This week in Pittsburgh Sports History | Sports News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

This week in Pittsburgh Sports History

A look back at events that you’ve either forgotten about or never heard of in the first place

click to enlarge Jerome Bettis
Jerome Bettis

Nov. 23, 1968

The Pitt Panthers lose to third-ranked Penn State 65-9. Despite the lopsided score, Pitt’s Harry Orszulak sets the school record for catches in a game with 16.

Nov. 25. 1915

The Pitt Panthers beat Penn State, and coach Pop Warner wins his first national title.

Nov. 25, 1979

The Steelers chalk up 606 yards against the Cleveland Browns but the game was unexpectedly close. The good guys win in overtime, 33-30.

Nov. 26, 1925

The NHL’s Pittsburgh Pirates debut, beating the Boston Bruins, 2-1.

Nov. 26, 1998

The Pittsburgh Steelers enter this Thanksgiving Day game against Detroit with a 7-4 record. During the overtime coin toss, Steelers running back Jerome Bettis is audibly heard calling tails. The coin is tails, but the referee says Bettis uttered the now-infamous phrase “heads-tails” and gives the ball to the Lions, who kick a field goal to win. The Steelers wouldn’t win another game that season, giving Bill Cowher his first losing season as head coach, at 7-9.

Nov. 27, 1926

Knute Rockne’s undefeated Notre Dame squad improbably loses its first game of the year to the Carnegie Mellon Tartans, 27-0. 

November 28, 1961

At a bar in Brentwood, star Steelers defensive tackle Ernie Stautner tells a Pittsburgh Press reporter that Pittsburgh is “a lousy sports town. And if Art Rooney had any sense, he’d get out of it. I’m not happy playing in Pittsburgh. I never have been happy here and I wouldn’t have been here in the first place if I had any choice about it.” Stautner was upset that Pittsburgh fans booed quarterback Bobby Layne, despite the Steelers’ win at home against St. Louis.

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