The title refers to the National Football League's World War Two-era Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Eagles-Steelers that fans and sportswriters dubbed "The Steagles". In 1943, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers combined teams due to an NFL contraction to eight teams caused by a lack of quality players due to armed services obligations. The Steagles played four games at Philadelphia's Shibe Park and two games at Pittsburgh's Forbes Field, going 5-4-1, the first winning record in the history of pro football in Philadelphia. In 1944, the Eagles went back to being their own team, while the Steelers merged with the Chicago Cardinals (converting back to singular status in 1945). Thus, a "Steagle" is a one-year phenomenon, a unique, exciting event for Philadelphia football fans. Richard Benjamin's character, an alienated English literature professor, is a Walter Mitty-type who daydreams about war, old movies and professional sports; thus, "The Steagle" symbolizes him being stuck in an idealized past.
Director Paul Sylbert had the film cut against his will, at the hands of studio head Joseph E. Levine. This experience is accounted in Paul Sylbert's book entitled "Final Cut: The Making and Breaking of a Film".