Steel Curtain

Steel Curtain

The Steel Curtain was the nickname given to the front four of the famous defensive line of the American football team Pittsburgh Steelers during their 1970s dynasty years. This defense was the backbone of the Steelers dynasty, which won 4 Super Bowls (IX, X, XIII, and XIV). Over the years, the nickname evolved into a reference to the entire defensive squad.

In the 1976 season alone, the Steelers' defense was dominant, perhaps the best defense of all time. After the Steelers started 1-4 and lost their quarterback, Terry Bradshaw, the Steelers defense took over. In eight of the next nine games, the defense didn't allow a single touchdown, shutting out opponents five times including three consecutive. During this nine game stretch the Steelers allowed a total of two touchdowns and five field goals. The defense also allowed an average 3.1 points per game and the team had an average margin of victory of 22 points. Eight of the Steelers starting eleven defensive players were selected for the Pro Bowl, and four were eventually selected to the Hall of Fame. In 2008, the NFL Network named "The Steel Curtain" the second best nickname in NFL history. [cite web |url=|title= Top 10 nicknames in NFL history|accessdate=2008-06-24 |author= NFL Network|date= 2008-05-28|work= |]


The Steel Curtain's famed front four were:
* #75 "Mean" Joe Greene - defensive tackle, 1969-1981 (1969 Defensive Rookie of the Year; 1972 & 1974 Defensive Player of the Year; NFL 1970s All-Decade Team; Hall of Fame)
* #68 L.C. Greenwood - defensive end, 1969-1981 (NFL 1970s All-Decade Team)
* #63 Ernie Holmes - defensive tackle, 1972-1977
* #78 Dwight White - defensive end, 1971-1980

Origination of the nickname

The nickname "Steel Curtain", a play on the phrase "Iron Curtain" popularized by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, originated in a 1971 contest sponsored by Pittsburgh radio station WTAE to name the defense. The contest was won by Gregory Kronz, then a ninth grader at a suburban high school. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "he was just one of 17 people who submitted the 'Steel Curtain' moniker to the WTAE contest, necessitating a drawing for the grand prize," which Kronz won.

See also



*Ruth Ann Dailey (2006). [ Rev. Kronz and the Steel Curtain] . Retrieved January 30, 2006.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Operation Steel Curtain — Part of the Iraq War U.S. Marine Lcpl. Raphael Hernandez, and Iraqi Army soldiers watch over the surrounding streets f …   Wikipedia

  • Operation Steel Curtain — US Marines während der Operation Steel Curtain Die Operation Steel Curtain (deutsch stählerner Vorhang) war eine militärische Offensive in der westirakischen Provinz Al Anbar, nahe der syrischen Grenze. Das Ziel der Operation Steel Curtain war… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Steel frame — usually refers to a building technique with a skeleton frame of vertical steel columns and horizontal I beams, constructed in a rectangular grid to support the floors, roof and walls of a building which are all attached to the frame. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Curtain wall — For defensive curtain walls in medieval buildings, see Curtain wall (fortification). Glass curtain wall of the Bauhaus Dessau A curtain wall is an outer covering of a building in which the outer walls are non structural, but merely keep out the… …   Wikipedia

  • Steel Pier (musical) — Infobox Musical name=Steel Pier caption=Original Broadway Cast Album Steel Pier music= John Kander lyrics=Fred Ebb book= David Thompson basis= productions= 1997 Broadway awards= Steel Pier is a musical written by the songwriting team of Kander… …   Wikipedia

  • curtain wall —    In castles, the surrounding fortified walls. In modern architecture, an outer non load bearing wall, often simply a field of large panes of glass held in place with a lattice of other material, sometimes merely thin metal bands. The modern… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • curtain wall — n. exterior glass and steel wall between columns or piers that has no structural purpose (Modern Architecture); outer surrounding reinforced walls in castles …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Iron Curtain — The Iron Curtain was the symbolic, ideological, and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II until the end of the Cold War, roughly 1945 to 1991. At both sides of the Iron Curtain, the states… …   Wikipedia

  • Safety curtain — A safety curtain (or fire curtain in America) is a fire safety precaution used in large proscenium theatres. It is usually a heavy fiberglass or iron curtain located immediately behind the proscenium arch. Asbestos based materials were originally …   Wikipedia

  • Cold formed steel — (CFS) is the common term for products made by rolling or pressing thin gauges of sheet steel into goods. Cold formed steel goods are created by the working of sheet steel using stamping, rolling, or presses to deform the sheet into a usable… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.