The Pittsburgh Steelers had forty seasons of headaches. Seriously. From 1933 to 1972, the team saw just one playoff appearance, a 21-0 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1947. They had seven winning seasons in that timespan, zero division titles, and had a 12-34 record against their chief rival, the Cleveland Browns.
Enter Chuck Noll in 1969, “Mean” Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, John Stallworth, and Jack Ham among others.
After 40 seasons of headaches, the Steelers clinched their first playoff victory in 1972, ending the game in spectacular fashion.
Enter the Steel Curtain. Enter a dynasty.
And enter thirty-four winning seasons since 1972.
Six Super Bowl victories, the first team to reach such a milestone.
Eight AFC Championships.
Sixteen AFC Conference Championship appearances.
Twenty-three AFC Central/North Championships.
And a winning record against their divisional rivals, the Browns, Ravens, and Bengals.
A culture of winning.
Three head coaches since 1969 (Cowher 1992-2006, Tomlin 2007-Present).
And a fan culture that is hard for any team in any of the four major sports to rival.
The Steelers’ history can be summed up in a Tale of Two Eras.
But what about today, when instability plagued the franchise since a 45-42 loss at home in the AFC Divisional Playoffs against the Jacksonville Jaguars following a 13-3 finish in 2017?
In 2020, there are more questions than answers surrounding the Steelers, and it’s a franchise that might just be at crossroads for the first time in five decades.
Pittsburgh Steelers Quick Hits
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Black, Steeler gold
Terry Bradshaw, Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Hines Ward, Antonio Brown
Won more Super Bowls than any other NFL franchise.
Main Article: The Pittsburgh Steelers Helmet History
Main Article: History of the Pittsburgh Steelers Jersey
1966 – 1967
1968 – 1996