This NFL Films production with host Steve Sabal….takes a look at the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL from 1933 to 1970…..during a time when they were not only known as the Lovable Losers but also known as the Black and Blue Steelers Defense…..whereby they were considered one of the toughest teams to play from a physical standpoint.
The Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL first took to the field as the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 20, 1933, losing 23–2 to the New York Giants…..and throughout the 1930’s, the Pirates never finished higher than second place in their division or with a record better than .500….however Pittsburgh did make history in 1938 by signing Byron White….a future Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court….to what was at the time the biggest contract in NFL history….but he played only one year with the Pirates before signing with the Detroit Lions….while just prior to the 1940 season, the Pirates renamed themselves the Steelers.
During World War II, the Steelers experienced player shortages…..as they twice merged with other NFL franchises to field a team…..as during the 1943 season, they merged with the Philadelphia Eagles forming the “Phil-Pitt Eagles” and were known as the “Steagles”….for tis team went 5–4–1….then In 1944, they merged with the Chicago Cardinals and were known as Card-Pitt….or, mockingly, as the “Carpets”….as this team finished 0–10….which marked the only winless team in franchise history.
The Steelers made the playoffs for the first time in 1947….after tying for first place in the division at 8–4 with the Philadelphia Eagles….which forced a tie-breaking playoff game at Forbes Field….as the Steelers lost 21–0…..which would be Pittsburgh’s only playoff game for the next 25 years….as they did qualify for a “Playoff Bowl” in 1962….as the second-best team in their conference, but this was not considered an official playoff.
In 1970, the year they moved into Three Rivers Stadium and the year of the AFL–NFL merger….the Pittsburgh Steelers were one of three old-guard NFL teams to switch to the newly formed American Football Conference….along with the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Colts,…in order to equalize the number of teams in the two conferences of the newly merged league. The Steelers also received a $3 million ($18.9 million today) relocation fee, which was a windfall for them…..as for years they rarely had enough to build a true contending team…..as they then hire Coach Chuck Noll who would lead the Steelers to five world championships in the 1970’s.
Although the Steelers from 1933 to 1970 were much to write home about…..they were considered one of the roughest and toughest teams to play…..as their defense was punishing and were referred too as the “black and blue steelers defense” by dang near every team that had to face them during each of these 37 years…..which makes this video MUST SEE TV for any and all NFL fans….especially those with the Terrible Towels.