Just checking to check out if you are paying attention. Of course the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t have actually cheerleaders…not anymore. They did at one time and they were referred to as the Steelerettes…in truth they were the initially NFL team to have actually cheerleaders. The group only lasted nine years, due largely to the owner’s traditional worths. By the late ’60’s, various other NFL teams were using cheerleaders through skimpy outfits, and this didn’t sit well via the household that owned the Steelers, who subsequently discontinued the squad.

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And here’s an Associated Press write-up from 2006 highlighting the history of the Steelerettes that was initially posted on ESPN.com.


Steelers initially to have cheerleaders, yet currently don’t view the need
Updated: January 31, 2006, 5:50 PM ET

Associated Press


PITTSBURGH — They wore knee-length skirts, bobby sox and also difficult hats, and also couldn’t fraternize through the players. Their pay? One ticket per game.

The Steelerettes were the initially females of the gridiron, lengthy before Seattle’s Sea Gals, Oakland’s Raiderettes and also the Buffalo Jills. And acquire this: Pittsburgh had actually guy cheerleaders, as well — the Ingots.

But the NFL’s initially rah-rah squad was much from a group of midriff-bearing dancers that root from the sidelines this day, make public appearances and — favor the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders — star in their very own reality TV display.

The Steelerettes of the 1960s likewise didn’t last lengthy — just nine years.

“Other teams started bringing in cheerleaders and it was exceptionally various from the kind of wholesome team that we were,” said Patricia Tanner, 58, of Ohio Township, that was a Steelerette from 1965-68. “It seemed choose our era had actually passed and Pittsburgh’s a really traditional tvery own, so I don’t think we would have actually gone that direction.”

The Steelerettes were started for the 1961 seakid, a year after the Pirates won the World Series.

The Steelers were having a hard time offering ameans tickets at Forbes Field. William V. Day, the Steelers’ entertainment coordinator, assumed adding cheerleaders to the sidelines can adjust that. Day, that at the moment was vice president of Robert Morris Junior College, additionally thought it can assist the school, which didn’t have a footsphere team of its own.

So he spoke to his good friend and also team owner Dan Rooney.

“I sassist to him sooner or later, ‘You acquired a team without cheerleaders and also I’ve acquired a college without a team,” Day said.

Day came up through the name Steelerettes, who were all Robert Morris students.

Dianne Rossini, of Uniontown, cheered for the Steelers in 1963 and maintains a Web site dedicated to the group. She said the women were chosen based on their looks, personality, coordination and gymnastic ability.

They also had to keep a 2.0 grade-point average and take a footsphere test — mostly reflecting they knew enough about the game to recognize as soon as to cheer.

Norreen Modery, 61, of Bethel Park, saw the tryouts advertised in the college newspaper and also made the team in 1964.

“Tbelow were many empty seats but we were out there having a great ol’ time,” shelp Modery, who remembers the cheerleaders were constantly positioned on the visitor’s side and also sometimes got run over by players who were knocked out-of-bounds.

She left the squad after a year to get married; only single woguys were enabled to be Steelerettes.

The womales performed to live music, and a baton twirler was included in 1962. The team likewise briefly included male cheerleaders, called the Ingots in homage to the steel mills that were the lifeblood of the city.

But in the late 1960s, the Steelers started talking about plans to construct Three Rivers Stadium and also changing the direction of the team. Other NFL teams had began utilizing cheerleaders and the skimpy outfits didn’t fit in through the Rooney family’s typical worths, Day sassist.

“The thinking … was we wanted the emphasis to be on the team — and also that doesn’t sound prefer a momentous decision, yet that was what the concept was for all the times that I was with the Steelers,” sassist Day, who worked with the team for 25 years.

So the Steelerettes did their last pyramid for the 1969 season. The Steelers went on to win 4 Super Bowls over the following decade, and also have actually sold out eexceptionally home game because 1972.

Numbering about 60 in all, the Steelerettes had a reunion in 2001 at Heinz Field, and also because then regularly accomplish every few months. Steelerettes memorabilia, consisting of Tanner’s old unidevelop, are on display screen at the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.

Modery sassist she’s flattered to be a component of NFL history, though that wasn’t her incentive at the moment.

“Back then you never before assumed of anything instead of simply enjoying what you were doing,” Modery said.

Tanner shelp she learned a lot about exercise and self-control from the experience and also made lifelong friendships from her days as a Steelerette. She likewise shelp she construed why the team scrapped the Steelerettes.

“All you have to carry out is look at a Steelers pep rally,” Tanner shelp. “They don’t seem to need any kind of coaching and encouragement.”


By Konstantine FekosMeadville Tribune

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Carolyn Crandall (far right) waves in the time of a pre-game ceremony at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Crandall, then Peterkid, was part of the 1968-69 Steelerettes squad

Action on the field, bideal stadium lights and also fellowship from the Rah-Rah Sisterhood all made Conneautville’s Carolyn Crandall feel prefer a celebrity at Heinz Field when she was recognized as an alumna of what’s sassist to be the NFL’s initially cheerleading squad Sunday night.

“I simply felt choose I was on peak of the civilization,” she sassist. “It was fabulous.”

Crandall was recognized through about 15 of the previous Steelerettes, the collegiate cheerleaders that spurred the team on in the time of its 1960s seasons.

“They were probably the initially NFL cheerleaders,” Crandall sassist. “They were girls who attfinished Robert Morris (School of Business) at the moment and also checked out all of the home games.”

The Steelerettes, commissioned by then-owner Art Rooney Sr., predated the Terrible Towel and Three Rivers Stadium, once the Steelers mutual Forbes Field and University of Pittsburgh’s Pitt Stadium.

Sunday’s homecoming celebration brought former Steelerettes back on the field to lead the Awful Towel Twirl pregame prior to the Steelers hosted the Cincinnati Bengals.

The females were joined by renowned previous Steelers Franco Harris and Mel Blount, who offered as honorary team captains.

The festivities are component of the larger NFL Homecoming initiative, which organizes efforts to reattach footround legends through their previous teams and existing fans.

“It was completely an experience I will never forobtain,” Crandall sassist. “A once-in-a-lifetime suffer.”

Crandall, a Meadville High School and also Robert Morris graduate, currently functioning as a sales order processor and logistics coordinator for Ainsworth Pet Nutrition in Meadville, looks back on her days through the Steelerettes rather fondly.

She rereferred to as squad tryouts involving a significant amount of Robert Morris students, all hoping to be among the choose few to cheer alongside the 1960s Steelers.

“You had to complete via the various other girls for a spot; tright here were rather a couple of trying out,” she sassist. “It was a nice success, I felt, to be selected as among them.”

Crandall’s mom would certainly drive her down to Pittsburgh twice a week in the time of the summer prior to her college career to practice choreographed routines with the Steelerettes, she recalled.

“I was a varsity cheerleader for 4 years at Meadville High School, so it was right up my alley,” Crandall sassist. “Cheerleading was expensive back in those days. You were either a cheerleader or a baton twirler or something of that nature.”

Crandall cheered for the 1968-69 seachild and still has the Steelerettes squad jacket to prove it.

“I remember being dvery own on the area and also feeling so tiny and small; when these males would run by you, they’d look enormous,” she said. “When you heard the tackle and also how they hit, you felt lucky to be standing earlier. Those guys were favor freight trains.”

Although her cheerleading career came to a close throughout the dry spell before the Steelers’ effective 1970 season, Crandall nonetheless delighted in her days with the Steelerettes and atoften tends reunion features as soon as she can.

“When I was younger it was a huge deal,” she said. “My mommy and dad both saw me on TV a couple times. It was a thrill for them to check out me there.”

Other NFL teams must’ve been thrilled also, because the principle of cheer squads started to take off in the 1970s, yet without the wholesome collegiate photo the Steelerettes projected, Crandall sassist.

“Cheerleaders ago then were cheerleaders,” she shelp. “Bobby socks, saddle shoes, vests and also sweaters or whatever through pom-poms and skirts past the knee. Now they wear these skimpy outfits.”

The typical Steelerette look is still on display by unidevelop at the Heinz History Center.

As Robert Morris developed over the years from a two-year school right into a full-fledged university, interest in national teams supposedly waned and cheerleaders began accompanying new collegiate groups onto college fields and also basketround courts.

By ultimate joint decision in between the Rooneys and RMU, the 1969-70 seaboy would certainly be the last time the Steelerettes entertained a crowd as an main NFL squad, though their sisterhood lives on through the woguys that still save in touch this day.

“A lot of people say, ‘Oh, the Steelers never had actually cheerleaders,’” Crandall sassist. “I just chuckle and say that we were the initially.”


The Steelers fired up the Way-Back machine last month and also took the area in the 80th anniversary bumblee jerseys. The jerseys, initially worn in 1934 were…let’s just contact a spade a spade…they were ugly. Fugly, also. But if you ask me, that’s kind of the allude of the totality thing. Why go vintage if you can’t gaze upon the jerseys in open-mouthed incredulity that world ever wore outfits favor that for real? After all, if the vintage stuff was cool, they’d still be wearing it this day.

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It’s supposed to look crazy. At least this man gets it. Isaac and I might be the only people that follow the mantra “if somepoint is worth doing, it’s worth over doing.” Even if thousands and also hundreds of people will certainly watch you, your picture will be caught for all time, and also human being you believed were friends will suggest and laugh.

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Then again, Isaac sustained a concussion yesterday, so he might not be as right into the stripes as he was prior to the game. Hey, feel better, big guy!

For me, the high suggest of the game was the throwearlier Steelerettes. Or at leastern it would certainly have actually been, had actually the Steelerettes not been 86ed some forty years back. I choose to think that if the Steelerettes were still through us, they would certainly gain into the spirit of points. And probably halftime would’ve gone a small little favor this:

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(Actually those are unfortunate winter unidevelops worn by the Redskinettes in 1983. They appeared for one seakid only, for factors that are glaringly obvious.)


By Heather SvokosDFW.comTuesday, Feb. 01, 2011

Here we are, in the homeland of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, about to wage a Super Bowl fight … without the assist of cheerleaders.

Seems like some type of cruel, cosmic joke, right?

But the Packers and also the Steelers are among six of the NFL’s 32 groups that don’t have actually main cheerleaders. (The others: the Chicearlier Bears, Cleveland also Browns, Detroit Lions and New York Giants. For the document, the Packers perform have actually a non-pro cheer squad, courtesy of St. Norbert College and College of Wisconsin-Green Bay — but they’re not primarily invited to road games, and they weren’t invited to this year’s Super Bowl.)

As a aboriginal Pittsburgher, this revelation obtained me to thinking: Why no cheerleaders?

I dismissed the cold-weather-state rationale once I learned that the Minnesota Viemperors have actually cheerleaders. (Brrrr, ladies!)

So, is it because the city of my birth is some concealed bastion of feminism? (Sorry, I dropped off my chair laughing.)

More likely is the blue-collar factor: A elaborate city prefer Dallas may have actually taken on the razzle-dazzle, but towns favor Pittsburgh, Green Bay and Milwaukee have actually a no-nonsense reputation. It’s all about the ugly, bone-crunching footsphere. My frifinish and fellow ‘Burgher Leslie Rubinkowski validated my theory: “It’s the yinzer ethic — the cheering happens after you win the game. Before that, you kick ass.”

(For you non-Dreadful Towel-wavers: “Yinzer” is a nickname for someone from Pittsburgh, obtained from our regional colloquialism “yinz.” As in: “Yinz all set to order?” It’s prefer “y’all,” minus the cdamage.)

But I still wanted to find out a small even more, and my mission for answers took me on a little history pursuit — directly to a woguy named Dianne Feazell Rossini, that was, in truth, a cheerleader for the Steelers in 1963. So they did when have actually a squad, aptly namely the Steelerettes. Rossini currently resides and works in Uniontown, Pa. — the tvery own where I grew up — and runs a webwebsite dedicated to the story of the Steelerettes (www.steelerettes.com).

As I plumbed for insights from her, we struck up a delightful correspondence.

We’re supplied to today’s pro sports cheerleaders — Cowboys Cheerleaders, Laker Girls — being industries and also brands unto themselves, but ago in the beforehand ’60s, once the Steelerettes first created, they were recruited from adjacent institutions. The Steelerettes came from Robert Morris Junior College. A look at Rossini’s webwebsite shows that the initially squad, in 1961, wore difficult hats and also gold suspendered jumpers via skirts that hit below the knee.

Not precisely va-va-va-voom attire. But at the time, the idea of cheerleaders was revolutionary — and also so not welcome by the team’s conservative owner, Art Rooney, known as “the Chief.”

“According to the Chief, womales didn’t belong on a football area — period!” Rossini told me.

The demise of the Steelerettes came in 1969, once the squad’s captain approached Rooney and asked if they might upday their outmoded look. His response was to have them fired, according to a 2007 story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“The older I gain, the even more I agree with the Chief,” Rossini says. “For a lengthy time I wiburned the Steelerettes had actually continued on to the glory days of the ’70s. How amazing that would certainly have been. My thoughts currently are that a lot of human being pay to check out a footsphere game — not ogle a bunch of girls. I don’t think they really add anypoint to the game, other than perhaps administer something to watch once your team is losing badly.”

That sassist, she’s component of a sorority, and also she has actually heat feelings about her sisters from then and also now.

“By the time the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders were born , times had adjusted and their unicreates were no longer considered shocking,” she notes. “We had to beg, cry and cajole to gain the front office to allow our skirts to be over our knees. Two entirely various ages. I am exceptionally proud to have been a Steelerette, and we all agree it’s type of nice to belengthy to this exclusive club. We are all tbelow was and all tbelow will certainly ever before be.”

Rossini thinks as lengthy as the Rooney household has actually the reins, the Steelers will certainly stay cheerleadermuch less. She paraphrased Art Rooney’s son Dan: “The Steelers have the ideal and most football-savvy fans in the world, and they don’t require anyone telling them as soon as to cheer.”

Sure, you can argue that cheerleaders boost a franchise and also boost a city’s commerce — and you’d be best. But at this minute in American history, once life is still rocky for so many, it’s a tribute to the scrappy places like Pittsburgh and also Environment-friendly Bay as soon as a tough-minded, no-frills method have the right to produce a genuine winner.

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Anvarious other silver lining in this cheerleaderless Super Bowl: It led me to discover a dusty yet lovely item in the patchjob-related of my hometown heritage. And though I haven’t been an ardent football fan for decades, Dianne Rossini’s tale stirred my latent Steeler pride.