Complete History Of The Pittsburgh Steelers

Bob MarleyCorrespondent IApril 17, 2009

23 Sep 1990:  Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll looks on during a game against the Los Angeles Raiders at  the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  The Raiders won the game, 20-3. Mandatory Credit: Ken Levine  /Allsport

This is the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Everything you are about to read in this article is true. This is the story of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

One day, a man by the name of Arthur Rooney, was sitting around thinking how to spend $2500 all at once. After a few days of pondering, Art Rooney decided to contact the NFL to start a football franchise. He would call his team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In the Pirates first NFL game, they scored a safety while being blown out 23-2 by the New York Giants. Through the 1930's, the Pirates never finished better than a .500 record. In 1938, they were able to make history by signing future U.S. Supreme Justice Byron White to the largest NFL contract in history. White quickly realized how terrible the Pirates were, so he signed with the Detroit Lions in 1940.

Just before the 1940 season, the team was renamed the Steelers. During WWII, the Steelers faced player shortages so they had to join with the Philadelphia Eagles for a season, becoming the Phil-Pitt Steagles. Then, later in the decade, they formed with the Chicago Cardinals to become Card-Pitt, or because of their 0-10 record, the carpet.

The rest of this era was so terrible that it hurts me to even think about it. Now, we can fast forward to the point when the Steelers became amazing.

The Rooneys were stuck with a very hard decision trying to find the right coach for the team. In 1969, the organization decided on the young Chuck Noll. Chuck Noll was a relatively unknown young man, but had unbelievable knowledge of the game of football and its players.

In the year 1969, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Joe Greene, a little known DT from North Texas, with their first overall pick. This is widely considered the turning point of the Steelers. Even though they had Greene, they still had problems, playing pitiful during that season.

This is where a dynasty begins. After drafting Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount in 1970 and then Jack Ham in 1971, this team was ready to win.

In 1972, the Steelers drafted Franco Harris, a running back out of Penn State. During that season, the Steelers were able to play extremely well, well enough to make the playoffs. This is the season Franco Harris was able to make the immaculate reception to defeat the Raiders in the very end of their first playoff game in years. The Steelers lost the next week.

Skipping over the 1973 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to pull off what most people consider the best draft ever in 1974. The Steelers selected Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Jack Lambert, and Mike Webster.

These are all Hall of Famers. It was this year the Steelers won their first Super Bowl. The Steelers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 16-6.

The next year, 1975, the Steelers again won the Super Bowl defeating the Dallas Cowboys 21-17. The Steelers, at that point, became the best team in the NFL.

The next two seasons were playoff seasons, but not Super Bowl ones. Even though they couldn't make it back to the Super Bowl during those two years, that didn't mean they wouldn't make it back again.

In the year 1978, the Steelers were back and better than ever. The team played strong and stayed focused in every game. The team made the playoffs that year, and later the Super Bowl. The Steelers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 35-31 on their way to their third championship.

The same happened in 1979 that happened in 1978. The Steelers once again made it to the Super Bowl, winning 31-19, against the Los Angeles Rams. The Steelers won more Super Bowls in the 1970's than anybody had won up until the early 1990's. The Steelers of the 1970's are considered a dynasty, possibly the greatest dynasty in all of sports.

The 1980's were not as kind to the Steelers as the 1970's. Many of the Hall of Famers from the 1970's left. Since the Steelers roster really lost it's touch, the entire team suffered. The best year the Steelers had in the 1980's was in 1989. Hall of Famer Rod Woodson and Merrill Hodge were able to lead the team into the second round of the playoffs, eventually losing.

In 1992, coach Chuck Noll retired after 23 seasons as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The organization set out to find a man who could lead the team. After a long time considering their candidates, the Steelers were set on Bill Cowher, a native from Pittsburgh. During his first six seasons, Cowher was able to reach the playoffs. This feat was only accomplished one other time, by Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown. 

During the 1995 season, Cowhers squad finished the year 10-6, making the playoffs. The team played hard and physical, relying on their defense. When the Steelers reached the Super Bowl, they were 16 point underdogs. With that being said, they lost to the Dallas Cowboys 27-17.

Fast forwarding past the Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox era, we now go to the NFL draft in 2004. This is where the Steelers found a true leader, his name, was Ben Roethlisberger. During his rookie season, he led the team to its best ever 15-1 record, losing in the AFC Championship game.

In 2005, the Steelers started off fast, later losing mid-season due to Roethlisberger missing a few weeks due to a knee injury. The Steelers were able to rally late in the season, finishing 11-5. The Steelers had momentum on their side as most knew that Jerome Bettis would later retire. The Steelers easily moved through the playoffs and the Super Bowl winning 21-10 against the Seattle Seahawks.

In 2006, the team fell apart. Roethlisberger was in a near deadly motorcycle accident and later, before the season opener, an appendectomy. After finishing 8-8, Coach Bill Cowher retired.

Finding a successor to Bill Cowher was a hard job. Most people thought an in house candidate would be the choice. That was not the case though, as the Steelers selected Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin.

In 2007, the Steelers had a rebound season. Ben Roethlisberger was back and better than ever throwing for a career high in touchdowns, 32. In week 15 of the season, the Steelers lost Willie Parker, their pro bowl running back, due to torn ligaments. This would prove costly in the playoffs, as the Steelers lost 31-29.

In 2008, the Steelers team was back and ready to improve on their 2007 season under Mike Tomlin. During this season, the defense played spectacular games helping out the struggling offense to a 12-4 record, defeating their arch rival Baltimore twice. After easily defeating San Diego, the Steelers had to host Baltimore for a trip to the Super Bowl. The team was able to hold Baltimore's offense on their way to Super Bowl XLIII. There was one problem, former OC Ken Whisenhunt.

When finding Bill Cowher's replacement, many fans and analysts expected Ken Whisenhunt to be crowned the coach of the team. After the team informed him he would not, he accepted an offer to be the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals.

Once Whisenhunt was out of the hunt, speculation was that Assistant head coach and offensive line coach Russ Grimm would be Bill Cowhers successor. As you already know, we the fans, were wrong. Russ Grimm asked for the team to release him so he could go work with Ken Whisenhunt and his team.

So it was Mike Tomlin vs. Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm. Out of the three, did the Steelers make the right choice. Apparently they did, as they defeated the Cardinals with a late touchdown to seal their 27-23 victory.

This has been the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers, I hope you enjoyed


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