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Shakespeare was first for the Steelers

Posted Feb 8, 2016

William Shakespeare was the Steelers' first ever draft pick, but there's more to it.


February 8, 1936
Back William Shakespeare selected in the first round of the NFL Draft

When you hear the name William Shakespeare, it’s only natural you think about the historic English poet and playwright from the late 1500s to early 1600s who is frequently quoted to this day.

But there is another William Shakespeare, one maybe not as well known in literary circles, but one who is known in the history of the Steelers.

William ‘Bill’ Shakespeare was the first player ever drafted by the Steelers. Shakespeare, who was an All-American halfback and punter at Notre Dame, was the Steelers first round pick in the 1936 NFL Draft, which was the first official NFL Draft.

Now, if you are wondering about Shakespeare’s playing career, keep wondering. In those days football was not a high-paying endeavor so Shakespeare opted for a business career rather than playing professional football.

What might have become of Shakespeare had he chosen football? In the words of the slightly more famous Shakespeare…

“To be, or not to be, that is the question.”