Happy Birthday To The Steelers

A little late to the party. Literally. This day 84 years ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers were bought by Art Rooney Sr. The price tag? $2500, a not-so-small sum in the middle of the Great Depression. As you may know, they were called the Pittsburgh Pirates until 1940.

They’ve been the Steelers ever since, save for two merger seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Cardinals due to World War II. The Steagles were a surprising success; the Cardinals, “Carpets,” utter disaster.

For too long, the team were the lovable losers. Then Chuck Noll came along and built a dynasty in five years. Today, the Steelers stand as one of the most successful and prestigious franchises not just in football but all of sports. Much of that early history has been forgotten. Partially due to the passage of time, partially due to the lack of success. But it’s part of the franchise’s story and one we should never forget to tell.

Sadly, this is the first Steelers’ birthday without Dan Rooney, born in 1932. Rest in peace Papa Rooney.

With that in mind, here are links to the articles I’ve written about the early editions of the team. They’re lengthier reads but if you love football history like I do, worth your time.

Recapping The Steelers 1933 Season

The Pre-Noll Era: Recapping The 1933 Season (Part One)

The Pre-Noll Era: Recapping The 1933 Season (Part Two)

Paul Moss: Pioneer

“But what he should be best known for professionally is being the first offensive player in Steelers’ history to find the end zone. In the team’s second game, trailing the Chicago Cardinals 13-7 with less than three minutes remaining, Moss hauled in a nine yard touchdown from quarterback Jim Tanguay. Following the extra point, and a few more ticks off the clock, the Pirates would achieve their first victory in franchise history, 14-13.”

The Pre-Noll Era: Paul Moss, Pioneer

Nothing Lasts Forever: Angelo Brovelli

“The stars on the Steelers’ today are easy to name: Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell. Ask any Steelers’ fan about Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, or Lynn Swann, and you can strike up a conversation over a couple – or many – beers. But arguably the team’s first “star” was Brovelli, part of the original team founded by The Chief in 1933.”

Nothing Lasts Forever: Angelo Brovelli

Recapping The 1934 Season

The Pre-Noll Era: Recapping The 1934 Steelers’ Season

Recapping The 1935 Season

Nothing Lasts Forever: Recapping The 1935 Steelers’ Season

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    $2500 wont even get you season tickets anymore.

  • will


  • Alex Kozora

    Ain’t that the truth.

  • nutty32

    Imagine the capital gains tax off that $2,500.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Alex, thanks for keeping us informed on the Steelers past.

  • Alex Kozora

    And thank you for having such a big interest in it. Not many of those people around.

  • Jaybird

    Alex since you like Steeler history , did you know that Ed O’Neil ( aka Al Bundy on Married with Children and also of Modern Family) was almost a Steeler. He came to camp in ’69 undrafted out of Youngstown as D linemen but didn’t make the cut. I think that was the same year the team drafted a couple of other D linemen – some guys named Greene and Greenwood- maybe you heard of them. I think it’s only fitting that the Steelers entire culture and fortunes change after cutting Polk high’s Al Bundy! I also believe Terry Bradshaw appeared at least twice on Married with Children.

  • Alex Kozora

    I did!

    Did you know Al Bundy once scored four touchdowns against Andrew Johnson High?

  • Jaybird

    Yes he got the game winner against “spare tire ” Dixon ( aka Bubba Smith). Funny stuff man!