The Steelers and Eagles are the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s “Throwback Game” of Week 3. Both franchises have a colorful history filled with Hall of Fame players. But did you know that the Steelers and the Eagles were once one team?
World War II created a shortage of players for the NFL, causing the Cleveland Rams to cease operations and the two Keystone State franchises to merge during the 1943 season.
The NFL Record & Fact book lists the team as Phil-Pitt, but the team was known to fans as the “Steagles.” And some how they made it work. Eagles coach Greasy Neale (right) and Steelers coach Walt Kiesling were both strong personalities and contentious rivals who wanted to be the head coach. They settled on Neale being the offensive coordinator and Kiesling being the defensive coordinator.
The team went on to a 5-4-1 record, the first winning record in Eagles history, and disbanded the following year. The Eagles returned to just being the Eagles the following season. The Steelers merged with the Chicago Cardinals to become Card-Pitt in 1944 — and finished 0-10.
Having two NFL teams merge is unimaginable in the current NFL, but the team was successful and still fondly remembered.