Tag Archives: #Football

#TBT: Football Hits The Radiowaves

DHREA 04/10/2018



97 years ago on October 8th, 1921, the fabled “Backyard Brawl” received a little bit of extra attention. At the time, the meeting was only the 17th between the University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University. Over the years, Pitt vs. WVU became one of the most entertaining rivalries in all of college football. So, it’s only fitting in the infancy of the bitter rivalry, the two schools would make history together and become the first ever football game to be broadcast live.

KDKA Radio covered the game, and Harold Arlin held the honor of calling the first contest to hit the radio waves. To make things even more historic, the game was played at the iconic Forbes Field. The Panthers defeated the Mountaineers 21-13. The contest wasn’t as close as the score leads on, as the Mountaineers’ George Hill made the game look a little more respectable after a kickoff return for a touchdown on the final play of the game. Hail to Pitt!

If you really wanted to take a trip down memory lane, check out the original box score from the New York Times!




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#TBT: Steelers Beat Raiders In “Ice Bowl” To Win 2nd AFC Championship

DHREA 04/01/2018

To some, the Steelers vs. Raiders rivalry during the 1970s is still the hardest hitting and most ruthless rivalry in all of sports history. Don’t believe me? Let’s dig a little deeper. Besides facing off in three straight AFC Championship games and meeting in five straight playoffs, these two teams caused rule changes, saw multiple last second finishes including The Immaculate Reception (also the Steelers’ first playoff win), lawsuits, bodyslams, clotheslines, potential criminal activity, and nearly everything else you’d expect to find in a defunct XFL football game. The Steelers and Ravens may be today’s “Clash of the Titans”, but back in the 1970s, time stood still when these two franchises came together for a gentleman’s duel.

On this date in 1976, our hometown Steelers bested the Pirates from the Bay Area 16-10 to win their second AFC Championship. While not as thrilling of an ending as the Immaculate Reception game, this game still ended with a dash of controversy, and a lot of cold weather. Known as one of the coldest games in Steeler history, and named “Greatest Game in Three Rivers Stadium History” on Steelers.com, the “Ice Bowl” brought snow, ice, wind, and sub zero temperatures players are still having nightmares about. The low scoring affair was riddled with turnovers from both teams, but the Steelers held strong when it mattered most. Steeler legend Mel Blount made a game saving stop on Raiders’ receiver Cliff Branch at the 15 yard line on the the final play of the game, ending Oakland’s drive and securing the Steelers’ second consecutive Super Bowl birth. Problem is…we haven’t gotten controversial yet.

In one of the most memorable games in the history of the Black and Gold, the most memorable moment of the game was marred with typical 1970s Raiders behavior. Steelers Hall of Fame wideout and Steel City favorite Lynn Swann left the game on a stretcher after a vicious hit to the back of the head by Raiders’ defensive back George Atkinson. Although the hit was legal at the time, Swann suffered a concussion and remained hospitalized for two days. Although Swann returned in time for the Super Bowl, and became the first wide receiver to win Super Bowl MVP, this was the catalyst to a lot of bad blood, name calling, and lawsuits. A circus of lawsuits.

After the Raiders seemingly targeted Swann in the opening game of the following season, Steelers head coach Chuck Noll called the Raiders and George Atkinson the “criminal element” of the league. This led to Atkinson suing coach Noll and the Steelers for defamation of character, and by now I think I’ve proven the aforementioned point of this rivalry being one of the most insane and intense in all of sports history.

Times have changed, and the rivalry between these two franchises has dwindled to nothing more than a memory of the past. But 42 years ago today, Pittsburghers far and wide were crying out for a safer NFL with rules in place to protect players, and the future of the player’s body and mind. How times have changed, indeed.



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#TBT: Steelers Play Eagles In First Playoff Game

DHREA 21/12/2017

There’s a very real possibility we could be watching an all Pennsylvania Super Bowl this NFL season. The fantasy scenario of Steelers vs Eagles, two franchises birthed in 1933 and once had to join forces to become the Steagles, is a matchup people of this great Commonwealth have dreamed about for decades. For Steeler fans, it’s a chance to claim their 7th Super Bowl title and league superiority. For Eagles fans…it’s a chance to prove they actually have a football team. (Really. They do. It’s not a practice team, either. And they don’t always throw batteries at Santa. At least we don’t think so.)

There was a time, however, when the Steelers and Eagles could’ve played in the playoffs at a more regular rate. Before the NFL-AFL merger, the two clubs were in the same division. In fact, 70 years ago today was the first ever meeting between the Steelers and Eagles in the playoffs, and Pittsburgh’s first ever NFL playoff birth. The game, which was played at Forbes Field, would become historic for several reasons.

Pittsburgh and Philadelphia actually ended the regular season tied for the division lead at 8-4, which resulted in the playoff game. The Steelers were granted home field for the contest, a contest which saw Philadelphia crush Pittsburgh, 21-0.

Here’s why this is historical!

The game, played on December 21st, 1947, was the ONLY playoff game the Steelers ever played in before the AFL-NFL merger. Thus, leaving the contest the ONLY playoff game between the two cities in NFL history, and making it the ONLY NFL playoff game ever played at Forbes Field! Think about that statistic for a second: a team synonymous with championships only participated in one playoff game from 1933-1972. A game in which the Steelers would lose to their cross-state rival. The Eagles, to their credit, did see success in the old NFL, capturing the league title 3 times (1948, 1949, and 1960).

So, maybe these two teams have more in common than either fan base would like to admit. Maybe both franchises have seen their bright and dark periods. Maybe these two teams are headed on a collision course towards destiny after all. One team looking for redemption 70 years in the making. The other…still trying to prove they fit in and can win the real “big one”. Realistcally, though…at least our better years came after the invention of the light bulb. 

Sorry, Philly. You’ll win one, one day. But if you don’t…at least you still have Rocky. Right? 😉






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