The Mafia's special guest Antonio Brown
Mr Nasty Greg Lloyd
Every year, the Collector’s Showcase of America (CSA) puts on an incredible autograph/memorabilia show in Chantilly, Virginia. Superstars from the worlds of baseball, football, horse racing, boxing, basically any sport you can think of descend onto Chantilly for a sport’s fans paradise. Heisman winners? Check. Hall of Famers? Check. Heck, I’ve even seen bikini models selling their calendars there. (Honestly, I just looked at the calendars for the articles; I mean...nevermind, not important.)
The main draw for this CSA show is always the great lineup of NFL players they bring in for autographs and/or photo ops. Fans flock to see former players and current stars all weekend, but the good folks that run the CSA know how to make their fans happy.
That’s right, Sunday’s at the CSA show is like a Black and Gold heaven. With players from the 70s up to Steeler fan’s current favorites, odds are you’ll meet more than a few Steeler greats, and this year will be no different.
The Steel City Mafia will once again be heading to Chantilly for this great event, and this time they’ll be bringing some friends along.
La Famiglia will be hosting 5 Steelers at this year’s show, bringing them in to Chantilly to meet Steeler Nation the weekend of April 4-6.
These five Friends of La Famiglia are:
Mr. “Just Plain Nasty” epitomized what Steeler Defense is all about. Injuries slowed the beginning of his career in 1987, but once he broke the starting lineup in 1989 he quickly became one of the most feared outside linebackers in the league. In his time with the Steelers (and one year with Carolina) he racked up an impressive resume. Named to the Pro Bowl 5 times, 3 times AP First team All-Pro, 1994 AFC Defensive Player of the Year, while amassing 54.5 sacks and 11 interceptions in his dominating career. However, stats alone don’t define what this man brought to the table every game for the Black and Gold. Just like Jack Lambert before him, he set the tone of the defense and brought an attitude that instilled fear in opponents. Lloyd might not have been ‘hired for his disposition’, but this friend of the family is definitely still a fan favorite.
For some of the younger Mafiosos, you might not realize that there was a spectacular wide receiver for the Steelers between the end of the Swann/Stallworth era and the beginning of the Hines Ward era. In his rookie season, it didn’t take long for Lipps to show he was the next great WR for the Black and Gold, turning the first pass thrown his way into an 80-yard TD reception. He finished his 1st ever NFL game with 6 catches for an astounding 183 yards and 2 TDs. His rookie campaign ended with a trip to the Pro Bowl, and the NFL Rookie of the Year award. He didn’t slow down at all in year #2, racking up 1,134 yards and 12 TDs on his way to his second straight Pro Bowl, team MVP honors, as well as his second straight All-Pro selections. There might have been some lean years for the Steelers in the 80s, but Lipps did his part to keep the team’s offense dynamic. He finished his Steeler career with 359 receptions, for 6,019 yards and 39 TDs. A Mafia member himself, he’s almost become a regular at SCM events. Tailgates, Sit Downs, Lipps is just one of the guys and loves hanging with the fans.
A 6th round pick by the Steelers in 1993, Williams had two stints as a cornerback, first from 1993-1996, then again from 2004-2005 and has the distinction of being the only Steeler that was on the roster for both Super Bowl XXX in 1995 and Super Bowl XL in 2005. Williams teamed up with the likes of Rod Woodson, Carnell Lake and Darren Perry to help not only build a formidable pass defense in the Steel City, but was a part of one of the dominant defenses the AFC saw during the 1990s. He finished his career with 26 interceptions, 4 touchdowns and one ring from Super Bowl XL.
Another in a seemingly unending line of spectacular pass catches for the Black and Gold, Thigpen joined the Steelers in his 2nd year (after being drafted in the 4th round by the Chargers in 1991) and put up six solid seasons in the Burgh. He showed flashes of brilliance in his early years, then had a breakout year in 1995 when he his 85 receptions, 1,307 yards and 5 TDs helped him to his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections, and the Steelers to Super Bowl XXX. 1997 was his final year with the Steelers, and made the most of it with another Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections with 79 receptions and almost 1400 more yards. Thigpen finished his career with 313 receptions, over 5,000 yards, 30 TDs, and two trips to the Super Bowl.
And presenting the Mafia’s very special guest:
This 6th round selection in 2010 is the latest in the dynamic family of Steeler wide receivers. Brown is the #1 receiver today for the Black and Gold, but originally made his mark as a return man. In his first ever appearance, Brown scored on the 1st play of the game on an 89 yard reverse. He finished that first game with 128 yards on only 3 returns (2 kickoff/1 punt). In 2011 he exploded onto the scene, and became the 1st ever player in NFL history to record more than 1,000 yards receiving and returning in the same season. This past season he only picked up more steam. He broke Thigpen’s single season yardage mark for the Steelers, racking up 1,499 yards, and became the only receiver in history to record at least 5 receptions and 50 yards in every game of the season. In his short career up to this point AB already has 2 Pro Bowl appearances, 2 team MVP awards (2011, 2013), a second team All-Pro nod and played in one Super Bowl. With his 261 receptions, 3, 561 yards and 15 TDs, it’s safe to say that this is only the beginning this exciting WR, and his assault on the Steeler record books should continue for years to come.
The SCM is proud to be bringing these Steeler greats out to help them meet their fans, and there will be many other Black and Gold legends at this CSA show on Steeler Sunday. Names like Bleier, Blount, Dermontti, Bettis, Lambert and Shell will all be there as well, so it’s an obvious ‘must attend’ for all Steeler fans if at all possible.
Come to Chantilly and meet the greats, then stop by the Mafia booth and pick up some new SCM swag to take home with you. Bosses will be around all weekend hanging with the rest of Steeler Nation, signing up new members, and spreading the word of La Famiglia.
So stop on by and meet some Steeler legends, and finish it up by meeting some Mafia Bosses.
I guarantee you’ll have a GREAT weekend.
FYI – for more information on the Show including their lineup of athletes and to purchase autograph tickets, you can visit the CSA website at: