As I said in my first “The Art Of…”post, it takes a special person to forever scar their bodies in the name of their favorite sports team. I’d be willing to bet the number of people with Steelers tattoos far outweighs any other NFL franchise, maybe even any other sports team period.
I don’t know anyone with a baseball tat.
In preparation for my next Art Of post, I scowered the internet for some of the best Steelers tattoos I could find. I came across one in particular that will be featured in a separate article, but until then I thought I would compile my favorites and post them here.
You can still send me photos of your favorite Steelers tattoo to email@example.com – It can be an idea of a tat you want to get, your friend’s, or yours. I’d love to feature a tattoo sent to me by one of our readers.
The reason there are so many Steelers tattoos out there is obvious. The Steelers are the greatest professional sports team in America, maybe the world. If I knew more about the world, I’d be able to verify that, but I don’t, so you’ll just have to have faith that it’s the truth.
The Steelers’ sudden rise to fame in the 1970’s was conveniently paired with the NFL’s rise in popularity. Unless you’re a Packers fan, I think it’s safe to say that nobody looks pre 1970 for any bragging rights about their team. Unfortunately for us, the Packers don’t need to reach that far back anymore.
The 70’s were really a defining time for the NFL. After the NFL/AFL merger in 1970, the powerhouse now known as a 32 team NFL was born. I believe there were merely 24 teams at the time of the merger. In that sense, the Steelers really “got lucky.” Chuck Noll’s transformation of a totally worthless Steelers team starting with the acquisition of Mean Joe Green (dutifully deemed “Joe Who” by the Pittsburgh newspapers…they’re all so brilliant, aren’t they?) certainly wasn’t luck. Noll methodically built a team he knew could contend for championships year in and year out. His model for drafting (hand in hand with Art Rooney, Jr.) and his philosophy on the importance of defense and the run game is still one that defines the Pittsburgh Steelers today.
The crazed Steeler fans soon followed. It didn’t matter if you were from the Steel City, or if you were living in Mexico, if you had the NFL on your TV, the Steelers were winning Super Bowls. How could you not love them? It’s clear that many of these crazed fans were from this era because many of the Steelers tattoos that I’ve found include faces like Jack Lambert, Terry Bradshaw, The Chief, Franco, Swanny and others from the 1970’s.
Here are some examples of the tattoos that came before us:
Here’s a more modern version of what’s being seen lately, I just wonder what he’ll do when we get number 7:
Here are a couple more that I really enjoyed seeing:
Stay tuned for more Steelers art to come, and I hope you enjoyed seeing some crazy Steelers fans and their truly awesome tattoos. Send any pics of Steelers art that you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*These photos are so widespread throughout the internet, there is no real way to nail down where they came from. If you want credit for a photo you’ve taken, or a tattoo you’ve done that is here on this post, just shoot me an email and I’ll make it right.