Believe it or not, the Pittsburgh Steelers once had cheerleaders. That’s right. The team that so adamantly refuses to have cheerleaders did have them in the 1960s a troupe known as the “Steeler-Ettes.” But joining those ladies for just one season was a group of male cheerleaders known as the “Ingots.” According to Wikipedia, an ingot is “a piece of relatively pure material, usually metal, that is cast into a shape suitable for further processing.” But in relation to football, students from nearby Robert Morris Junior College joined the Steelerettes in the 1960s to form this group and as a tradition; they would set off a cannon shooting blanks when Pittsburgh scored a touchdown.
This went over pretty well until on one occasion they set off the cannon as the Steelers’ Buddy Dial had scored a touchdown and the shot was a little too close for comfort to Dial who jumped aside from the noise. The next time the Steelers played at home, the Ingots did not bring the cannon along and once the season of 1962 had concluded, the Steelers’ front office told the Ingots they would not be returning to the field.
Two former Ingots and the and the President of Robert Morris both remember the moment well and you can read the entire story here.
Former Ingot Roger Hunt:
“I always thought we were called Steelerettes, too. Ingots? I had never heard that term. Bob Prince went ballistic on the air. I went up to Buddy to apologize to him after it happened, and he said, "Aw, shucks, it wasn't nothing. Just scared me, that's all. And Bob Prince wanted to crucify us. We became infamous.”
Ken Kanzleiter, once an Ingot:
“The heat of the moment. He didn't say anything to us. He just turned and ran away.”
Bill Day, former President, Robert Morris:
“I hear the film of that is in the Hall of Fame. It looked like Buddy had been shot with a cannon. Not only did Buddy disappear in a cloud of smoke, so did the Ingots.”
Intro #9 Hand Them a Field Goal