Episode 157 (01/05/19) – Featuring Rocky Bleier

Rocky Bleier Fights Back…Again….Why the Game and the Battle Will NEVER Be Over for The War Hero-Turned-Steeler Legend

Anybody who has listened to “The Raja Show” for any length of time knows the importance that Raja puts on stories, be it the story of a successful individual or business that can serve as a model of education or inspiration for others, or a “war story” from his business career he uses to illustrate a greater point about how to be successful.

True to form, on this episode, our guest boasts one of the most inspirational stories (both individual AND war) most any of us have ever heard….not just in football….not just in sports…..but in life.  And it’s one that just about anybody that has grown up in Western Pennsylvania, especially those who root for the Black and Gold on Sundays…..seems like both groups are one and the same, right?…..knows by heart.

-Wisconsin born and bred

-Team Captain and National Champion at Notre Dame

-Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers

-Drafted again after his rookie season….this time to serve in the U.S. Army in Vietnam

-Wounded by an enemy attack three months into his term of service, injuring both of legs to the point where he was told by doctors that he’d never play football again

-Fought back after a year of surgeries to rejoin the Steelers

-Became one of the star performers and team leaders during their “Super Steelers” run of four Super Bowl titles in the 1970′s,

It’s a story that, of course, belongs to Rocky Bleier, and one that was documented in one of the seminal autobiographies penned by an athlete in any sport, his 1975 book “Fighting Back”.  Hailed by critics at the time, it was turned into a successful made-for-TV movie five years later, with Robert Ulrich playing The Rock.

That telling of his story has defined him for over 40 years, but that IS a long time, and things HAVE changed.  A return visit to Vietnam has given him an added perspective on his own experiences.  Changes in both the health and social considerations of the game to which  he has devoted much of his professional life to have given him a fresh set of eyes on that as well.   As is the case with his former team as well, his friendship with Alejandro Villenueva, another Army vet-turned-Steeler has proven to be a special, “full-circle” bond in his life in 2018.

All of these things have spurred Rocky to re-release his autobiography, adding new chapters detailing his experiences some in the 40 years since “Fighting Back” was released.  Here, Rocky joins Raja to tell his story, and discuss why RE-telling his story is just as important as telling it the first time around.

Listen to Raja’s interview with Rocky here.