Fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers are in a league of their own, and they are about as dedicated as any fans can be. But even the most dedicated Steelers fan might find something here that he never knew. Learn more about the beloved Black and Gold Steelers and then use this info at your next tailgate or home watch party to dazzle all your friends with your deep knowledge of the Steelers.
What's in a Name?
Remember the Steagles? The Pittsburgh Steelers have actually gone through three name changes during their history. The team actually began as the Pittsburgh Pirates before owner Art Rooney changed their name to the Steelers in 1940. In 1943, they became the "Steagles" when they were merged with the Philadelphia Eagles when football rosters became depleted during World War II. The next year, 1944, saw them similarly merged with the Cardinals, and they became the oh-so-exciting "Card-Pitt" team.
Yes, Pittsburgh used to have cheerleaders. One of the NFL's first cheerleading teams, the Steelerettes, cheered for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1961 to 1970.
The Steelmark Logo
The Steelers' steelmark logo was originally only applied to the right side of the helmet because the Steelers were just not sure how it would look on their solid gold helmets. Even when they later switched their helmet color to solid black, they decided to permanently retain the logo on just one side because of the team's new success and the interest generated by the logo's uniqueness.
Heinz Field Hexagons
The tapered steel columns that support the multi-story glass wall that provides the spectacular view from the lounges and suites in Heinz Field are perforated with hexagons, a shape derived from the Steelers logo. Steel is also the primary building material used in the stadium's construction, appropriate since it reflects Pittsburgh's steel-making legacy.
The Duquesne Incline
The Duquesne Incline, which has been scaling the side of Mount Washington since May 7, 1877, is just one example of Pittsburgh pride in the Steelers. On game day, a sign is added to each of the two cars; the left one reads "DEEE" and the right one reads "FENSE." When the cars pass each other at the halfway point, they read "DEEE FENSE." The lighted signs can actually be seen from Heinz Field.
No player numbers have ever been retired by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and that makes them one of only a handful of NFL teams to follow this practice. But certain numbers are mysteriously not handed out to new players each season: No. 12 (Terry Bradshaw), No. 31 (Donnie Shell), No. 32 (Franco Harris), No. 47 (Mel Blount), No. 52 (Mike Webster), No. 58 (Jack Lambert), No. 59 (Jack Ham), No. 70 (Ernie Stautner), and No. 75 (Joe Greene).
The Terrible Towel
The much-loved official Myron Cope Terrible Towel was created to appease department store owners who were upset because their yellow and black hand towels were being sold at a rate disproportionate to the matching bath towels.