The Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers are highly anticipated to play the 2014 Super Bowl. To get in the mood for an exciting game, our experts found 10 fun facts about America’s favorite football team–the Pittsburgh Steelers.
1) Two of the most devoted fans:
The Rooney family has owned and operated the Steelers since 1933. Art Rooney Sr., a boxing promoter and race track owner, started off with just $500 when he bought the team in 1933 for $2500.
2) Instant replay debuted:
On September 18, 1963 at a home game against the Chicago Bears, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle watched from a booth upstairs as Steelers’ head coach Buddy Parker used a television monitor on the sidelines to watch plays from previous drives during a timeout, thus beginning the NFL’s use of instant replay.
3) A huge win:
In 1972, the Pittsburgh Steelers won their first Super Bowl (X), defeating the Minnesota Vikings. Then following up in 1974 they won Super Bowl (XIII) with a victory over the Minnesota Vikings again! The only other team to achieve that kind of two-year run is the San Francisco 49ers, who beat Denver and Dallas in 1988 and 1989.
4) Terry Bradshaw:
Despite what you might think, Terry Bradshaw has a college degree from Louisiana Tech University. He was selected as number one draft pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1970 and played his entire 14-year career with them until 1983; he also went on to have a successful broadcasting career after his retirement.
5) A tale of two footballs:
The “laces game ball” is to prevent the quarterback’s hand from slipping and either fumbling or throwing an incomplete pass since the laces face the passer when he holds it; this was used during World War II because leather became scarce.
6) Purchasing power:
The average salary in the NFL today is about $1 million, but at one time (1976), Steelers players were making less than $20K a year! During that same season Super Bowl MVP Franco Harris worked for the PennDOT road crew after practice every day to earn some extra money. It wasn’t until 1982 that salaries started creeping up to current levels thanks to network television contracts.
7) The Steel Curtain:
In 1975, the Steelers’ defensive line was so awesome they were named the “Steel Curtain” and went on to win Super Bowls in 1978 and 1979. Current NFL teams have used a variety of names for their awesome defenses over the years including the New York Sack Exchange (1982), Doomsday Defense (1988) and No Name Defense (1989).
8) An awesome victory:
The Steelers won four Super Bowl titles in six years from 1974-1979–a feat only matched by the 49ers from 1981-1994. At one point during this stretch they won 21 games straight! One record that’s never been matched is to win three playoff games on the road as did Pittsburgh in 1976 en route to Super Bowl victory.
9) Mr. Rooney:
The Steelers are now run by Art’s son, Dan Rooney who was the US Ambassador to Ireland from 2009-2012. He helped found the American Ireland Fund 30 years ago, an organization dedicated to peace and charity in Northern Ireland. Rooney also lobbied hard for the NFL to return its legendary franchise back home to America after it had walked away in 1995; he succeeded when Heinz Field hosted its first game on September 11, 2001.
10) Now you know these 10 facts about Pittsburgh Steelers club should help you root for this underdog team all the way through Super Bowl Sunday!