Ben Roethlisberger is denied a third Super Bowl Championship in Arlington, Texas.
The Team of the 60’s won.
The Team of the 70’s lost.
And the Team of the 90’s just watched.
Super Bowl XLV is finally in the books and fans of America’s Team can finally move on and breathe a sigh of relief.
Absolutely nothing about the 2010 NFL season, from beginning to end, will be memorable to the Dallas Cowboys franchise: The preseason was just plain bad; the regular season was even worse; even the weather for Super Bowl week was something even a long-time resident of The Metroplex would have never bet on.
But in the end, it was all smiles.
I always find it interesting trying to pick a team to pull for in the Super Bowl, obviously when the Cowboys aren’t taking part.
Sometimes I go AFC, like when the San Francisco 49ers met the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. Sorry, but there was just too much disappointment still lingering from the NFC Championship Game when Dallas’ bid for the first “three-peat” was killed in the Bay Area.
There was also the fact that just the year before, the Cowboys had tied the NFL lead in Lombardi Trophies collected with four, joining Pittsburgh and those pesky 49ers. Already the Cowboys would fall behind as San Francisco blew out the Chargers in a game that could have just been skipped altogether.
The real Super Bowl had already taken place two weeks before.
Other times I go NFC, like when the New York Giants lined up to face the NFL’s most fraudulent “dynasty” ever, the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
This one had nothing to do with NFC pride or anything like that. I have never wanted to see an NFC East rival win anything, period.
But this game was different: The Patriots were undefeated, even despite having been busted for completely cheating Week 1 of the regular season. At any other level of football, that game is a forfeit, but not at the game's highest levelnice. Anyway, Patriots fans stood all by themselves that day as the entire country pulled for a Giants team that struggled to even make the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl.
For this years’ Super Bowl matchup, the choice was about as easy as it was going into that New England vs. New York contest. For several reasons, this matchup did not even require a moment’s hesitation, contrary to what a number of sports writers had eluded to leading up to the game.
No, I didn’t care if Green Bay won their fourth Super Bowl, which they did 31-25 over the team with the most titles of the modern era. These same Packers actually won the first two Super Bowls and, at least as a fan, I don’t care about all of the NFL Championships that immediately preceded those first two merging clashes with the old AFL deeper into the 1960’s.
Since then, the Packers had only won one additional Super Bowl the year following Dallas’ last championship in 1995. The victory in Super Bowl XLV only gives Green Bay four Vince Lombardi Trophies, thus leaving Dallas and San Francisco with a one trophy lead.
But imagine this for a second, and keep in consideration the utterly disastrous season that was 2010 for the Cowboys: Pittsburgh wins Super Bowl XLV, the first ever held in Dallas/Ft. Worth and goes up by two Lombardi Trophies over the Cowboys. Ugh.
Well, just as the Football Gods did during Super Bowl XLII in magically denying Bill Belichick another seemingly cheapened championship, the Steelers still sit with six Lombardi Trophies and perhaps only a one year lead over the Cowboys.
The rivalry between Dallas and Pittsburgh stands at the very top of the NFL interconference heap. Having played twice in Super Bowl X and XII, the Steelers left scars on the proudest football fan base in the world. Yes, I realize that the Terrible Towels travel very well to Steelers road games.
But here’s the difference: Cowboys fans generally don’t travel to NFL citiesthey already live there. And boy do they show up!
So, keeping in mind that those great Dallas teams of the 1990’s avenged the heartache of the 1970’s with the victory over Steel Town in Super Bowl XXX, it was quite fitting that Pittsburgh brought their average offense to Big D to lose just their second Super Bowl ever.
And did NFL Nation really need another Pittsburgh win in professional sports’ biggest show? No. Not this team anyway.
Let’s not confuse these Steelers with their grandfathers of pro football legend in the 1970’s. Those teams spawned Hall Of Fame careers left and right. They were the best, no questions asked.
The modern Steelers bring a big toad at quarterback who I can’t even say is overrated. Ben Roethlisberger not only can’t ride a bike very well, but also has trouble with the ladies, unlike any other Super Bowl winning quarterback I’ve ever been aware of.
Joe Namath had women showing up at his hotel room with no panties; Roethlisberger has women who simply say “no,” but he doesn’t seem to get it or maybe he just doesn’t care. I fear the latter and so does the Commissioner of the NFL apparently.
Today’s Pittsburgh team also brings not the grace, character and playmaking ability of Lynn Swann but rather a six foot tall “shorty” named Heinz Ward, who’s also known by his peers to be the dirtiest player in, get this, the entire NFL!
Huh? How does a wide receiver get that distinction? Congrats Heinz, you get to keep that title anyway.
This recent Steelers era doesn’t even qualify as a dynasty by any logical criteria and their performance in Super Bowl XLV exposed that the same way the Arizona Cardinals almost did in Super Bowl XLIII just two years ago.
Now, you have to hand it Dick LeBeau, Pittsburgh defensive coordinator extraordinaire. You certainly do not do what he has done everywhere he’s done it on accident. You aware he was defensive coordinator when the Steelers lost to the Cowboys in 1995? Well, that was the last time he was there holding that office.
Without LeBeau, head coach Mike Tomlin might not even be around at this point; same could be said of Roethlisberger too.
I might be knocking the Steelers pretty hard here, but the success they have had is no accident.
Great defense will probably always be a part of Pittsburgh legacy and just take a look at the other AFC Championship Games this franchise has lost over the past 20 years or so.
It’s a wonder Pittsburgh does not have as many as eight Lombardi Trophies or better.
But in a Super Bowl, in which NFL officiating was at an all-time low and Pittsburgh’s opponent came in with the dumbest pass happy game plan ever to appear in the big game, the Football Gods still denied a seventh Lombardi Trophy to the Steelers.
Honestly, if Green Bay had been any worse defensively then Pittsburgh easily wins this game either near the end, just like against Arizona, or going away from the start of the second half.
For the record, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy’s 39 pass attempts to just 11 rushing attempts are exactly the stuff my Jason Garrett nightmares are made of. How utterly stupid on his part, and I don’t care that Green Bay won. Honestly, they should have lostand almost did.
So I’ll say this to Cowboys fans who can finally look forward to the 2011 NFL Season, provided it takes place of course: These Steelers are still within reach and you can thank Green Bay for that fact.