Pittsburgh Steelers

Should Michael Vick Be a Pittsburgh Steeler?

Aug 26, 2015
Jeff Haynes / AP Images

Free agent quarterback Michael Vick signed a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday night. The move has incited debate over Vick’s history and how that may affect the Steelers season. In 2007, Vick spent 21 months in federal prison for his role in a dog-fighting ring. Over 12,000 people have signed a digital petition protesting his contract. Tribune-Review reporter Ben Schmitt won an Emmy at the Detroit Free Press for his contribution to the series “Pit Bulls: Companions or Killers?” He offers his thoughts on the controversy.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / flickr

Next month at Heinz Hall, former Steeler and decorated Vietnam veteran Rocky Bleier will perform a one man show about his life. It is described as an intimate portrait featuring highlights of Rocky's multi-faceted life as a four-time Super Bowl Champion, wounded warrior, family man and community activist. Rocky Bleier joins us in studio along with the man who wrote the play Gene Collier.

Urban Archives / Temple University Libraries

   During World War II, due to shortages, there were plenty of things Americans had to do without and NFL football was nearly one them. The war left the league with a shortage of able bodied men to play the game. So rather than shut down during the 1943 season, the Steelers and the Philadelpha Eagles combined their rosters to form a unified Pennsylvania team; the "Steagles." We'll talk with Matthew Algeo, author of "Last Team Standing: How the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles--'The Steagles' Saved Pro Football During World War II," and Al Wistert, the last surviving Steagle.     

The city’s tourism agency, VisitPittsburgh, has proposed creating a non-profit organization tasked with attracting major sporting events to the area.

Executive Vice President Jason Fulvi said the city needs an organization dedicated solely to sports promotion.

“We had over a million overnight visits last year in Allegheny County and all of that brings money and revenue into the community," he said. "It helps to support not only our hotels, but restaurants, bars (and) attractions.”

John Marino / Wikipedia

The end of a three-year agreement between the Port Authority and the Steelers and Rivers Casino corporations that enabled T riders to reach Allegheny Station free of charge may upset the transit system's free fare zone. Without funds from either organization, the Port Authority must either pick up the tab itself or start charging riders who use the T stop to attend sporting events. Alex Zimmerman has been covering the story for the City Paper and joins us to discuss the issues surrounding the suspension of the deal. 

Zimmerman says the change is due, in part, to the Port Authority's desire to separate subsidies from advertising rights for the two stations on the North Shore:

"Port Authority went to [the subsidizing entities] and said 'We're happy to continue our agreement with you, but we want to retain ad rights.' ... The Steelers and casino aren't saying much about what their negotiating position is." -- Alex Zimmerman

Also in the program, local entrepreneur Mont Handley describes the peat moss substitute that he invented, Margaret J. Krauss tells an untold story about Pittsburgh during WWII, and Johnstown Tomahawks representative Chad Mearns talks about Johnstown's recent recognition as "Hockeyville USA."

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The Pittsburgh Steelers' football stadium will keep the name Heinz Field despite the company's planned merger with Kraft Foods Group.

Steelers Slammed 30-17 by Ravens in Wild Card

Jan 4, 2015
AP Photo/Gene Puskar

Ben Roethlisberger was helped to his feet and walked slowly to the sideline, trying to clear his head from a hard hit and a night that didn't go his way.

Postseasons don't usually end at Heinz Field. Not like this. Not to hated Baltimore.

Without injured All-Pro back Le'Veon Bell, the Steelers were one-dimensional on offense and didn't do nearly enough to stop the Ravens, who snapped a three-game playoff losing streak against their bitter rivals with a 30-17 victory Saturday night in the AFC wild-card game.

"This is going to sting for a while," Roethlisberger said.

The Northside Leadership Conference will use $900,000 in pledged funding from Highmark, Northwest Savings Bank and the Pittsburgh Steelers to support the North Side neighborhood including small business and strategic real estate development.

Gloria Rayman, past NSLC board of directors president, said Friday because the coalition of grassroots neighborhood organizations has non-profit status, it can partner with corporate sponsors.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

With his Grizzly Adams beard, Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel is one of the most recognizable athletes in Pittsburgh. But now in his 13th season, and having reached the age of 36, Keisel knows the end of his playing career is near. He joins us to talk about football, hunting and raising money for the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

James Harrison's Return to the NFL Brings Controversy

Sep 29, 2014

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Sportswriter Emeritus Bob Dvorchak joins us to talk about the controversy over the return of James Harrison to the Steelers. And now that the Pirates have returned to the post-season for the second consecutive year, what are their chances of reaching the World Series?

Johnny Manziel's time is coming. For now, the most famous backup quarterback in football is merely a student.

Brian Hoyer, the journeyman veteran who beat out the Heisman Trophy winner for the starting job in Cleveland, provided a lesson in resilience on Sunday. Then Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers provided another in how to finish.

Again.

Roethlisberger hit Markus Wheaton twice during a last-gasp drive to set up Shaun Suisham's 41-yard field goal as the Steelers survived 30-27.

The NFL Takes a Stronger Stance on Domestic Violence

Sep 5, 2014

Post-Gazette Sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak joins us to discuss the Steelers' regular season opener as well as the possible outcome for two Steelers players who were stopped for marijuana possession. Also, the NFL takes a stronger stance on domestic violence.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Heinz Field’s new executive chef John DiMartini has only been on staff for three months, but he’s ready to roll out 10 new house-made menu items in time for the Pittsburgh Steelers pre-season home opener Saturday.

Available to all fans in the concession areas is the Emperor Burger, named for late Steelers head coach Chuck Noll: a beef patty with shaved kielbasa, onion bacon kraut and Heinz Field Secret Sauce on a brioche bun. Also new to concession stands this season are 8-inch personal cheese and pepperoni pizzas from Fox’s Pizza Den, based in Murrysville.

Dman41689 / Wikipedia Commons

Chuck Noll’s selection of Joe Greene in the 1969 draft is believed by many to be a major changing point in the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise. He was the first of many Steelers drafted by the team under Noll who went on to win four Super Bowls and be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Post-Gazette sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak emphasized the Steelers organization retiring a number is remarkable, as it has happened only once before Greene.

Zennie Abraham / Flickr

Last Friday night, former Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Chuck Noll died in his home of natural causes at the age of 82.

Noll coached the Steelers for 23 seasons and transformed the team from a long-standing joke to a championship dynasty, becoming the only coach to win four Super Bowls.

It can also be said that he transformed the city of Pittsburgh into a football town; with Franco’s Italian Army, the whirls of yellow at each game in the form of Myron Cope’s Terrible Towels, and the one play that's been viewed as the true turning point in Steelers history "The Immaculate Reception."

Noll was there for all of this and the driving force behind it all.

More than one-third of all U.S. children grow up without their fathers, according to the U.S. Department of Census.

That’s a statistic that Urban Impact, a faith-based community organization in Pittsburgh, wants to change.

Study: Pittsburgh Steelers Fans Take a Loss the Hardest

Dec 16, 2013
Drew Allen / flickr

According to a recent study done by Emory University, Steelers fans take losses harder than any other fan base in the NFL.

Manish Tripathi, assistant professor of Marketing at Emory University focused the research on fans' emotional responses and found out why it's more than just a game to Steelers faithful.

He says he used instantaneous social networking strategies to gauge the mood of fans after winning or losing.

Gary Pomerantz / Twitter

Mean Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw and Franco Harris played major roles in the 1970's Steelers dynasty. On assignment for the Washington Post, in 1981, Gary Pomerantz interviewed them to see if the dynasty was in decline.

Years later Pomerantz interviewed these players and others to see how football had formed their bonds of friendship on and off the field. What he discovered is chronicled in his new book, Their Life's Work: The Brotherhood of the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers, Then and Now.

The Death of a Steelers Legend

Sep 30, 2013
United States Navy, Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christina M. Shaw

The Steel Curtain was considered the key to the Steelers success in the 1970s and on Sunday the third of the four legendary defensive lineman died. LC “Hollywood Bags” Greenwood died at the age of 67. The cause of death was kidney failure, according to the Allegheny County medical examiner.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the taxpayer-funded city-county Sports and Exhibition Authority say they're going to try to settle a dispute over who must pay most of the estimated $30 million cost to add 3,000 seats to Heinz Field.

An Allegheny County judge in June rejected the teams' claim that the authority must pay most of the money, but agreed to hold a trial on the matter Dec. 4.

But now, both sides say they'll try to work out a deal before then after both sides met with the judge Thursday.

Steelers Fall to Titans; Pouncy, Foote out for Season

Sep 8, 2013
Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

The Tennessee Titans opened the season in reverse. The Pittsburgh Steelers, however, appear to be the ones backing up.

Chris Johnson ran for 70 clock-chewing yards and the Titans overcame an embarrassing early flub to shut down the Steelers 16-9 on Sunday.

Jackie Battle ran for a 3-yard touchdown in the second quarter and Rob Bironas kicked three field goals for the Titans. Tennessee's revamped defense did the rest.

Home of Chen / Flickr

The Pittsburgh Steelers are notorious for their intense local and national fans, their endless arsenal of black and gold apparel, and their acclaimed six Super Bowl Championships.

Fans may not know, however, that the players are expected to behave under a standard referred to as “The Steeler Way.”

“If you’re a Steeler and you stay out of trouble, you’re a star in this town. That will stay with you,” says journalist Ben Schmitt, who recently wrote about the concept for Pittsburgh Quarterly.

Black & Gold Devotion and the Steeler Fan Diaspora

Sep 5, 2013
Patrick Bird / flickr

For Steelers fans living outside the city, it isn’t hard to find a nearby Steelers bar. But with more than 700 in the United States, Pittsburgh devotees can connect across the country to cheer on the iconic football franchise.

This diaspora of fans grew out of the economic decline of the 1970s and '80s when many Pittsburghers had to leave the city to find jobs.

But as PRX reporter Lauren Ober observes, “You can leave Pittsburgh, but the black and gold never leaves you.”

Black and Gold Religion

From wrapping newborns in Terrible Towels to black and gold wedding cakes, Steelers fans are notorious for their passionate devotion.

Traveling with the Steelers

Sep 5, 2013
James Willamor / Flickr

For devoted fans who follow the Pittsburgh Steelers when they're on the road, travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests some places to check out while cheering on the black and gold.

From Otto Pizzeria in NYC, to the Harley Davidson Museum in Wisconsin, and Boston’s Freedom Trail, there are some great sights to take in outside the stadiums.

Michael Lynch / 90.5 WESA

Water and oil might not mix — but what about water, music, colored lights and sports?

Station Square unveiled a new water fountain show Thursday that honors Pittsburgh’s rich sports history.

The nearly 11-minute show features hundreds of multi-colored jets choreographed to spray water 40 feet into the air.

With water dancing to the beat of songs like “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osborne and Queen’s “We are the Champions,” the performance incorporates sound clips of historic sports moments from the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates throughout the years.