One of American football’s oldest and most recognizable names is that of the Pittsburgh Steelers, based in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Now in the AFC North division, the Steelers are the seventh-oldest team in the competition, having been founded back in 1933.
One thing that stands out about them is their black and gold color-scheme, or black and yellow as some put it, including Wiz Khalifa in the 2010 song “Black and Yellow”.
The song was used when the Steelers reached the Superbowl in 2011, though their opposition the Green Bay Packers also used a version of it as their own fight song, calling theirs “Green and Yellow”.
History of the Pittsburgh Steelers
Originally known as the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team played their first games in 1933, losing their opening match 23-2 to the New York Giants.
They were renamed in 1940 and reached the playoffs for the first time in 1947, losing 21-0 to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Good times followed, especially in the Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher eras. The team achieved 31 playoff appearances between 1947 and 2017. So there are many reasons for Steelers to feel proud.
In their long history, the Steelers have actually had six home fields.
The team was initially housed at Forbes Field, home of eight different Pittsburgh-based teams, from 1933 to 1963. During that time and for a number of years after they were forced into some temporary moves. They played their games at Shibe Park (1943), Comiskey Park (1944) and Pitt Stadium (1958-1969).
Their next ‘permanent’ home was the Three Rivers Stadium, a large venue which began construction in 1968 and opened in July 1970. During its entire time in use, 1970-2000, it was the home of the Steelers.
From 2001 to the present day the modern 68,000-capacity Heinz Field has been the place the team calls home. It is situated within the North Shore area of the city, around 1½ miles over the Fort Duquesne Bridge to downtown Pittsburgh. Naming rights were bought from the start by the local HJ Heinz Company, hence the stadium’s moniker.
The venue is home not only to the Steelers but also to the Pittsburgh Panthers college football team. The Pitt Panthers have contributed to the income of the stadium since 2003. However, attendances for their college games has reduced from 59,000 to around 33,000, largely because Heinz Field is a good distance from the main campus. This has lead to speculation that the Panthers may soon be looking for a new home soon.
Heinz Field contains around 12,000 tons of steel within its construction, a reflection on the importance of the steel industry to the city.
Celebrated Steelers Characters
More than 40 players, coaches, scouts and other team personnel have been inducted into the Pittsburgh Steelers’ own Hall of Honor since it was established in 2017. Some have also made it into the sport’s overall Hall of Fame. They include:
Jerome Bettis, Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Jack Butler, Bill Cowher, Dermontti Dawson, Bill Dudley, Joe Greene, Kevin Greene, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, John Henry Johnson, Walt Kiesling, Jack Lambert, Bobby Layne, Johnny McNally, Chuck Noll, Troy Polamalu, Art Rooney Snr, Dan Rooney Snr, Donnie Shell, John Stallworth, Ernie Stautner, Lynn Swan, Mike Webster and Rod Woodson.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have three main divisional rivals: the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Browns, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals.. Past battles have also given rise to rivalries with the New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys and the Oakland Raiders (this last one going way back to the 1970s).
Pittsburgh Steelers’ Championships
The Steelers’ tally of trophies is well celebrated. Their title wins over the years are made up of the following:
- Superbowl Winners x 6 – 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005, 2008
- Conference Winners (AFC) x 8 – 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1995, 2005, 2008, 2010
- Central Winners (AFC) x 15 – 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001
- North Winners (AFC) x 8 – 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2017
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