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The Steelers 1979 season begins here>>>

The Steelers next game in the 1979 season was against the Baltimore Colts who were currently providing the NFL with a sideshow.

Colts defensive end John Dutton was in dispute with his team and refuses to play for them while they refuse to trade him. What started as a salary dispute had thrown the spotlight on player movement within the NFL and would put the subject at the top of the players and owners next contract negotiations.

After their weekend loss to Cleveland, Colts owner Robert Irsay gave his kicker Toni Linhart a $10,000 bonus for “trying” after he missed three field goals from 32, 18 and 28 yards that would have taken the game into overtime. Cleveland triumphed 13-10. “Guess Irsay bet on the Browns,” cracked one wise guy.

Four days later, Colts coach Ted Marchibroda cut Linhart.

To add to the disruption, Baltimore’s wide receiver Glenn Doughty was complaining about not having enough passes thrown his way. After the Cleveland game, he refused to board the team plane. Teammate tight end Mack Alston supported Doughty, “I think Glenn has a right to be angry. We can’t get anything going just playing one side of the field. This is a team game and we have to use everybody.”

In his eighth year with the Colts, Doughty had only caught two passes in the first three games. The player missed a day of practice. After he returned, Coach Marchibroda said he considered the case closed.”

There were also questions surrounding Colts quarterback Bert Jones and an injured shoulder. “I’d like to find out where the injury is,” questioned Irsay. “In his mind or in his head… I mean in his shoulder, ha ha.”

A Steelers win will set a team record of twelve consecutive victories and meant they were favoured by two touchdowns.

Steelers Rocky Not Ready To Be Counted Out

Maybe they will call it Rocky III.

It is a made for TV movie about Steelers Rocky Bleier, a Notre Dame, Vietnam and Super Bowl hero that is finally in the works after too many years of red tape and one setback after another.

It is the saga of a young man who made it from living in a building over his dad’s bar in Appleton, Wisconsin to a $400,000 mansion in Fox Chapel. Doing many miraculous things between his days under the Golden Dome, the Super Dome and the golden sun that burned down upon the rice paddies of southeast Asia.

With the recent success of movies reflecting on Vietnam and pro football, a show that concerns itself with both just has to be a sure-fire success. Before the film is in the can however, Bleier is busy writing a sequel. Maybe they will call it Rocky IV. In other words, Bleier wants everybody to know his career is not yet a closed book.

Wait until you see the next chapter.

Ever since Bleier’s autobiography, “Fighting Back,” came off the presses several years back, there has been talk about a movie to be made about his blood and guts tale, one that has real appeal to an America that has suddenly run short on heroes.

Two weeks ago, in the 38-7 victory over the Houston Oilers at the Three Rivers Stadium, Bleier made his debut at running back this season and was warmly received by the fans. He played well. There were observers on the sidelines noting the activity there to get ideas for the movie that’s being made about Bleier by Mary Tyler Moore productions.

Producer Maurice W Gable, from Upper St. Clair, was there along with screenwriter Jerry McNeely. Gable has invested a considerable sum to get the Bleier movie out of the blocks, and personally wrote several manuscripts which he has turned over to McNeely.
And now Bleier is adding to the story.

Last Sunday in St. Louis, Bleier was the biggest of several Steelers heroes in a come-from-behind 24-21 conquest of the Cardinals. If Franco Harris had not been hurt, some suggest the Steelers would not have won the game.

Harris was having a difficult day. An ankle injury forced the Steelers to turn to Bleier as well as rookie Greg Hawthorne. They did what had to be done to put the game out of the loss column.

Bleier ran with his usual abandon and afterwards was even told he had made two cuts while running with the ball in the second half. “Is that right?” replied Rocky, quicker than anyone to bring himself down to size, “That’s a new record for me.”

The second oldest running back in the NFL, the 33-year old Bleier had seen little action since recovering from a knee injury which side-lined him for the entire pre-season of this, his eleventh season with the Steelers.

Against the Cardinals, he gained 33 yards rushing on the Steelers second touchdown drive and then accounted for 12 yards rushing and 16 receiving on the touchdown march that tied the game.

On the drive that led to the winning field goal, the big play was a Terry Bradshaw to Bleier pass for 28 yards in addition to his 17 yards on the ground.

“Where were you guys when I was down, and I needed you?” Bleier asked reporters who surrounded him after the game, Bleier was smiling when he said it, but he had indeed felt abandoned during his period of inactivity.

Hollywood will have to wait on Rocky. He’s not finished running or writing.

Jim O'Brien
Pittsburgh Press September 22 1979


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The Steelers 1979 season updated April 4th 2020.

Ben's early Steelers games.

The Steelers 1978 season in full.
The Steelers 1977 season in full.
The Steelers 1976 season in full.

The Steelers 1975 season in full.
The Steelers 1974 season in full.

The first NFL champions the 1902 Pittsburgh Stars added June 2016

The Pittsburgh Americans added August 2015.

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