If Theodore Roosevelt would have had his way, today the Pittsburgh Steelers wouldn’t be going to the Super Bowl! (Here we go, Steelers!)
Actually the Steelers or any other pro football team probably wouldn’t exist if the late President had succeeded with his plan to eliminate American football!
Way back in 1905, Roosevelt saw a picture of a college football player who had been viciously beaten during a game. That prompted good old Teddy to take action.
He decided that the on-field brutality of football should be put to an end, and he was the means to do it. He wanted to abolish football and intended to do so by executive decree.
Now keep in mind that back in the day, football players wore very little padding and weren’t required to even wear helmets. Some of the plays led to slugfests and often the games ended in a free-for-all.
Concerned that 18 college players died during the 1905 season and 159 others were seriously hurt, Roosevelt met with football coaches from the big three – Harvard, Princeton and Yale.
The coaches agreed to change the rules of the game and focus more on speed rather than brute force. And in 1906, a new innovation was born – the forward pass. If college football had been abolished, how would today’s professional teams recruit players? Would pro teams even exist?
Imagine it, no American football. No National Football League. No AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers team. No Steeler Nation. No Steel Curtain. No Super Bowl. Unimaginable!
The fever’s intensified. An entire city and surrounding areas are giddy with delirium. It’s so darn contagious, even I wore black and gold and a Steelers necklace to church yesterday.
Here we go Steelers, here we go, Pittsburgh’s going to the Super Bowl!