Essay #5 Pittsburgh Steelers: Then and Now

Tradition:

The Pittsburgh Steelers are looked at as the most historical and traditional teams in the NFL. Having won 6 Super Bowls, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 2006, and 2009 give them the most world championships in the history of the NFL. To win these Super Bowls the faces of the Steelers have not changed very much, since 1969 the Steelers have only had 3 different head coaches, Chuck Noll winning 4 of their 6 Super Bowls (1975, 1976, 1979, and 1980), Bill Cowher winning a Super Bowl in Detroit in the 2006 season, and Mike Tomlin winning the most recent Super Bowl against the Arizona Cardinals in 2009. Furthermore, these super bowl wins besides great coaching, comes with great players. The Pittsburgh Steelers have had many players be inducted to the Professional Football Hall of Fame. Most notably, the players who were the backbone of the Super Bowl Championship teams of the 70's include Franco Harris, "Mean" Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, Terry Bradshaw, Mel Blount, and of course, Coach Chuck Knoll were all inducted to the Hall on their first year of eligibility.

History "The Then":
On July 8, 1933, Arthur J. Rooney created the 7th NFL Franchise, the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team was referred to as the Pirates until 1940 when they officially changed the team name to the Steelers, to reflect the major industry going on in Pittsburgh at the time. Over the years the Pittsburgh Steelers have merged with the Chicago Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles due to money and wars. While with the Eagles the team was referred to as the "Steagles" and when they merged with the Cardinals they were referred to as the "Card-Pitt's" or due to many losing seasons the "Carpets". After the Steelers broke off from the "Card-Pitt's" in 1944, they finally made the playoffs for the first time in 1947, unfortunately they had to wait another 25 years before their next playoff appearance. In 1970, the Steelers made the move to Three Rivers Stadium, leaving their home Forbes Field behind them and turning over a new leaf in Steeler history. In the next 10 years after moving into Three Rivers Stadium, the Steelers won their first 3 Super Bowls (1975, 1976, and 1979). Throughout all of this great Steelers have come and gone shaping the great history of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"The Now":
After calling Forbes Field, Shibe Park, Comiskey Park, Pitt Stadium, and Three Rivers Stadium, the Steelers finally moved to their current home in Pittsburgh, named Heinz Field. The original owners, the Rooney family (Arthur J. Rooney started the team on July 8, 1933) still own and operate the team, although he passed it on to his son Dan Rooney in 1975, who then passed it on to his son Art Rooney II in 2002. The Rooney family is one of the most respected families in sports due to their outstanding ownership of one of the great franchises. When one walks around the city the Rooney's work shows everywhere. Black and Gold signs surrounds the city, and the Steelers reign supreme. This season, The Pittsburgh Steelers, led by Head Coach Mike Tomlin, are starting off to a 6-2 record, and they are early favorites to win the Super Bowl for the 2010-2011 season.


Significance:

The significance of the Steelers is about as great as any football team can have on a city and in the world. Their are over 600 bars and restaurants that associate with the Steelers and over 50 are not in North America. The "Carpets" "Steagles" "Steelers" and the whatever else the Rooney family started is not only an American icon but they are an international icon of winning. The team truly shows American values like hard work (the Rooney family starting the team and holding on to them through thick and thin), Perseverance (starting out as one of the most losing teams in football to now having 6 super bowl championships), and of course loyalty. Whether it be the Rooney's loyalty to Pittsburgh, in not leaving when they had the chance in 1925 to relocate to Chicago, or the fans extreme loyalty to the team the Steelers embody this trait.