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Steelers Hall of Honor? Who Will Be First Class?

By Justin McGonigle
www.SteelerNation.com

On Tuesday the Steelers announced via Steelers.com that they will be introducing the first class into their newly formed “Hall of Honor” on Tuesday, Aug. 29.

“The Hall of Honor will serve as a tribute to the many individuals who have contributed greatly throughout the history of our franchise,” Steelers President Art Rooney II said. “This is probably long overdue, and we are excited to begin the process of recognizing these individuals and their accomplishments, both on and off the field, during an annual series of ceremonies.”

Now they didn’t announce how many they will be including in the inaugural class, but I suspect they may have to extend the first class to include more than in the future.

The guidelines and qualifications go as follows:

FORMER PLAYERS:
• Retired for at least three seasons
• Must have played for the Steelers for a minimum of three seasons
• Should possess noteworthy career highlights, records, and achievements

FORMER COACHES AND CONTRIBUTORS:

• Significant contributions to the team and community

1. Art Rooney Sr. (Contributor) –
Without the Chief there would be no Pittsburgh Steelers. Art dealt with all of the shortcomings that were the Steelers prior to the Immaculate Reception. His Steelers propelled a city through some of the darkest days, when all anybody had to look forward to was the Steel Curtain on Sundays after church.

2. Dan Rooney (Contributor) – While his father started things it was Dan that was the architect of what we have today. Though he never would want to be included in this group because he didn’t want to be in the spotlight, it wouldn’t be a real list without him. His commitment to the Steelers never was as great as his commitment to his community. I hope they’ve already began constructing his statue that greatly deserves to stand on the North Shore.

3. Joe Greene – Speaking of the Steel Curtain, it’s a lock that the former anchor goes in on the first class. Two years ago the Steelers retired Greene’s #75 making his jersey only the second one ever officially retired.

4. Ernie Stautner – The man with the other retired jersey will surely enter on the first try. Stauntner played 14 seasons for the Steelers and making 9 all-pro games. Though he was a Defensive lineman he often played offense when things got tough. He was the first Steelers player to enter the hall of fame while playing his entire career in Pittsburgh.

5. Franco Harris – Harris was on the forefront of the Steelers becoming the organization that they are today. Everyone knows where they were when he caught the Immaculate Reception. It’s the play that turned around a franchise and they haven’t looked back since then.

6. Jack Lambert – Possibly the most popular Steeler of all time. As much as Greene was mean, Lambert was just plain nasty. He brought the attitude to the defense. Quarterbacks were literally afraid of him and they actually admitted to it.

7. Chuck Noll – The coach that authored four Super Bowl Titles will certainly be honored. Noll was a no nonsense man who wouldn’t settle for anything less then greatness. He demanded it of his players and excuses wouldn’t cut it.

8 Hines Ward – No one since Joe Greene has epitomized what it means to be a Pittsburgh Steeler more then Ward. Blue collar, hard-nosed, and unafraid of anything. Ward punished defensive backs, linebackers, and anyone who came into his path while he was blocking. He didn’t care that the next time he went across the middle to catch a pass that they would be looking for him. Ward was vital in ending the Steelers Super Bowl title drought and was MVP of Super Bowl 40.

9. Myron Cope (Contributor) – Cope was part of the Steelers radio team from 1970 to 2004 but most notably he created the Terrible Towel. It may be the most iconic gimmick that has ever been created in sports. People might not know it’s called the Terrible Towel, but they know every Steelers fan has a yellow towel. They probably also don’t know that 100% of the proceeds from it go to charity.

I’m sure that you’re staring at my list and screaming where is Terry Bradshaw? Genuinely I believe Bradshaw should be on the list, but his often standoffish attitude towards the Steelers leads me to believe they may leave him off the first time. Bradshaw made headliners last year by claiming the Saints were the team he cheers for and “still sleeps good when the Steelers lose”.

It is all going to depend on how many they elect and if they only put in one contributor at a time but these guys should also be considered for the first class – Jack Ham, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Mel Blount, Andy Russell, Jerome Bettis, Elbie Nickel, and John Henry Johnson.

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3 Comments

  1. Bob

    August 1, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    How you could not even mention Chuck Noll in this is beyond me. I would think he’d be a certainty for the first class, long before Hines Ward or even Myron Cope.

    • Bob

      August 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      D’oh. Don’t know how I missed that the first time.

  2. Richard Gray

    August 3, 2017 at 7:28 am

    What a “terrible” idea. It’s a team game; otherwise that’s what that place in Canton is for. It’s a departure from the Steeler way–no number retiring, no cheerleaders, “next man up.”

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