Pittsburgh Steelers-Philadelphia Eagles: Do They Actually Cheer for One Another?
Welcome to media week in the NFL.
The week every player and coach on the two Super Bowl teams get harassed by reporters from all over, in an attempt to grab a quote here or there, and put in big bold letters on the front of a newspaper:
"We know we can beat these guys. We've just fought too hard to get here..."
But this will also become the 43rd year of the Super Bowl, in which the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles will not face one another. They've happened to come close a few times, but both teams have not been able to get over the hump the same year.
Oh what may have been...An all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl.
Every K-mart and Walmart across the state would be happier than a fat guy on wing night.
But again, not this year.
There is quite a bit of history with these two teams, which as most people know, were one team in 1943, during World War II, known as the Steagles...very original.
After 10 straight years of a losing record for the Eagles, this actually was their very first winning season... and they needed the Steelers to help accomplish that feat? Who knows.
Maybe that was the start of it all. The two teams split the next year like Siamese twins, the Eagles moving on while the luck stayed with Pittsburgh.
Although, the very next year the Steelers actually joined up with the Chicago Cardinals to become the team known as the Card-Pitt, which the rest of the league mockingly referred to as the "Carpets", since their 0 - 10 record placed them at the bottom of the league.
But after the short stint as the Card-Pitt, the Steelers have become one of the most successful NFL teams in history, while year after year the Eagles struggle for mediocrity.
Both franchises joined the league in 1933, with the Eagles actually holding the edge in the Hall of Fame category, with 19 players inducted. (One being John Madden in '58, but never took a single snap with the team due to injury.) So maybe more like 18.
The Steelers have placed 17 players/coaches into the Hall of Fame, but another 10 to 15 years should sway the numbers Pittsburgh's way big time.
As far as playoff records, since the modern era (1970) Philadelphia has compiled a playoff record of 15-17, while the Steelers are 30-18 in the playoffs.
The Oakland Raiders have proven over the years to be a thorn in Pittsburgh's side, but not more than the Eagles, since they beat the Eagles in there first ever Super Bowl under the coaching of Dick Vermeil, while being led by Ron Jaworski at quarterback.
The only other Super Bowl the Eagles have been to, and lost, was to the New England Patriots. If not for some serious lack of clock management on Donovan McNabb's part, the Eagles might have won that game.
While the Eagles sport their 0-2 Super Bowl record, the Steelers are, as of today, 5-1 in Super Bowl play. Winning this year would place them as the only team with 6.
Through the years the Pittsburgh Steelers have been far and away the more dominant team than the Philadelphia Eagles.
But what do the fans feels about all of this?
I am a Cowboys fan living in Pennsylvania. I see it on a daily basis. Every radio commercial backs either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. Every store has more Steeler/Eagles merchandise than necessary.
(As I'm writing this, the Steeler's fight song is on my radio, being played by an Eagles' fan DJ, who is rooting for Pittsburgh to win it all.)
...I think I just threw up a little.
But over the years, I've seen and heard it all. My mom is an Eagles fan, my sister's a Steeler fan. It's all in the family, so they will cheer each other's team on to victory once their own team gets knocked out. (It's basically been my mom cheering for my sister)
I've also seen some seriously angered fans who would rather have the other PA state team go down in flames, so they don't have to worry about state bragging rights for the next year.
Will Eagle fans cheer for a rival team that are too cheap to even put their emblem on both sides of their helmet? Really though, Philly looks more like the team who should only have one wing on their helmets, the way the team flies in constant circles, never able to reach the final destination.
I, personally, would in no way cheer for my state rival. I'd hope they'd fall apart quicker than Pacman's NFL career.
I have to assume the majority of Steeler fans probably don't care too much, since their team has dominated for so long, while the Eagles have yet to accomplish anything with any actual meaning. No one cares if they won the "NFL Championship" in 1960. Seriously Philly fans, this is what you fall back on? 1960!?
I love nothing more than seeing Eagle fans continuously wearing their 2004 NFC Champs shirt, or their latest, 2006 NFC Eastern Division Champs. Wow, there's something to brag about.
Can't argue the old "No Fear" shirt saying, "Second place is First loser."
So come on Eagle fans, are you going to tell me you are cheering your state-rival Pittsburgh Steelers on to win yet another Super Bowl, while you sit at home listening to your Fly Eagles Fly theme song over and over, continuously thinking about Arizona's game-winning drive over a week ago that took away your chance for your first ever Super Bowl victory?
Knowing you'd get to play a team you already beat earlier this year?
And what do you think Steeler fans? What if you would have lost to Baltimore, and the Eagles moved on? Would you be toting an ugly green jersey for this weekend's game?
I can barely type this next comment...but if the Eagles would have beaten Arizona, I would actually....had to...oh this hurts...I would have cheered for...THE EAGLES!! THERE, I SAID IT!!
I'm sorry, but I could not sit there and cheer for Pittsburgh to get that sixth before my Cowboys! I would have been singing the Eagles' fight song louder than Aretha Franklin.
In the end, I must say I am now thankful knowing another NFL season has passed without the city of Philadelphia receiving the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy.
Hopefully for my sake, due to where I live, Arizona can rise to the occasion and save me hearing it for next year.
But if not, how many of you Eagle fans would be wearing the mask of "I'm just so happy for my interstate rivals?"
(And Steeler fans, with Philly's luck, do you really want them on your side?)
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