6 Pittsburgh Steelers Facts


Having been founded in 1933, the Pittsburgh Steelers are the 7th oldest franchise in the National Football League, along with being the oldest football club in the AFC. Today, the Pittsburgh Steelers play in the highly competitive AFC North division, alongside the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens.

Here are six fascinating facts about the Pittsburgh Steelers, with one for each of the franchise’s six Super Bowl victories.

    1. The team originally entered the NFL as the Pittsburgh Pirates. (source) The franchise originally had the same as the longtime Major League Baseball franchise in Pittsburgh! Using the same name as the baseball team in the same city was a common practice in sports at the time. Prior to the 1940 season, the Pirates renamed the franchise to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Over seven seasons as the Pirates, the franchise never had a winning record, as their best record was 6-6 for the 1936 NFL season.
    1. The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of only two franchises to win the Super Bowl six times. (source) The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots are the only two franchises in the National Football League that have won the Lombardi Trophy on six different occasions. The Steelers actually have a better win percentage in the Super Bowl too (.750) in comparison with the Patriots (.545). Across the Steelers eight Super Bowl appearances, they’ve had three different starting Quarterbacks in Terry Bradshaw (4-0), Neil O’Donnell (0-1) and Ben Roethlisberger (2-1). The two losses in the Super Bowl for the Steelers came against the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers, while the six victories came against the Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, and the Dallas Cowboys twice.
    1. The Steelers are no strangers to winning playoff games, but their first came against the Oakland Raiders in 1972. (source) Entering the 2021 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers had won 36 playoff games all-time, which is the second highest total in NFL history (New England Patriots: 37). However, the very first Steelers postseason win happened in 1972 over the Oakland Raiders in what turned out to be a famous game. In the 13-7 victory over the Raiders, Steelers running back Franco Harris caught a deflected pass that nearly hit the ground, and took it all the way back for what would be the game-winning touchdown. Today, it’s still talked about and referred to as “the Immaculate Reception.”
    1. For the 1943 NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers merged with the Philadelphia Eagles to become the “Steagles.” (source) The 1943 NFL season was an odd one for the league, as so many players were lost to military service for World War II. This forced several clubs to merge to fill out their rosters, which is how the ‘Steagles’ came to be for the 1943 season. The team finished the season with a 5-4-1 record for third place in the NFL Eastern Division. While the official record book for the league refers to the team as ‘Phil-Pitt Combine,’ fans around the league still refer to that 1943 squad as the ‘Steagles.’
    1. The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of just seven NFL franchises without a cheerleading squad. (source) In 1961, the Steelers debuted the ‘Steelerettes,’ a cheerleading squad that lasted only nine games before team owner Art Rooney cut them from the program, citing that they were a distraction for the team. Today, the Steelers are one of just seven NFL franchises without cheerleaders, a group that also includes the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Chargers and New York Giants.
    1. The franchise’s first ever regular season touchdown was actually a defensive score. (source) For decades, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been synonymous with hard-hitting defense, so it’s only fitting that the team’s first ever regular season touchdown came on an interception. In a game over the Chicago Cardinals on September 27, 1933, Pittsburgh Pirates player Martin Kottler took an interception back 96 yards for a touchdown, sealing a 14-13 win. Oddly enough, Kottler only played professional football for that one season in 1933 for Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most storied and successful franchises in the history of the National Football League. Do you have any more fun facts to share?


Featured image photo credit: Paula R. Lively, 2013. Originally found on Flickr.com. Image was resized and cropped. Creative Commons 2.0.

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