Local Steelers fan can still remember the bad times

Photo by Gretel Daugherty—Ron Edmunds is a serious Pittsburgh Steelers fan. A former resident of Pittsburgh, Edmunds has a shrine of sorts in his garage to his favorite football team and hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.  One of his most prized possessions is a Steelers Superbowl jacket, which was a gift from his mother.

Ron Edmunds calls Grand Junction home, but his heart is in Pittsburgh.

The 43-year-old has lived in the Grand Valley for 18 years after vacationing in the area with friends. He was born and raised in Steelers country and is part of a large contingent of Steelers fans.

“If you look at Super Bowl XLIII and XL, the Steelers have a large fan base,” Edmunds said. “There is a strong following. The Steelers are a blue-collar team. There are no flashy players.”

Edmunds doesn’t hide his love for the Steelers and admits co-workers and friends give him a hard time, but it’s worth it.

“I have friends I bowl with on Monday nights,” he said. “They are Broncos fans and Ravens fans. They give me a little grief, but most of time it’s all in fun.”

Most football fans are familiar with the Steelers’ dynasty of the 1970s and their Super Bowl success, but Edmunds remembers the day when the Steelers weren’t winning Super Bowls.

“It goes back to the basics,” Edmunds said. “The franchise couldn’t get out of its own way in its early years.

“If you went back to those days (before the Steelers won their first Super Bowl), the Pirates (baseball team) did better than the Steelers. People there are passionate about the Steelers and want to win.”

The fifth-oldest NFL franchise was founded by Art Rooney in 1933 and has been owned by the same family in its entire history.

It wasn’t until 1942 that the Steelers had their first winning season. It took 40 years for Pittsburgh to win its first division title. In 1974, the Steelers advanced to their first Super Bowl appearance, led by Terry Bradshaw, where they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 16-6.

By the end of the decade, they had won four Super Bowl titles. Pittsburgh, though, didn’t advance to the Super Bowl again until 1995, losing to the Dallas Cowboys. The Steelers won their fifth Super Bowl title five years ago and a sixth two years ago.

“Bradshaw was terrible when he first started out,” Edmunds said. “When Chuck Noll was coach, people in Pittsburgh stuck with him even when we hit the (championship) drought in the ‘80s and ‘90s.”

Edmunds, though, is glad to see the Steelers playing for another title.

“You win some Super Bowls, then go on a losing streak,” he said. “I’ll take a Super Bowl every couple years.”


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