now. There always seemed to be time for the outdoors, those hunting and fishing trips with his family, particularly with his father, Lane. The appreciation for hunting and fishing in the Keisel household is passed down from generation-to-generation. It’s a way of life, a way for the family to bond, and Lane taught Brett all there is to know about the wild. To this day, Keisel calls the first bow-and-arrow that Lane bought him “one of my favorite gifts growing up.”

Lane Keisel taught his son at an early age to respect nature, to learn about and understand his surroundings. Still an avid hunter and fisherman, Brett remembers and lives by those lessons. “The biggest thing I enjoy about hunting is just being outdoors,” said Keisel. “I love seeing what’s on Mother Earth, listening to Mother Earth. Just the atmosphere of that solitude, it’s so peaceful.”

Peaceful, except for those times when you come across a grizzly bear. Or come face-to-face with a mountain lion. Keisel has done both and lived to tell about it, even though he will admit, “It’s one of those things that can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.”

Ben Roethlisberger has been on several of these expeditions with Keisel, and so he knows first-hand what it’s like to spend a week with a modern-day Jeremiah Johnson. “We actually rode horses up into the mountains,” said Roethlisberger, who once traveled to Wyoming with his father and two uncles to enjoy the Keisel experience. “We camped, hunted and fished for a whole week. We were 10,000 feet up in the mountains. To have that trip was just awesome.”

Listen to Roethlisberger and Keisel talk about the outdoors, and you can hear the banter of brothers, of two men who love a lot of the same things, and each other. Roethlisberger tells the story of ‘out-fishing’ Keisel during that trip to Wyoming, and Keisel finds a way to acknowledge defeat and take credit for the win at the same time.

Brett goes in the article to discuss more about his hometown, his brother and how he almost choose a different career path. He also talks about his wife, Sarah and their children. There are also some great quotes from Brett’s coaches and teammates. This is definitely a great read!

Click here to read it. You will enjoy the inside off-the-field glimpse of Keisel’s life and background.

Reminders:

Check the post below for information on the Best of Da Beard Contest and the Fan Appreciation promotion from Da Beard Gear.

Click here to see some of the photos we have received for the contest.

Fan photos:

Julie Amsden sent some great photos of Keisel from the Browns game Sunday. Check them out here.

 

January 2, 2012-Part two

BEST OF DA BEARDS CONTEST

It’s that time of year again! The playoffs are here, so let’s show off those playoff beards!

The Second Annual Best of Da Beard Contest:

Send us a photo of your playoff beard, and we’ll select the best “Da Beard” to win a “Get your beard on” t-shirt from Brett’s official merchandise line, Da Beard Gear .

Anyone can enter. Women may need to get creative. You can click here to check out the entries last year. Jeremy Abbott, who is on page two, was the winner last year.

Email photos to: trish@brett-keisel.com.

Please include your name and where you are from (if you wish).

Show us those playoff beards Steeler Nation! Best of luck to everyone.

The deadline is Friday January 6, 2012 at noon (EST). The winner will be announced here on the site on January 10.

Da Beard Gear Fan Appreciation:

Mr. Keisel and the Da Beard Crew are very appreciative of all the support Steeler Nation (and Beard Nation) gives the team year round and for the support you’ve shown for Brett’s official merchandise line, Da Beard Gear.

To show their appreciation, any orders placed throughDa Beard Gear while the Steelers are in the playoffs, will receive a free Da Beard sticker and drink koozie!

Now is the time to get your playoff beards on with Da Beard Gear!

The photo above is of Tom Obenrader, with his godson. Even infants love Da Beard Gear!

Check out more holiday photos sent of fans with their Steelers or Keisel gear here.

 

January 2, 2012

RINGING IN 2012 WITH A “W”

It was a cold, blustery day in Cleveland, Ohio yesterday, as the Steelers started 2012 off with a win over the Browns 13-9.

A few defensive stats:

The defense did not allow a touchdown in four of the final six games.

It was the 11th time this season and sixth in the past seven games that the No. 1-ranked pass defense did not allow a 200-yard passing game.

Peyton Hillis, who had 211 yards in his past two games, was held to 30 yards on 10 carries. DE Ziggy Hood and Brett Keisel each batted passes, and NT Casey Hampton clogged the middle well enough to keep Hillis from getting started.

Stats courtesy of Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

To read more on the game, click here.

Keisel had 3 tackles, a pass deflection and forced fumble during the game.

Playoff bound:

The Steelers are the 5th seed and will travel to Denver to play the Broncos on January 8 at 4:30 p.m. (CBS). The complete playoff schedule is here.

“It’s going to be wild. It’s going to be wild and crazy like the playoffs always are.”–Keisel in his post game press conference.

Keisel talks Tebow:

He’s gotten them into the post season. He’s gonna be a challenge. “He’s great at getting out of the pocket,” said Brett Keisel, “and we’ll have to adjust to the option..try to keep him contained and in the pocket.”

From John Dudley, GoErie.com:

Brett Keisel, the Steelers’ bearded, sage defensive end, made it clear that he remembers exactly what former NFL lineman-turned-analyst Warren Sapp said about Pittsburgh’s defense at the start of the season.

“Too old, too slow — done,” Keisel said Sunday in a corner of the visiting locker room at Cleveland Browns Stadium, where the Steelers used another dominating defensive performance to complete a 12-4 season with a 13-9 win over the Browns.

Keisel spat the words more than he spoke them.

“We’re a good defense,” Keisel added, and the evidence backs him up.

The Steelers head into the playoffs having allowed only 48 points in their final six games. They’ve limited six of their past seven opponents to fewer than 300 total yards. They’ve looked, for the most part, not so old, not so slow, and definitely not done.

Game photos:

Click here to view game photos.

Congratulations…

To Hines Ward and Heath Miller!

Ward now has 1,000 career receptions. He is only the eighth player in NFL history to do so!

Mr. Keisel posted this message via social media last night:

How ’bout my main man and true pro Hines Ward! Congratulations to one of the best WR to ever play the game.

You can follow #99 on Twitter and Facebook-the links are at the top of this page.

Heath Miller passed the great Lynn Swann to become fourth on the Steelers All-Time receptions list!

We hope everyone had a happy and safe New Year! Thank you for all your support of the website, Da Beard Gear and on the social media pages. Steeler Nation has Da Best fans in the league!