Steelers to display their swagger 'Beyond the Field'
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

After a recent practice, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin walked through the locker room where wide receiver Antwaan Randle El was being interviewed.

"Tell (her) there are some things you can't teach," Tomlin said.

He wasn't referring to a football player's ability to maneuver around the field. Tomlin was talking about the skill of mastering the moves of a model. He and his players will be tackling the runway on Friday in "Steelers Style 2010: Beyond the Field," the team's annual fashion show at East Club, Heinz Field.

"Walking the runway is like line dancing," said Tomlin, who is co-chairing the event with wife Kiya and Greta and Art Rooney II. "Either you have it or you don't. It's not a coachable thing."

Coach Tomlin has it, Randle El pointed out.

"See how he carries himself?" he said. "It's called swagger, or swag. It's how you walk and how you carry yourself, whether you are on the football field or the runway. Fashion is not just about the clothes you are wearing. It's about posture. It's about attitude. And I believe I've got it."

Randle El and linebacker Keyaron Fox are team captains for the annual fashion event. They will be joined by teammates and their families who will model fashions from American Eagle Outfitters, Reebok and Nordstrom.

Proceeds will benefit the UPMC Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute and the Cancer Caring Center. Last year's show, along with the Taste of the Steelers event, raised $700,000. Since 2004, $4 million has been raised.

"The invitation says it all," said Rebecca Whitlinger, executive director of the Cancer Caring Center in Bloomfield. "It represents the commitment by the ownership and the players to helping charities. We are lucky in Pittsburgh to have such a franchise that's committed to giving back. ... They live here, and they support the city that loves the Steelers."

About 900 guests are expected.

The rookies will be in tuxedos, and the veterans will be allowed to wear their own suits for one facet of the show. They will choose the music to be played that fits their personality as they walk down the runway.

"The key is to work what you are wearing," Fox said. "We all bring a different kind of swagger. Mine is more of a south swagger with a mix of James Bond."

Rookie Maurkice Pouncey was skeptical at first, because he thought his teammates might be tricking him into being the only player in the show.

"Once I found out lots of players were doing it, I was excited about participating," said the 6-foot, 4-inch, 305-pound center. "I don't have stage fright. I think it is great, because fans will get to see what we look like without our helmets on. I'm excited because I don't dress in too many tuxes."

But you can't just let the tux wear you. You have to wear the tux, Randle El says.

"A suit is not alive unless the person who wears it makes it come alive on the runway," said Randle El, who will strut his stuff along with three of his five children.

"This fashion show benefits two great causes," he said. "That's what it's all about."