Critical Acclaim for "The Play"

Rocky Bleier in The Play

“Bleier rose to the occasion — he hit it out of the park, to jump-cut to another sport.”

“In the Super Bowl end zone, it was Lynn Swann picking him up and other star teammates congratulating him. On Tuesday night, Rocky Bleier was the star, carried off stage by a hero's standing ovation.”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

“‘The Play’ is at times solemn, at times amusing, but is always an entertaining and insightful look at the man behind the number 20 on his jersey.”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

“[…] it’s difficult to imagine a more engaging, comfortable presence than Bleier’s. The evening is very much like hanging out at your favorite bar, while one of the locals spins out several entertaining yarns about his life.”

“[Playwright] Gene Collier […] has crafted a script informed with a refreshing intelligence, non-linear structure and welcomed restraint.”
Pittsburgh City Paper

“The son of a bar owner from Appleton, Wis., who went on to be a Notre Dame football captain, a Vietnam wounded warrior and a 1,000-yard rusher during the Steelers’ 1970s dynasty years, has enough stories for several lifetimes, actually, and certainly enough to fill 90 compelling minutes.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“As well-wishers, friends and family of the star settled in their seats, Mr. Bleier made his entrance from an upstage door and invited everyone to listen to tales of a life lived large. Starting in a set meant to recall his family’s bar and home in Appleton, Wis., to a circa 1970s Pittsburgh bar […] the former Steeler talked with humor and heart of the random acts that have shaped his life.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“This is a man who was drafted into the Army a year after he was draft by the Steelers. He survived a horrific injury in Vietnam that should have left him unable to walk. He endured the pain of rehab to not only return as a pro football player, but to help the Steelers win four Super Bowl rings.”
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review