Authored by Mark Peters in American Football
Published on 12-23-2008
One of the oldest franchises in professional football, the Pittsburgh Steelers are also one of the most successful. It hasn’t always been that way though, early in the team’s existence they were quite often the doormat of the league. One thing that has set the Steelers apart from their competitors in the National Football League is that they are one of the last franchises around to still be owned by the original family that founded it. The Rooney family has put their heart and soul into the Steelers and though it took awhile to payoff, it finally did so in the 1970s when they would win four Super Bowls in six years. Despite occasional downturns in productivity, since then the Steelers have remained a team that has regularly placed high in the standings at seasons end.
Here are five things you may not know about the Pittsburgh Steelers.
1. The Pittsburgh Steelers were longtime members of the NFL in 1970 at the time of the AFL-NFL merger. In a move necessary to balance out the two conferences, the Steelers were one of three NFL teams that joined the incoming AFL teams in forming the AFC. This makes the Steelers the oldest franchise in the American Football Conference.
2. Though he never played in a game for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ed O’Neill who would become famous as Al Bundy of the hit Fox sitcom Married With Children, was signed by the team in 1969.
3. From 1972 to 1976, a span of five years, the Pittsburgh Steelers had four players win the Defensive Player of the Year Award. Joe Greene won it twice and Mel Blount and Jack Lambert each one the award one time.
4. The Pittsburgh Steelers are the only team in the NFL that has their logo visible on just one side of the football helmets. Though it seems hard to picture it now, the 1962 season was the only year that the Steelers had their current logo printed on gold helmets.
5. The first and second half of the Pittsburgh Steelers first 71 years as a team tell two entirely different stories as far as stability in the head coaching position was considered. The first 35 years saw Pittsburgh go through 14 different head coaches, in the next 36 years they would only have two (Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher).Rod
Though their time early in the league was sometimes not nearly as successful as both fans and ownership would have hoped for, the patience paid off as the Pittsburgh Steelers have developed into the kind of franchise both could be proud of. The Steelers have proven year in and year out that they are the type of team that cannot be overlooked. From Terry Bradshaw, to Rod Woodson, to Hines Ward, many of the great players that have worn the black and gold of the Pittsburgh Steelers have gone on to great fame. The simple truth is that no matter what changes happen each offseason, when fall rolls around the Pittsburgh Steelers will be in the mix.