played college football at Alabama A&M, becoming the Steelers'
fourth-round draft pick in 1974. Stallworth played in six AFC championships,
and went to four Super Bowls. His career statistics included 537 receptions
for 8,723 yards and 63 TD's. His receptions were a franchise record
until that record was surpassed by Hines Ward in 2005. Stallworth played
in four Pro Bowls and was the Steelers' two-time MVP.
A native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Stallworth was an All-Southern
Intercollegiate Athletic Conference receiver for Alabama A&M
in 1972 and 1973. Stallworth was the 82nd player taken that year.
After a rookie year as an understudy, he became a starter in his
and held that job for the rest of his 165-game career. Stallworth
did battle a series of fibula, foot, ankle, knee and hamstring
injuries that forced him to miss 44 regular-season games.
He is best remembered for his actions in the Super Bowl. In
Super Bowl XIII, he caught a record-tying 75-yard touchdown pass
from Terry Bradshaw that would later be a crucial touchdown
in a 35-31 Steelers win over the Dallas Cowboys. He suffered leg
cramps later and played sparingly in the second half, finishing
with 3 receptions for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns
One year later, at Super Bowl XIV with the Steelers trailing the
Los Angeles Rams 19-17 early in the fourth quarter, Steelers' coach
Chuck Noll called for "60-Prevent-Slot-Hook-And-Go," a
play the Steelers failed in practice prior to the big game. With
12 minutes remaining, Bradshaw dropped back and threw it long to
Stallworth, who caught it and beat Rod Perry to the end zone for
a 73-yard touchdown that would pave the way for the Steelers' 31-19
win and their fourth world championship. Sports Illustrated considered
the catch notable enough to put Stallworth on the cover of a subsequent
issue. Overall, Stallworth recorded 3 receptions for 121 yards
in the game.
John Stallworth holds the Super Bowl records for career average
per catch (24.4 yards) and single-game average, 40.33 yards in
Bowl XIV. He had 12 touchdown receptions and a string of 17 straight
games with a reception in post-season play. Stallworth also scored
touchdowns in eight straight playoff games at one point (1978-1983),
an NFL record.
He led the AFC with a career-high 1,395 yards gained on 80 receptions
in 1984, when he was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
He helped the Steelers defeat eventual Super Bowl champion San
Francisco for that team's only loss of the season and led the Steelers
in a playoff run that featured an upset win over the Denver Broncos
in the AFC Divisional Playoffs at Denver's Mile High Stadium. The
next week, the Steelers fell lost to the Miami Dolphins in the
AFC Championship Game, thus falling short of participating in Super
In 1986, he founded Madison Research Corporation (MRC), which
specialized in providing engineering and information technology
services to government and commercial clients. Under Stallworth's
leadership, MRC grew to more than 650 employees and $69.5 million
Stallworth was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in
John Stallworth was announced as becoming part-owner of his former
team on March 23, 2009, as part of the Rooney family restructuring
ownership of the team. The Rooneys will remain in control of
the franchise. Stallworth joins former Pittsburgh Penguins captain
Mario Lemieux among Pittsburgh sports figures that would later
own at least part of their former team.