I am a rabid 49ers fan. I grew up on NFL Films productions about the 49ers and have parts of them memorized. I still watch the same ones today that I watched 20 years ago, and they still give me goosebumps. So, in spite of the hardships of the last six years, I love this franchise and the hallowed place it has in History. For that reason, I do not want to see the Steelers win it all this year.
Pittsburgh was the first team to win four Super Bowls, and I was OK with them becoming the third team to win their fifth. Why? Because the 49ers were the first team to win one for the Thumb.
In retrospect, as much as I hated the Cowboys of the 1990s and how many rings they kept the 49ers from, I am glad they beat the Steelers. You might again ask, Why? As of this year, only one team has been to the Super Bowl more than once and maintained a perfect record: the 5-0 San Francisco 49ers.
Every year, as the playoffs roll around with the 49ers omitted again and again, admittedly for good reason, I look to history to see who I will root against. Sure, every once and a while I will have some friends I want to see happy, and in those cases I can hope their team wins. But history, and the legacy of the 49ers, always takes precedent.
It is why I never want to see a team three-peat. It is why I never want to see another team be undefeated in Super Bowl Play. It is why I rooted against last year's Patriots.
Not only would they have had the first perfect 19-0 season, they would have beaten the 1984 49ers mark of 18-1. Tom Brady could have gotten a third Super Bowl MVP, tying Joe Montana; won his fourth Super Bowl, tying Joe Montana, and would have done it with plenty of time left in his career to top Joe Montana. Topping Joe Montana is not allowed. Unless, you know, it were by a 49er, but I do not see that happening any time soon.
At this point in the playoffs, I have ranked the remaining contenders in the order which I'd most like to see them win the Super Bowl: Philadelphia, Arizona, Baltimore, Pittsburgh. And for each team, absurd logic has come into play.
I'm not looking forward to the never-ending gloating that would come from an Eagles win, but they're 0-2 in the Super Bowl and I have nothing against their players, though McNabb did break Joe's Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a QB, and yes that irks me, but it is relatively minor.
I do not like Arizona, and they would be 1-0 in Super Bowls, but its better than the other two options of 2-0 or, god forbid, 6-1. Baltimore would become the second team to be undefeated in Super Bowl play, but that is far better than the Steelers becoming the first team to six.
I hate to say it, because instinctively, I have nothing against the Steelers. They have great players who are mostly hard to dislike. They have a great group of fans, some of whom I count as friends, or at least good acquaintances. None of their players are regularly compared to the great 49ers of the past, particularly Joe Montana or Jerry Rice.
But, my team was the first to five, and I do not care what kind of long shot odds we have of doing it, but I want my team to be the first to six, and I will continue to root for that to be a possibility.
I realize this is probably futile in the long run (not to mention possibly the short run) but it is what I do in the playoffs. If I cannot root for my team, I root for their memory. Because it is that memory which has kept me going since 1994.