According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Steelers have suspended radio play-by-play announcer Bill Hillgrove for the first two games of the regular season.
The suspension comes in the wake of a June incident in which Hillgrove was charged with DUI after allegedly driving his SUV into the front of a Ferri’s Shur Save supermarket in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. The accident occurred late in the afternoon of Monday June 15, 2020.
According to Dulac, Hillgrove was slated to serve the suspension during the preseason, but with all four—er, five—preseason games canceled, the suspension comes at the beginning of the regular season. That means he will miss the team’s opener vs. the New York Giants on Monday September 14, plus the home opener against the Denver Broncos on September 20. It’s unclear who will substitute for Hillgrove during the games he will miss.
Hillgrove has been the Steelers’ play-by-play announcer since 1994 and is part of a broadcast team that includes color analyst and former Steelers offensive tackle Tunch Ilkin, plus sideline reporter Craig Wolfley, who played offensive guard and tackle for the Steelers between 1980 and 1989.
Fans in the Stands at Heinz Field?
Meanwhile, Dulac also reports today that Steelers president Art Rooney II remains optimistic that fans will be able to attend games at Heinz Field sometime after September, “but that will only be determined by the governor and state and local health officials.”
It was just four days ago that the Steelers announced there would be no fans permitted at Heinz Field for the first two home games of the season–versus the Denver Broncos on September 20th and the Houston Texans on September 27th. There won’t be any fans in attendance at the team’s regular season opener either, this in the wake of a pronouncement from the governor of New Jersey.
Steelers Safety/Linebacker Marcus Allen
Finally, safety-turned-inside linebacker Marcus Allen spoke to Teresa Varley of Steelers.com today, this in the wake of inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky relating Allen’s conversion to linebacker, not to mention his love of hitting.
It’s safe to say that Allen had no problem with the way he was characterized by Olsavsky, saying, “That is my game. I love hitting. I have been hitting since little league. The physical part of it, I am not too worried about that. I am excited about being in the box and showcasing my talents.
Allen also took care to remind fans that he “played the position [linebacker] in college at Penn State,” saying, “Penn State used me mostly in the box. I am kind of used to the position. I feel comfortable. That linebacker role is nothing different from playing the dime role when I was at Penn State. It’s not foreign to me or anything. Just regular football.”
Allen also appreciates as much as anyone the Steelers’ longstanding reputation for playing an especially physical brand of football.
“I’ve got Steelers history in my blood. I have been a Steelers fan my whole life,” concluded Allen. “I have been watching the Steelers and being taught about legends [like Jack Lambert and Jack Ham] since I was a kid.”
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