Joe, Port Orange, FL
Subj: America's Team
Why were the Cowboys given the title of “America’s Team” the first place? When I think of America's Team, I think of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They have the best following of any team in sports. Steelers bars can be found in just about any major city. Therefore I think the Steelers should be referred to as “America's Team”.
Superb question, Joe! The term was coined by sportswriter Bob Ryan in 1979, although he didn’t have the Cowboys in mind when he created it. "After the '78 season, the Cowboys had just lost a crushing Super Bowl to the Steelers,” he recalls. “I wanted to come up with a different twist on a story I was doing. So, I asked the Rooney family if I could name the Pittsburgh Steelers, ‘America's Team’. But, I was surprised when the Rooney family said no. The next year I asked the Cowboys franchise and they said yes." Other media personalities soon adopted the colorful phrase and within a matter of weeks football fans from coast to coast were referring to Dallas as America’s Team. Surprisingly, Steelers owner Dan Rooney still has no regrets about declining the honorific title. 'We didn't want that,” he says. “We're a Pittsburgh team. We feel strongly about that."