Surprise. The Steelers haven’t had a cheerleader on the sidelines since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. Video and photos below.

cheerleader jumping hg wht

The Steelers were the first team in the NFL to have a cheerleading squad, and one of three today without, including the Bears and the Giants.

Today’s Steeler management is often quoted saying they have no need for a cheer squad – the girls just block the view of a fan somewhere in the stadium.

Looking around the web, some fan comments are pretty funny (some paraphrased):

Steeler fans are smart enough to know when to cheer.

The Steelers have a tradition of being an “old-fashioned, tough-guy, smash-mouth” team. They don’t need cheerleaders.

“Big Ben” [Roethlisberger] gets distracted enough. He doesn’t need cheerleaders around.

We’re here for the football.

We already have 65,000 cheerleaders. We don’t need no stinkin’ cheerleaders.

Having cheerleaders lessens the masculinity of the team. Not having them makes up “pure.”

The Steelers have the largest fanbase of women in any major sport – partly because we don’t have cheerleaders.

There’s nothing more irritating than having the camera pan over a cheerleader right at a crucial play.

Cheerleaders? Heck no! We’ve got 50-some years with only one emblem on our helmets. Let’s not get crazy.

It would taint the idea of the smash-mouth image. What straight guy with a brain, though, wouldn’t want to look at cheerleaders?

Cheerleaders are for losers.

No cheerleaders. We’ll bring our loyalty and match up to any NFL fan base. No fake grass, no fake domes, no fake fans. We ARE Steeler Nation.

Comments about Steeler cheerleaders also included many references to “Steely McBeam.” Google it if you are curious, but beware it’s x-rated.

While the Steelers have foregone cheerleaders, they do have the Terrible Towel.

In 1975, a color broadcaster for the Steelers, Myron Cope, urged the Steeler fans to wave gold dish towels during a game against the Colts. The fans loved the Terrible Towel. Every fan, of every age, becomes a part of the game with a Steelers Terrible Towel.

Steelers Terrible Towel 5

The Steeler’s Terrible Towel – Photo

The Terrible Towel is fabled to be:
a “weapon,”
a “magnificent tool,”
a “good luck charm,” and
a “beloved memento.”

The Terrible Towel tradition has become a mission. Today, the profits from the sale of the gold towels supports a local school for the mentally disabled.

Myron Cope and the Steelers Terrible Towel – Video