PITTSBURGH (TNS) - Long before donning his signature straw hat, the one that makes him easy to spot on the field at Steelers practice, Matt Canada was 20 years old, hitting the books as a regular college student, toiling away in business school but still with a football itch to scratch.
As a two-year starting quarterback and double-figure basketball scorer in the Indianapolis area in the late 1980s, Canada had some connections and acquaintances on the Indiana football team in Bloomington, but no spot on the roster. Walking on might have been an option, or he could've continued his playing career at a lower level, but an injury hampered him in his senior season at New Palestine High School. Maybe it was a knee, maybe it was his back, but by 1992 it didn't really matter. Canada was missing the game.