Were 70's champ Steelers majority-white?

Discussion in 'Pittsburgh Steelers' started by Solomon Kane, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. Solomon Kane

    Solomon Kane Mentor

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    I'm going through the starting positions in my mind..., but I'm drawing a lot of blanks.

    Offense

    QB Bradshaw (W)

    RB Harris (B)
    RB Bleier (W)

    WR Swann (B)
    WR Stallworth (B)

    TE Jon McMakin? (W)

    Offensive Line:

    I'm drawing a complete blank on this, but I think that they were mostly white.

    Defense

    DE: Dwight White (B)
    DE: ?
    T: Joe Greene (B)
    T: ?

    MLB Andy Russell (W)
    OLB: Jack Lambert (W)
    OLB: Jack Ham (W)

    CB: ?
    CB: ?
    S: Mel Blount (B)
    S: ?


    K: Roy Gerela (W)
    P: ?

    I thought the consistent play of the Linebackers was the core of their defense, though obviously the front four and the backfield were excellent, too.

    Jack Lambert was the toughest SOB in 1970's, bar none!

    Is Andy Russell in the Hall?
     
  2. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Their basic starting lineup was half white and half black, seven white starters on offense and four on defense.


    Bradshaw at QB, Rocky Bleier at RB, Randy Grossman at TE, and four white o-linemen -- Mike Webster, Gerry Mullins, Jon Kolb, and Jim Clack. Webster and Kolb were both as strong as any players in the league.


    On defense the three white linebackers -- Lambert, Ham and Russell, and safety Mike Wagner.


    The black starters were Swann and Stallworth at receiver, FrancoHarris at RB, andLarry Brown (a TE who converted to tackle) on offense, and Joe Greene, Dwight White, L. C. Greenwood, and Ernie Holmes (the Steel Curtain d-line), Mel Blount and Glen Edwards at corner, and Donnie Shell at safety.


    There were of course other starters over the course of the six years the Steelers won the four Super Bowls, but those were the main ones. Edited by: Don Wassall
     
  3. WPWW

    WPWW Newbie

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    Franco Harris was half-white.
     
  4. white is right

    white is right Hall of Famer

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    Most of their backups were white. I would say the roster was about 65 percent white. The team that won the last superbowl for them was closer to half black or maybe a slight majority black.
     
  5. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    I just dragged out my Neft's Pro Football Encyclopedia. In Super Bowl XIII against Dallas on 1-21-79, the Steelers started 13 white players out of 22. This was the high for the four Championship teams.

    They were Bradshaw at QB, Bleier at RB, Grossman TE. Kolb, Webster, Mullins, and Ray Pinney at RT. Super Bowl XIII was Pinney's only SB start.

    On defense, there was Steve Furness and John Banaszak at DT and DE. Lambert, Ham, and Loeren Toews at LB. This was Toews' only SB start. Mike Wagner was at safety.

    The lineup Don gives was the lineup for most of those years.

    Through most
     
  6. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Banaszak and Furness did rotate in and out of the Steelers front four quite a bit, though most people only remember the four black starters.


    Furness died of a heart attack a few years back, like Mike Webster he went at a young age.


    I wasn't aware of the Caste System back then but wouldguess the Steelers were probably middle of the pack to one of the blacker teams of that era. In Roy Blount's book about the 1973 Steelers' season, "Three Bricks Shy of a Load," an anonymous white player or two bitched about how head coach Chuck Noll favored black players over white ones and was more reluctant to yell at them. The situation iscertainly nodifferenttoday, but no one would dare mention it now, even quoting someone anonymously, because of the instant unanimous media chorus of condemnation that would ensue yelling "racism."
     
  7. white is right

    white is right Hall of Famer

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    Yeah Furness started in X. I think Steve died from steroid abuse( one of the side effects are higher cholesterol in the blood).Edited by: white is right
     
  8. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Ernie Holmes at one time shaved his head except to leave hair left in the shape of an arrow, quite a novel 'doo for that era. He was also aforerunner of today's epidemic of black affletes committing felonies -- he was being chased by a police helicopter for some alleged crime and responded by firing gunshots at it.
     
  9. Colonel_Reb

    Colonel_Reb Hall of Famer

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    Here are the team pics for looking at the overall makeup of the teams. From my count, they actually had fewer blacks on the roster in 1979 than in 1974.

    1974
    [​IMG]

    1979
    [​IMG]
     
  10. white is right

    white is right Hall of Famer

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    The backup QB on of their later teams "funned his way out of the NFL". He had a sad end and died of a heart attack in his mid 40's. He was so bad with money that his parents or a sibling kept his ring for him(his name escapes me he was one of the few black qb's at the time).
     
  11. sport historian

    sport historian Master

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    That was "Jefferson Street" Joe Gilliam. We have mentioned him before.
     

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