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Pittsburgh Steelers
Current season
Established 1933
Play in Heinz Field
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Steelers helmet
Pittsburgh Steelers logo
Helmet Logo
League/conference affiliations

National Football League (1933–present)

  • Eastern Division (1933–1943; 1945–1949)
  • Western Division (1944)
  • American Conference (1950–1952)
  • Eastern Conference (1953–1969)
    • Century Division (1967–1969)
  • American Football Conference (1970–present)
Current uniform
AFCN-Uniform-PIT.PNG
Team colors Black, gold, white

              

Mascot Steely McBeam
Personnel
Owner(s) The Rooney Family
Chairman Dan Rooney
President Art Rooney II
General manager Kevin Colbert
(Director of Football Operations)
Head coach Mike Tomlin
Team history
  • Pittsburgh Pirates (1933–1939)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (1940–1942)
  • Phil-Pitt "Steagles" (1943)
  • Card-Pitt (1944)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (1945–present)
Championships
League championships (6)
Conference championships (7)
Division championships (19)
Playoff appearances (25)
Home fields
Heinz Field, current home of the Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are currently a member of the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC. Pittsburgh has won more Super Bowl titles (6), won more AFC Championship Games (7) and hosted more conference championship games (10) than any other AFC or NFC team. They have played in more AFC conference championship games than any other team and are tied with the Dallas Cowboys with 14 championship game appearances in either the NFC or AFC contests. With the exception of the 1960s which featured only three Super Bowls, the Steelers have appeared in at least one Super Bowl in every decade of the contest. The Steelers won their most recent championship, Super Bowl XLIII, on February 1, 2009.

The fifth-oldest franchise in the NFL, the Steelers were founded as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933, by Art Rooney, taking its original name from the National League baseball team of the same name, as was common practice for NFL teams to do at the time.[1] The ownership of the Steelers has remained within the Rooney family since its founding.[2] The current owner is Art's son, Dan Rooney, who has given much control of the franchise to his son Art Rooney II.

The team enjoys a large, widespread fanbase nicknamed Steeler Nation[3] and currently play their home games in Heinz Field on Pittsburgh's North Side, which also hosts the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Built in 2001, the stadium replaced Three Rivers Stadium which hosted the Steelers for 31 seasons. Prior to Three Rivers, the Steelers had played their games in Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field.

Contents

Franchise history

The Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL first took to the field as the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 20, 1933, losing 23–2 to the New York Giants.[4] Through the 1930s, the Pirates never finished higher than second place in their division, or with a record better than .500 (1936).[5] Pittsburgh did make history in 1938 by signing Byron White, a future Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, to what was at the time the biggest contract in NFL history,[6] but he played only one year with the Pirates before signing with the Detroit Lions.[7] Prior to the 1940 season, the Pirates renamed themselves the Steelers.

During World War II, the Steelers experienced player shortages. They twice merged with other NFL franchises to field a team. During the 1943 season, they merged with the Philadelphia Eagles forming the "Phil-Pitt Eagles" and were known as the "Steagles." This team went 5–4–1. In 1944, they merged with the Chicago Cardinals and were known as Card-Pitt (or, mockingly, as the "Carpets").[6] This team finished 0–10, marking the only winless team in franchise history.[8]

The Steelers made the playoffs for the first time in 1947, tying for first place in the division at 8–4 with the Philadelphia Eagles. This forced a tie-breaking playoff game at Forbes Field, which the Steelers lost 21–0.[9] That would be Pittsburgh's only playoff game for 25 years, though the Steelers did qualify for a "Playoff Bowl" in 1963 as the second-best team in their conference, though not considered an official playoff.[10]

In 1970, the year they moved into Three Rivers Stadium and the year of the AFL-NFL merger, the Pittsburgh Steelers were one of three old-guard NFL teams to switch to the newly-formed American Football Conference (the others being the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Colts), in order to equalize the number of teams in the two conferences of the newly-merged league.

The Chuck Noll era

The Steelers' history of bad luck changed with the hiring of coach Chuck Noll for the 1969 season. Noll's most remarkable talent was in his draft selections, taking Hall of Famers "Mean" Joe Greene in 1969, Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount in 1970, Jack Ham in 1971, Franco Harris in 1972,[11] and finally, in 1974, pulled off the incredible feat of selecting four Hall of Famers in one draft year, Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster.[12] The Pittsburgh Steelers' 1974 draft was their best ever, and no other team has ever drafted four future Hall of Famers in one year.

The players drafted in the early '70s formed the base of an NFL dynasty, making the playoffs in eight seasons and becoming the only team in NFL history to win four Super Bowls in six years, as well as the first to win more than two. They also enjoyed a regular season streak of 49 consecutive wins (1971–79) against teams that would finish with a losing record that year.

The Steelers suffered a rash of injuries in the 1980 season and missed the playoffs with a 9–7 record. The 1981 season was no better, with an 8–8 showing. The team was then hit with the retirements of all their key players from the Super Bowl years. "Mean" Joe Greene retired after the 1981 season, Lynn Swann and Jack Ham after 1982's playoff berth, Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount after 1983's divisional championship, and Jack Lambert after 1984's AFC Championship Game appearance.

After those retirements, the franchise skidded to its first losing seasons since 1971. Though still competitive, the Steelers would not finish above .500 in 1985, 1986, and 1988. In 1987, the year of the players' strike, the Steelers finished with a record of 8–7, but missed the playoffs. In 1989, they would reach the second round of the playoffs on the strength of Merrill Hoge and Rod Woodson before narrowly missing the playoffs in each of the next two seasons.

The Bill Cowher era

In 1992, Chuck Noll retired and was succeeded by Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Bill Cowher, a native of the Pittsburgh suburb of Crafton.

Five of the Steelers' six Super Bowl rings

Cowher led the Steelers to the playoffs in each of his first six seasons, a feat that had been accomplished only by legendary coach Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns. Overall, Cowher led the Steelers to the playoffs in 10 of his 15 seasons, including an appearance in Super Bowl XXX on the strength of the "Blitzburgh" defense at the end of the 1995 season. However, the Steelers lost to the Dallas Cowboys. Cowher produced the franchise's record-tying fifth Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XL over the National Football Conference champion Seattle Seahawks ten years later. With that victory, the Steelers became the third team to win five Super Bowls, and the first sixth-seeded playoff team to reach and win the Super Bowl since the NFL expanded to a 12-team post-season tournament in 1990.

The Mike Tomlin era

On January 7, 2007, Cowher resigned from coaching the Steelers, citing a need to spend more time with his family. He did not use the term "retire," leaving open a possible return to the NFL as coach of another team. A three-man committee consisting of Art Rooney II, Dan Rooney, and Kevin Colbert was set up to conduct interviews for the head coaching vacancy.[13] The candidates interviewed included: offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, offensive line coach Russ Grimm, former offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin, and Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. On January 22, 2007, Mike Tomlin was announced as Cowher's successor as head coach. Tomlin is the first African-American to be named head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in its 75-year history. Tomlin became the third consecutive Steelers Head Coach to go to the Super Bowl, equaling the Dallas Cowboys (Tom Landry. Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer) in this achievement. He was named the Motorola 2008 Coach of the Year. On February 1, 2009, Tomlin led the Steelers to their second Super Bowl of this decade, and went on to win 27–23 against the Arizona Cardinals. At age 36, he was the youngest head coach to ever win the Super Bowl, and he is only the second African-American coach to ever win the Super Bowl (Tony Dungy was the first).

Since the NFL merger in 1970, the Pittsburgh Steelers have compiled a regular season record of 363–235–2 (.607) and an overall record of 394–253–2 (.609) including the playoffs, reached the playoffs 24 times, won their division 19 times, played in 14 AFC championship games, and won six of seven Super Bowls.

Ownership restructure

On July 7, 2008, owners of the Steelers, including Art Rooney's five sons who own 80% of the franchise,[14] looked to restructure the ownership plan of the franchise in order to comply with NFL ownership regulations.[15] Current Steelers Chairman, Dan Rooney, and his son, Art Rooney II, President of the franchise, wished to stay involved with the franchise, while two of the brothers — Timothy and Patrick — wished to further pursue racetracks that they own in Florida and New York.[16] Since 2006, many of the racetracks have added video slot machines, causing them to violate "NFL policy that prohibits involvement with racetrack and gambling interests".[17] On July 11, it was confirmed that investor Stanley Druckenmiller had been in discussion with the five Rooney brothers.[14] A Steelers fan for many years, Druckenmiller "has been known to paint his face black and gold" during games.[18] Coach Tomlin stated that the situation could become a distraction, but "I'm here to coach, they're [the players] here to play. Those questions will be answered by the Rooneys."[19] On September 18, Druckenmiller withdrew his bid to purchase the team.[20]

NFL owners unanimously approved the restructuring of ownership on December 17, 2008, with Dan & Art II getting the mandated 30% stake. Meanwhile, brothers Timothy and Patrick (the ones who own race tracks with slot machines, which violate NFL ownership rules) are selling their shares outright, while Art Jr., John, and the McGinley family selling some shares but retaining smaller ownership roles, with the brothers reducing their shares from 16% to 6% and the McGinley family reducing their shares from 20% to 10%. Also coming on as partners are Pilot Corporation & Pilot Travel Centers president Jim Haslam III (son of founder Jim Haslam Jr. and brother of Knoxville, Tennessee mayor Bill Haslam), Legendary Pictures president & CEO Thomas Tull, and the Paul family of Pittsburgh & Los Angeles (who are primarily involved with Pittsburgh-based Ampco Pittsburgh Corporation and serve on numerous boards, including UPMC and Pitt).[21] Dan Rooney mentioned he has no ill will towards Druckenmiller, mentioning he's a great Steelers fan and wishes he remains one.

The Steelers later announced on March 23, 2009 that they added three more investors to the team, the most notable of which is Hall of Fame wide receiver John Stallworth. The other two investors added were GTCR chairman Bruce V. Rauner and the Varischetti family of Brockway, Pennsylvania, which owns several nursing homes and a commercial real estate business. The deal to add all six new investors was expected to be finalized in May 2009,[22] however the Rooney brothers didn't sign off until July 20, 2009.[23] The deal was finalized September 25, 2009.[citation needed]

Season-by-season records

Through the end of the 2008 season, the Steelers have a 556–522–21 (as of February 2, 2009) all-time record, including playoffs. In recent seasons the Steelers have generally performed well, qualifying for the playoffs five times and winning trips to the Super Bowl twice in the past four seasons.

In the modern era (since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970) the Steelers have posted the best record in pro football. The franchise has won the most total games, won the most divisional titles, earned the best winning percentage (including every expansion team), earned the most All-Pro nominations and has the most Super Bowl wins (6) since the modern game started in 1970. It is 2nd overall in playoff wins and tied with the Miami Dolphins for most regular-season wins.

Logo and uniforms

The script logo.

The Steelers have used black and gold as their colors since the club's inception, the lone exception being the 1943 season when they merged with the Philadelphia Eagles and formed the "Steagles"; the team's colors at that time were green and white as a result of wearing Eagles uniforms. Originally, the team wore solid gold-colored helmets and black jerseys. Unique to Pittsburgh[citation needed], the Steelers' black and gold colors are now shared by all major professional teams in the city, including the Pittsburgh Pirates in baseball and the Pittsburgh Penguins in hockey. However, the Penguins use "Vegas Gold", a color similar to metallic gold, and the Pirates' gold is a darker mustard yellow-gold, while the Steelers "gold" is more of a bright canary yellow. Black and gold are also the colors of the city's official flag.

(1963–Present)

The Steelers logo was introduced in 1962 and is based on the "Steelmark," originally designed by Pittsburgh's U.S. Steel and now owned by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). In fact, it was Cleveland-based Republic Steel that suggested the Steelers adopt the industry logo. It consists of the word "Steelers" surrounded by three astroids (hypocycloids of four cusps). The original meanings behind the astroids were, "Steel lightens your work, brightens your leisure, and widens your world." Later, the colors came to represent the ingredients used in the steel-making process: yellow for coal, red for iron ore, and blue for scrap steel.[24] While the formal Steelmark logo contains only the word "Steel," the team was given permission to add "ers" in 1963 after a petition to AISI.

The Steelers are the only NFL team that puts its logo on only one side of the helmet (the right side). Longtime field and equipment manager Jack Hart was instructed to do this by Art Rooney as a test to see how the logo appeared on the gold helmets; however, its popularity led the team to leave it that way permanently.[25] A year after introducing the logo, they switched to black helmets to make it stand out more.

The current uniform designs were introduced in 1968. The design consists of gold pants and either black jerseys or white jerseys, except for the 1970 and 1971 seasons when the Steelers wore white pants with their white jerseys. In 1997, the team switched to rounded numbers on the jersey to match the number font (Futura Condensed) on the helmets, and a Steelers logo was added to the left side of the jersey.

The current third uniform, consisting of a black jersey with gold lettering, white pants with black and gold stripes, and a gold helmet were first used during the Steelers' 75th anniversary season in 2007. They were meant to evoke the memory of the 1963–64 era uniforms. The uniforms were so popular among fans that the Steeler organization decided to keep them and use them as a third option during home games only.

In 2008–09, the Steelers became the first team in NFL history to defeat an opponent three times in a single season using three different uniforms.[citation needed] They defeated the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh in Week 4 in their third jerseys, again Week 15 in Baltimore in their road whites, and a final time in the AFC Championship in Pittsburgh in their home black jerseys.

Mascot

Steely McBeam signing autographs for fans at Steelers training camp on August 2, 2007

Prior to the 2007 season, the Steelers introduced Steely McBeam as their official mascot.[26] As part of the 75th anniversary celebrations of the team, his name was selected from a pool of 70,000 suggestions submitted by fans of the team.[26] Diane Roles of Middlesex, Pennsylvania submitted the winning name which was "meant to represent steel for Pittsburgh's industrial heritage, "Mc" for the Rooney family's Irish roots, and Beam for the steel beams produced in Pittsburgh, as well as for Jim Beam, her husband's favorite alcoholic beverage."[27] Steely McBeam is visible at all home games and participates in the team's charitable programs and other club-sponsored events.[26] Steely's autograph is known to be drawn with an oversized 'S' and the "L" is drawn to look like a beam of steel.[26]

Rivals

The Pittsburgh Steelers have three primary rivals, all within their division: (Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and Cincinnati Bengals). They also have rivalries with other teams that arose from post-season battles in the past, most notably the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys. They also have an intrastate rivalry with the Philadelphia Eagles, but under the current scheduling rules the teams only play each other once every four years.

Divisional rivals

  • The Cleveland Browns and the Steelers have been divisional rivals since the two cities' teams began playing against each other in 1950. After posting a 9-31 record in first 40 games of the series between the two cities, the Steelers recently took over the all-time series lead for the first time ever (60–56); partly due to their dominance over the post-1999, Cleveland Browns (or "New Browns") franchise and won the last twelve straight before the Browns snapped their losing skid against them by beating them 13-6 on December 10 2009. Additionally, the Browns lost 16 straight years in Pittsburgh from 1970–1985 and posted an abysmal 5–24 record at Three Rivers Stadium overall. Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher coached the Browns special teams and secondary before being hired by Pittsburgh after his brief tenure with Kansas City, which has only served to intensify this rivalry.
  • The Baltimore Ravens and the Steelers have had several memorable match-ups and have a bitter divisional rivalry. Both teams handed the other their first losses at their current home fields. The Steelers won the inaugural game played at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium in 1998, 20–13, and three years later the Ravens handed the Steelers their first-ever loss at Heinz Field, 13–10. Later that season (2001) Pittsburgh won a divisional playoff game 27–10 against Baltimore, who was the defending Super Bowl champion. During their NFL championship season in 2000, the Ravens defeated the Steelers in Pittsburgh, 16–0, in the season opener with the Steelers later exacting revenge, 9–6, in Baltimore (the Ravens' final loss of the season). During the Steelers 2008 Championship run, they beat the Ravens three times, including a win in the AFC Championship game. The Steelers lead the series (begun in 1996), 16–10. The two teams complement each other by consistently fielding strong defenses in their division. The Steelers-Ravens Rivalry really began when Art Modell moved the his Franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore. "The Steelers saw the Ravens as Modell's team, which was reason enough to want to beat them. The Steelers also looked at Modell's move of his franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore as taking away the Steelers longest and deepest rivalry away."
  • The Cincinnati Bengals rivalry with Pittsburgh dates from the 1970 season, when the NFL-AFL merger was completed. In 1976, the Steelers kept their playoff hopes alive (they later won the division) with a late-season 7-3 win in snowy Cincinnati. One of the most memorable games was the 2005 AFC Wildcard playoff game, in which the Steelers, en route to a Super Bowl title, won a 31–17 come-from-behind victory after Bengals QB Carson Palmer was forced to leave the game with a knee injury. The knee injury happened when nose tackle Kimo von Oelhoffen fell forward into Palmer's knee. The Bengals players called this a dirty play, the NFL ruled that it was accidental and did not fine von Oelhoffen for the hit. This incident has led to an intensifying of the rivalry since this game. The Bengals beat the Steelers in week 13 of the 2005 season 38-31, and wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh used a Terrible Towel to polish his cleats while walking up the tunnel after the game, fueling the rivalry. The Steelers and Bengals finished 2005 and 2006 with identical records (11-5 and 8–8 respectively), splitting both regular-season series, the Bengals winning the tiebreaker both years due to having a superior division record. The Steelers also are responsible for ending the Bengals' season in Cincinnati two years in a row, eliminating them from the playoffs in 2005 and taking them out of contention in 2006. The Steelers lead the all-time series, 47-30.

Historic rivals

  • The rivalry between the Steelers and the Oakland Raiders was the most heated of the 1970s. The Steelers' first playoff win was a 13-7 victory over the Raiders by way of Franco Harris's Immaculate Reception on December 23, 1972. Pittsburgh was knocked out of the playoffs the following year by the Raiders, but fired back with two straight AFC Championships in 1974 and 1975 over Oakland. Oakland responded with a victory over Pittsburgh in the 1976 AFC Championship (the third consecutive AFC title game between the two teams), but not before Chuck Noll referred to Oakland's George Atkinson as part of the NFL's "criminal element" after his cheap-shot on Lynn Swann during a regular-season matchup. Atkinson and the Raiders later filed a defamation of character lawsuit against Noll, but lost. While the rivalry has dissipated over the years (mostly due to Oakland's decline in recent seasons), the teams have had notable games against each other including an upset Steelers victory towards the end of the 2000 season to prevent the Raiders from obtaining homefield advantage in the playoffs, and an upset Raiders victory in week #8 of the 2006 NFL season (20-13), which helped cost the Steelers a playoff berth. The teams' most recent meeting was at Pittsburgh in 2009, the Raiders upset the heavily favored Steelers 27 to 24. The Raiders lead the all-time series, 13-11.
  • The rivalry between the Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys started with the Cowboys' first game as a franchise in 1960 (against the Steelers) at the Cotton Bowl with the Steelers coming away with a 35-28 victory. These teams hold a record for the most times (three) that two teams have met in a Super Bowl. The first two times the Steelers and Cowboys met came with Pittsburgh victories in Super Bowl X and Super Bowl XIII. Between the Cowboys and Steelers, Super Bowl XIII had the highest number of future hall of famers participating, which as of 2008 numbered 20 - 14 players and 6 coaches/front office, including Ernie Stautner, defensive coordinator for the Cowboys who was a HOF defensive tackle for the Steelers. The teams featured an all-star matchup at quarterback between the Steelers' Terry Bradshaw and the Cowboys' Roger Staubach, both of whom are in the Hall of Fame. In 1977, Staubach and the Cowboys went on to win Super Bowl XII, their second and last loss of that season being inflicted by Bradshaw and the Steelers, 28-13 at Three Rivers Stadium in November. In 1979, Staubach's final season, the two defending conference champs met again at Three Rivers, the Steelers winning 14-3 en route to winning their fourth Super Bowl title. The Steelers won six of eight meetings during the 1970s and 80s, before the Cowboys won all four meetings during the 1990s, including the teams' record third Super Bowl meeting in 1996, as this time the heavily-favored Cowboys beat the Steelers 27-17. Dallas cornerback Larry Brown intercepted Pittsburgh quarterback Neil O'Donnell twice and was named the game's MVP. The teams' first two meetings of the 21st century (2004 and 2008) were won by the Steelers, including a come from behind victory December 7 in Pittsburgh, when the Steelers drove the length of the field to tie the game 13-13, then cornerback Deshea Townsend returned an intercepted pass from Tony Romo for the game's final score, Steelers 20, Cowboys 13. The all-time series is tied, 15-15. The Pittsburgh/Dallas rivalry served as a backdrop to the 1977 film Black Sunday, parts of which were filmed during Super Bowl X.
  • The Denver Broncos are tied with the Oakland Raiders for the most playoff meetings versus the Steelers—six. The rivalry dates from 1970, but the first notable contest came in 1973, when Denver dealt Pittsburgh its first regular-season defeat at Three Rivers Stadium, 23-13. The following year, they met in the NFL's first regular-season overtime game, which ironically ended in a tie. Denver's first playoff game had them hosting the Steelers in the 1977 divisional round; the Broncos won 34-21. The following year, the Steelers hosted and defeated Denver 33-10 in the divisional round. Their next playoff matchup was the 1984 divisional round in Mile High Stadium; the Steelers pulled the upset 24-17. They nearly pulled the upset again 5 years later in Denver, but the Broncos prevailed in the divisional playoff, 24-23. In 1997, they met in Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship Game, where Denver squeaked out at 24-21 win. Eight years later, the Steelers went to the Super Bowl by beating Denver 34-17 in Colorado. As of December 2009, Denver holds a 16-10-1 lead in the series, including 3-3 in the playoffs. Neither team has beaten the other more than 3 times in a row.
  • The rivalry between the Steelers and the New England Patriots emerged when the Patriots upset the Steelers in the 2001 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh did not exact revenge for the loss until ending the Patriots record-setting 21-game winning streak in week #6 of the 2004 NFL season. Later that season, the Steelers lost to the eventual champion Patriots in the AFC Championship game after a 15-1 season. The two also had a brief rivalry in the mid 1990s when the Steelers and Patriots split playoff meetings in 1996 and 1997, in which the Patriots had two young stars with Pittsburgh-area roots in Ty Law and Curtis Martin. Martin played his last game as a Patriot against the Steelers in the second playoff game before signing with the rival New York Jets during the offseason, where he became more well known. The Patriots won 6 of 7 meetings over a ten year period (1998-2007) before the Steelers broke through with a 33-10 victory at Foxborough in 2008, after Matt Cassel had turned the ball over 5 times. The Steelers lead the all-time series, 14-10.

Fanbase

The Steelers have a tradition of having a large fanbase, which has spread from Pittsburgh. In August 2008, ESPN.com ranked the Steelers' fans as the best in the NFL, citing their "unbelievable" sellout streak of 299 consecutive games.[3][28] The team gained a large fan base nationally based on its success in the 1970s, but many consider the collapse of the city's steel industry at the end of the '70s dynasty into the 1980s (and the resulting diaspora) to be a large catalyst for the size of the fan base in other cities.[citation needed] The Steelers have sold out every home game since the 1972 season.[29]

A staple of Steelers fandom, the Terrible Towel, is "arguably the best-known fan symbol of any major pro sports team".[29] Invented by broadcaster Myron Cope in 1975,[29] the towel's rights have since been given to the Allegheny Valley School in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, which cares for over 900 people with mental retardation and physical disabilities, including Cope's autistic son.[30] Since 1996, proceeds from the Terrible Towel have helped raise more than $2.5 million for the school.[30]

Statistics

Players

Current roster

Pittsburgh Steelers roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists
  • Currently vacant


Unrestricted FAs

Restricted FAs


Rookies in italics
Roster updated March 16, 2010
Depth ChartTransactions

63 Active, 0 Inactive, 5 FAs

More rosters

Pro Football Hall of Famers

The Steelers are unique in the NFL with not only the third most "primary" Hall of Famers but also have the most of any franchise founded on or after 1933, the only franchise with three members of ownership in the Hall and the only player to be inducted in both the pro-football hall of fame and the baseball hall of fame.

The following list was taken from the Pro Football Hall of Fame's official website:[31]

Inductees

Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famers
Name Position Year Inducted
Bell, BertBert Bell[32] Co-owner 1963
Blount, MelMel Blount[33] CB 1989
Bradshaw, TerryTerry Bradshaw[34] QB 1989
Dawson, LenLen Dawson[35] QB 1987
Dudley, BillBill Dudley[36] RB / DB 1966
Greene, Joe"Mean" Joe Greene[37] DT 1987
Ham, JackJack Ham[38] LB 1988
Harris, FrancoFranco Harris[39] RB 1990
Hubbard, CalRobert "Cal" Hubbard[40] T 1963
Johnson, John HenryJohn Henry Johnson[41] RB 1987
Kiesling, WaltWalt Kiesling[42] G / Head Coach 1966
Lambert, JackJack Lambert[43] LB 1990
Layne, BobbyBobby Layne[44] QB 1967
LeBeau, DickDick LeBeau* Asst. coach 2010
McNally, JohnJohnny "Blood" McNally[45] RB 1963
Motley, MarionMarion Motley[46] FB 1968
Noll, ChuckChuck Noll[47] Head Coach 1993
Rooney, ArtArt Rooney[48] Founder / Owner 1964
Rooney, DanDan Rooney[49] Executive / Owner 2000
Stallworth, JohnJohn Stallworth[50] WR 2002
Stautner, ErnieErnie Stautner[51] DT 1969
Swann, LynnLynn Swann[52] WR 2001
Webster, MikeMike Webster[53] C 1997
Woodson, RodRod Woodson[54] S/CB 2009
  • Note: Despite LeBeau's accomplishments as a defensive coordinator with the Steelers as well as an innovator of the zone blitz, he was nominated primarily due to his 14-year playing career with the Detroit Lions, as he was still actively coaching at the time and thus ineligible to be inducted as a coach.

Award recipients

Former Steelers in the Hall for contributions elsewhere

  • Former Steelers QB Jim Finks, as an administrator with the Vikings, Bears and Saints.

Retired numbers

Super Bowl MVPs

The following Steelers players have been named Super Bowl MVP:

All-time team

As determined by a fan vote in 2007:[56]

Offense
Quarterback - Terry Bradshaw (19701983)
Running back - Jerome Bettis (19962005)
Running back - Rocky Bleier (1968, 19701980)
Running back - Franco Harris (1972–1983)
Tight end - Bennie Cunningham (19761985)
Tight end - Elbie Nickel (19471957)
Wide receiver - John Stallworth (19741987)
Wide receiver - Lynn Swann (1974–1982)
Wide receiver - Hines Ward (1998present)
Tight end/Tackle - Larry Brown (19711984)
Center - Dermontti Dawson (19882000)
Guard - Alan Faneca (1998–2007)
Tackle - Tunch Ilkin (1980–1992)
Tackle - Jon Kolb (19691981)
Center - Mike Webster (1974–1988)†

Defense
Tackle - "Mean" Joe Greene (1969–1981)
End - L. C. Greenwood (1969–1981)
Tackle - Casey Hampton (2001present)
Tackle - Ernie Stautner (19501963)†
End - Dwight White (1971–1980)†
Linebacker - Jack Ham (1971–1982)
Linebacker - Jack Lambert (1974–1984)
Linebacker - Greg Lloyd (1988–1997)
Linebacker - Joey Porter (19992006)
Linebacker - Andy Russell (1963, 19661976)
Linebacker - James Harrison (2002present)
Back - Mel Blount (1970–1983)
Back - Jack Butler (19511959)
Back - Carnell Lake (1989–1998)
Back - Troy Polamalu (2003present)
Back - Donnie Shell (1974–1987)
Back - Rod Woodson (1987–1996)
Specialists
Kicker - Gary Anderson (1982-1994)
Punter - Bobby Walden (1968-1977)

Pro Football Hall of Famer

Italics - Entire career spent with the Steelers

Coaches

The Steelers have had sixteen coaches through their history. Their first coach was Forrest Douds, who coached them to a 3-6-2 record in 1933. Chuck Noll had the longest term as head coach with the Steelers; he is one of only four coaches to coach a single NFL team for 23 years.[1] Hired prior to the 2007 season, the Steelers current coach is Mike Tomlin.[57]

Current staff

Pittsburgh Steelers staff
Front Office
  • Chairman – Dan Rooney
  • President – Art Rooney II
  • Vice President – Art Rooney, Jr.
  • Director of Football Operations – Kevin Colbert
  • Business and Football Administration Coordinator – Omar Khan
  • Pro Scouting Coordinator – Brandon Hunt
  • College Scouting Coordinator – Ron Hughes

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

 

Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

  • Special Teams – Al Everest
  • Assistant Special Teams – Amos Jones

Strength and Conditioning

  • Conditioning Coordinator – Garrett Giemont


Coaching Staff
Management
More NFL staffs

Media

As of 2006, the Steelers' flagship radio stations were WDVE 102.5 FM and WBGG 970 AM. Both stations are owned by Clear Channel Communications. Games are also available on 51 radio stations in Pennsylvania, Western Maryland, Ohio, and Northern West Virginia.[58] The announcers are Bill Hillgrove and Tunch Ilkin. Craig Wolfley is the sideline reporter. Myron Cope, the longtime color analyst and inventor of the "Terrible Towel", retired after the 2004 season, and died in 2008.

Pre-season games not shown on one of the national broadcasters are seen on CBS O&O KDKA-TV, channel 2; sister CW O&O WPCW, channel 19; and FSN Pittsburgh. KDKA-TV's Bob Pompeani and former Steelers lineman Edmund Nelson do the announcing for the pre-season games, as well as the two hosting the pre-game program Steelers Kickoff during the regular season prior to the national airing of The NFL Today. The two also host the Steelers Postgame Extra following the game on days when CBS doesn't have that week's NFL doubleheader. Coach Mike Tomlin's weekly press conference is shown live on FSN Pittsburgh.

National NFL Network broadcasts are shown locally on either KDKA-TV or WPCW, while national ESPN broadcasts are shown locally on WTAE, channel 4. By virtue of being members of the AFC, most of the Steelers' games air on CBS except for home games against NFC opponents, which air locally on WPGH-TV, which is a Fox affiliate.

The team announced a one-year agreement with Mexico City radio station XHM-FM to bring Steelers games in Spanish on the radio in Mexico. The Steelers are only the third NFL team with a Spanish radio affiliate in Mexico.[59]

Figures with broadcasting resumés

The Steelers franchise has a rich history of producing well-known sportscasters over the years. The most famous of these is probably Myron Cope, who served as a Steelers radio color commentator for 35 seasons (19702004).

Several former Steelers players have gone on to careers in media after completing their playing careers.

Newspaper

The Steelers Digest is the only official newspaper for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It has been published for 22 years and is currently published by Dolphin/Curtis Publishing in Miami, FL, which also handles several other publications. The newspaper is very widely acknowledged by Steelers fans. Issues are mailed out to paying subscribers weekly through the season after every regular season game and continues through playoffs as long as the Steelers do. After a Super Bowl victory, a bonus issue is published, which is followed by a draft preview, draft recap, and training camp edition every other month, then leading into the pre-season. There are typically 24 issues of the paper within a publishing year. The newspaper is listed on the official Steelers.com page.

References

  1. ^ a b "Steelers history". PittsburghSteelers.com. http://news.steelers.com/MediaContent/2007/08/22/05/Steelers_History_80311.pdf. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  2. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=2897545&type=story
  3. ^ a b Mosley, Matt (2008-08-29). "NFL's best fans? We gotta hand it to Steelers (barely)". ESPN.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/preview08/columns/story?id=3530077. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  4. ^ Team - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  5. ^ http://www.nfl.com/history/teams/PIT
  6. ^ a b Official site of the Pittsburgh Steelers - Team History
  7. ^ :The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals:
  8. ^ World War II Steagles to be honored at tonight's game - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
  9. ^ Pittsburgh Steelers Team Encyclopedia - Pro-Football-Reference.com
  10. ^ The Playoff Bowl (Bert Bell Benefit Bowl)
  11. ^ Pittsburgh Steelers Draft History, Stats and more on databaseFootball.com
  12. ^ History: 1974 Draft - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  13. ^ Official site of the Pittsburgh Steelers - Article
  14. ^ a b Fitzpatrick, Dan (2008-07-11). "Investor confirms talks with 5 Rooneys". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08193/896345-66.stm. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  15. ^ "Steelers Ownership Transition". PittsburghSteelers.com. 2008-07-07. http://news.steelers.com/article/91693/. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  16. ^ "Rooneys look to restructure Steelers ownership". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2008-07-07. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08189/895371-66.stm. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  17. ^ Dulac, Gerry (2008-07-08). "Steelers ownership in turmoil". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08190/895506-66.stm. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  18. ^ Fitzpatrick, Dan (2008-07-09). "Steelers suitor Druckenmiller 'loves Pittsburgh'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08191/895721-66.stm. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  19. ^ Bouchette, Ed (2008-07-23). "Tomlin says ownership situation a potential distraction". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08205/898936-66.stm?cmpid=sports.xml. Retrieved 2008-07-24. 
  20. ^ Dulac, Gerry (2008-09-18). "Druckenmiller withdraws name from Steelers sale". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08262/913323-66.stm?cmpid=sports.xml. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  21. ^ ESPN - NFL approves Rooney's ownership plan
  22. ^ http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AnCHXOoh_QSmDb4Q_AypqItDubYF?slug=ap-steelers-ownership&prov=ap&type=lgns
  23. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09204/985831-66.stm
  24. ^ AISI | The Story Behind the Pittsburgh Steelers Logo
  25. ^ Official site of the Pittsburgh Steelers - Logo History
  26. ^ a b c d Dvorchak, Robert (2007-08-09). "Catching up with their competitors, the Steelers christen a mascot". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07221/808167-66.stm. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  27. ^ Byko, Maureen (2007-08-19). "Middlesex grandmother won Steelers 'Name the Mascot' contest". http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07231/810067-54.stm. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  28. ^ "ESPN ranks Steelers fans No. 1". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 2008-08-30. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_585606.html?source=rss&feed=3. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  29. ^ a b c Associated Press (2008-02-28). "Steelers' former radio announcer Myron Cope dies at 79". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/steelers/2008-02-27-cope-obit_N.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  30. ^ a b "Allegheny Valley School Mourns the Loss of Myron Cope". Allegheny Valley School. 2008-02-27. http://www.avs.net/terribletowel.cfm. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
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  41. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  42. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  43. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  44. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  45. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  46. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  47. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  48. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  49. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  50. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  51. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  52. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  53. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Fame
  54. ^ Member - Pro Football Hall of Famer
  55. ^ "Ernie Stautner Biography". PittsburghSteelers.com. http://media3.steelers.com/article/62906/. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
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  58. ^ Official site of the Pittsburgh Steelers - Broadcasts
  59. ^ http://news.steelers.com/article/106249/

External links

Wiki

Pittsburgh Steelers Wiki, an external wiki

Achievements
Preceded by
Miami Dolphins
1972 and 1973
Super Bowl Champions
Pittsburgh Steelers

1974 and 1975
Succeeded by
Oakland Raiders
1976
Preceded by
Dallas Cowboys
1977
Super Bowl Champions
Pittsburgh Steelers

1978 and 1979
Succeeded by
Oakland Raiders
1980
Preceded by
New England Patriots
2003 and 2004
Super Bowl Champions
Pittsburgh Steelers

2005
Succeeded by
Indianapolis Colts
2006
Preceded by
New York Giants
2007
Super Bowl Champions
Pittsburgh Steelers

2008
Succeeded by
New Orleans Saints
2009







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