The Pittsburgh Steelers have a long and storied history since they were founded in 1933 by Arthur J. Rooney. After 40 years of losing, they have gone on to win six Super Bowl championships in eight trips to the big game. From 1933 through 1968, the Steelers had 13 head coaches. From 1969 through 2015, the Steelers have only had three, and all of them have won at least 90 games and a Super Bowl title, while making at least two trips to play for the coveted Lombardi Trophy. Throughout the years alot of interesting things and firsts have taken place, here are thirteen examples, in case you didn’t know.
The very first draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers was William “Bill” Shakespeare out of Notre Dame. Bill never played a down for the Steelers, as he was more interested in becoming a sports writer because it payed more money.
Founded in 1933, it took the Steelers 39 years to win their first postseason game. It was divine intervention that allowed it to happen, as their first playoff win was made possible because of the “Immaculate Reception”.
The Steelers are one of only six NFL teams that do not currently field a cheerleading squad. They were however the very first NFL team to field one, from 1961-1970, until Art Rooney decided they were a distraction to the people who came to watch a football game. When the Steelers and the Packers met in Super Bowl XLV, it was the first time in the history of the Super Bowl, that neither team had cheerleaders.
The 1979 Steelers, winners of Super Bowl XIII, were the first team in NFL history to be entirely home grown. Not one single player on that roster had ever spent any time with another NFL franchise.
The official Myron Cope’s Terrible Towel was created because department store owners were becoming increasingly unhappy that their black and gold towels were selling at a much higher rate than their matching bath towels.
Terrible Towels were made by Packers fans until 1913. Up until the time that production was moved to Pittsburgh, Myron Cope master creation was made by McArthur Towel & Sport of Baraboo, Wisconsin which is in the heart of Green Bay Packers country.
In 1974, the Pittsburgh Steelers started the first African-American quarterback, “Jefferson Street” Joe Gilliam, in NFL history.
Former Steelers defensive back, Tony Dungy, is the most recent NFL player to intercept a pass and throw an interception in the same game.
In 2008, the Steelers became the first team in NFL history to beat a team three times in the same season, while wearing a different uniform in each game. During the first matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, the Steelers wore their throwback uniforms. In the second game, the Steelers used the white, away jerseys. For the AFC Championship game, the Steelers wore their Black, home jerseys.
LaMarr Woodley is the first and only player in NFL history to have multiple sack games in his first three postseason games.
The 1976 Steelers defense put on the greatest performance of any defense during the Steel Curtain era. After getting off to a slow start that endangered their playoff hopes, the defense carried them for the last nine games of the season, giving up only 28 points.
Thirteen Steelers have made it to the front of a Wheaties box. They are Kevin Greene, Greg Lloyd, Neil O’Donnell, Yancey Thigpen, Bam Morris, Franco Harris, Joe Green, Terry Bradshaw, Barry Foster, Carnell Lake, Merril Hoge, Rod Woodson, and Bobby Layne.
Former Steelers great, Terry Bradshaw, was featured in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd for being a national champion javelin thrower in high school. He had the national record at the time, of 245 feet. The grip that he used to throw a football came from throwing the javelin.
These are just some of the interesting facts that are scattered throughout the history of the greatest franchise in the NFL, the same franchise that cut Johnny Unitas, Len Dawson and “Al Bundy” aka Ed O’Neil. While they weren’t always the winners they have been since 1970, the Steelers, who are the oldest franchise in the AFC, have always been one of the most colorful. It almost makes you if Joe Paterno ever regretted turning down the chance to coach the Steelers.