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Here we go, Steelers -- HERE WE GO!

1968-1969 football season


The 1968 Steelerettes, from left to right in the picture are Linda Markle and Carolyn Peterson (doing splits); Lindsay Van Wetering, Jeaneen Powers, Kathy Chuba, Sabra Miller, Donna Ungarean and Sue Woessner (second row); Jennie Taylor, Sharon Brombar and Bonnie Roush (top row).

Three Rivers Stadium had not yet been built, so the Steelers were still sharing a field with the University of Pittsburgh's football team, the Pitt Panthers. The University was situated in the middle of Oakland, a bustling business and cultural area, just outside the city. Parking at the stadium was practically non-existent, so we parked in a public lot and trudged up an unbelievably steep hill known to all the locals as "Cardiac Hill". By the time we reached the top, it was a miracle we had any energy left. Luckily, cheerleaders are a sturdy lot -- all it takes is the roar of the crowd to get their adrenaline pumping.

In 1968 Rocky Bleier was drafted in the NFL's 16th round. The following year he was selected in another kind of draft. He served over a year in Vietnam (1969-1970) and was seriously wounded in both legs. Although his injury wasn't life threatening, it was expected to be career ending. The doctors who gave Rocky this grim prognosis had seriously underestimated this incredible man. He came back to football alright and now has four Super Bowl rings to prove that the doctors don't always know everything.

Things looked as if they just couldn't get much worse for the Steelers. Their last winning season had been in 1963 and the 1968 season ended 2-11-1. To put this into perspective, in the first 35 years of their existence (1933-1967) the Steelers had only 8 winning seasons. In the next 30 years (1968-1997) they only had 8 losing seasons. Who knew that the decade of the 70's was about to make up for all these lean years? Anyway, the cheerleaders were still looking good. By this time, the idea had caught the attention of several other NFL teams, but with a few minor changes. The Steelerettes had always projected a wholesome, collegiate image while the new wave of NFL cheerleaders took their lead from the immensely popular Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. The Steelerettes were starting to look outdated. Plans were underway for the construction of Three Rivers Stadium, the Steelers first real home, and it was time for the cheerleaders to make a decision.

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1968 Wins/Loses/Ties (2-11-1)
Date Opp Final
Sun 09/15 NYG L 20-34
Sun 09/22 @LA L 10-45
Sun 09/29 Bal L 7-41
Sat 10/05 @Cle L 24-31
Sun 10/13 @Wash L 13-16
Sun 10/20 NO L 12-16
Sun 10/27 Phil W 6-3
Sun 11/03 @Atl W 41-21
Sun 11-10 @StL T 28-28
Sun 11-17 Cle L 24-45
Sun 11/24 SF L 28-45
Sun 12/01 StL L 10-20
Sun 12/08 @Dal L 7-28
Sun 12/15 @NO L 14-24

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Last updated 14.11.2006