From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Year founded: 1933|
|Team colors||Black and Gold|
|Head Coach||Mike Tomlin|
|General manager||Kevin Colbert|
National Football League (1933–present)
|League Championships (5)|
|Conference Championships (6)|
|Division Championships (17)|
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Northern Division of the American Football Conference (AFC), in the National Football League (NFL). The Steelers are the oldest and most championed franchise in the AFC. The team has appeared in six Super Bowls and is, along with the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys, one of three teams to have won the Super Bowl five times. They have appeared in thirteen Conference Championship Games, and have hosted more conference championship games than any other NFL franchise. They are the only team in NFL playoff history to win a Super Bowl after being seeded sixth in the playoffs, winning three consecutive games on the road followed by a Super Bowl XL victory in Detroit on February 5, 2006 against the Seattle Seahawks.
Originally named the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team, along with the Philadelphia Eagles and the now-defunct Cincinnati Reds football team, joined the NFL as 1933 expansion teams, after Art Rooney, Sr. paid a $2,500 fee. However the Steelers are the heirs to the first ever pro-football team, Pittsburgh being the city to host the world's first pro game in the 1890s, a franchise that fell victim to the strict state blue laws preventing any activity during the sabbath (NFL Sundays) up until 1933. The team was renamed the Steelers in 1940 after the city's prominent steel industry to reflect the "blue-collar worker" ethic of the many Pittsburgh fans as well as to avoid confusion with the major league baseball team with the same name.
 Franchise history
- For more details on this topic, see History of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (Pirates) first took to the field on September 20, 1933, losing 23-2 to the New York Giants. Through the 1930s the Pirates never finished higher than second place in their division, or with a record better than .500 (1936). 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, but he only played one year with the Pirates before signing with the Detroit Lions.
During World War II, the Steelers experienced player shortages. They twice merged with other NFL franchises in order 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" and derisively known as the "Car-Pitts" or "Carpets", as they finished the season winless.
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. That would be Pittsburgh's last 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.
Their luck changed with the hiring of coach Chuck Noll. 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, and finally, in 1974 pulled off the incredible feat of selecting four Hall of Famers in one draft year, Mike Webster, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth and Jack Lambert. The Pittsburgh Steelers' 1974 draft has gone down in NFL history as the best ever, considering no other team has ever drafted four future Hall of Famers in one year. The players drafted in the early 70's formed the base of one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history, making the playoffs 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.
The Steelers suffered a rash of injuries in the 1980 season and missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record. 1981 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 their first losing seasons since 1971. Though still competitive the Steelers would not finish above .500 in 1985, 1986 and 1988. In the strike year of 1987,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 each of the next two seasons.
Cowher led the Steelers to the playoffs in each of his first six seasons as coach, a feat that had only previously been accomplished by legendary coach Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns. Overall, Cowher lead the Steelers to the playoffs in 10 of his 15 seasons, including appearances in Super Bowl XXX in at the end of the 1995 season, and 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 their Super Bowl XL 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 postseason tournament in 1990.
Cowher resigned from coaching the Steelers on January 5, 2007, 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. 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. 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 74-year history.
Since the NFL merger in 1970, the Pittsburgh Steelers have compiled an overall record of 333-217-2, reached the playoffs 22 times, won their division 17 times, played in 13 AFC Championship Games, and won 5 Super Bowls.
The team's current divisional rivals consist of the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Cleveland Browns. What was once a brutal rivalry with Cleveland has now been dominated by the Steelers as of late. Since their rebirth in 1999 the Browns have only beat the Steelers 3 times in 17 contests, the last one coming early in the 2003 season. In 2006, the Steelers evened the all-time record versus the Browns, 55-55. Other rivals in Steelers franchise history include the Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, and most recently, the New England Patriots.
 Logo and uniforms
For the 1934 season, when they were still the Pirates, they wore uniforms with vertical black and white stripes from neck to toe. Players looked like inmates and were ridiculed throughout the season as such. The uniforms were retired after that year.
The Steelers have used black and gold as their basic colors since the club's inception (excluding the 1943 season when they merged with the Philadelphia Eagles and formed the "Steagles"; the team's colors were green and white as a result of wearing the Eagles uniforms). Originally, the team wore solid gold helmets and black jerseys. Unique to Pittsburgh, the Steelers' colors are shared by other professional teams in the city; the Pittsburgh Pirates in baseball and the Pittsburgh Penguins in hockey, (also the colors of the flag for the City of Pittsburgh) making it the official team colors of every professional sports team in the city.
The Steelers logo was then introduced in late 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 an ironic twist, 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" and later the colors came to represent the ingredients of steel, the yellow representing coal; the orange, ore; and the blue, steel scrap.  While the "Steelmark" logo only contains the word "Steel", the Steelers were given special permission to add "-ers" in 1963 after a petition against AISI.
The Steelers are the only NFL team that puts their 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. At first, it was a test to see how the logo appeared on their gold helmets, but its popularity led the team to leave it that way permanently.  A year after introducing the logo, they switched to black helmets to make it stand out more.
Another distinctive feature of the helmets is that the players number appears on both the front and back of the helmets. The Steelers are only one of two teams in the NFL to do so. The numbers traditionally do not appear on the helmet fronts during the exhibition season.
The Steelers have had the same basic look for their uniforms since 1936 (save for during the 1967 season when the team experimented with a "triangle" theme), and started to use the current uniform design 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. The helmet is solid black with a gold central stripe and small white uniform numbers on the forehead. 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 patch was added to the left side of the jersey.
 Franchise traditions
 The "Terrible Towel"
- For more details on this topic, see Terrible Towel.
The "Terrible Towel" is a gimmick created by Pittsburgh broadcaster Myron Cope for the Steelers. Needing a way to excite the fans during a 1975 playoff game against the Baltimore Colts, Cope urged fans to take gold dish towels to the game and wave them throughout. The Steelers beat the Colts 28-10, and the Terrible Towel was born. By the time the Steelers made it to Super Bowl X against the Dallas Cowboys, the craze had caught fire and the majority of Steelers fans waved Towels of their own. Since 1996, all of the proceeds from each Towel sold are donated to the Allegheny Valley School, a Pittsburgh school for the mentally disabled.
 Training camp
The Steelers have conducted summer training camp at nearby Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania every season since 1967. Before this, they conducted them at South Allegheny County Park and Duquesne University.
 Cheerleaders and Mascot
The Pittsburgh Steelers made NFL history by having the first cheerleading squad for a professional team in 1961. The then-director of Steelers entertainment, Mr. William Day, was also the vice president of Robert Morris Junior College (now Robert Morris University) in Moon Township, Pa., decided to use women from the school as cheerleaders for the Steelers. They were known as the Steelerettes.
In 1969, the Robert Morris women cheered their final season. With Robert Morris now having its own football team, interest in the Steelers on campus had dwindled.
Now, the team that began the tradition of sideline cheerleaders in the NFL does not have its own squad. In fact, according to an About.com article, the Rooney family believes cheerleaders are pointless and are just blocking the spectator's view.
 Steelers in popular culture
The Steelers have been immortalized by film, television and print. The Steel Curtain teams of the 1970s dynasty had many big-screen moments, including the 1977 John Frankenheimer thriller Black Sunday. A year later, it was Warren Beatty playing the prelude to the Steelers fourth championship in 1978's Heaven Can Wait, and then a team cameo in the 1980 Burt Reynolds film Smokey and the Bandit II. In more recent times Adam Sandler's 1998 film The Waterboy featured a few Steeler greats as well as Coach Cowher arguing with real-life rival and former Cowboy and Dolphin head coach Jimmy Johnson. Sandler, a Steelers fan, also made Paul Crewe a former Steelers quarterback in his remake of The Longest Yard. In 2002, the independent film Icarus of Pittsburgh by Evan Mather delved into the world of a 70's Steeler fan.
Major celebrities from all ends of the industry, rapper Snoop Dogg, comedian Dennis Miller, rock singer Bret Michaels, actor Michael Keaton, political pundit Rush Limbaugh and country singer Hank Williams, Jr. are widely known to be avid Steelers fans. All have been seen in a number of music videos/appearances wearing Steeler hats and jackets. Both also attended Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Michigan in 2006. Batman actor and native of Pittsburgh, Keaton was seen on television before the 2005 AFC Championship Game speaking to Pittsburgh television personality Paul Steigerwald and carrying a Terrible Towel.
The Steelers and their fans were also featured in the Charlie Daniels Band's 1980 song, In America ("You just go lay your hand on a Pittsburgh Steeler fan, and I think you're gonna finally understand."). Television has turned to the Steelers in 1980's "Fighting Back" a movie where Art Carney plays Art Rooney, and 1981's The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid. The Steelers of lore also have starring roles in several ESPN productions such as Matchup of the Millenium and Dream Bowl series, winning every championship, thus being considered the best team ever ('78 Steelers). In January, 2007, a company called SportSims, whose simulation is used every year by USAToday to predict the winner of the given year's Super Bowl, simulated all 40 Super Bowl champions (40 teams won the Super Bowl at the time) in a tournament, with the '78 Steelers defeating the '85 Bears 22-20 for the tournament title.
"Mean" Joe Greene has appeared in the famous Coca-Cola ad where a child calls out to Greene and gives him his Coke. Greene then gives his game jersey to the kid. Two recent Chunky Soup commercials have also featured the Steelers. One had current Steelers and Max Starks' mother; the other starred Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who found himself facing the old Steel Curtain at the end of the spot.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have three primary rivals: their divisional rivals (Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and Cincinnati Bengals). They also have rivalries with other teams that arose from postseason battles in the past. The most notable teams are the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, and the Dallas Cowboys.
 Divisional rivals
- The Cleveland Browns and the Steelers have been divisional rivals since the two teams began play against each other in 1950. The all-time series between the two teams has recently been tied (55-55-0). However, the Steelers have won fourteen of the last seventeen matchups since the Browns returned to the league (1999–2006). 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 Browns are still recognized as Pittsburgh's biggest rival due to its history.
- The Baltimore Ravens and the Steelers have had several memorable matches and have a bitter divisional rivalry. Pittsburgh won a 2001 Divisional playoff game against Baltimore, who appeared in their first Super Bowl the previous season. The Ravens have won the last 3 matchups (2005-2006) against Pittsburgh, though the Steelers have the lead in the overall series 13-9-0.
- The Cincinnati Bengals rivalry with Pittsburgh dates to the 1970 season, when the NFL-AFL merger went through. One of the most memorable games between these teams was the 2005 AFC Wildcard playoff game where the Steelers routed the Bengals 31-17, that was the first playoff game the Bengals played in fifteen seasons. The Bengals have currently split the past two regular season match ups with Pittsburgh, all four wins came while visiting the others venue.
 Historic rivals
- The rivalry between the Steelers and the New England Patriots had first intensified when the "cinderella" Patriots upset Pittsburgh in the 2001 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh did not exact their revenge until ending the Patriots record setting 21 game winning streak in week 6 of the 2004 NFL season. Later that season the red hot Steelers lost to the eventual champion Patriots in the AFC Championship game after Pittsburgh achieved a 15-1 season. The two teams are scheduled to play in 2007 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
- The rivalry between the Steelers and the Oakland Raiders was the most heated rivalry of the 1970s. The Steelers first playoff win was a 13-7 victory of the Raiders which the Steelers won on Franco Harris's Immaculate Reception on December 23, 1972. Pittsburgh was knocked out of the playoffs the following year by the Raiders, but the Steelers fired back with two straight AFC Championships in 1974 and 1975 over Oakland. While the rivalry has dissipated over the years the two teams still have notable games against each other including an upset Raider victory in week 8 of the 2006 NFL season (20-13).
- The rivalry between the Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys make up a record number three times 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 to become the Team of the 70's. The teams also featured an all-star match up at quarterback; The Steelers Terry Bradshaw and the Cowboys Roger Staubach are now both hall of famers. The two teams met for the third time in Super Bowl XXX, 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 games MVP. The Steelers are slated to play the Cowboys in the 2008 NFL regular season due to the interconference game rotation.
 Season-by-season records
Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties
|1933||3||6||2||5th NFL East||--|
|1934||2||10||0||5th NFL East||--|
|1935||4||8||0||3rd NFL East||--|
|1936||6||6||0||2nd NFL East||--|
|1937||4||7||0||3rd NFL East||--|
|1938||2||9||0||5th NFL East||--|
|1939||1||9||1||T-4th NFL East||--|
|1940||2||7||2||4th NFL East||--|
|1941||1||9||1||5th NFL East||--|
|1942||7||4||0||2nd NFL East||--|
|1943||5||4||1||3rd NFL East||--|
|1944||0||10||0||5th NFL West||--|
|1945||2||8||0||5th NFL East||--|
|1946||5||5||1||T-3rd NFL East||--|
|1947||8||4||0||2nd NFL East||Lost Eastern Divisional Playoff (Eagles) 21-0|
|1948||4||8||0||T-3rd NFL East||--|
|1949||6||5||1||2nd NFL East||--|
|1950||6||6||0||T-3rd NFL AFC||--|
|1951||4||7||1||4th NFL AFC||--|
|1952||5||7||0||4th NFL AFC||--|
|1953||6||6||0||4th NFL East||--|
|1954||5||7||0||4th NFL East||--|
|1955||4||8||0||6th NFL East||--|
|1956||5||7||0||T-4th NFL East||--|
|1957||6||6||0||3rd NFL East||--|
|1958||7||4||1||3rd NFL East||--|
|1959||6||5||1||4th NFL East||--|
|1960||5||6||1||5th NFL East||--|
|1961||6||8||0||5th NFL East||--|
|1962||9||5||0||2nd NFL East||--|
|1963||7||4||3||4th NFL East||--|
|1964||5||9||0||6th NFL East||--|
|1965||2||12||0||7th NFL East||--|
|1966||5||8||1||6th NFL East||--|
|1967||4||9||1||4th NFL Century||--|
|1968||2||11||1||4th NFL Century||--|
|1969||1||13||0||4th NFL Century||--|
|1970||5||9||0||3rd AFC Central||--|
|1971||6||8||0||2nd AFC Central||--|
|1972||11||3||0||1st AFC Central||Won Divisional Playoffs (Raiders) 13-7
Lost Conference Championship (Dolphins) 21-17
|1973||10||4||0||2nd AFC Central||Lost Divisional Playoffs (Raiders) 33-14|
|1974||10||3||1||1st AFC Central||Won Divisional Playoffs (Bills) 32-14
Won Conference Championship (Raiders) 24-13
Won Super Bowl IX (Vikings) 16-6
|1975||12||2||0||1st AFC Central||Won Divisional Playoffs (B. Colts) 28-10
Won Conference Championship (Raiders) 16-10
Won Super Bowl X (Cowboys) 21-17
|1976||10||4||0||1st AFC Central||Won Divisional Playoffs (B. Colts) 40-14
Lost Conference Championship (Raiders) 24-7
|1977||9||5||0||1st AFC Central||Lost Divisional Playoffs (Broncos) 34-21|
|1978||14||2||0||1st AFC Central||Won Divisional Playoffs (Broncos) 33-10
Won Conference Championship (Oilers) 34-5
Won Super Bowl XIII (Cowboys) 35-31
|1979||12||4||0||1st AFC Central||Won Divisional Playoffs (Dolphins) 34-14
Won Conference Championship (Oilers) 27-13
Won Super Bowl XIV (L.A. Rams) 31-19
|1980||9||7||0||3rd AFC Central||--|
|1981||8||8||0||2nd AFC Central||--|
|1982||6||3||0||4th AFC Conf.+||Lost First Round (Chargers) 31-28|
|1983||10||6||0||1st AFC Central||Lost Divisional Playoffs (L.A. Raiders) 38-10|
|1984||9||7||0||1st AFC Central||Won Divisional Playoffs (Broncos) 24-17
Lost Conference Championship (Dolphins) 45-28
|1985||7||9||0||3rd AFC Central||--|
|1986||6||10||0||3rd AFC Central||--|
|1987||8||7||0||3rd AFC Central||--|
|1988||5||11||0||4th AFC Central||--|
|1989||9||7||0||3rd AFC Central||Won Wild Card Playoffs (Oilers) 26-23
Lost Divisional playoff (Broncos) 24-23
|1990||9||7||0||3rd AFC Central||--|
|1991||7||9||0||2nd AFC Central||--|
|1992||11||5||0||1st AFC Central||Lost Divisional Playoffs (Bills) 24-3|
|1993||9||7||0||2nd AFC Central||Lost Wild Card Playoffs (Chiefs) 27-24|
|1994||12||4||0||1st AFC Central||Won Divisional Playoffs (Browns) 29-9
Lost Conference Championship (Chargers) 17-13
|1995||11||5||0||1st AFC Central||Won Divisional Playoffs (Bills) 40-21
Won Conference Championship (Colts) 20-16
Lost Super Bowl XXX (Cowboys) 27-17
|1996||10||6||0||1st AFC Central||Won Wild Card Playoffs (Colts) 42-14
Lost Divisional Playoffs (Patriots) 28-3
|1997||11||5||0||1st AFC Central||Won Divisional Playoffs (Patriots) 7-6
Lost Conference Championship (Broncos) 24-21
|1998||7||9||0||3rd AFC Central||--|
|1999||6||10||0||4th AFC Central||--|
|2000||9||7||0||3rd AFC Central||--|
|2001||13||3||0||1st AFC Central||Won Divisional Playoffs (Ravens) 27-10
Lost Conference Championship (Patriots) 24-17
|2002||10||5||1||1st AFC North||Won Wild Card Playoffs (Browns) 36-33
Lost Divisional Playoffs (Titans) 34-31
|2003||6||10||0||3rd AFC North||--|
|2004||15||1||0||1st AFC North||Won Divisional Playoffs (Jets) 20-17
Lost Conference Championship (Patriots) 41-27
|2005||11||5||0||2nd AFC North||Won Wild Card Playoffs (Bengals) 31-17
Won Divisional Playoffs (Colts) 21-18
Won Conference Championship (Broncos) 34-17
Won Super Bowl XL (Seahawks) 21-10
|2006||8||8||0||3rd AFC North||--|
|Totals||503||492||21||(1933–2006, regular season)|
|531||511||21||(all games, 1933–2006, including playoffs)|
* = Current Standing
+ = Due to a strike-shortened season in 1982, all teams were ranked by conference instead of division.
 Players of note
 Current players
 Updated Steelers Depth Chart
|QB||7||Ben Roethlisberger||16||Charlie Batch||2||Brian St. Pierre|
|RB||39||Willie Parker||44||Najeh Davenport|
|RWR||86||Hines Ward||85||Nate Washington|
|LWR||10||Santonio Holmes||80||Cedrick Wilson|
|TE||83||Heath Miller||84||Jerame Tuman|
|RT||77||Marvel Smith||72||Barrett Brooks|
|RG||73||Kendall Simmons||68||Chris Kemoeatu|
|More NFL Depth Charts||Updated 3/23/2007|
 Pro Football Hall of Famers
- Bert Bell, Co-owner (1941–1946)
- Mel Blount, CB (1970–1983)
- Terry Bradshaw, QB (1970–1983)
- Bill Dudley, RB-DB (1942 and 1945–1946 - missed 1943–1944 due to military service)
- "Mean" Joe Greene, DT (1969–1981)
- Jack Ham, LB (1971–1982)
- Franco Harris, RB (1972–1983)
- John Henry Johnson, RB (1960–1965)
- Walt Kiesling, G (1937–1939), Head Coach (1939–1944 and 1954–1956)
- Jack Lambert, LB (1974–1984)
- Bobby Layne, QB (1958–1962)
- Johnny McNally (a.k.a. "Johnny Blood"), RB (1934 and 1937–1938)
- Chuck Noll, Head Coach (1969–1991)
- Art Rooney, Founder/Owner (1933–1988)
- Dan Rooney, Executive (1955-present), Owner (1988-present)
- John Stallworth, WR (1974–1987)
- Ernie Stautner, DT (1950–1963)
- Lynn Swann, WR (1974–1982)
- Mike Webster, C (1974–1988)
- Myron Cope, Announcer (1970–2005), awarded the 2005 Pro Football Hall of Fame's Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award
Other Hall-of-Famers associated with the Steelers
- Len Dawson, QB (1957–1959)
- Bill Hewitt, TE-DE (1943 Steagles)
- Cal Hubbard, T-DT (1936)
- Marion Motley, RB (1955)
- Earle "Greasy" Neale, Co-Head Coach with Kiesling (1943 Steagles)
- Johnny Unitas, QB (cut from 1955 training camp roster)
 Retired numbers
 "Unofficially" retired numbers
The Steelers do not officially retire uniform numbers; however, the following numbers are out of circulation and understood to be unofficially retired:
- 12 Terry Bradshaw
- 32 Franco Harris
- 36 Jerome Bettis
- 47 Mel Blount - Last issued to Linebacker Ronald Stanley after he was signed to the active roster on November 11, 2006.
- 52 Mike Webster
- 58 Jack Lambert
- 59 Jack Ham - Used once in 1984 by Todd Seabaugh, who played one season with the team. According to legend, the equipment manager—who assigns jersey numbers to new players—later stripped Seabaugh of the number because he "wasn't Jack Ham". The number has not been used since.
- 63 Dermontti Dawson
- 75 "Mean" Joe Greene
 Super Bowl MVPs
The following Steelers players have been named Super Bowl MVP:
- Franco Harris - Super Bowl IX
- Lynn Swann - Super Bowl X
- Terry Bradshaw - Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XIV
- Hines Ward - Super Bowl XL
 Other notable alumni
 Head coaches
- Forrest Douds (1933)
- Luby DiMelio (1934)
- Joe Bach (1935–1936)
- John McNally (1937–1939)
- Walt Kiesling (1939–1940)
- Aldo Donelli (1941)
- Bert Bell (1941)
- Walt Kiesling (1941–1944)
- Jim Leonard (1945)
- Jock Sutherland (1946–1947)
- John Michelosen (1948–1951)
- Joe Bach (1952–1953)
- Walt Kiesling (1954–1956)
- Raymond "Buddy" Parker (1957–1964)
- Mike Nixon (1965)
- Bill Austin (1966–1968)
- Chuck Noll (1969–1991)
- Bill Cowher (1992–2007)
- Mike Tomlin (2007-present)
 Current staff
- Head Coach - Mike Tomlin
- Assistant Head Coach - TBD
- Offensive Coordinator - Bruce Arians
- Quarterbacks Coach - Ken Anderson
- Running Backs Coach - Kirby Wilson
- Wide Receivers Coach - Randy Fichtner
- Tight Ends Coach - James Daniel
- Offensive Line Coach - Larry Zierlein
- Offensive Assistant - Harold Goodwin
- Defensive Coordinator - Dick LeBeau
- Defensive Line Coach - John Mitchell
- Linebackers Coach - Keith Butler
- Defensive Backs Coach - Ray Horton
- Defensive Quality Control Coach - Lou Spanos
- Defensive Assistant - Vacant
- Special Teams Coach - Bob Ligashesky
- Special Teams Assistant - Amos Jones
- Strength and Conditioning Coach - Garrett Giemont
- Strength and Conditioning Assistant - Vacant
 Radio and television
As of 2006, the Steelers' flagship stations were WDVE 102.5FM and WBGG 970AM. Both stations are owned by Clear Channel Communications. Games are also available on 51 radio stations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia. The announcers are Bill Hillgrove and Tunch Ilkin. Craig Wolfley is the sideline reporter. Myron Cope, the longtime color analyst who popularized the "Terrible Towel," retired after the 2004 season.
 Figures with broadcasting résumés
The Steelers franchise has a rich history of producing well-known sportscasters over the years: the most famous of which is Myron Cope, who served as voice of the Steelers from 1970 until 2005.
Additionally, several former players for the Pittsburgh Steelers picked up the broadcast microphone:
- Lynn Swann - Starting in 1978 was a sideline reporter for ABC Sports. Over the 2005 and 2006 NFL seasons, he had taken a leave of absence to unsuccessfully pursue the governor's office of Pennsylvania. Swann has also had several Hollywood roles, making cameos in 1998's The Waterboy, 1993's The Program and 1991's The Last Boy Scout. His TV cameo's include Saturday Night Live and The Drew Carey Show.
- Merrill Hoge - Has hosted sports shows on ESPN and ESPN2 since 1996 most notably EA Sports NFL Match Up, Football Friday and NFL Tonight. He has also had hosting duties on ABC's "Great Outdoors Games".
- Mark Malone - Began his career as a sports reporter for Pittsburgh's WPXI-TV from 1991–1994, from 1994 to 2004 he hosted nationally-televised sports shows for ESPN, including “NFL 2Night,” “Edge NFL Matchup,” and the “X-Games.” Since 2004 he has been director of sports broadcasting for CBS2 Chicago.
- Jerome Bettis - Co-host of NBC Sunday Night Football's "Football Night in America" pre-game with Bob Costas 2006-Present, also was host of the Pittsburgh broadcast "Jerome Bettis" show 1998–2005 on KDKA-TV.
- Terry Bradshaw - Started as a Guest commentator for CBS NFL Playoff broadcasts from 1980–1982, after retirement he joined Verne Lundquist at CBS full-time as a game anaylst on what would become one of the top rated sports broadcasts. In 1990 he went from the broadcast booth to the pre-game studio shows anchoring the NFL Today pre-game shows on CBS and later on FOX NFL Sunday. He has in recent years started to host regular features in addition to the show, "Ten yards with TB" and the "Terry Awards". In addition to broadcasting Bradshaw has had appearances in several major motion pictures (most notably Smokey and the Bandit II, Black Sunday and Failure to Launch) as well as spokesman for Radio Shack and SaniKing among others in commercials. He also has made many guest appearances on sitcoms from "Married with Children" to "Evening Shade".
- Tunch Ilkin- Comcast CN8 Network "In the Locker Room" Host 2006-Present.
- Craig Wolfley-Comcast CN8 Network "In the Locker Room" Host 2006-Present.
 Notable moments
- The following is a selected list of memorable Steelers games
- Behind 14-20 with a minute and a half left and at their own 28 yard line, the Steelers Bobby Layne drove 60 yards behind the blocking of injured Tom Barnett who refused to leave the field. Layne threw a 12 yard pass with seconds left for the go-ahead score. Of Barnett's superhuman effort in protecting the Steelers runners and pass plays in the face of unbearable pain Layne said "He's all man, you can take that from me, that was a show, what he did to [the Browns Defense]". To add insult to a shocked Cleveland crowd, when the Browns took over after the Steelers score, dependable Lou Groza missed a chip shot field goal as the clock ran out.
- For the second year in a row, Coach Buddy Parker led the once-hapless Steelers to a winning season only to fall short of the playoffs. The quest for a divisional title came down to the final game against the Giants at Yankee Stadium. Although Pittsburgh fielded six Pro-Bowlers and a future hall of famer they fell short of the championship when the Giants won 33-17.
- On the way towards a 5-9 season, the Steelers traveled to Cleveland while the Browns were on the road to their 1964 Championship Game appearance. John Henry Johnson racked up a jaw-dropping 200 yards on the ground and three touchdowns against the league's 5th best defense. The Steelers would go on to a 23-7 victory over the eventual NFL Champions while holding NFL legend Jim Brown to just a scoreless 59 total yards.
- Last of the "Saturday Night Games" during the Steelers-Browns rivalry, a tradition which brought mystique and urban legends to the contest—even more so from what happened in the stands than was happening on in the field. In true Browns/Steelers tradition the game was a defensive battle of smashmouth football with a 15-7 loss being handed to the upstart Steelers.
- A game that was as dramatic as it was decisive. The Browns' Don Cockroft missed a 26 yard fieldgoal with only minutes left only to have the same exact field position with :08 left on the game clock a half dozen plays later. His FG gave Cleveland the narrow win and tied the two teams atop the division with four games to go, but the Steelers would pummel their rivals in Pittsburgh two weeks later to take the Division crown as Cleveland made the playoffs as the lone wild-card.
- The "Immaculate Reception" took place in what would be the Steelers' first ever post-season victory. The Steelers were down by one as time was expiring and Terry Bradshaw, desperate to throw, finally finds Frenchy Fuqua, but the pass rebounded off of either Fuqua or the Raider defending him, Jack Tatum. The ball came to rest into the hands of Franco Harris, who had wandered out beyond the line of scrimmage after seeing no Raider to block. The fans at Three Rivers Stadium exploded as Harris ran the catch in for the game winning touchdown. The officials were as bewildered as the Raiders; not one blew a whistle on what Raider coach John Madden insists was a dead ball (since rules at the time prevented two offensive players from touching a live ball). ). The play is arguably the first official use of replay in the NFL as the officials call upstairs to use network feeds to see if the ball hit the ground or was batted by Fuqua to set up Harris' catch and touchdown. No angle catches the turf at the moment of the catch, nor how the ball came to Harris. Perhaps the most ironic part of the "greatest play ever" and the moment of Pittsburgh's first postseason victory was who missed it. The game was blacked out in Pittsburgh, so no one in the metro area realized what had happened until hours after. The patriarch of the team, Art Rooney was on an elevator going down to comfort his Steelers after what he thought was a loss. Legendary announcer Myron Cope was also in an elevator on the way down for post-game interviews. Even on the field, Bradshaw was regaining his bearings after being drilled by Oakland defenders and was looking skyward with his back on the turf.
- Browns rookie Greg Pruitt kept Cleveland on the heels of the division-leading Steelers with a 42 yard pass early in the game, in which Pruitt eluded all eleven Steeler defenders, and a last minute 19 yard TD run that gave the Browns a 21-16 win. After getting swept up in the emotions of the dramatic comeback, the rookie Pruitt mistakenly bursts into the Steelers locker room. By the time Pruitt calmed down and remembered which door he needed to go through to get to his locker room, the Cleveland press had left.
- A blooper game if ever there was one. Joe Gilliam started at quaterback, filling in for the injured Bradshaw, and starts 0 for 7 with three interceptions (including one that went for a Miami touchdown). His errors forced coach Chuck Noll to pull Gilliam and put in the hobbling Bradshaw. Bradshaw continued the problematic play when his first pass is picked off by the Miami defense and is returned for yet another touchdown. With the score 27-0 Miami, the Steelers attempt to make a comeback. Miami gets burned on a fake punt for a Pittsburgh touchdown, a 21 yard run by Franco Harris for another Pittsburgh score, two Larry Csonka fumbles, one of which sets up a Bradshaw touchdown pass on the very next play, and finally, on fourth down from their own five yard line, coach Don Shula called for Bob Griese to take an intentional safety, even confusing the famed MNF announcers. With all the sloppy play on both sides Miami manages to hang on to a 30-26 win.
- In a game that resulted in the Steelers first Super Bowl appearance, the Steelers defense holds Oakland to only 29 yards on the ground and Jack Ham makes two key interceptions to end long Raider drives. Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier run over the Raider defenders for more than 200 combined yards in a 24-13 Pittsburgh win.
- Pittsburgh wins its first of its four Super Bowls in the 1970s and does it in record-setting fashion. The Steel Curtain defense holds the veteran Vikings to just 119 total offensive yards, still a Super Bowl record that stands 22 Championships later. The Steelers defense also robbed three interceptions and forced two Viking fumbles for a record five Super Bowl turnovers recovered. MVP Franco Harris set a Super Bowl rushing record that stood for almost a decade as Pittsburgh wins the world championship 16-6, missing the shutout on a blocked Steeler punt covered by Minnesota for a TD.
- The Steelers repeated as as Super Bowl Champions and again set multiple Super Bowl records, including yards receiving by MVP Lynn Swann. Swann's four immortal grabs for 161 yards set a yardage record that would stand for twelve Super Bowls. Among the receptions was a 64 yard completion for a touchdown in the fourth quarter that would be voted the best passing play in all of football history by NFL Films. The Steel Curtain defense would pick off Roger Staubach for three interceptions as Pittsburgh won by a score of 21-17 to win back-to-back championships. This game was the start of heated rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys (in what would become the most numerous pairing in Super Bowl history).
- In what was becoming a heated rivalry for dominance of the AFC in the 1970s, this game brought tensions to a boiling point. Coming off of a freshly minted dynasty, the Steelers opened the quest for three championships in a row at the home of the eventual Super Bowl XI Champion Oakland Raiders. Pittsburgh was up late 28-14, but the Raiders came back with a vengeance. George Atkinson got in a cheap shot against Super Bowl MVP Swann with a blow to the head. Mel Blount retaliated later by driving Raider Cliff Branch head-first into the turf. Chuck Noll later fumed that Atkinson's hit on Swann was part of the "criminal element of the NFL" prompting the Raider to sue Noll in California court. Oakland won the slugfest 31-28.
- A strange game in the Steelers/Browns rivalry. Fresh off a Super Bowl victory Terry Bradshaw is spiked head-first into the Cleveland turf by Joe "Turkey" Jones. Bradshaw left the game dazed after Jones' hit and so did Browns starter Brian Sipe after he was injured by the Steelers defense. In the end, it came down to the surprising play of back-up Browns quarterback Dr. David Mays, a dentist off the field, who caught the Steelers defense off-guard in a two point Pittsburgh loss.
- The Cowboys were 8-1 when they visited the Steelers with an injured Bradshaw (wrist). The Steelers showed run on every play and even though the Cowboys "Doomsday Defense" knew Harris would be coming on every down they were impotent against a vaunted Steeler offensive line. Harris ran all over the Cowboys for 179 yards, including a 61 yard touchdown run. Roger Staubach may have wished he were injured as he threw two critical interceptions as Pittsburgh went on to dominate Dallas at Three Rivers Stadium 28-13.
- One of the more heated games in the history of the Steelers/Browns rivalry, Lynn Swann survived a full speed shoulder to the neck shot by a Cleveland Browns back when he spreads out to catch a go-ahead score. The hit is so vicious that the TV announcer, Dick Enberg can be heard to scream in horror, but Swann held onto the ball. Pittsburgh's Steel Curtain defense was also quite vicious, earning four personal fouls in the game. In the final seconds of regulation, Jack Lambert exploded into the Cleveland backfield to push the Browns back out of field goal range and save the game for overtime 9-9. In overtime Bradshaw calls a "flea flicker" play, Bradshaw to Bleier to Swann to Bradshaw to Cunningham, that stuns Cleveland for a 15-9 loss.
- Arguably one of the greatest football games ever played. The Steelers were at the height of their four championships dynasty and the Browns were a year away from earning a Divisional crown of their own, as well as starting their AFC Championship game runs of the 1980s. The game lasted exactly 5 quarters and over four hours. The Steel Curtain Defense sacked Cleveland's Brian Sipe seven times, Harris had 151 yards rushing and 81 yards receiving for a total of 232 all-purpose yards. Pittsburgh battled back from 6-20 and 20-30 deficits. Matt Bahr kicked a game-tying 21 yard field goal in the fourth quarter with :24 on the clock to send the contest into overtime. Bahr also was responsible for the 37 yard game winner as the overtime clock expired in a 33-30 Steelers victory. L.C. Greenwood said of the game: "It was one of the most physical games I've played in the 11 years I've played football . . . it was a hard fought game. We had to fight." A game that vaulted the Steelers/Browns rivalry into one of the greatest in all sports.
- Played in a driving rain storm, the game was a slugfest. In the end, the long-time Steelers kicker Gary Anderson booted a 25 yard field goal with :09 on the game clock to win it 10-9 for Pittsburgh. It is of note that the best kicker in Steelers history had this as his only last minute, game deciding field goal during his twelve years with Pittsburgh. The Steelers/Browns rivalry lore didn't end there with this contest as all teams in the division were tied for first after the game, with over half the season behind them. This was also the 16th straight loss the Steelers handed the Browns in Pittsburgh.
- The most memorable moment during this 19-16 overtime loss on Thanksgiving to the hapless 4-7 Lions happened after regulation play. Jerome Bettis, playing for the Steelers in his hometown of Detroit, was asked to call the coin toss to open up overtime with the game tied 16-16. Bettis called tails as the coin was in the air and the coin was tails on the ground. However the referee, Phil Luckett, insisted that he heard Bettis state heads. All audio and video clips of the call confirmed that Bettis had indeed said tails but only after conferring with teammates and saying quietly "heads/tails?" . The Steelers went into Thanksgiving with a record of 7-4 but after the loss at Detroit, lost their remaining 5 games and missed the playoffs.
- see also The Tackle II
- The Wild Card Steelers were facing the Colts as heavy underdogs after defeating the AFC North Champion Cincinnati Bengals. Surprisingly, the Steelers managed to dictate the flow of most of the game. It was 21-18 Steelers and appeared to be over when the Colts failed to convert on 4th down with under two minutes left in the game. The Steelers could not fully run out the clock as the Colts had timeouts remaining, but they had the ball in the red zone with intent to run for a touchdown and seal the game. On the first snap, Jerome Bettis was handed the ball and headed for the endzone, but Gary Brackett got his helmet on the ball, which knocked the ball out for a fumble. Indianapolis Cornerback Nick Harper recovered the football and took off quickly down the field. With his speed it looked as if Indianapolis would score a touchdown to go ahead with little time left in the game, but the last Steeler defender, the quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger made a shoestring tackle to stop the run. Even though a heart-breaking score had been prevented, the Colts still had the ball. Peyton Manning drove thirty yards down the field and set up a 46 yard field goal attempt by kicker Mike Vanderjagt. Vanderjagt missed the field goal significantly wide right with 17 seconds left, this time finally sealing the Steelers upset victory. This series of plays would come to epitomize the entire 2005 Steelers' season, as they would eventually go on to win Super Bowl XL. ESPN analyst Chris Berman dubbed the Roethlisberger tackle "The Immaculate Redemption."
 Team statistics and records
- Further information: Pittsburgh Steelers statistics
 See also
- ^ http://www.steelerettes.com/
- ^ http://www.steelerettes.com/1969.htm
- ^ http://en.allexperts.com/q/Pittsburgh-Steelers-291/cheerleaders.htm
 External links
- Pittsburgh Steelers official website
- SteelerFury.Com: A Quality Fan Based Web-Site for the Steelers
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Steelers page
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Blog & Gold Steelers Blog
- Sports E-Cyclopedia.com
- Story of the Steelers logo from the U.S. steel industry site
- Steeler Addicts - Pittsburgh Steelers Fan Site
- Steelers Depot - Steelers History and News Site
- Stillers.com - It's not just a team, it's a way of life
- Steelers Fever
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1974 and 1975
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1978 and 1979
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2003 and 2004
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