Late owner Art Rooney's Pittsburgh franchise forged NFL history with the Steel Curtain defense, the Immaculate Reception and so much more. The Bus and the Steelers rolling to a Super Bowl XL victory is also fresh in our minds. Not to be outshouted are the Eagles, on the opposite side of the state with their two Super Bowl appearances and rabid fans. The two franchises, represented in the Hall of Fame by 38 people, joined the league in 1933 when Pennsylvania lifted its blue laws, allowing games on Sundays.
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Steelers fan Chris Cotter:
Maybe I'm a little biased, well OK, really biased, but in my expert (and I use the term "expert" loosely) opinion, Pennsylvania is No. 1 when it comes to pro football. Sure, that's pretty boastful, but I say this for a number of reasons, none of which being that I happen to have grown up there, although that helped. Read more from Chris
You don't need 20/20 vision to see the historical strength of college football in Pennsylvania; just look through JoPa's black-framed glasses. The coach who has led the Nittany Lions to 362 victories in their plain uniforms also has high graduation rates and outstanding linebackers such as Shane Conlan and LaVar Arrington. No to mention the 1982 and 1986 national championships. Heisman winning running back Tony Dorsett helped Pitt run to its most recent national title in 1976. Coach Pop Warner finished his career at Temple.
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Western Pennsylvania is the land of legendary quarterbacks Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana. Programs such as Neshaminy, Bishop McDevitt and Gateway are stellar. Pennsylvania has had 14 players in the ESPN 150 over the past two years, proving this is not a state resting on its laurels. Spring 2006 DI signees: 71. Fall 2006 high school football teams: 574.
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