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Steelers Mt. Rushmore honors the team of the ’70s

Bradshaw Getty Images

Somehow, we narrowed the list of all-time great Steelers to 12 finalists.  Somehow, we carved that 12 down to four.

The greatness achieved by the Steelers of the 1970s has not yet been matched, by any team.  One quarterback, one coach, four Super Bowl wins.  No Super Bowl losses.

For that reason, the team of the ’70s is well represented on the Pittsburgh Mt. Rushmore.

The fan vote came to the same conclusion:  Chuck Noll, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Greene, and Jack Lambert are the four names and faces that best epitomize the franchise.

So why was the Rooney family omitted?  I supplied my reason on Friday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN.  For PFT Planet, the easy answer is they didn’t get enough votes.

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57 Responses to “Steelers Mt. Rushmore honors the team of the ’70s”
  1. Lonely Libertarian says: Jun 29, 2013 3:35 PM

    No way to quibble – and really hard to choose four – Swan – Webster – Bettis – Stautner would be my next four. Jim Brown and Ernie had some epic battles in the late 50s before the Steelers were even close to competitive.

  2. daaabears says: Jun 29, 2013 3:38 PM

    Not a stiller fan, but many tough choices.

  3. stevo2321 says: Jun 29, 2013 3:39 PM

    Jack Ham was a Better football player than Jack Lambert.

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 29, 2013 3:40 PM

    Mt. Retro 70s.

  5. jackdaniels1 says: Jun 29, 2013 3:40 PM

    No Kordell Stewart?

  6. radrntn says: Jun 29, 2013 3:42 PM

    nothing better in the 70′s then raider /steeler games….even if it was the afc championship, or playoffs, that was the super bowl that year.

  7. stainlessstill says: Jun 29, 2013 3:44 PM

    Bravo. Though not my finalists for the final four..BRAVO. Hell, some of the Steelers BACKUPS could make a Mount Rushmore themselves.

  8. 1oldpro says: Jun 29, 2013 3:47 PM

    That is an admirable Mount Rushmore. Wish my team had this much granite

  9. packerbackernj says: Jun 29, 2013 3:47 PM

    The 60′s Packers, 70′s Steelers, 80′s 49ers, and 90′s cowboys all deserve their own Mt Rushmore on top of their team mt rushmore

  10. fissels says: Jun 29, 2013 3:49 PM

    I respect all the choices, but there wouldn’t be a team without the Rooneys

  11. z06vision says: Jun 29, 2013 3:50 PM

    Even though we did not have a choice to enter “The Bus” and “Big Ben”, the final choices are pretty darn good ones.

  12. halftermguv says: Jun 29, 2013 3:51 PM

    Great choices, nice to see Chuck Noll get a well deserved honor.

    He turned an also ran franchise into the one of the greatest in the Superbowl era yet rarely makes top five coaches of all time.

    Noll: 4-0
    Tom Landry: 3-3 and 0-2 against Noll

  13. elliottcovert says: Jun 29, 2013 3:51 PM

    Here’s what strikes me about the Steelers — a Mt. Rushmore composed of people who didn’t even make the top 12 for the Steelers (James Harrison, Troy Polamalu, Mike Webster, Ben Roethlisberger, Dermonti Dawson) could easily trump the Mt. Rushmores of a whole lot of teams in this league. It’s insane just how deep the pool of talent they have historically had is.

  14. thesportgenius says: Jun 29, 2013 3:55 PM

    I’ll never forget watching a dumb fan running on the field (back when the TV would actually show it) and a couple of fat security guards were trying to catch him when he ran by the Steeler’s defensive huddle and Jack Lambert gave the guy a forearm shiver and dropped him like a sack of potatoes. Always loved him after that! Ahhh, the good ole days when men were allowed to be men. Today that would have resulted in Goodell wetting his pink panties, lawsuits, suspensions, and the PC media having a fit.

  15. Nofoolnodrool says: Jun 29, 2013 3:57 PM

    packerbackernj | Jun 29, 2013, 3:47 PM EDT
    The 60′s Packers, 70′s Steelers, 80′s 49ers, and 90′s cowboys all deserve their own Mt Rushmore on top of their team mt rushmore

    You are absolutely right.gee, why not the 2013 Ravens? …just joking.

  16. Benjamin P. Glaser says: Jun 29, 2013 3:58 PM

    People forget Art Rooney oversaw the NFL version of the Washington Wizards from 1933-1972. That alone discredits him.

  17. rajbais says: Jun 29, 2013 4:04 PM

    Terry Bradshaw???

    He’s not even one of the 100 greatest players ever.

    He’s on it??

    He should have been replaced with either
    Jack Ham, Franco Harris, or Bill Cowher.

  18. Nofoolnodrool says: Jun 29, 2013 4:11 PM

    Benjamin P. Glaser | Jun 29, 2013, 3:58 PM EDT
    People forget Art Rooney oversaw the NFL version of the Washington Wizards from 1933-1972. That alone discredits him.

    And your point was….?

  19. raideralex99 says: Jun 29, 2013 4:18 PM

    Alot of great players to pick from but this would has to be the toughest Mt. Rushmore to pick.

    I miss those great AFC playoffs games from the 70′s with the Raiders … those were the days.

  20. colonelcrude says: Jun 29, 2013 4:20 PM

    Chuck Knoll – from Cleveland.

    What should be on the Steelers Mt. Rushmore?

    A syringe
    A steroid bottle
    A referee’s hat
    A bathroom door.

  21. stainlessstill says: Jun 29, 2013 4:22 PM

    Terry Bradshaw???

    He’s not even one of the 100 greatest players ever.

    He’s on it??

    He should have been replaced with either
    Jack Ham, Franco Harris, or Bill Cowher.

    ——————–

    Gotta love Bradshaw, as we all do, but it was a tough choice to leave him off on my personal list, but I had Franco in ahead of him. Though Bradshaw was tremendous in Super Bowl, clutch plays, it took him awhile to get started and got off to an ugly career with the Stillers. Franco, from day 1, was always a mad-man…plus….come on, the Immaculate Reception.

  22. zilla1126 says: Jun 29, 2013 4:22 PM

    I’m not sure which guy I would get rid of, but any “Mt Rushmore” of the Steeler dynasty is incomplete without representation by a large hypodermic needle filled with steroids.

    This is a shocking lack of respect for chemically enhanced players. It was not against the rules at the time – so why not own it?

  23. Stiller43 says: Jun 29, 2013 4:25 PM

    Rajbais,

    Name the QBs in NFL history with 4 superbowl wins (and 2 suberbowl MVP trophies).

  24. fissels says: Jun 29, 2013 4:28 PM

    stevo2321 says:
    Jun 29, 2013 3:39 PM
    Jack Ham was a Better football player than Jack Lambert.

    I would agree. However, Lambert was without equal as a leader.

  25. vicnocal says: Jun 29, 2013 4:30 PM

    No Bettis, Roethlisberger, or Bill Cowher in the top 12? Tough crowd.
    Nostalgia has to be playing a factor and causing guys like Stallworth to get overrated.

  26. drew1111 says: Jun 29, 2013 4:33 PM

    Glad to see steeler fans promote the steroid cheating era of their team.

  27. dirtyharry44 says: Jun 29, 2013 4:39 PM

    Not a Steelers fan in the least, but it’s nice to finally see the correct representation on one of these mountains. OK, the Browns were represented well too.

  28. classyjacklambert says: Jun 29, 2013 4:39 PM

    Terry’s a worthy choice but the Rooneys really should have been up there.

  29. Nofoolnodrool says: Jun 29, 2013 4:47 PM

    colonelcrude says:
    Jun 29, 2013 4:20 PM
    Chuck Knoll – from Cleveland.

    What should be on the Steelers Mt. Rushmore?

    A syringe
    A steroid bottle
    A referee’s hat
    A bathroom door.

    3 5 Come on dude you can’t still be butt sore from the many beatings these steelers put on your team. Not sure of your team, but are sure you are green with envy…..I am so sorry….wait, no Iam not.

  30. downwithespn says: Jun 29, 2013 5:28 PM

    Green Bay Packers, 1960-1967: One quarterback, one coach, five championships (two Super Bowls). No Super Bowl losses (one NFL championship loss).

    San Francisco 49ers, 1980-1989: One quarterback, two coaches, four Super Bowl wins. No Super Bowl losses.

    Not to take anything away from the Steelers of the 1970s, but I fail to see how their greatness has “not yet been matched.”

  31. steelcurtainwereonpedstoo says: Jun 29, 2013 5:31 PM

    Man I hope there’s asterisk on this Mt. Rushmore. So many of the players from the yester-years were on Steroids. Just look at the bad health they’ve suffered. Bathroom Ben’s the cleanest player they have praised like a god and that says alot.

  32. steeltuff says: Jun 29, 2013 5:38 PM

    I completely agree with these four picks. Yes, Ham was a better athlete than Lambert, but #58 was the Heart & Soul. (Of all the Steeler jerseys I’ve seen over the past 40 years, Lambert’s is the most popular.) As far as the Rooney’s, they didn’t make the draft picks that brought all these great players to the Burgh . . . Charles Henry Noll did. Thanks, Cleveland . . . the Mistake on the Lake can finally be credited with something other than the Rock’n’Roll HOF.

  33. holeinone09 says: Jun 29, 2013 5:51 PM

    “The greatness achieved by the Steelers of the 1970s has not yet been matched, by any team. ”

    True, so true. Steelers fans like me have been blessed to have been able to enjoy so many fabulous players over the years! I remember watching the first SB win over the Vikes from the dorm at CMU in Pittsburgh that had the only TV in the building, with about 60 people huddled around. Then some of us packed a car and headed to downtown to celebrate. A lasting memory! So much happiness! I was able to attend the Detroit and Tampa SB wins, which I will never EVER forget, EVER.

    I cannot argue with this list of honorees. NFL Films has done an incredible job documenting the Steelers and their players over the years. In one, I remember Lambert absolutely smashed an opposing running back. And as he was getting up he said “That’ll cool your ass off”. Classic!

    GO STEELERS! FOREVER!!

  34. gbatap says: Jun 29, 2013 6:07 PM

    What about HoFer Lynn Swann?

  35. ironman721 says: Jun 29, 2013 6:08 PM

    The greatest franchise in the greatest sport… Period! I would have put Franco on it but hard to argue with these 4, and any idiot who doesn’t think Bradshaw was great should never comment on a football article again because your stupidity is insulting to everyone else! 4 rings, 2 SB MVPs. Only Montana can say that. Not any other of the thousands of men who have played, have achieved what Bradshaw and Montana did. By the way Bradshaw called his own plays.

  36. 6sbtitles2sweet says: Jun 29, 2013 6:15 PM

    i disagree but agree. this seriously is the hardest choice i can remember making. i mean you talk about talent, you line up the all time steeler greats and your naming players that could make a whole other playoff or superbowl team. my picks were..

    1. The Rooneys- whether or not they want to be in the lime light they are the #1 spot on this list, PERIOD, they put the pieces in place and started this team.
    2.Knoll-only coach to win 4 superbowls & undefeated. started this dynasty. put together the best team of all time.
    3.harris-challenged jim browns all time rushing record. if he and rocky wouldn’t have gotten hurt they would have 5 rings. def a difference maker on offense.
    4.greene-the anchor of the best defense of all time, PERIOD!

  37. pamiho32332013 says: Jun 29, 2013 6:24 PM

    Good for you, Steelers. You have a lot to be proud of. Probably explains why your fans are so GD obnoxious. I’m happy for you though. I’m sure living in Pittsburgh provides so very few reasons to be happy about life. So again, good for you.

  38. redwoodking says: Jun 29, 2013 6:26 PM

    It’s hard, but I would argue Hines Ward. He was hard nosed and did whatever it took to win

  39. stainlessstill says: Jun 29, 2013 6:27 PM

    6sbtiles2sweet, my personal list was the same as yours but with a slightly different number system, swapping Harris and Greene. I have it:

    1. The Rooney Family
    2.Chuck Noll
    3. “Mean” Joe Greene
    4. Franco Harris

  40. apkyletexas says: Jun 29, 2013 8:07 PM

    Anyone who values Bradshaw’s offensive contributions above those of Franco Harris doesn’t know crap about the 70′s Steelers.

    Bradshaw was lucky not to be cut by the mid-70′s, and basically had two good seasons in 1978-79. Franco was a beast from the day he was drafted, and provided consistent stellar production for the Steeler offense for nearly the entire decade. He was at his best in the playoffs, and to this day is one of the biggest playoff producers at running back in NFL history.

  41. dartwick says: Jun 29, 2013 8:20 PM

    You could have a list that starts after the Noll years and it would be better than most teams.

    Rod Woodson
    Troy Polamolu
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Bettis/Dawson/Ward/Cowher

  42. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Jun 29, 2013 9:40 PM

    Regarding Eric Kuselias and Mike’s Noll v. Bradshaw debate, I side with Mike.

    Simply put – Kuselias is dramatically oversimplifying the issues; and is grossly confusing correlation with causation.

    It kind of blows my mind to hear arguments like what Kuselias rests on. Good guy – just shaking my head hearing what makes sense to him.

  43. Canyonero says: Jun 29, 2013 11:54 PM

    When was the vote??

  44. anpsteel says: Jun 30, 2013 12:15 AM

    Noll
    Greene
    Franco
    Lambert

    Terry is on this list- but only if the emperor is not.

  45. jaubele1 says: Jun 30, 2013 1:06 AM

    It’s impossible to argue with those choices, but Ernie Stautner is the ONLY Steelers player to have his number retired, and that seems reason enough to get him a spot.

  46. lichnor says: Jun 30, 2013 8:46 AM

    When Rushmore was designed (1923) one of the presidents included was one who, relatively, just left office (Roosevelt,14 years earlier). For that reason IMO one of the “current” Steelers deserves representation, be it Woodson, Bettis, Roethlisberger, Polamolu, etc.

  47. restonraven says: Jun 30, 2013 11:03 AM

    Swann over “JUMP BALL” Bradshaw. Bradshaw was mediocre at best and Swann bailed him out in two Super Bowls. Super Bowl X when he hauled in a Bradshaw “JUMP BALL” over Mark Washington, and Super Bowl XIII when he caught a “JUMP BALL” over Cliff Harris in the back of the end zone.

  48. araidersfan says: Jun 30, 2013 6:32 PM

    I certainly won’t disparage the Steelers accomplishments but I find it amusing that some of their fans want Lynn Swann on their Mt. Rushmore.

    As a fan of the Steelers biggest rival in the 70s, I always thought that Stallworth was their best receiver and Swann wasn’t remotely as valuable to Pittsburgh on offense.

  49. Joemontanaflacco says: Jul 1, 2013 7:56 AM

    “Steelers Mt. Rushmore honors the team of the ’70s” makes sense to me. You have a six year window when the Steelers were dominant, followed by 25 years of failure. Then, two lucky Superbowl wins helped by weak opponants and bad officiating.

  50. steelcurtainn says: Jul 1, 2013 9:40 AM

    It is impossible to pick a steelers mount rushmore in my opinion. There have been to many dominant players over their period of existence in my opinion. If I did have to try and pick one, I do like the one presented on this thread with the possibility maybe of removing bradshaw and adding franco harris or the rooney family. Without the 70′s era, Hines Ward, Rod Woodson and Jerome Bettis would definitely be in their.

    Also, Lets not talk about lucky superbowl wins. The ravens have had 15 years of failure in their 17 year existence, followed by a gift on a platter by the broncos to advance and a had to win a sb off playing a rookie qb in Colin Kaepernick with questionable bad officiating at the end of the game. Steelers starting qb opponents- Hasselback, Kurt Warner, Aaron Rodgers.
    The ravens- Kaepernick(a rookie). Thats the definition of lucky.

  51. black43gold says: Jul 1, 2013 3:08 PM

    steelcurtainn says:
    Jul 1, 2013 9:40 AM
    It is impossible to pick a steelers mount rushmore in my opinion. There have been to many dominant players over their period of existence in my opinion. If I did have to try and pick one, I do like the one presented on this thread with the possibility maybe of removing bradshaw and adding franco harris or the rooney family. Without the 70′s era, Hines Ward, Rod Woodson and Jerome Bettis would definitely be in their.

    Also, Lets not talk about lucky superbowl wins. The ravens have had 15 years of failure in their 17 year existence, followed by a gift on a platter by the broncos to advance and a had to win a sb off playing a rookie qb in Colin Kaepernick with questionable bad officiating at the end of the game. Steelers starting qb opponents- Hasselback, Kurt Warner, Aaron Rodgers.
    The ravens- Kaepernick(a rookie). Thats the definition of lucky.
    ___________________________________

    Not to mention the great Kerry Collins

  52. steelcurtainn says: Jul 1, 2013 3:59 PM

    @black43gold

    Oh yeah!!!! Almost forgot him, Thanks!!!
    Kerry Collins and Colin Kaepernick two of the NFLs best.(rolls eyes).

  53. Joemontanaflacco says: Jul 1, 2013 4:48 PM

    Yeah, that 2012 SF team was a real pushover. Strange irony that the most players voted into the top 100 for 2013 are from SF. And I guess Kaepernick was just a backup who played because Alex Smith was hurt. What’s that? Smith was perfectly healthy during SB XLVII!!
    Well, you’re right about how easy it was to beat the Giants by 27 points in a SB. Steelers have done that … uh …. uh … let me check … NEVER! Now, do we need to talk about Aaron Rodgers? (crickets)

  54. antibenapalooza says: Jul 1, 2013 6:24 PM

    I really enjoyed watching the “Stillers” back then, and I really hate the fact that Rottenberger is on the team today.

  55. Robinson says: Jul 1, 2013 9:28 PM

    I’m making a Mt. Rushmore of professional athletes who rape people. Big Ben is right between Mike Tyson and Kobe Bryant.

  56. steeltownray says: Jul 3, 2013 7:58 PM

    Art Rooney. Ernie Stautner. Joe Greene. Jack Lambert.
    That’s my personal Mt. Steelmore.
    No wrong answers, of course – but this, to me, personifies the franchise.

    Oh, and the comment someone made about Ham being a better linebacker than Lambert…he was.
    That’s no slight to Lambert. That just shows you how good Ham was…one of the best ever.

  57. whutevr says: Jul 6, 2013 2:53 PM

    I love it when all the Steeler Haters come out from their mom’s basement to whine.
    References to steroids? Like all the teams didn’t do it back then – really?
    Trash talking the city? Pittsburgh is a great community – a strong city. I’ve lived all over this country and would live in the burgh again over all of them.
    I wouldn’t be a fan of any other team. All those cry babies and primadonnas – you can keep ‘em. Look what happens to egotistical Steelers when they jump ship……….they fade away quickly.

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