NFL Wembley: Sky Sports looks at the Pittsburgh Steelers ahead of Vikings showdown

By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH.   Last Updated: 25/09/13 7:45pm

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Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leads the Pittsburgh Steelers warm up.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leads the Pittsburgh Steelers warm up.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are traditionally a rough, tough NFL team who have a fearsome defence and play hard running football - but one thing they know how to do better than any other team in the league is to win Super Bowls.

The Steelers may arrive at Wembley Stadium without a win this season after three defeats, but that sort of form is very much the exception to the rule, with the team amongst the perennial challengers.

Here we take a closer look at the Pittsburgh Steelers...


The Vince Lombardi trophy goes well with the Pittsburgh Steelers helmet

Team history for Pittsburgh is all about winning. They have won more Super Bowls than any other team with six Vince Lombardi Trophies, while they are tied with Dallas with eight appearances in the biggest game around.

The legacy kicked off in the 1970s when the team won four Super Bowls in six years behind a ferociously hard-hitting defence known as 'The Steel Curtain'. The tradition of tough, rugged defence reflects the nature of the steel industry city.

Originally named the Pirates, the name change also came to reflect the dominant industry of Pittsburgh - as does their logo, which is a copy of the one used by the US steel industry. They are the only team to have their logo on just one side of the players' helmets.

Terrible Towels

Pittsburgh Steelers fans wave their Terrible Towels

At any Pittsburgh game you will see fans waving their yellow 'Terrible Towels' around in support. These were created by broadcaster Myron Cope in 1975 and follow the team everywhere - they have even popped up at the peak of Mount Everest and in the International Space Station.

Regarded as one of the most recognised symbols of any sports team in America, the amount of towels around stadiums sums up the fanatical following the Steelers enjoy all across the country as one of the most popular teams in the NFL.

Cope was asked to come up with a gimmick to help attract sponsors to his radio shows, and he spawned the Terrible Towel that is now renowned through the world of sport. Proceeds of sales also go to help charity.

Steel City fans

Pittsburgh Steelers fans cheer on their team

The tough, blue collar ethos of the team is reflected in the style of fans as well, who proudly try and display the same attributes. Away teams generally have little if any support in stadiums, but given that the Steelers have one of the biggest reaching fanbases, every game has a good amount of Steelers in the crowd.

At home they are as loud as any - and maybe helped by the fact they are used to winning they always turn up in their droves - which is reflected in the fact that they've sold out every home game since 1972!

Heinz Field is now one of the toughest away days in the league. Taking over from the previous Three Rivers Staduim it has lost none of the atmosphere, and especially when the cold winter winds blow in off the river it can be a desperately tough place to get a result.

Star players

Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrate.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has become the leader of the team after taking them to three Super Bowls, winning two of them, and becoming the youngest QB to win the Super Bowl along the way.

Roethlisberger will fight for his life on the field. He is one of the hardest QBs to bring down in the league, and he can make something out of nothing when it looks like he has nowhere to go - always an exciting one to watch.

Defensive players have been the stars over recent years, and it's hard to miss Troy Polamalu, who has the most recognisable hairstyle in the league with his flowing locks trailing in his wake as he flies around the field. Although injuries have hampered him recently, he is always likely to come up with the ball on a big play and has been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks through the years.

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