If Steelers win, they're arguably the era's top franchise?

Published on January 29, 2009 by     Seahawk Fanatic

TAMPA – So which is the second-best franchise of the Super Bowl era: Dallas or San Francisco?

That’s really the only serious debate to be had if Pittsburgh wins Super Bowl XLIII.

Sorry to rub salt in the gaping wounds created by the Cowboys’ and 49ers’ recent failings. But every team — including others with a history of Super Bowl success — must be considered a pretender to the throne where the Steelers will sit.

A victory over Arizona on Sunday would give Pittsburgh an NFL-record six Super Bowl titles, breaking a tie with the Cowboys and 49ers. Someday, the league may have to create toe rings if the franchise’s fingers get filled with too much championship bling.

Yet it isn’t just jewelry that separates the Steelers from the pack.

Since the first Super Bowl was played in January 1967, NFL history can be split into two periods. Miami and Washington — winners of five titles over a 20-year span — haven’t reached a Super Bowl following the institution of free agency in 1993. No longer able to retain exclusive contractual rights to their players, the Dolphins and Redskins have failed to adequately compensate in the draft or with their own off-season acquisitions.

Conversely, the franchise with the most titles in the past 16 seasons — New England (three) — hadn’t won a Super Bowl before the current Collective Bargaining Agreement was adopted.

The Steelers? They have thrived in both eras.

Furthermore, the Rooney family — which presided over a 25-year stretch during which the team didn’t even reach the playoffs — has perfected the business model for how a modern-day franchise should be run.

The Steelers don’t have to spend heavily in free agency because strong drafts and low-level signings have stocked the roster. Pittsburgh rarely loses any player it wants to keep but is also careful not to spend beyond the means of a small-market club. The front office, currently led by Kevin Colbert, astutely identifies the physical skills that will allow a player to fit successfully into its offensive and defensive schemes. Having just three head coaches in a 39-year span has insured those systems don’t change much from year to year.

For example, the Steelers adopted the 3-4 defense in 1983 and have deployed it longer than any other team. Knowing the traits they are seeking, Pittsburgh landed eight of the 11 starters on the NFL’s No. 1 defense through the draft. That includes outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley — another example of a college defensive end that made the successful transition to Steelers pass-rushing demon at outside linebacker.

Dallas still has more overall Super Bowl appearances than Pittsburgh with eight, but the last one came against the Steelers to cap the 1995 season. Since then, Pittsburgh has added its fifth championship and is playing for another. The Cowboys have just one measly playoff win and didn’t even qualify for the postseason in 2008 despite having a roster stocked with well-paid talent.

As for the 49ers, that franchise is the NFL equivalent of The Wrestler’s Randy “The Ram” Robinson: Life nowadays isn’t nearly as good as it was in the 1980s. The 49ers won four Super Bowls that decade and maintained its core players long enough to win another in the 1994 season. But this gold rush gradually dwindled. San Francisco has missed the playoffs for six consecutive seasons. Not even during their lean years of 1985 to 1991 did the Steelers fail that badly.

“You know about the past when you see the Lombardi Trophies every day,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “It motivates you to try to accomplish something like they did.”

Ten Hall of Fame selections were on Pittsburgh’s four Super Bowl winners in the 1970s, including iconic figures like Terry Bradshaw, “Mean” Joe Greene and Jack Lambert. One of the game’s all-time greatest plays came when wide receiver Lynn Swann made a juggling 53-yard catch while falling down in Super Bowl X. The “Steel Curtain” is still a nickname being used today to describe Pittsburgh’s dominating defense. The team’s success during that decade also created a Terrible Towel-waving following that is second to none in offering support, especially when invading opposing stadiums.

This isn’t to say the Steelers are wart-free. Accusations of steroid use have tainted the trophies won during the 1970s. The death of 21 former Steelers players under the age of 60 since 1996 isn’t something to brag about either.

Still, the Steelers have created a tradition of winning they can be proud of.

The term “Six-Pack” is being thrown around by Pittsburgh fans in anticipation of another championship. Should that happen, the Steelers deserve to chug while the rest of the NFL — even begrudgingly — offers a toast of its

via FOX Sports on MSN – NFL – If Steelers win, they’re arguably the era’s top franchise.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fair Use Notice This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and informational purposes. In most instances a link is placed to originator of Article and it is never expressly mentioned as written by, we use published by certain entities who write or publish for this said Blog..

Tell Us What's On Your Mind (0)




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

REMEMBERING A LEGEND!

LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS

trufant (1)

Marcus Trufant to retire a Seahawk

Marcus Trufant will retire a Seahawk. On Wednesday, the Seahawks announced the former Seahawks cornerback had signed with the ...
140423wagner660

Seahawks schedule shows four primetime games, including Thanksgiving day feast with 49ers

The Seahawks are scheduled to play four primetime games in 2014, matching the primetime total from their Super ...
Feb. 2, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (right) with wife Ashton Wilson on the red carpet prior to the Super Bowl XLVII NFL Honors award show at Mahalia Jackson Theater. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson files for divorce from wife of two years

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has filed for divorce from his wife of over two years, the team announced ...
IMG_0826

A happy Beast Mode birthday to Marshawn Lynch

Tuesday is Marshawn Lynch’s 28th birthday, and his teammates are at a loss for just what to get ...
186158581_8

Report: Seahawks close to making Sherman top-paid CB

The Seattle Seahawks and All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman are hopeful to reach a deal before next month’s NFL ...
pryor-throw2

Seahawks trade 7th Round pick to Raiders, land Pryor

The Seattle Seahawks front office has earned a reputation as an unpredictable lot. They furthered that Monday. The Seahawks traded ...
140421-harvin-600

Seahawks begin Phase One of offseason workout program

The Seahawks are one of 19 NFL teams to begin Phase One of the League's voluntary offseason workout program today, meaning several players ...
140418wilson600

Despite Super finish, there’s much more to come for Russell Wilson

Asked what he liked about the Seahawks’ 2013 season, Carl Smith smiled and offered the obvious. “I really liked ...

Shop for Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII Champs Merchandise at NFLShop.com

Shop for Conference Champs and Super Bowl XLVIII Match Up Merchandise at NFLShop.com

WELCOME TO THE SEAHAWKS 12TH MAN ARMY.

WE TAKE PRIDE IN GIVING SEAHAWKS FANS AROUND THE CLOCK UPDATES,  ALL SEAHAWKS ALL THE TIME. SO IF YOU WANT THE LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS DELIVERED FOR FREE RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL BOX ONCE A WEEK, SIGN UP AND ENJOY!

WE HAVE BEEN PROUDLY SERVING DIEHARD SEAHAWKS FANS SINCE 2004.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz