Films Encore: Behind the Beard

Pittsburgh Steelers, TCIPF Staff

Editor’s Note:  Every week NFL Films Presents brings you the stories of the men and moments of the NFL.  Here’s a look back at producer John Weiss’s recent feature on Brett “The Diesel” Keisel (see video below) as well as John’s first person account of the making of the short film.   

As a Pittsburgh native and lifelong Steelers fan, I’m always looking for interesting stories to tell about my favorite team.  The latest was one of the most fun for me – the “legend” of Brett Keisel and “Da Beard.”  Since Brett’s an avid outdoorsman, and a self-proclaimed “mountain man from Wyoming”, we wanted to shoot him in a setting befitting his personality and Grizzly Adams look.  When Brett planned a fishing trip last May, he invited us to come along.

The biggest risk involved with shooting a player fishing is that, no matter how long you wait, you may not see him catch a fish.  That definitely wasn’t the case with this shoot.  HomeWaters in Spruce Creek, Pennsylvania is known as one of the top trout fishing spots in the country.  And it certainly didn’t disappoint.  In the couple hours we shot Brett fly fishing, he must have caught over a dozen trout, each bigger than the last.  In fact, at one point our cameraman, Jim Barry, wanted to simply get shots of Brett repeatedly casting his line.  But every time he cast, he seemed to catch another trout. We finally had to ask Brett to take the “fly” off his line, so the fish wouldn’t bite each time he cast.

Keisel certainly knows how to reel in the big one. The last couple years, he has not only caught a lot of fish, but a lot of attention. And who would’ve known that something as simple as a beard would be hook.


New episodes of NFL Films Presents air every week at the following times (all Eastern).

ESPN2: Tuesdays at 2am & Wednesdays 2:30pm

NFL Network: Fridays at 4:30pm & Saturdays at 1:30pm

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