In March 1973 (Ernie) Holmes, who was later diagnosed as suffering from acute paranoid psychosis, allegedly pulled a shotgun from his truck while driving on the Ohio turnpike and began shooting out the tires of passing trucks. This led to a high-speed chase, a shootout and a standoff with state police that ended in a nearby forest with Holmes allegedly shooting an officer in the ankle.
A 2009 investigation by ESPN into the Steelers’ history with performance-enhancing drugs found an alarming number of former players suffering from heart ailments. “Even if there is no pattern or clue linking the deaths to steroids,” wrote the article’s author, Mike Fish, “since 2000, 17 former Steelers have died before they reached the age of 59.”
Seventeen men. Dead.
Still think this is all sensationalist anti-Steelers crap?
That list includes former Steelers guard Terry Long, who tried to kill himself with rat poison after testing positive for steroids in 1991. He died in 2005 after drinking antifreeze. A year before Long died, Steelers offensive linemen Justin Strzelczyk was killed in a fiery head-on collision with a tanker truck after leading New York state troopers on a 40-mile chase. Hall of Fame center Mike Webster died from heart failure in 2002 at the age of 50, tormented by years of dementia, drug use and homelessness.