Edit ModuleShow Tags

Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

As the team prepares the inaugural class of its Hall of Honor, Mike Prisuta selects the four members of the Steelers family most deserving of inclusion.



Embed from Getty Images

The problem isn’t cutting,” Chuck Noll once observed just after a preseason loss and just before a mandatory reduction of the roster, “it’s stopping.”

It’s the other way around with the Steelers’ new Hall of Honor.

The franchise has finally decided to publicly brag a little bit about its storied history. There won’t be a ring of honor at Heinz Field, as is the case in so many other NFL stadiums; instead, the Hall of Honor will be on display inside the FedEx Great Hall.

“This is probably long overdue,” team president Art Rooney II acknowledged in an Aug. 1 press release, as plans for the Hall were announced.

The goal is to recognize, via an annual series of ceremonies, former players, coaches and contributors who were “integral in creating and sustaining the franchise’s success dating back to when the team was founded in 1933.”

The initial challenge with such an undertaking won’t be finding candidates who are viable. It’ll be drawing the line. The Steelers claim ties with 24 players and coaches who have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, according to the team’s media guide. They range from Art Rooney Sr., who founded the franchise, to Kevin Greene, who played three of his 15 NFL seasons with the Steelers.

The Hall of Honor will also serve as a formal acknowledgment of those the Steelers suspect have been worthy but overlooked when it comes to Hall-of-Fame inclusion (L.C. Greenwood, Donnie Shell and Andy Russell come immediately to mind).

Alas, it wouldn’t be practical or proper to make everyone who’s met the Hall-of-Honor standard a part of the first Hall-of-Honor class; still, you have to start somewhere.

Why not start with the Steelers’ Mount Rushmore?

The selection committee (Rooney, Joe Gordon, Bob Labriola, Stan Savran and Tony Quatrini), even if it agreed to such a concept, would likely have its own ideas regarding who would be most deserving; we’ll find out when the inaugural class is announced on Aug. 29.

In the meantime, here’s mine:

DAN ROONEY — “The Chief” was and remains a beloved figure. But his son Dan is the one under whose stewardship the Steelers became consistent winners. There would be no finer lasting tribute than to have “The Ambassador” symbolically lead the franchise’s Hall-of-Honor parade.

CHUCK NOLL — He may or may not be the greatest coach in NFL history, but he’s in the conversation. His 4-0 record in Super Bowls is indisputably the best in NFL history and qualifies Noll to be among the first the Steelers honor in such a fashion, no matter the configuration of the Hall of Honor’s debut group.

JOE GREENE — How can you differentiate among Hall-of-Fame players? By recognizing the obvious: As far as the Steelers are concerned, there’s Greene and then there’s everybody else. No one who wore the uniform should go in ahead of Greene. No one who wore the uniform should go in with Greene.

BILL NUNN — Perhaps the greatest scout in NFL history, Nunn broke racial barriers and found the athletes Noll turned into the “Team of the 1970s.” Beyond that, he was a champion for social change whose influence extended beyond the game. How is he still so underrated and under-appreciated, historically speaking? The bench dedicated to his memory overlooking the practice fields at Saint Vincent College was a step in the right direction. But Nunn’s character and career are worthy of the highest recognition the Steelers are capable of giving, recognition that might also boost Nunn’s chances of someday winding up in Canton.

Stopping at those four wouldn’t necessarily be easy — but the Steelers’ Hall of Honor could do a lot worse for starters.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Matt Murray's Focus is on the Journey, Not the Destination

Matt Murray's Focus is on the Journey, Not the Destination

The Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender already has his name on the Stanley Cup — twice. Matt Murray may be a champion, but he’s still working diligently to improve his game.
Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2017 Honorees

Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2017 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine highlights the unsung heroes of the health care field: our Excellence in Nursing honorees, chosen by our panel of distinguished nursing professionals.
Restaurant Review: Superior Motors

Restaurant Review: Superior Motors

Kevin Sousa’s long-anticipated project fires on all cylinders as a restaurant. But, will it fulfill its larger mission?
Pittsburgh City Steps: An Artist Tells Their Stories

Pittsburgh City Steps: An Artist Tells Their Stories

Artist Laura Zurowski is on a mission to document Pittsburgh's public steps in an unorthodox way.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


The Time to #GiveBigPittsburgh is Almost Here

The Time to #GiveBigPittsburgh is Almost Here

Make your donation go farther on the one-day charitable giving bonanza.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Just in Time for the Holidays: Miracle Returns to Downtown

Just in Time for the Holidays: Miracle Returns to Downtown

The over-the-top holiday-themed bar opens at the Original Oyster House the night after Thanksgiving.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Meet the Winner of Our 2017 Cutest Pet Contest

Meet the Winner of Our 2017 Cutest Pet Contest

The winner received the most votes among five dogs, four cats and a bunny.

Comments


Steal the Crown Jewels at Escape Room 51

Steal the Crown Jewels at Escape Room 51

The new escape game is instantly among the best in town.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Are Steelers Good Enough to Overcome Themselves?

Are Steelers Good Enough to Overcome Themselves?

The time has come for the offense to more often resemble what everyone thought it would become this season, as opposed to sinking on occasion to a Cleveland Browns-esque level of ineptitude.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

#Gottahaveit: Take It To the Hoop

Robert Hallett, Goldsmith, handcrafts the jewelry in his Oakmont shop.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Pixar's Coco is a Visual Stunner, While Last Flag Flying is a Knockout

Pixar's Coco is a Visual Stunner, While Last Flag Flying is a Knockout

Reviews of "Coco," "Last Flag Flying" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri."

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Only in Pittsburgh: The Blast Furnace Wedding Venue

Only in Pittsburgh: The Blast Furnace Wedding Venue

Carrie Furnace is one of three intimate, uniquely Pittsburgh wedding venues that can accommodate every style from homestyle to rock-and-roll.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Bright Living: ‘Lumiere’ Condos Slated for Former Saks Downtown

Bright Living: ‘Lumiere’ Condos Slated for Former Saks Downtown

Named after the French word for light, the 86-unit mixed-use development, which will include a Fogo de Chao steakhouse as a tenant, offers folding glass walls in its residences to create an open-air living space.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments