America's Team? These days it's the Pittsburgh Steelers. Want to argue? The six-time Super Bowl champions are the favorites of network television programmers, have the broadest and most impassioned fan base-the Steelers outsell all other NFL teams in merchandise, and at some stadiums Steel City fans outnumber the home team's faithful-and embody a winning spirit that have made them the model franchise in the most popular sport in the U.S. Founded in 1933 by the beloved Rooney family in the gritty heartland of industrial America, the team suffered through nearly four decades of futility until the arrival of brilliant, laconic coach Chuck Noll in 1969, followed by a host of players who would etch their names in the history of the game. Behind future Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, Mean Joe Greene, Jack Lambert and Mel Blount, the Steelers teams of the '70s won four Super Bowls in six years and captured the imagination of a nation with their style-dashing on offense, devastating on defense. The love affair has endured ever since, through the hard-nosed era of Bill Cowher and Jerome Bettis to today's team, with crossover stars such as Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu. This book from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED tells the extraordinary story of the Steelers through the eyes of SI's renowned writers and the world's most accomplished sports photographers. As the Steelers embark on their 80th anniversary, there's no better way to celebrate football's best.
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