The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference North division; the Bears have won nine NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl, hold the NFL record for the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the most retired jersey numbers. The Bears have recorded more victories than any other NFL franchise; the franchise was founded in Decatur, Illinois, on September 17, 1920, moved to Chicago in 1921. It is one of only two remaining franchises from the NFL's founding in 1920, along with the Arizona Cardinals, also in Chicago; the team played home games at Wrigley Field on Chicago's North Side through the 1970 season. The Bears have a long-standing rivalry with the Green Bay Packers; the team headquarters, Halas Hall, is in the Chicago suburb of Illinois. The Bears practice at adjoining facilities there during the season. Since 2002, the Bears have held their annual training camp, from late July to mid-August, at Ward Field on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois.
In March of 1920 a man telephoned me... George Chamberlain and he was general superintendent of the A. E. Staley Company... In 1919, had formed a football team, it had done well against other local teams but Mr. Staley wanted to build it into a team that could compete with the best semi-professional and industrial teams in the country... Mr. Chamberlain asked if I would like to come to work for the Staley Company. Named the Decatur Staleys, the club was established by the A. E. Staley food starch company of Decatur, Illinois in 1919 as a company team; this was the typical start for several early professional football franchises. The company hired Edward "Dutch" Sternaman in 1920 to run the team; the 1920 Decatur Staleys season was their inaugural regular season completed in the newly formed American Professional Football Association. Full control of the team was turned over to Halas and Sternaman in 1921. Official team and league records cite Halas as the founder as he took over the team in 1920 when it became a charter member of the NFL.
The team relocated to Chicago in 1921. Under an agreement reached by Halas and Sternaman with Staley, Halas purchased the rights to the club from Staley for US$100. In 1922, Halas changed the team name from the Staleys to the Bears; the team moved into Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise. As with several early NFL franchises, the Bears derived their nickname from their city's baseball team. Halas liked the bright orange-and-blue colors of his alma mater, the University of Illinois, the Bears adopted those colors as their own, albeit in a darker shade of each; the Staleys/Bears dominated the league in the early years. Their rivalry with the Chicago Cardinals, the oldest in the NFL, was key in four out of the first six league titles. During the league's first six years, the Bears lost twice to the Canton Bulldogs, split with their crosstown rival Cardinals, but no other team in the league defeated the Bears more than a single time. During that span, the Bears posted 34 shutouts.
The Bears' rivalry with the Green Bay Packers is one of the oldest and most storied in American professional sports, dating back to 1921. In one infamous incident that year, Halas got the Packers expelled from the league in order to prevent their signing a particular player, graciously got them re-admitted after the Bears had closed the deal with that player; the franchise was an early success under Halas, capturing the NFL Championship in 1921 and remaining competitive throughout the decade. In 1924 the Bears claimed the Championship after defeating the Cleveland Bulldogs on December 7 putting the title "World's Champions" on their 1924 team photo, but the NFL had ruled that games after November 30 did not count towards league standings, the Bears had to settle for second place behind Cleveland. Their only losing season came in 1929. During the 1920s the club was responsible for triggering the NFL's long-standing rule that a player could not be signed until his college's senior class had graduated.
The NFL took that action as a consequence of the Bears' aggressive signing of famous University of Illinois player Red Grange within a day of his final game as a collegian. Despite much of the on-field success, the Bears were a team in trouble, they faced the problem of flatlined attendance. The Bears would only draw 5,000–6,000 fans a game, while a University of Chicago game would draw 40,000–50,000 fans a game. By adding top college football draw Red Grange to the roster, the Bears knew that they found something to draw more fans to their games. C. C. Pyle was able to secure a $2,000 per game contract for Grange, in one of the first games, the Bears defeated the Green Bay Packers, 21–0. However, Grange remained on the sidelines while learning the team's plays from Bears quarterback Joey Sternaman. In 1925, The Bears would go on a barnstorming tour, showing off the best football player of the day. 75,000 people paid to see Grange
2013 NFL season
The 2013 NFL season was the 94th season in the history of the National Football League. The season saw the Seattle Seahawks capture the first championship in the franchise's 38 years in the league with a lopsided 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, the league's championship game; the Super Bowl was played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday, February 2, 2014. It was the first Super Bowl hosted by New Jersey and the first to be held outdoors in a cold weather environment; the Seahawks held the lead the rest of the way. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was named the regular season's Most Valuable Player by the voters of the Associated Press for a record fifth time after compiling passing stats which included regular season records for passing yards and passing touchdowns. Manning was named the Offensive Player of the Year for the second time in his career. Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. Scoring reached historic levels throughout the league in 2013.
As a whole the league set records for total points scored, points scored per game and the number of both touchdowns and field goals scored. The Broncos set a new standard for team scoring in the regular season with 606 points. In addition to the Broncos, ten other teams each scored over 400 points, the greatest number of teams to surpass that benchmark in a single year; the regular season got underway on Thursday, September 5, 2013, with the Broncos hosting the defending Super Bowl XLVII champion Baltimore Ravens in the annual kickoff game. The game presaged the Broncos' historic offensive production with a strong performance by Peyton Manning in which he tied a league record in throwing seven touchdown passes and led the Broncos to a 49–27 win; the game was the start of a disappointing season for the Ravens in which they would finish out of the playoffs with an 8–8 record, thus ensuring that there would be no repeat Super Bowl winner for a tied record ninth straight season. The regular season wrapped up on Sunday night, December 29.
The playoffs began with the wild card round which took place the first weekend of January 2014. The league's propensity for scoring did not abate in the post-season, as exemplified by the Indianapolis Colts' wild come-from-behind 45–44 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs' opening game; the Conference Championship games featured the top seeded teams in each conference, the Seahawks in the NFC and the Broncos in the American Football Conference, hosting the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots respectively. Both home teams prevailed to set up just the second Super Bowl matchup of #1 seeds in the past 20 seasons; the 2013 league year began at 4 pm EST on March 12, which marked the start of the league's free agency period. The per-team salary cap was set at US$123,000,000. For the first time the league instituted a negotiating period prior to the start of free agency during which time agents representing prospective unrestricted free agent players were allowed to have contact with team representatives with the purpose of determining a player's market value and to begin contract negotiations.
This period, referred to by some as the "legal tampering" period, began at midnight on March 9. A total of 524 players were eligible for some form of free agency. Among the high-profile players who changed teams via free agency were wide receivers Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings and Wes Welker. Eight players were assigned the non-exclusive franchise tag by their teams, which ensured that the team would receive compensation were the player to sign a contract with another team; these players were Brandon Albert, Jairus Byrd, Ryan Clady, Michael Johnson, Pat McAfee, Henry Melton, Anthony Spencer and Randy Starks. None of these players changed teams; the following trades are notable as they involved Pro Bowl-caliber players and/or draft picks in the first three rounds: OffseasonFebruary 27 – The Chiefs acquired quarterback Alex Smith from the 49ers for the Chiefs' second-round pick in the 2013 draft, 34th overall and a conditional pick in the 2014 draft. Smith had been the first overall selection of the 2005 NFL Draft, but had been supplanted as the 49ers starting quarterback in mid-2012 by Colin Kaepernick.
March 11 – Wide receiver Percy Harvin was traded by the Vikings to the Seahawks for the Seahawks' 2013 first-round and seventh-round selections as well as the Seahawks' third-round pick in 2014. Harvin is an All-Pro and former Offensive Rookie of the Year, but he has suffered a series of injuries throughout his career and had become disgruntled with the Vikings to the point that he asked the team to trade him; the Seahawks subsequently signed Harvin to a 6-year, $67 million contract extension which includes $25.5 million in guaranteed money. March 11 – The 49ers acquired wide receiver Anquan Boldin from the Ravens for a sixth-round selection in the 2013 draft. Boldin, a three-time Pro Bowler and former Offensive Rookie of the Year, had refused to accept a pay cut that the Ravens had requested. April 21 – Cornerback Darrelle Revis was traded by the Jets to the Buccane
Kyle Daniel Rudolph is an American football tight end for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. Rudolph played college football for the University of Notre Dame, he was drafted by the Vikings in 43rd overall of the 2011 NFL Draft. He was selected for the Pro Bowl following the 2012 NFL season. Rudolph attended Elder High School in Cincinnati, where he played high school football for the Panthers; as a junior, he caught 30 passes for 400 yards and seven touchdowns en route to earning first-team All-city and All-conference honors. As a senior in 2008, he was named first-team All-American by USA Today after totaling 37 receptions for 673 yards and 11 touchdowns, he was placed on the Scout.com All-America first team and was the lone tight end among the 11 finalists for the high school Maxwell Award. He received first-team All-Southwest Ohio as a senior after being named second team as a junior and was named second-team All-state by the Associated Press. Following his senior season, Rudolph was invited to play in the 2008 U.
S. Army All-American Bowl held in Texas. An accomplished basketball player, Rudolph played center for his high school team and was the conference player of the year three times and All-Southwest Ohio in 2007, he is the second-leading scorer in school history and became just the second Panther to surpass 1,000 career points. He set the school record for most career rebounds when he corralled his 568th rebound on January 11, 2008. Against Moeller on January 25, 2008, he scored 25 of Elder's 52 points as the Panthers upset the top-ranked team in Ohio, 58–52. Rudolph was rated as the best tight end and 20th best overall recruit in the class of 2008 according to Rivals.com. He was named the second-best player and the top tight end in the Detroit Free Press' Best of the Midwest Top 20 list, he was considered the No. 1 tight end in the recruiting class and the 20th-best prospect in the nation by Tom Lemming. He was ranked 21st in No. 2 in the state of Ohio by Scout.com. He was considered the 23rd-best player by Sports Illustrated.
He accepted a scholarship offer from Notre Dame over Michigan and Ohio State. As a freshman in 2008, Rudolph became the first tight end in Notre Dame history to start all 13 games as a freshman and the first freshman to start a season opener at tight end for Notre Dame, he made his career debut in the season opener against San Diego State and brought in his first career reception for five yards during the victory. In week 3, he posted his first multi-reception game of his career against Michigan State, with both catches traveling for 10-plus yards and resulting in first downs against the Spartans; the following week, he hauled in three passes for 32 yards, with a long of 19, while recording the first touchdown catch of his career in the Irish' 38-21 win over Purdue. In week 5, he registered season-highs in receptions and receiving yards and added his second and final touchdown of the season versus Stanford, he hauled in two catches for 26 yards against Pittsburgh, setting a new school record for receptions by a freshmen tight end in a single season during the game.
In week 11, he established a school record for single-season receiving yards by a freshman tight end during the game against Syracuse. In the 2008 Hawaii Bowl game, he caught four passes for a season-high 78 yards, his 29-yard reception against the Warriors set a season-best long reception. Rudolph finished his first year with the Irish with 29 receptions for two touchdowns; as a sophomore in 2009, Rudolph participated in only ten games with nine starts, missing three due to a shoulder injury and totaling 275:59 of playing time while making 57 special-teams appearances. He was named semi-finalist for the John Mackey Award and was the only sophomore to be named semi-finalist, he hauled in four catches for a touchdown in the opener against Nevada. In week 3, he set a career-high with 95 receiving yards against Michigan State including a season-long 52-yard reception, his performance against the Spartans earned him John Mackey Tight End of the Week honors. He nabbed touchdown catches in back-to-back weeks against Purdue and Washington, with the first coming against the Boilermakers when there were only 24 seconds remaining in the game on a fourth-and-goal situation that sealed Notre Dame's win.
He was voted by his teammates to represent tight ends on the Irish Leadership Committee. Rudolph ended the season ranked third on the team with 33 receptions for 364 yards and three touchdowns. Rudolph had his promising 2010 junior season derailed by a hamstring injury that ended his season after six games. On September 11, he set a Notre Dame record for most receiving yards in a game by a tight end against Michigan with 164 yards on eight receptions, with more than half of the yardage coming after he hauled in the second-longest pass play in school history with a 95-yard touchdown. Rudolph finished his final collegiate season with 28 receptions for 328 yards and three touchdowns, ending his three-season career at Notre Dame ranked among the all-time leading tight ends in school history, his 90 career receptions were the fourth-most by a tight end in school history and his 1,032 career receiving yards are fourth-most. His pair of eight-catch games fell one reception short of the school record for a tight end of nine receptions in a game and was only the fourth Irish tight end to break th
College football is American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities. It was through college football play that American football rules first gained popularity in the United States. Unlike most other sports in North America, no minor league farm organizations exist in American or Canadian football. Therefore, college football is considered to be the second tier of American football in the United States and Canadian football in Canada. However, in some areas of the country, college football is more popular than professional football, for much of the early 20th century, college football was seen as more prestigious than professional football, it is in college football where a player's performance directly impacts his chances of playing professional football. The best collegiate players will declare for the professional draft after three to four years of collegiate competition, with the NFL holding its annual draft every spring in which 256 players are selected annually.
Those not selected can still attempt to land an NFL roster spot as an undrafted free agent. After the emergence of the professional National Football League, college football remained popular throughout the U. S. Although the college game has a much larger margin for talent than its pro counterpart, the sheer number of fans following major colleges provides a financial equalizer for the game, with Division I programs — the highest level — playing in huge stadiums, six of which have seating capacity exceeding 100,000 people. In many cases, college stadiums employ bench-style seating, as opposed to individual seats with backs and arm rests; this allows them to seat more fans in a given amount of space than the typical professional stadium, which tends to have more features and comforts for fans.. College athletes, unlike players in the NFL, are not permitted by the NCAA to be paid salaries. Colleges are only allowed to provide non-monetary compensation such as athletic scholarships that provide for tuition and books.
Modern North American football has its origins in various games, all known as "football", played at public schools in Great Britain in the mid-19th century. By the 1840s, students at Rugby School were playing a game in which players were able to pick up the ball and run with it, a sport known as Rugby football; the game was taken to Canada by British soldiers stationed there and was soon being played at Canadian colleges. The first documented gridiron football match was played at University College, a college of the University of Toronto, November 9, 1861. One of the participants in the game involving University of Toronto students was William Mulock Chancellor of the school. A football club was formed at the university soon afterward, although its rules of play at this stage are unclear. In 1864, at Trinity College a college of the University of Toronto, F. Barlow Cumberland and Frederick A. Bethune devised rules based on rugby football. Modern Canadian football is regarded as having originated with a game played in Montreal, in 1865, when British Army officers played local civilians.
The game gained a following, the Montreal Football Club was formed in 1868, the first recorded non-university football club in Canada. Early games appear to have had much in common with the traditional "mob football" played in Great Britain; the games remained unorganized until the 19th century, when intramural games of football began to be played on college campuses. Each school played its own variety of football. Princeton University students played a game called "ballown" as early as 1820. A Harvard tradition known as "Bloody Monday" began in 1827, which consisted of a mass ballgame between the freshman and sophomore classes. In 1860, both the town police and the college authorities agreed; the Harvard students responded by going into mourning for a mock figure called "Football Fightum", for whom they conducted funeral rites. The authorities held firm and it was a dozen years before football was once again played at Harvard. Dartmouth played its own version called "Old division football", the rules of which were first published in 1871, though the game dates to at least the 1830s.
All of these games, others, shared certain commonalities. They remained "mob" style games, with huge numbers of players attempting to advance the ball into a goal area by any means necessary. Rules were simple and injury were common; the violence of these mob-style games led to a decision to abandon them. Yale, under pressure from the city of New Haven, banned the play of all forms of football in 1860. American football historian Parke H. Davis described the period between 1869 and 1875 as the'Pioneer Period'. On November 6, 1869, Rutgers University faced Princeton University in the first-ever game of intercollegiate football, it was played with a round ball and, like all early games, used a set of rules suggested by Rutgers captain William J. Leggett, based
The Associated Press is a U. S.-based not-for-profit news agency headquartered in New York City. Founded in 1846, it operates as a unincorporated association, its members are U. S. newspapers and broadcasters. Its Statement of News Values and Principles spells out its practices; the AP has earned 52 Pulitzer Prizes, including 31 for photography, since the award was established in 1917. The AP has counted the vote in U. S. elections since 1848, including national and local races down to the legislative level in all 50 states, along with key ballot measures. AP collects and verifies returns in every county, parish and town across the U. S. and declares winners in over 5,000 contests. The AP news report, distributed to its members and customers, is produced in English and Arabic. AP content is available on the agency's app, AP News. A 2017 study by NewsWhip revealed that AP content was more engaged with on Facebook than content from any individual English-language publisher; as of 2016, news collected by the AP was published and republished by more than 1,300 newspapers and broadcasters.
The AP operates 263 news bureaus in 106 countries. It operates the AP Radio Network, which provides newscasts twice hourly for broadcast and satellite radio and television stations. Many newspapers and broadcasters outside the United States are AP subscribers, paying a fee to use AP material without being contributing members of the cooperative; as part of their cooperative agreement with the AP, most member news organizations grant automatic permission for the AP to distribute their local news reports. The AP employs the "inverted pyramid" formula for writing which enables the news outlets to edit a story to fit its available publication area without losing the story's essentials. Cutbacks at rival United Press International in 1993 left the AP as the United States' primary news service, although UPI still produces and distributes stories and photos daily. Other English-language news services, such as the BBC, Reuters and the English-language service of Agence France-Presse, are based outside the United States.
The Associated Press was formed in May 1846 by five daily newspapers in New York City to share the cost of transmitting news of the Mexican–American War. The venture was organized by Moses Yale Beach, second publisher of The Sun, joined by the New York Herald, the New York Courier and Enquirer, The Journal of Commerce, the New York Evening Express; some historians believe. The New York Times became a member shortly after its founding in September 1851. Known as the New York Associated Press, the organization faced competition from the Western Associated Press, which criticized its monopolistic news gathering and price setting practices. An investigation completed in 1892 by Victor Lawson and publisher of the Chicago Daily News, revealed that several principals of the NYAP had entered into a secret agreement with United Press, a rival organization, to share NYAP news and the profits of reselling it; the revelations led to the demise of the NYAP and in December 1892, the Western Associated Press was incorporated in Illinois as The Associated Press.
A 1900 Illinois Supreme Court decision —that the AP was a public utility and operating in restraint of trade—resulted in AP's move from Chicago to New York City, where corporation laws were more favorable to cooperatives. When the AP was founded, news became a salable commodity; the invention of the rotary press allowed the New York Tribune in the 1870s to print 18,000 papers per hour. During the Civil War and Spanish–American War, there was a new incentive to print vivid, on-the-spot reporting. Melville Stone, who had founded the Chicago Daily News in 1875, served as AP General Manager from 1893 to 1921, he embraced the standards of accuracy and integrity. The cooperative grew under the leadership of Kent Cooper, who built up bureau staff in South America, Europe and, the Middle East, he introduced the "telegraph typewriter" or teletypewriter into newsrooms in 1914. In 1935, AP launched the Wirephoto network, which allowed transmission of news photographs over leased private telephone lines on the day they were taken.
This gave AP a major advantage over other news media outlets. While the first network was only between New York and San Francisco AP had its network across the whole United States. In 1945, the Supreme Court of the United States held in Associated Press v. United States that the AP had been violating the Sherman Antitrust Act by prohibiting member newspapers from selling or providing news to nonmember organizations as well as making it difficult for nonmember newspapers to join the AP; the decision facilitated the growth of its main rival United Press International, headed by Hugh Baillie from 1935 to 1955. AP entered the broadcast field in 1941. In 1994, it established a global video newsgathering agency. APTV merged with WorldWide Television News in 1998 to form APTN, which provides video to international broadcasters and websites. In 2004, AP moved its world headquarters from its longtime home at 50 Rockefeller Plaza to a huge building at 450 West 33rd Street in Manhattan—which houses the New York Daily News and the studios of New York's public television station, WNET.
In 2009, AP had more than 240 bureaus globally. Its mission—"to gather with economy and efficiency an accurate and impartial report of the news"—has not changed since its founding, but digital technology has made the distribution of the AP news report an interact
Alabama Crimson Tide football
The Alabama Crimson Tide football program represents the University of Alabama in the sport of American football. The team competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference; the team is coached by Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide is among the decorated football programs in NCAA history. Since beginning play in 1892, the program claims 17 national championships, including 12 wire-service national titles in the poll-era, five other titles before the poll-era. From 1958 to 1982, the team was led by Hall of Fame coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who won six national championships with the program. Despite numerous national and conference championships, it was not until 2009 that an Alabama player received a Heisman Trophy, when running back Mark Ingram became the university's first winner. In 2015, Derrick Henry became the university's second Heisman winner. Alabama has 905 official victories in NCAA Division I, has won 31 conference championships and has made an NCAA-record 69 postseason bowl appearances.
Other NCAA records include 19 seasons with a 10 -- 0 start. The program has 34 seasons with 10 wins or more, has 41 bowl victories, both NCAA records. Alabama has completed 10 undefeated seasons; the Crimson Tide leads the SEC West Division with 14 division titles and 12 appearances in the SEC Championship Game. Alabama holds a winning record against former SEC school; the Associated Press ranks Alabama 4th in all-time final AP Poll appearances, with 53 through the 2015 season. Alabama plays its home games at Bryant -- Denny Stadium, located on the campus in Alabama. With a capacity of 101,821, Bryant-Denny is the 8th largest non-racing stadium in the world and the seventh largest stadium in the United States. Alabama has had 28 head coaches since organized football began in 1892. Adopting the nickname "Crimson Tide" after the 1907 season, the team has played more than 1,100 games in their 114 seasons. In that time, 12 coaches have led the Crimson Tide in postseason bowl games: Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, Harold D.
"Red" Drew, Bear Bryant, Ray Perkins, Bill Curry, Gene Stallings, Mike DuBose, Dennis Franchione, Mike Shula, Joe Kines, Nick Saban. Eight of those coaches won conference championships: Wade, Drew, Curry, Stallings, DuBose, Saban. During their tenures, Thomas, Bryant and Saban all won national championships with the Crimson Tide. Of the 27 different head coaches who have led the Crimson Tide, Thomas and Stallings have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame; the current head coach is Nick Saban, hired in January 2007. National championships in NCAA FBS college football are debated as the NCAA does not award the championship. Despite not naming an official National Champion, the NCAA provides lists of championships awarded by organizations it recognizes. According to the official NCAA 2009 Division I Football Records Book, "During the last 138 years, there have been more than 30 selectors of national champions using polls, historical research and mathematical rating systems. Beginning in 1936, the Associated Press began the best-known and most circulated poll of sportswriters and broadcasters.
Before 1936, national champions were determined by historical research and retroactive ratings and polls. The criteria for being included in this historical list of poll selectors is that the poll be national in scope, either through distribution in newspaper, radio and/or computer online."Since World War II, Alabama only claims national championships awarded by the final AP Poll or the final Coaches' Poll. This policy is consistent with other FBS football programs with numerous national title claims, including Notre Dame, USC, Oklahoma. All national championships claimed by the University of Alabama were published in nationally syndicated newspapers and magazines, each of the national championship selectors, are cited in the Official 2010 NCAA FBS Record Book. In addition to the championships claimed by the university, the NCAA has listed Alabama as receiving a championship for the 1945, 1966, 1975, 1977 college football seasons. In Alabama's 1982 media guide, the last for Coach Bryant, 1934 is listed as the only national championship before Coach Bryant in a footnote about the school's SEC history.
In the 1980s, Alabama's Sports Information Director Wayne Atcheson started recognizing five pre-Bryant national championship teams by adding them to the University's Football Media Guide. According to Atcheson, he made the effort in the context of disputed titles being claimed by other schools, "to make Alabama football look the best it could look" to compete with the other claimants. Atcheson maintains; the University of Alabama 2009 Official Football Media Guide states that Alabama had 12 national championships prior to winning the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. The 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 titles bring the total number of national championships claimed by Alabama to 17. Twelve of Alabama's national championships were awarded by the wire-services or by winning the BCS National Championship Game. In January 2013, CNN suggested that Alabama might be college football's new dynasty, in May 2013, Athlon Sports ranked Alabama's ongoing dynasty as the fourth-best since 1934, behind Oklahoma, Miami
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers compete in the National Football League, as a member club of the league's American Football Conference North division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC. In contrast with their status as perennial also-rans in the pre-merger NFL, where they were the oldest team never to win a league championship, the Steelers of the post-merger era are one of the most successful NFL franchises. Pittsburgh is tied with the New England Patriots for the most Super Bowl titles, has both played in and hosted more conference championship games than any other NFL team; the Steelers have won 8 AFC championships, tied with the Denver Broncos, but behind the Patriots' record 11 AFC championships. The Steelers share the record for second most Super Bowl appearances with the Broncos, Dallas Cowboys; the Steelers lost their most recent championship appearance, Super Bowl XLV, on February 6, 2011.
The Steelers, whose history traces to a regional pro team, established in the early 1920s, joined the NFL as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933, owned by Art Rooney and taking its original name from the baseball team of the same name, as was common practice for NFL teams at the time. To distinguish them from the baseball team, local media took to calling the football team the Rooneymen, an unofficial nickname which persisted for decades after the team adopted its current nickname; the ownership of the Steelers has remained within the Rooney family since its founding. Art's son, Dan Rooney owned the team from 1988 until his death in 2017. Much control of the franchise has been given to Dan's son Art Rooney II; the Steelers enjoy a widespread fanbase nicknamed Steeler Nation. The Steelers play their home games at Heinz Field on Pittsburgh's North Side in the North Shore neighborhood, which hosts the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Built in 2001, the stadium replaced Three Rivers Stadium.
Prior to Three Rivers, the Steelers had played their games in Forbes Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL first took to the field as the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 20, 1933, losing 23–2 to the New York Giants. Through the 1930s, the Pirates never finished higher than second place in their division, or with a record better than.500. Pittsburgh did make history in 1938 by signing Byron White, a future Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, to what was at the time the biggest contract in NFL history, but he played only one year with the Pirates before signing with the Detroit Lions. Prior to the 1940 season, the Pirates renamed themselves the Steelers. During World War II, the Steelers experienced player shortages, they twice merged with other NFL franchises to field a team. During the 1943 season, they merged with the Philadelphia Eagles forming the "Phil-Pitt Eagles" and were known as the "Steagles"; this team went 5–4–1. In 1944, they were known as Card-Pitt; this team finished 0–10, marking the only winless team in franchise history.
The Steelers made the playoffs for the first time in 1947, tying for first place in the division at 8–4 with the Philadelphia Eagles. This forced a tie-breaking playoff game at Forbes Field, which the Steelers lost 21–0; that would be Pittsburgh's only playoff game for the next 25 years. In 1970, the year they moved into Three Rivers Stadium and the year of the AFL–NFL merger, the Pittsburgh Steelers were one of three old-guard NFL teams to switch to the newly formed American Football Conference, in order to equalize the number of teams in the two conferences of the newly merged league; the Steelers received a $3 million relocation fee, a windfall for them. The Steelers' history of bad luck changed with the hiring of coach Chuck Noll for the 1969 season. Noll's most remarkable talent was in his draft selections, taking Hall of Famers "Mean" Joe Greene in 1969, Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount in 1970, Jack Ham in 1971, Franco Harris in 1972, in 1974, pulling off the incredible feat of selecting four Hall of Famers in one draft year, Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, Mike Webster.
The Pittsburgh Steelers' 1974 draft was their best ever. The players drafted in the early 1970s formed the base of an NFL dynasty, making the playoffs in eight seasons and becoming the only team in NFL history to win four Super Bowls in six years, as well as the first to win more than two, they enjoyed a regular season streak of 49 consecutive wins against teams that would finish with a losing record that year. The Steelers suffered a rash of injuries in the 1980 season and missed the playoffs with a 9–7 record; the 1981 season was no better, with an 8–8 showing. The team was hit with the retirements of all their key players from the Super Bowl years. "Mean" Joe Greene retired after the 1981 season, Lynn Swann and Jack Ham after 1982's playoff berth, Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount after 1983's divisional championship, Jack Lambert after 1984's AFC Championship Game appearance. After those retirements, the franchise skidded to its first losing seasons since 1971. Though still competitive, the Steelers would not finish above.500 in 1985, 1986, 1988.
In 1987, the year