- In 1970 the Pittsburgh Steelers became one of three
teams to join the incoming AFL teams in the newly formed American Football
Conference. The Steelers were paid $3 million dollars for volunteering to change
- Former Steelers great, and Hall-of-Famer, Franco
Harris played his final NFL season as a member of the Seattle Seahawks.
- The Steelers are the only team with a logo on just one
side of their helmets.
In 1976, both Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier ran for
over 1,000 yards rushing.
Steelers’ fullback Rocky Bleier was drafted in 1968
and played his rookie season for the team before being drafted again, this time
by the United State Government, and sent to Vietnam. After being wounded in
Vietnam, Bleier had trouble even walking without pain yet came back to work his
way into NFL shape and star for the Steelers through the 1980 season.
Quarterback Kordell Stewart, at the time of his
retirement following the 2005 season, had the second most rushing touchdowns of
any quarterback ever in the NFL. He trailed only Steve Young of the San
Former Steelers quarterback David Woodley had the
unique distinction of succeeding a hall-of-fame quarterback in Miami (Bob
Griese), and then doing the same thing for the Pittsburgh Steelers (Terry
The 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers team that won the Super
Bowl consisted of no players that had ever played for any other team in the NFL.
In 1989, the Steelers made it into the second round of
the playoffs despite losing their first two regular season games by scores of
52-0 and 42-10 respectively.
For a time during the 1974 season, the Steelers
starting quarterback was Joe Gilliam… making him the first African-American
starting quarterback in the NFL.
Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story was a TV movie
made in 1980 about the former Steelers running back, it starred Robert Urich as
Bleier and the cast included some of his actual teammates.
Former Steelers star Lynn Swann was the first wide
receiver to win the Super Bowl MVP.
Former quarterback Mark Malone set a Steelers team
record when he caught a 90 yard touchdown pass during a game.
The Steelers would post losing records in 1969, 1970,
and 1971; each of head coach Chuck Noll’s first three years with the team. They
wouldn’t put up a losing record again until the 1985 season.
During 13 seasons in the NFL, Steelers quarterback and
hall-of-famer Terry Bradshaw only had seven games with more than 300 yards
passing. Of those seven games though, three of them were in the postseason.
While in high school, Terry Bradshaw appeared in the
Sports Illustrated ‘Faces In The Crowd’ section due to his javelin throwing
ability, in which he set a then national record with a throw of 245 feet.
When Art Rooney founded the Pittsburgh Steelers
(originally named the Pittsburgh Pirates), he paid the $2,500 (at the time) NFL
franchise fee from money he had won betting on horse races.
In 2006, former Steelers wide receiver and pro
football hall-of-famer Lynn Swann ran for, but lost his bid to be the Governor
Wide Receiver Calvin Sweeney caught the final pass of
Terry Bradshaw’s career for a touchdown against the Jets in 1983. This also
happened to be the final pro football game played in New York City with the Jets
moving to the Meadowlands for the 1984 season.
Pittsburgh’s NFL team was originally called the
Pirates and founded in 1933. In 1941 the team was renamed the Steelers and the
very next year they had their first winning record.
Quarterback Terry Bradshaw was the first overall pick
of the 1970 NFL Draft… the first pick of the 1971 NFL Draft was future Raiders
quarterback Jim Plunkett. Bradshaw went on to win the Super Bowl MVP following
the 1979 season… winning the Super Bowl MVP the next year? Jim Plunkett.
In the final nine games of the 1976 NFL season, the
Pittsburgh Steelers allowed just 28 total points (an average of 3.11 points per
- In 1943, due to shortages in manpower because of the
needs of World War II, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles
temporarily merged, forming the Phil-Pitt Steagles. The next year, 1944, they
merged with the Chicago Cardinals and played as Card-Pitt.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers have won back-to-back Super
Bowls twice; 1974 & 1975, and 1978 & 1979.
- Former Pittsburgh Steelers owner Bert Bell also owned
the cross state rival Philadelphia Eagles in the 1930s.
- The Steelers are the oldest football team, dating to
1933, in the AFC.
- From 1933 until 1940 the team was known as the
Pittsburgh Pirates until a name-the-team contest produced the name Steelers.
- Pittsburgh lost its first game ever 23-2 against
the New York Giants.
- Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers Center and Hall-of-Famer
Mike Webster is the starting Center on the NFL’s All-1970’s team, as well as the
- Hall-of-Fame Center Mike Webster left the Steelers in
1988 to become the Offensive Line Coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, soon after
this he came out of retirement to play two more seasons.
- Actor Ed O’Neill, most famous for playing Al Bundy on
the popular Fox sitcom Married… With Children, was signed by the Steelers in
1969 but he was released before the 1969 season started.
- In 1938, Pittsburgh signed future United States
Supreme Court Justice Byron White to the richest football contract in history.
He only played one season in Pittsburgh before joining the Detroit Lions.
- Hall-of-Fame executive Jim Finks, known for his General
Manager abilities with the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, and New Orleans
Saints, was drafted in 1949 by the Steelers.
- Only once in franchise history have the Steelers gone
winless in a season and that was during the 1944 season when they had
temporarily merged with the Chicago Cardinals because or worker shortages due to
World War II. Their record that year was 0-10.
- The Steelers pulled off one of the best drafts ever in
1974 when they selected, among others; Center Mike Webster, Wide Receivers John
Stallworth and Lynn Swann, and Linebacker Jack Lambert. All four of these
players from one draft went on to star with the Steelers and make it to the
- The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted five Hall-of-Fame
players in four consecutive years, drafting Mean Joe Greene in 1969, Terry
Bradshaw and Mel Blount in 1970, Jack Ham in 1971, and Franco Harris in 1972.
- In the five seasons from 1972 to 1976, the Defensive
Player of the Year went to a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers four times; Joe
Greene twice, Mel Blount, and Jack Lambert.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers were the first team in history
to win more than two Super Bowls.
- Head Coach Bill Cowher led the Pittsburgh Steelers to
the playoffs in each of his first six season in the league.
- During the 1943 season when they had combined with the
Eagles to form the “Steagles”, the Steelers wore the Eagles uniforms. This is
the only season in their history that their colors were not black and gold.
- The current Steelers logo was created in 1962 and is
based on a U.S. Steel logo. That first year it was worn on gold helments, the
following year the Steelers changed to the black helmets they’re known for
- The Steelers fans tradition of waving a “Terrible Towel”
during their games was started by broadcaster Myron Cope.
- In 1961, the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first
professional football team to have cheerleaders. The Steelerettes, as they were
called, were discontinued in 1969.
- In the film The Longest Yard, Paul Crewe (played by Burt
Reynolds and later by Adam Sandler in the remake) is a former Pittsburgh
- Hall-of-Fame Quarterback Johnny Unitas was cut from the
Steelers training camp roster in 1955. He went on to star for the Baltimore
- Although the Steelers officially do not retire former
players jersey numbers, there are a number of players (Terry Bradshaw, Franco
Harris, Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, etc.) whose jersey numbers have not been
reused since they retired.
- Walt Kiesling had three different stints as Pittsburgh
Steelers Head Coach; 1939-1940, 1941-1944, and 1954-1956.
- In the Pittsburgh Steelers first 35 years as an NFL
franchise (1933-1968) they had 14 different Head Coaches, in their next 36 years
(1969-2006) they had just two (Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher).
- Former Wide Receiver Lynn Swann’s movie credits include:
The Program, The Waterboy, and The Last Boyscout.
- Former Quarterback Terry Bradshaw’s film roles have
included: Smokey and the Bandit II, Black Sunday and Failure To Launch.
- Terry Bradshaw was a part time announcer for CBS while
he was still an active player near the end of his career.
- Former Steelers Coach Bill Cowher’s wife Kaye Cowher
played professional basketball for the New York Stars of the now defunct Women’s
Pro Basketball League.
- Former Steelers Head Coach Chuck Noll was an assistant
coach under Don Shula when Shula was Head Coach of the Baltimore Colts.
- Penn State Football Coach Joe Paterno was offered the
Head Coaching position with the Steelers; when he turned the position down, the
job was offered to Chuck Noll.
- Former Steelers Coach Chuck Noll won four Super Bowls
with Pittsburgh during the 1970s; he wouldn’t win Coach-of-the-Year until 1989.