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Here we go, Steelers -- HERE WE GO!

1964-1965 football season

1964 groupEleanor Lineman had been one of the charter members of the Steelerettes and was, to all of us, the glue that held the squad together. At the end of the 1963 season, Eleanor announced her "retirement" from the Steelerettes. We now needed a new captain. After some deliberation, Elaine Reagan and I were chosen to be co-captains. We accepted and began preparing for the 1964 football season. We knew from the beginning that we had some pretty big shoes to fill. Eleanor had been instrumental in putting the first group together and, even after she graduated from RMC, she remained as coach, captain and drill instructor. She made sure we worked, but we also had tremendous fun. Elaine and I hoped to earn the same respect and achieve the same results.

TouchdownI was asked to give the orientation speech on behalf of the Steelerettes for the incoming Freshman. I spoke with passion about the rewards of being a cheerleader, the thrill of cheering for a professional team, the restrictions placed on us by the team's owner (no, -- absolutely NO fraternization with the players). Mr. Rooney was absolutely, positively adamant about this. The only time we were allowed near them was when the press was there and wanted shots of one of the guys with a cheerleader or two. At training camp in 1963 some photographer decided he wanted a shot of John Baker (very big man) standing with a cheerleader sitting on each of his massive shoulders. Since I was one of the smallest cheerleaders, I sat on his left shoulder and Bonnie Laird Hancock sat on his right. I misplaced the picture long ago, but I haven't misplaced the memory. What a thrill. Anyway, tryouts were held and we had one of the biggest group of hopefuls ever. I like to think my rousing speech had something to do with it, but in reality, the Steelerettes were getting to be well known. We chose our 1964 squad and began practicing. Someone at the college decided we needed a choreographer, and Elaine and I found ourselves nose to nose with someone who didn't like our "wholesome" uniforms, thought our routines were "boring", and decided we needed more girls. We were livid. She was scheduling new tryouts (she did assure all the girls who had been chosen that their place on the squad was secure, but Elaine and I didn't believe her). The uniform she wanted us to wear consisted of a black, one piece leotard, a tight fitting gold vest and some kind of boots. No way were we going out there looking like the Rockettes. We left every practice for two months saying we weren't going back. We did, but reluctantly. The whole atmosphere had changed and it just wasn't fun anymore. I don't remember what precipitated our dramatic walk out, but Elaine and I made our final exit one evening in the middle of practice. I am sure it was over some trivial disagreement, but we looked at each other and said "Let's go". We never looked back.

Pitt StadiumThe black and white pictures you see on this page were sent to me by Diane Battiste Zinkham who was a member of the 1964 squad. It seems our choreographer had to compromise a little on the uniforms -- they aren't quite as showy as she originally intended. She was still striving for the "Chorus Girl" look and that was too far removed from the image we wanted to project. She only lasted one year. In 1965 Eleanor Lineman agreed to return temporarily. She organized the original group and she knew better than anyone what the Steelerettes were all about.

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1964 Wins/Losses/Ties (5-9-0)
Date Opp Final
Sun 09/13 LA L 14-26
Sun 09/20 NYG W 27-24
Sun 09/27 Dal W 23-17
Sun 10/04 @Phil L 7-21
Sat 10/10 @Cle W 23-7
Sun 10/18 @Min L 10-30
Sun 10/25 Phil L 10-34
Sun 11/01 Cle L 17-30
Sun 11/08 @StL L 30-34
Sun 11-15 Wash L 0-30
Sun 11-22 @NYG W 44-17
Sun 11/29 StL L 20-21
Sun 12/06 @Wash W 14-7
Sun 12/13 @Dal L 14-17

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Opdateret d. 11/8/01