Among the 32 teams in the esteemed National Football League, the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers are sure to be at the forefront of the game. Clad in black and canary gold, they represent the bustling, “steel” city of Pittsburgh in the highest-level American professional football league.
So who exactly are the Steelers, and what mark have they left on American football? What makes them a highly-regarded, legendary team on the playing field? If you are interested in joining the Steeler Nation and enlisting your support to the side of Pittsburgh, here are seven facts about the Steelers that every fan should know:
1) Where the Name “Steelers” Originated
Did you know that the Pittsburgh Steelers were once the Pirates? Named after the city’s baseball team, the Steelers were once called the Pittsburgh Pirates. They joined the football league back in July 1933, bearing the initial name before it was modified to what it is today.
Art Rooney, the team’s founding owner, changed things for a fresh start and renamed them the Steelers in honor of Pittsburgh’s primary industry: steel mills. Not only did the name represent might and strength, but it also created a closer connection between the city and its football team!
2) Most Number of Super Bowl Victories
When getting to know a team, it is crucial to review their list of accomplishments and winning history to see if they are worth the support. As a distinguished squad on the playing field, Pittsburgh is undoubtedly one, if not the most successful team in the NFL.
Pittsburgh have won the most number of Super Bowl victories in history, bringing home the Vince Lombardi Trophy six times; in 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 2006, and 2009. Along with them are the New England Patriots with six wins equally, and the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys with five each.
So, if you’re planning to bet on the Steelers this year and keep updated with their standing, don’t forget to check NFL odds after every game.
3) The 1970s “Steel Curtain” Defense
Pittsburgh is heavily known for their feared and unyielding defense—the infamous Steel Curtain or their defensive line in the 1970s. Indeed, it was a vital part of their success, for it won them four Super Bowl wins out of their total six.
The NFL dynasty backed by the Steel Curtain consisted of the following star players: defensive tackles “Mean” Joe Greene and Ernie Holmes, and defensive ends L.C. Greenwood and Dwight White. Succeeding Steelers also helped preserve the title, earning the team a well-deserved recognition in terms of defense.
4) Chuck Noll: The Emperor Who Changed the Steelers
The early Pittsburgh Steelers—zero championship games and bad luck—were never the same after the arrival of the “emperor.” Under the helm of head coach Chuck Noll, the Steelers finally saw explosive, consistent success on the playing field.
From excellent draft selections consisting of future Hall of Famers, down to defense-centric plays, the Steelers skyrocketed to victory and earned four Super Bowl wins in the 70s. Regarded as one of the best head coaches of all time, Noll undoubtedly played a vital part in the jubilant history of the franchise. Now you know who paved the way!
5) Pro Football Hall of Famers
In any sport, there will always be heroes and standouts. With their overall success, the Pro Football Hall of Fame recognizes several members of the Pittsburgh Steelers as influential figures in American professional football for their skills and excellence.
And as a fan, it is only essential to know the distinguished Steelers inducted into the list! In total, there are 32 Hall of Famers on the team. A few of the following include Chuck Noll, Joe Greene, linebackers Jack Lambert and Jack Ham, quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw and Bobby Layne, and centers Dermontti Dawson and Mike Webster.
6) Steelers Hall of Honor
The Steelers themselves also recognize the contribution of everyone to the success of the team. So aside from the appreciation from the larger Hall of Fame, Steelers President Art Rooney II announced the creation of the Steelers of Hall of Honor.
Currently, there are 45 members in the team’s own Hall of Honor. It includes not only former players but also coaches and contributors deemed vital to the success of the Pittsburgh Steelers—a commemorative measure surely fans will applaud.
7) Charity Work and Advocacy
Outside the team’s excellence in football, the franchise is also known for its dedication to giving back to society. The players themselves even lead the creation of a donation program for community organizations. For fans, their humility and generosity must be heartwarming.
Aside from charity work on housing, food access, and education, the Steelers are also strong advocates for civil rights and equality. They donate their earnings to organizations supporting and empowering African-American minorities and youth of color in low-income families.
If you are a curious beginner to the NFL or American football in general, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be worthy of all your bets and support. With the facts discussed above and more, the Steelers continuously prove to be the best, most successful football team in the league.