Like any passion one has for something, he or she inevitably is quite particular about it. Anyone who claims to know every single line from the movie ‘Caddyshack’ will no doubt correct anyone who does not recite Judge Smail’s entire ‘Flying Wasp’ speech verbatim. Ask a Cubs’ fan about legendary 2nd basemanRyan Sandberg and you will no doubt get hit with the obligatory, “It’s not RYAN it’s RYNE!!!!” (Cue Jim Rome soundbite). So as a Steelers’ fan, it has started to dawn on me that I tend to get a bit anal when it comes to all things Steelers. One particular area of constant gear-grinding for me is when people ask about our ‘diamonds.’ My response? “Ummm, diamonds? They’re called ‘hypocycloids’ man. Hy-po-cy-cloids, not diamonds, not stars, hy-po-cy-cloids.” Typically the response 99 times out of 100 will be, “What’s a hypocycloid?” This is indeed a fair question and the last thing I want to do is claim to be some type of expert in geometry and explain exactly what it is, but for the very curious it’s ‘the plane locus of a point fixed on a circle that rolls on the inside circumference of a fixed circle.’ If you are really that serious about it than check Wikipedia as they have really nice piece of animation there.
The message I am attempting to get across here is that things like this matter to die-hard fans. While Los Angeles is not exactly home to 10,000 lakes, their fans would cringe at the idea of changing Lakers to… Oceaners? Correct me if I am wrong, but Utah is not exactly famous for Jazz, but I don’t see that changing. While it pains me to go here as a Steelers’ fan, any fan of the Browns will tell you that putting an actual logo on their helmet would be blasphemy and don’t even get me started on why we only have one logo because there is a reason for that too. Hey, at least we have ONE! The hypocycloids by the way, do also have some meaning in their color as well. The blue represents steel scrap, the yellow is coal, and the orange/red is ore. So they aren’t just colored that way to be pretty.
In the end, if you are a die-hard Steelers’ fan then you know the meaning and the history, but if you aren’t a Steelers’ fan then tread lightly next time you ask about our hypocycloids. And don’t worry if you struggle saying the word a few times, we’d much rather you attempted it then if you were to say ‘diamonds.’
Have a Great Day Steeler Nation
Marc ‘SteelDad’ Uhlmann