It’s Super Bowl Friday. I hope you all have big plans for Super Bowl Sunday, and good luck with winning your Super Bowl pools!
I knew what I was getting myself into when I signed myself up for this debate. One of our debaters totally despises the Steelers and their legion of fans, so I knew there was a possibility of me irritating one of my distinguished colleagues with my verdict. But, my mission – which I chose to accept – was to decide if the Pittsburgh Steelers were indeed the greatest franchise in the NFL.
Bleacher Fan stated much of the Steelers success has come since the Super Bowl was created. In fact, the six Lombardi trophies won by the Steelers were won in two separate dominant stretches in the 1970s and the 2000s. The fact that the Steelers didn’t win any championships in the first 44 years of the league was a new fact presented to me.
In addition to everything that was stated in these two arguments, I think other factors come into play. If it’s not the Steelers, then who is it? Bleacher Fan stated that the Green Bay Packers had 12 overall championships since the formation of the NFL in 1922, but nine of those were in the pre-Super Bowl era. The bridge from Lombardi to Favre truly was frozen as the Packers were merely an afterthought, with only two playoff appearances between 1967-1993. The Dallas Cowboys? The Chicago Bears?
The Steelers franchise cannot be a topic in a debate without mentioning the Rooney family, the family that owns the Steelers. The fact that the team has only has had only three coaches (Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, and Mike Tomlin) in the past 41 years speaks volumes about the stability of the franchise, even more so in this day of free agency and lack of patience.
I just fail to see where there is a better franchise in the NFL than the Steelers. That doesn’t mean that I always root for them, by any stretch. And I don’t totally disregard history, in this instance, pre-Super Bowl history. But, when looking back at a team’s legacy, I do think it’s legacy is LARGELY – though not totally – defined by Super Bowl championships because that truly is the general measuring stick. In fact, I’m putting more stock in six Super Bowl championships than anything that happened before the creation of the greatest championship spectacle known to mankind. Despite, Bleacher Fan’s impressive statistical breakdown of pre-Super Bowl data, I was not convinced that another team deserved the honor of being called the greatest franchise in NFL history. Therefore, I am awarding the victory to Babe Ruthless.