Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Renegade: A brief history

I realized that when I mention "Renegade" in my game recaps, some people might not know exactly what I'm talking about. So here, in relatively brief form, is the lore surrounding Renegade and the Steelers.

The magic began January 5, 2002 during a playoff game against Cleveland. The Browns held a 17-7 halftime lead and stretched it out to 24-7 just after halftime. The Steelers were lagging. The offense was stagnant, as their only points had come on a Randle El punt return for a TD. The offense stalled again and had to punt. During the commercial break, the guys at Jumbotron control made a choice that forever changed Steelers history.

As the slow, melodic intro echoed out across the depressed fans, everyone got the sense of failure. Even the music controller had given up. 45 seconds later, the world changed. The scream in the song woke everyone up and the stadium started rocking. The crowd was back in the game, and the team responded. They stopped the Browns, then Tommy Maddox lead a 66-yard drive to paydirt to cut the lead to 24-14. The Steelers ousted the Browns 22-9 in the 4th quarter, capped off by a Touchdown run by Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala and Randle El to Tuman pass for the 2-point conversion.

The Steelers would go on to get screwed out of a win in Tennessee the next week. But the lore of Renegade was stuck.

Now, during the third quarter of every Steelers home game, a video compilation of defensive plays gets shown with the utter rocking of Renegade in the background.

As a recent addition to the lore, in the game against Baltimore earlier this year, after Renegade was played James Harrison sacked Joe Flacco on the first play from scrimage and forced a fumble that LaMarr Woodley returned for a touchdown.

The song works. Teams have yet to score this year on the drive after Renegade is played.

In the latest evolution, the version from the Chargers game, which I must say is the best Renegade compilation to date:

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