Saints’ Seattle layover brings back a bad memory for the Steelers

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Hopefully, Drew Brees stayed away from any punching bags last night.

In response to the news that the Saints were stuck in Seattle by plane trouble after Monday night’s 34-7 drubbing, a league source provided a reminder that, 32 years ago, a similar situation resulted in a broken arm for former Steelers quarterback Cliff Stoudt.

After a 24-21 loss to Seattle on November 8, 1981, the Steelers were stuck in Seattle for Sunday night.  So Stoudt, a backup, ended up at a bar.  One thing led to another, and Stoudt punched the bag and broke a bone in his forearm.

Stoudt was done for the year, blowing a chance to take over the starting job after Terry Bradshaw suffered an injury a month later.  (In that same game in Seattle, Bradshaw threw a 90-yard touchdown pass to third-string quarterback Mark Malone, who was pulling double duty as a wideout.)

As explained by the Associated Press at the time, Stoudt actually grazed the bag and struck a pole, shattering his ulna.

“It’s not a ‘ha-ha‘ situation,” former Steelers coach Chuck Noll said at the time.  “You don’t know how bones mend.  Maybe he’ll be a full-time radio announcer.”  (Stoudt, who had a part-time radio show in 1981, returned in 1982, became the starter in 1983, and then defected to the USFL in 1984.)

So, hopefully, Brees stayed away from any local bars.  Or any punching bags.  Or if he couldn’t resist the temptation to punch a bag, here’s hoping he had better aim than Stoudt.