#4. The Face of the Franchise… Mean Joe Green.
In the early days of the Steelers franchise evolution, when people thought or mentioned the team, the first name would be Mean Joe Green. He was so mean he didn’t even like himself let alone an opponent. He was Coach Nolls’ first draft pick when he took over as a coach and turned him loose on the NFL. The centerpiece of the Steel Curtain defense used to kick butt and take names. But a softer side of the player came through while filming a commercial with a little boy in which Mean Joe almost seemed human. Mean Joe Green brought many franchise moments which is why he is rated so high on this list. The drafting of him was a difference maker.
#3. The Hiring of Coach Chuck Noll – The Man, the myth, the legend.
The moment that he was hired, he was destined to be great. The years that he spent as an assistant with multiple teams, prepared him for what has arguably been, the greatest impact on a city in the history of franchise sports. Enough said.
#2. Three Rivers Stadium – Whose House? Rooney’s house.
This moment is so high on the list because Three Rivers Stadium was the foundation on which the Steelers franchise took flight. Playing games on cruddy Forbes Field or Pitt Stadium didn’t necessarily win over a lot of critics who were down on the franchise anyhow for its losing ways. The franchise flourished at the confluence of rivers called, “Three Rivers Stadium”. I can still hear Howard Cosell’s voice.