Steelers Do Their Fans, Pittsburgh and the NFL Proud

Todd PatakyCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2011

PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 28:  James Farrior #51 of the Pittsburgh Steelers greets fans during the Super Bowl XLV Pep Rally on January 28, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Isn't it amazing how the appearance of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl for a record-tying eighth time can bring out the haters? Everywhere I turn on the Internet, someone is saying how awful the Steelers are; how terrible their fans are; how dirty or unskilled their players are.

Admittedly, the Steelers did not play their best football Sunday. It wasn't even close to their best. But all credit should be given to the Green Bay Packers for doing what needed to be done to win. 

Rather than curse the darkness of our loss on Sunday, I would rather light a candle and toast the finest organization in sports. 

The Steelers embody everything that is right in sports.

You want an organization to give second chances to those who make mistakes. The Steelers kept Ben Roethlisberger when they could have easily cut ties with him. On the other hand, when you have used up all your chances, they are not afraid to send you on your way, are they, Santonio Holmes?

In a town known for its hard-nosed, blue-collar ethics, the Steelers take that same approach to their game. Even when you beat the Steelers, you know you have been in a very tough game. 

When most of the league tries to build through free agency, spending millions on hired guns, the Steelers prefer to build through the draft. They like to grow their own talent. Using this technique, they have appeared in the playoffs the third most times in the Super Bowl era.

They have won the Super Bowl six times and played in the big game more times than any other team except Dallas, with whom they are tied. 

They are a model of consistency. They have won their division 10 times in the last 20 years. They have only had three coaches since 1969.

The Steelers have 19 players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. How does that compare with other teams? Only Green Bay (21) and Chicago (26) have more, and they have each been in existence for 14 years longer.

The Steelers have been in existence since 1933. Because of that longevity, Steelers fans are some of the most knowledgeable about the game that you will find. They can see the game and the way it is meant to be played.

Steelers fans are not afraid to say that their team is disappointing them on the rare occasion when they do make a mistake. On the other hand, they don't mercilessly slam the Steelers for a loss when the Steelers have played with heart, but were simply beaten.

So take heart, fans of the Mighty Black and Gold. You have no reason to hang your heads in the wake of this Super Bowl loss.

The sun will rise tomorrow. Spring will still follow winter. You are still fans of the greatest organization in the NFL, in all of sports.