The semi-professional blog of Albert Ciuksza Jr.

Month: April 2012

Why I Love the Steelers’ Throwbacks

Pittsburgh Bees or Jailbirds?

Pittsburgh Bees or Jailbirds?

After a day of hearing all of the complaining about the Steelers’ newly-unveiled 80th Anniversary uniforms, I figured I’d come out of the bumblebee-loving closet and confess that I unequivocally love the new unis.

Now, obviously, they’re an aesthetic disaster. Black and gold is a hell of a study in contrasts, and the inch-plus alternating stripes are tough on the eyes. Adding the self-contained black numbers in a black-outlined white box makes the top half painful (potentially only saved by the black logo-less helmet). It gets worse below the waist, with doesn’t-match-anything sand pants and striped black and gold socks. I mean, seriously. They’re horrible looking.

Barry Foster in '33 Duds

Barry Foster in '33 Duds

However, I love the fact that the team is celebrating its history in an honest way, showing off one of its earliest looks even if the uniform is hideous. At a time when NFL teams are releasing alternate uniforms on a regular basis in the name of revenue generation, the Steelers picked a look that they had to know wouldn’t sell well (as of today, the jerseys are not for sale at the team shop). And this time, they actually had a choice, unlike the NFL’s 75th Anniversary, when all teams were required to wear uniforms from their founding.

Sure, the Steelers have dabbled in the alternate jersey universe, wearing the black-and-gold classics from the late 50s and early 60s (which, by the way, were pretty sweet despite the gold helmets). But this time around, it will be great to see what the games might have looked like in the early days of the NFL, even if that means 380ish-pound Casey Hampton has to squeeze into one of these puppies.

So thank you, Rooney family, for having the guts to put your boys in these monstrosities. I can’t wait to see them in action.

Celebrating Success at Work

We need to celebrate.

We need to celebrate.

We need more celebration at work.

Real celebration. The scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs, carry-the-coach-out-on-your-shoulders kind of celebration. Wins matter and we need to acknowledge them

As my team filmed a viral video for our social media marketing class (below: please watch a million times, we’re competing for views against other MBA teams), I was reminded of a conversation with Buddy Hobart ( about how world-class performers celebrate their successes. Why can’t we celebrate like a football team would when we land a big deal? Why do we settle for a “thanks to so-and-so for great work” in a snoozefest of a team meeting?


Gen Y is often accused of wanting to be coddled, having an extreme need for constant positive reinforcement. But, really, who wouldn’t want to have a team so excited about your success that they’d give you a Gatorade bath after a major career achievement?

One of my favorite things about Pitt is that we celebrate successes. We reward good work in business plan competitions, post successes on the rotating announcement boards that are located throughout the building, and congratulate each other in the halls. It’s not major out-and-out celebration, but I think it’s a great culture to build.

How do you celebrate at work? How could you do it better? Would you stretch your goals a bit more if you know your work would be celebrated?