The Pittsburgh Steelers were established in 1933 by Art Rooney in Pittsburgh and were originally known as the Pirates. The Pirate name was soon replaced by the Steelers as steel became the most substantial industry in the city. Despite having 6 Super Bowl championships, tied for the most in NFL history, the franchise did not make the playoffs for its first 37 years as a team.
The Steelers most dominant era came with the hiring of head coach Chuck Noll and the subsequent draft classes that followed. Pittsburgh drafted nine hall-of-famers in a five year span. There were five players on offense, quarterback Terry Bradshaw, running back Franco Harris, wide receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, and center Mike Webster. As well as four on defense, making up the core of the "steel curtain" defense that would go on to destroy opposing offenses, linebackers Jack Lambert and Jack Ham, defensive tackle "Mean" Joe Greene, and defensive back Mel Blount.
These players shaped the Steelers dynasty of the 1970s, highlighted by Harris's immaculate reception and by four Super Bowls in '75, '76, '79, and '80. The terrible towel was also introduced during this time period, a yellow cloth that is waved around by fans at home games.
After the retirement of Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh native Bill Cowher was hired to be the new head coach. The Steelers were once again known for their defensive prowess under coordinator Dick LeBaeu and hall of famers Rod Woodson, Kevin Greene, and Greg Lloyd. Pittsburgh had perennial success, making it to Super Bowl XXX but losing to the Dallas Cowboys.
The modern day black and gold era began with the hiring of Mike Tomlin in 2007 and found immediate success, winning their most recent ring in 2009 against the Arizona Cardinals. Despite making the playoffs many seasons since, the Steelers only have one Super Bowl appearance this decade, a loss to the Green Bay Packers in 2011.