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Hometown Heroes
by Michael Aubrecht

The Pittsburgh Steelers, always western Pennsylvania's team, became a team for the ages during the 1970's by winning four Super Bowls in six seasons. It was then that the franchise erased 40 years of traditional failures through a myriad of turning points. The Steelers combined two staples - a bruising defense and a run-oriented offense - with wise draft picks and a "Whatever it takes" philosophy. The team also found ways to win. The Steelers dynasty reached its zenith in 1979 as a 12-4 regular season brought the team its sixth consecutive AFC Central title and fourth NFL Championship. The list of Steeler Heroes of the 70s is long, but it begins with Head Coach Chuck Noll, who took control of the team in 1969 and created one of the most intense dynasties in NFL history. Many of these legends were awarded membership into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in their first years of eligibility. Here's a tribute to my favorite Steelers from every era (with lots more to come!)

HOF Coach: Chuck Noll
Hired by Art Rooney in 1969, Chuck Noll went on to become one of the most successful coaches in NFL history. In his first season, the Steelers lost 13 games straight. Despite a rough start, he produced some of the best Draft choices ever, which later went on to form a Dynasty. On December 26th, after 23 years as the Steelers head coach, he retired with a 209-156-1 career record. He is the only coach in NFL history to win 4 Superbowls.

Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back: Rocky Bleier
Rocky Bleier was not the strongest athlete, or the fastest athlete, but he certainly was one of the "biggest" players ever to walk onto a field. Drafted during the War in Vietnam, Rocky chose to halt his football career in order to serve his country, a sacrifice that almost cost him his life. His story was so inspirational; it was made into one of the most critically acclaimed television movies of the 1970s, "Fighting Back". It is the story of one man's triumphant return from battlefield injury in Vietnam to Super Bowl victory. Rocky took shrapnel in both legs in Vietnam, and doctors said he'd have trouble walking, let alone playing football. The Chief kept him on the team and let him have free run of the training room. Determined to reclaim his starting position, he worked himself back into playing shape and returned as an integral part in the Steelers Dynasty of the '70s.

Pittsburgh Steelers HOF Linebacker: Jack Lambert
For decades Pittsburgh received world acclaim because of its steel industry. The city grew even more famous as football fans across the country focused on the Steelers from the mid 70's to the early 80's as they plowed across the field, mowing down team after team. The topping to their prowess came as they participated in four magnificent Super Bowls. One of the greatest linebackers of all time emerged from that era. Jack Lambert played in one historic game after another, winding up as a star in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is still considered one of the most intense and intimidating players ever to walk onto a football field and his entire career has been regarded as a highlight film in the making.

Polish for "The Great Ham" (70's banner that flew in the north End Zone)
Pittsburgh Steelers HOF Linebacker: Jack Ham
My mother-in-law's favorite Steeler. Number 59. Jack Ham, in tandem with Lambert and Andy Russell, formed one of the smartest, best tackling and most formidable linebacker combos in the history of the game. He was a consummate All-Pro. He never made a mistake. He followed every assignment to perfection and was probably one of the greatest linebackers in NFL history. A sharp contrast to Lambert's emotional style of play, Ham was Pittsburgh's humble poster child for calm. A cerebral LB, Ham was perhaps a notch higher on a personal performance level than Lambert game in and game out because of his unparalleled consistency. In addition to being superb at containing the rush (it was nearly impossible to run outside on Ham), he was the absolute best LB I have ever seen against the pass. His performance in the '74 AFC Championship game was a masterpiece which immediately comes to mind. He was without question the key player in that contest (which was probably the most pivotal game in franchise history), intercepting two critical Stabler passes and terrorizing Oakland all afternoon, almost to the point that Madden must have wondered if Ham was somehow sneaking into the Raider's huddles! While he lacked the emotional fire of Lambert (which is why Lambert is rated slightly above Ham for total impact), Ham was a true student of the game and perhaps the best prepared LB to ever suit up.

Pittsburgh Steelers HOF Center: "Iron" Mike Webster
I grew up in Pittsburgh and my whole family still lives there. I learned at a really young age that there's a certain pride and work ethic that goes along with living in "The Steel City". It's definitely a "Blue Collar" town full of dedicated and hard working people. This identity had a lot to do with the foundation of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fans in the 'burg expect athletes to work as hard as they do and as the old joke goes… "Pittsburgh is a Drinking Town with a Football Problem". People there drive around in old rusted cars because they spend all of their money on Season Tickets. They are very passionate about sports and tradition, good people with a different set of priorities and I'm very proud to be one of them. No athlete ever symbolized this "Heart and Soul" of Pittsburgh better than Mike Webster. His work ethic, dedication and performance are without equal. Its no wonder he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and many of his records still stand today. It's unfortunate that Offensive Lineman are often overlooked. Especially when they are responsible for the success of the "Marquee" Quarterbacks and Running Backs behind them. Its amazing to think that the Steelers have had only 3 Centers over the last 3 decades, Ray Mansfield, Mike Webster and Dermontti Dawson. All are without piers.

Pittsburgh Steelers HOF Running Back: Franco Harris
Franco Harris is still one of the most beloved athletes in the history of Pittsburgh. His "Italian Army" was one of the largest fanclubs of any player and his popularity continued off the field with a wide assortment of local television commercials and endorsements around the Steel City. Anybody remember buying "Franco's Pizza" at the local Giant Eagle? He was the original "Black and Gold Ambassador." He helped spread the Steelers popularity outside of the Pittsburgh area and made football fans out of Grandmas. Everyone had a #32 Jersey (even my Grandmother) and a Red, White and Green flag (even if you weren't Italian). His dynamic running style and ability to make long yardage plays out of "no-gain" situations electrified the fans and enabled the Steelers to establish a strong rushing game, that continues as the foundation for smash-mouth, AFC Central football. Franco is perhaps best known for the "Immaculate Reception", a 60 yard reception in the final five seconds of the game that gave Pittsburgh a victory over the Oakland Raiders in a first-round playoff game in 1972. It is still considered the greatest play in NFL history as well as one of the most controversial. Harris remains a fan favorite to this day and his contributions to "The Dynasty of the 70's" still remain in many categories of the Steelers record books.

Pittsburgh Steelers HOF Quarterback: Terry Bradshaw
More than just a player, Terry Bradshaw was (and still is) The Pittsburgh Steelers… I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to see him play and he still amazes me everytime I see his performances on highlight film. No other Steeler has ever had the impact on and off the field that Terry had. He was a true hero in every sense of the word and Steeler fans still regard him as the greatest player ever to wear the Black and Gold. He still remains the only quarterback to ever lead his team to four Super Bowl victories and is without a doubt, one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play in the NFL. Legendary for his strong arm, toughness, and leadership, Bradshaw was virtually unbeatable in the biggest games. Even though he played at a small college (Louisiana Tech), Terry was still coveted by the NFL scouts, and was taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the first overall pick in 1970. The 6 foot 3, 215 pounder became a starter in 1971. Many fans and reporters did not believe that he was talented enough to make it in the NFL, but he was eventually able to quiet his critics who thought he was "too dumb" to make it in the league. His Steelers featured the awesome "Steel Curtain" defense and a powerful running game led by Franco Harris. But it was Bradshaw's strong and accurate arm that gave the Steeler offense the ability to strike quickly from anywhere on the field. The combination of Bradshaw and his receivers (Swann and Stallworth) was more than NFL Films could have ever hoped for. A tough competitor, Bradshaw excelled in pressure situations. He led the Steelers to their first Super Bowl victory (over the Minnesota Vikings) in 1974. The following year, Terry threw a 64 yard touchdown pass to Lynn Swan in the last three minutes to beat the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 in Super Bowl X. In 1978, Bradshaw was voted League MVP and Super Bowl MVP as he won his third ring. He got his fourth in 1979, along with another Super Bowl MVP award. Terry Bradshaw retired after the 1983 season, holding numerous team, league, and post season records. A first ballot Hall of Fame inductee, Bradshaw retired as one of Pro Football's ultimate winners. His legacy still lives on, 16 years after his career ended. He is currently one of the top rated TV Sports Analysts, an accomplished movie actor and a country western singer.

Pittsburgh Steelers HOF Defensive Tackle: Joe Greene
Four Super Bowls... ten straight Pro Bowls... a slot on the NFL's All-Time Roster... a Hall of Fame Inductee... the list goes on and on. As new head coach Chuck Noll's first draft choice in 1969, Joe Greene was the foundation upon which the greatest dynasty in NFL history (perhaps sports history) was built. One of the greatest defensive linemen ever to play the game, Greene also possessed great leadership qualities that allowed him to continue to be a key figure on the team even when his abilities began to fade. "Mean Joe" was without question Pittsburgh's heart and soul throughout the "glory years". Joe Greene was also a part of the most famous sports commercial of all time (as determined by a pre-Super Bowl XXXII vote by the media) - the Coca-Cola jersey commercial. In the 1979 commercial, a young kid (played by Tom Okon), offers a hobbling Joe a Coke. Joe reluctantly takes the Coke and drinks it. In return he tosses the kid his jersey. The commercial was so famous it was made into a TV Movie - The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid.

Steelers Wide Receivers: Lynn Swann and John Stallworth
As individuals these guys were extremely gifted athletes, but together, they formed one of the most dynamic receiving corps in the history of the NFL. Every game for them was a highlight film and every catch was a work of art in motion. They were the "wing men" for the Steelers Superbowl dynasty. John Stallworth had a longer career and better numbers than fan favorite "Swannee". On the field, NFL Films described him as "a lethal combination of smooth sipping whiskey and greased lightning." Yes, he was that good, and also a member of the All-Class group of people you would ever care to know. Lynn Swann was arguably the most graceful receiver in NFL history. He made more key catches - in more big games - and in more spectacular fashion - than any receiver did. His ballet training enabled him to defy gravity and his hands were second-to-none. Both deserve to be in the Hall of Fame and it's a crime that only Swann has been inducted.

DT Mean Joe Greene, DT Ernie Holmes, DE L.C. Greenwood, and DE Dwight White
The fans that saw them will never forget their ferocious attack on NFL opponents. The players who lined up against the four horsemen will never completely shake off those bone-crunching blasts they bestowed every Sunday. They were the four marauding monsters from four-time Super Bowl Champs, the Pittsburgh Steelers -- the behemoths who flattened opposing linemen, quarterbacks and rushers for nearly a decade. They just don't make men like this anymore -- and they probably never will!

Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver: Louis Lipps
Louie Lipps was one of the most dynamic receivers ever to wear the Black and Gold. Unlike Swann and Stallworth, Lipps played for a Steeler team that was in a transition period, many of the Super Bowl veterans had begun to retire and the team was attempting to step out from the "Shadow of the Dynasty" and make an identity for itself. His attitude and performance on and off the field made him an immediate fan favorite, and his contributions are often overlooked due to the Steelers lack of Championships during the 80's. (We still haven't got "One for the Thumb".) Still, some of my most fondest memories of growing up a "Pittsburgh Steeler Fan" did not take place in the 70's, I was way too young (although I remember the '79 SuperBowl), it took place in the 80's and Louie was a big part of that.

Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back/Wide Receiver/Kick Returner: Walter Abercrombie
Walter Abercrombie was one of the most versatile and explosive players ever to wear the Black and Gold. Like many other forgotten stars of the 80's, Walter's legacy is often overlooked. He played for a Steeler team that was in a transition period, most of the Super Bowl veterans had begun to retire and the team was attempting to step out from the "Shadow of the Dynasty" and make a new identity for itself. His speed and agility as a young I-back, split back, slotback and wide receiver made him an immediate fan favorite, and his contributions are often overlooked due to the Steelers lack of Championships during the 80's. I remember hearing Myron Cope screaming his name as he split the defense and headed up the sidelines "Abercrombie breaks away… Yoi and Double Yoi" I had the privilege of watching this guy in person at several games and I'll tell you this, he was fast, real fast. Not many Running Backs also report as Wide Receivers and Kick Returners. He was "Slash" before Kordell Stewart graduated high school at a time in the NFL, when "utility" players were few and far between. He was also an accomplished Christian singer and often entertained at various Steelers' banquets. In 1995, Walter went on to become the Director of Education and Special Projects for the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association).

Coach: Bill Cowher
After replacing legendary Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Noll in 1992, native Pittsburgher Bill Cowher set out to make his own history. Today he is one of the most consistent and intense coaches in the NFL. His "60 Minutes of Physical Football" philosophy and "Lets Go" attitude provide the ever-changing Steelers with a foundation for success that few teams possess. He has taken his team to the playoffs in each of his first 6 seasons and the Steelers have already hosted 3 AFC Championship Games and gone to a Superbowl.

(As the banner at TRS read for several years)
Pittsburgh Steelers Cornerback: Rod Woodson
In my opinion, Rod Woodson became without a doubt, the best pure athlete in Steelers history. In the dismal late 80's and early 90's, Rod WAS the team. While his play at CB alone is enough to earn him a spot on everyone's all-time roster, his fantastic kick return ability adds even more punch to his resume. Sam Wyche once said, "Rod Woodson is the best punt returner I'll EVER see." Unfortunately, like many great Steelers of the 90's, he has left the 'burg via free agency and gone onto play with the 49ers and Ravens. Rod is certain to one day reside in Canton (Hall of Fame). His accomplishments in Pittsburgh are among the most in franchise history and definitely worth listing: Perseverance might be best adjective to describe one of the NFL's elite cornerbacks... No NFL player has ever recovered from severe knee injury and returned to play in the same season... Until Woodson accomplished goal in 1995... One of only 5 active players to be named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary team in 1994... NFL's 1993 defensive player of the year... Voted to 6th consecutive Pro Bowls following 1994 season... Only 7 Steelers have made more Pro Bowl appearances... 3-time team MVP and defensive captain... Has played in 118 games and leads active Steelers with 32 career interceptions and ties Jack Ham for 6th in team history... Owns Steelers' career records for PRs (256), PR yards (2,362), KORs (220) and KOR yards (4,894)... Tied with Jack Butler for most TDs on interception returns (4)... Until 1995, held single-season records for KOR and return yardage... Won NFL KOR title in 1989 with 27.3-yard average to become 1st Steeler since Lynn Chandnois (1951-52) to win NFL KOR title... Led AFC in PRs in 1992... Has led team in interceptions twice, was leader in solo tackles in 1993 and 1994... Has scored 8 TDs in career with 4 on interceptions, 2 on PRs, 2 on KORs... One of NFL's fastest players, finished 2nd to Darrell Green in 1988 NFL Fastest Man Competition, after defeating Ricky Nattiel and Willie Gault in semis, adding 3rd-place finish in 1990.

Pittsburgh Steelers Center: Dermontti Dawson
My favorite Steeler, this guy is named on everybody's All-Star Roster. Definitely one of the greatest Centers ever to play the game and one of the most consistent and diverse players at any position. Dermontti's NFL peers have voted him to 7 straight Pro Bowls. His teammates have consistently voted him Offensive Team Captain and he has started in more consecutive games than any other current Steeler has. He made 5 starts at Guard before moving to Center in 1989. He also doubled as the Long-snapper until 1993. He was the 44th player drafted overall in 1988 and the 6th Offensive Lineman. At Kentucky, Dawson was named second team All-SEC as a Sr. in his 2nd year as starting right guard. He placed 1st in the SEC off-season weight lifting competition with a total lift of 1,570 pounds. Until 2001, he was one of the last remaining Steelers from the Chuck Noll era.

Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker: Kevin Greene
Kevin Greene only spent 3 years as a Pittsburgh Steeler, but it was a very good 3 years. He was instrumental in helping to define the "Blitzburgh Defense" designed by Dom Capers and a standout player in Bill Cowher's "60 Minute Men" (probably the closest squad we've ever had to the original Steel Curtain). He is currently the NFL's 3rd All-Time Sack Leader and 7th on the Steelers' record books with 35.5. The Zone Blitz/Pass-Rush combination of Outside Linebackers Greene and Greg Lloyd resulted in Quarterback "casualties", not seen since the days of Lambert and Ham. His legacy still remains in Pittsburgh as a member of THE best Steeler Roster of the 90's and the only team to have a Superbowl appearance in over a decade. Kevin was also known as one of the most dominating personalities ever to wear a Black and Gold uniform. With his ripped jersey sleeves and long blonde hair, he looked more like a Viking warrior and less like a professional athlete. He was famous for mingling with the fans and his "blue collar" work ethic and tough-guy attitude made him an immediate favorite. He was involved in many local charity organizations and even stopped by Three Rivers Stadium to help fans who were waiting in line to buy playoff tickets pass the time. He was one of the first Steeler "superstars" to go via Free Agency (at the height of his career) and many fans are still shocked and angry at his "untimely" departure. He has moved onto 2 other NFC teams since leaving Pittsburgh, but his stats and contributions still remain among the best.

Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker: Greg Lloyd
My wife's favorite Steeler, this guy is also named on everybody's All-Star Roster. Definitely one of the greatest Linebackers ever to play the game and one of the most intense and controversial players at any position. For the better part of 11 seasons Greg Lloyd has terrorized Quarterbacks all around the NFL. However, the last few seasons have been one injury after the other. In 1996 he suffered a torn patella tendon in his left knee in the season opener and he also suffered a serious infection that left him hospitalized during the 1997 season. Although he has moved on from Pittsburgh, his contributions to the Steelers are second to none. The 2-time Steeler MVP (1991 and 1994) has 50+ career sacks ranking fourth in team history. He is the 4th Linebacker in Steelers history to play in 5 Pro Bowls. In 1995 he was voted Defensive Co-Captain and led the team with a career high 117 tackles. He was the 150th player selected overall in 1987. At Fort Valley State, he was voted 3-time team MVP, 3-time All-SIAC, 1986 SIAC Defensive Player of the Year and Team Captain.

Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back: Jerome Bettis
The Steelers have always been a smash-mouth football team. In their playbook, it's all about pushing the pile and stuffing the ball down your opponent's throat. Pittsburgh has had great Quarterbacks and Receivers on their rosters, but it's their Running Backs that have been their constant through the years. Guys like John Henry Johnson, Franco Harris, Barry Foster and Bam Morris just to name a few. The Steelers have always had BIG backs that can plow through the line like a freight train. They want the kind of player that can hit the hole (or make one) and take a few "would-be" tacklers for a ride. They also want well-rounded athletes who can catch a pass and throw a block or two. No Running Back has ever met these specs as well as #36 "The BUS" aka Jerome Bettis. His record setting performances and fan popularity has been without equal in the 90's.

Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker: Levon Kirkland
A real life Superhero that's too good to be true, that's Levon Kirkland, the star linebacker of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He comes home every off-season to live with his parents for awhile in his same bedroom, he's a strong believer in God, and oh yea, he's the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL. But don't try and find a chip on his shoulder, or a swelled head. You won't find him in the police blotter, because Kirkland is as down to earth as most anyone. When it comes to religion, Kirkland writes letters to God a lot, and he says it's something that cleanses his soul. Not much was expected of Kirkland when he joined the Steelers in 1992, a second-round draft pick out of Clemson. But he has paid his dues, and in turn, the Steelers have paid him for his outstanding play. While the team has had to part with several free-agent starters, they elected to hold on to Kirkland. Despite "Plan B", he remained as the veteran leader on an ever-changing roster throughout the 90s. Kirkland is best described as a "multipurpose" linebacker. He can do anything you need. His size and speed is amazing and he remains one of the few linebackers in the league who can also cover tight ends. Kirkland weighs over 265 pounds and runs a 40' Dash Time at 4.86 seconds. To give you an idea how big he is, Kirkland is actually five pounds heavier than "Mean" Joe Greene was when he played defensive tackle for the Steel Curtain in the 70's. In 1997, he was the leading tackler (95 solo stops) and tied for second in sacks (five) on a defense that ranked No. 1 in the NFL against the run. In the AFC Championship Game, a 24-21 loss to the Denver Broncos, Kirkland had 11 tackles, a sack and an interception. He has become a constant and hasn't missed a game in college or the pros. He was elected to the ProBowl in 1997 and 1998 as well as an AFC Alternate in 1999. He was unanimously voted Steelers Team MVP in 1998 and 1999.

Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver: Hines Ward
This guy is fast becoming one of my new favorite Steelers. Another "Slash" type player, he is a truly multi-talented athlete and has played receiver, flanker, tailback, quarterback, split end and punt/kick returner. He has also become one of the most dependable performers on an ever-changing Steelers roster. As a starter on both Offense and Special Teams, he is able to take punishment as well as give it. This balance of speed and toughness, along with a great set of hands, has enabled Ward to lead the team in many categories including: total receptions, TD receptions, yard-per-reception average and more. As a 3rd year man, his career has only started and I hope to watch him continue to grow (in a Black and Gold uniform) for years to come.

Pittsburgh Steelers Punter: Josh Miller
OK, I know what you're saying… "A Punter?" Yes, a Punter. Believe me, this guy DESERVES a tribute. He went from being Bill Cowher's chew toy, to one of the top punters in the entire NFL, as well as one of the most dependable Steelers on an ever-changing roster of inconsistent performers. He is also one of the most well rounded athletes on the team, He was a wide receiver, place-kicker, punter, basketball guard and track decathlete. Not bad for a guy who only kicks for a living. Special Teams seldom get credit, especially kickers and punters. They may only be on the field for eight seconds at a time, but those eight seconds can make or break a game. Josh has proven himself in "crunch" situations over and over again. He is a perfect example of what practice and dedication can do for achieving success. Look for Josh Miller at an upcoming Pro Bowl near you.

Pittsburgh Steeler fans have a special bond and are among the most loyal and hardcore followers of any sporting organization. Anybody who has ever lived in or around Pittsburgh knows the importance of football. After all, western Pennsylvania is said to be the birthplace of the professional game and the "Quarterback Cradle of America". These "Die Hard" fans play a big role in a team's home-field advantage and everyone knows winning in the Steeler's House is easier said than done. Pittsburgh truly is a Football Town. The fire trucks are Black and Gold, the waiting list for season tickets is 8-10 years, and during football season, even Sunday Sermons are paraphrased to accommodate game time. Newborn babies are often seen returning home from the hospital wrapped in Terrible Towels and legends of the Dynasty are passed down from generation to generation. Steeler fans are also famous for some the best Tailgating in the NFL. No matter how good or how bad the Steelers Play, every game is sold out and no matter how many players come and go via free agency, the fans are always there, rooting for the home team. "HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!"

Three Rivers Stadium 1970-2000
I can't tell you how many Games, Concerts and Festivals I have attended there during my life. Three Rivers is more than just a local landmark; it's "hallowed ground". A cathedral of Black and Gold and site to countless magic moments in sports history. It is one of the loudest and most intense Stadiums in the NFL. Any team visiting Pittsburgh knows the value of earplugs. Fans play a big role in a team's home-field advantage and everyone knows winning in the Steeler's House is easier said than done. Three Rivers was replaced in 2001 by a 2 new ballparks: PNC Park (Pirates) and a new Steelers Stadium (hopefully called Rooney Field), Both facilities are state of the art and architecturally breathtaking, but Three Rivers will always remain The House That Art Built and the home of 2 Champion franchises. The last regular-season Steelers game at Three Rivers Stadium was played on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2000 against the Washington Redskins (a WIN). A few months later, the structure was imploded. Many items from the stadium including seats, turf and bricks were sold as collector's items after the structure was knocked down. I was fortunate enough to add a few of these "holy relics" to my memorabilia collection. Thanks for the memories "TR".

Pittsburgh Steelers Broadcaster: Myron Cope
Myron Cope is as much a Pittsburgh Tradition as Iron City Beer and has just as much bite. His play-by-play commentaries and special brand of "Copeisms" have made him one of the most beloved sportscasters in NFL history. (Plus, he's the inventor of the Terrible Towel!) Unless you're from Pittsburgh, you have no idea what you're missing (and you won't understand a word he is saying). Right "Yinz Guyz"?

Yes, believe it or not, even the Steelers had Cheerleaders; Lovely ladies in Black and Gold.
The Steelerettes performed from 1961-1970. They were founded by a group of young coeds at Robert Morris Junior College, now Robert Morris College, (my wife's Alma Mater) in Pittsburgh, PA. Most coaches, players, and owners, including Art Rooney, believed women had no place on a football field. Around this time, the Dallas Cowboys broke new ground by allowing a squad of pom-pom girls in skimpy uniforms to dance around the field calling themselves "The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders". Nobody knows who approached Mr. Rooney with the idea of cheerleaders for his beloved Steelers, but whoever it was had to convince him that they weren't going to be there inciting riots among the spectators. He was assured that the Steelerettes would be wholesome, young students from Robert Morris Junior College and they would be properly clothed. Times have changed, but this just goes to show that Pittsburgh has always been a class act.

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All essays researched and written by Michael Aubrecht.
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