PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Franco Harris knows a thing or two about winning.
“There have been a lot of great players, a lot of great teams in the NFL, but as we know, there hasn’t been one as great as the Pittsburgh Steelers,” he said.
The four-time Super Bowl winner and Super Bowl IX Most Valuable Player was at the Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum Thursday for the unofficial opening of a new display.
It shows off more than a dozen game-worn jerseys by some legendary players.
This weekend at the game against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Steelers will honor championship teams from Super bowl XIII and XLIII. The team isn’t the only one in town embracing their legendary past.
“We are going to unveil a new exhibit here,” says Andy Masich, President and CEO of the Heinz History Center.
It features 15 game-worn jerseys. Many of them are part of a massive collection belonging to part-owner of the Steelers, Thomas Tull.
But, a pair of Terry Bradshaw’s shoes are included, too. So is Big Ben’s Super Bowl XL jersey he wore against Seattle. There also is a helmet worn by Ernie “Arrowhead” Holmes.
“He was pretty proud of that. He said. ‘I will loan it to you, but don’t clean it,’” said Anne Madarasz of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.
She says Holmes went on to say, “’I want that Dallas blue on there.’ So he remembered Super Bowl X and the role that he played in that.”
Super Bowl X was one of four titles won the by Steelers in six years.
The game-worn jerseys span from the most recent Super Bowl championships — back through the 80s and 90s with players like John Stallworth and Rod Woodson. They also stretch all the way back to the Steel Curtain teams with Joe Greene, Dwight White, Jack Ham and Jack Lambert.
For the Steeler whose No. 32 jersey will be on display, he says this is a tribute to Steelers past and present.
“This is part of our history and these things should be showcased later,” says Harris.
He noted that when the Steelers pulled those uniforms on during their heyday, they never thought of them as being a piece of history.
“That wasn’t even a thought back then, but now when you look at it, you do realize that this is authentic. These are game-worn. These are game-torn,” he said.
For younger fans who don’t remember the Immaculate Reception (Franco’s shoes from that game are in the display), or four Lombardi Trophies in six years, Madarasz promises the exhibit will be special with pieces from more recent stars like Jerome Bettis, Hines Ward and Brett Keisel.
“This is one of the nicest things about Mr. Tull’s Collection is we are a museum for families, and we get all generations of fans come to the sports museum. And here, every generation can find the people that they root for,” she said.