The Pittsburgh Steelers are a NFL team that plays in the American Football Conference in the North Division. The Steelers were founded in 1933 and have played in various divisions during that time. In 1970, they became a part of the AFC’s Central Division. In 2002, they were switched to the AFC’s North Division.
The Steelers are the only team to have won six Super Bowl titles.
Pittsburgh, which is the oldest and most successful club in the AFC, has been to seven Super Bowls, winning six of them. They recorded victories in 1974 (IX), 1975 (X), 1978 (XIII), 1979 (XIV, 2005 (XL), and 2008 (XLIII). They have been in 13 conference championship contests, claiming victory in six. The Steelers have won their division 18 times.
Art Rooney founded the Steelers on July 8, 1933. The Rooney family has owned the club since the team’s inception. After Art’s death, each of his five sons became owners of 16% of the team, while a related family, the McGinleys, control the remaining 20%. Dan Rooney, Art’s oldest son, has held control of the team since his father’s death, while Art Rooney II, Dan’s son, presently controls much of the day-to-day activities of the club. The other four brothers are not actively involved in running the team. As of July, 2008, the “other four” brothers are seeking to divest their interests in the Steelers, in order to avoid inheritance taxes.
In 1933, the Pittsburgh club was called the Pirates. In 1940, they changed their name to the Steelers. During World War II, the NFL experienced player shortages that led to Pittsburgh temporarily merging with other teams. In 1943, they were known as the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Eagles or Steagles, and in 1944, when they merged with the Chicago Cardinals, they became Card-Pitt. They were renamed the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1945.
The 1970s was an amazing decade for the Steelers as they won seven conference championships and four Super Bowls. In that decade, the Pittsburgh roster included future Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw, “Mean” Joe Greene, Mel Blount, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, Mike Webster, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth and Jack Lambert. All of these players were drafted while Chuck Noll was the club’s head coach. In 1992, Noll, who had coached the team since 1969, retired. Bill Cowher was hired and guided the team to six division championships, two conference titles and one Super Bowl win. Mike Tomlin became the Steelers’ head coach in 2007 after Cowher retired.
In his first year as head Coach, Tomlin repeated Cowher’s success by winning the division. However, the Steelers, faced with several key injuries, lost their first playoff game to the Jacksonville Jaguars to end the season.
The Steelers entered the 2008 season facing the most difficult schedule in the league. They overcame the schedule and multiple injuries, especially to the running backs, to win the AFC North Division, the AFC Conferece Title Game, and the Super Bowl.
The Steelers have had four homes, including Forbes Field (1933-1963), Pitt Stadium (1964- 1969) and Three Rivers Stadium (1970- 2000). Presently, they play at Heinz Field, which they have occupied since 2001. The team mascot is Steely McBeam.
The Steeler’s main rivals are their AFC North opponents, most especially the Browns and Ravens, as the Bengals’ consistent mediocrity relegates them to a second tier rival status. Other rivalries would include a cross state one with the Eagles, and a historical dislike of the Dallas Cowboys, rooted in the Steelers’ two Super Bowl victories over the Cowboys in SBs 10 and 13.