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mesaSteeler
01-15-2009, 05:06 PM
Bires: Steelers always in the Hunt
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2009/01/15/sports/steelers/doc496ec6217b428623931876.txt
By Mike Bires
Times Sports Staff
Published: Thursday, January 15, 2009 12:21 AM EST
PITTSBURGH — How lucky Pittsburgh fans are to have the Steelers.

How lucky they are to have a professional sports team who piques their interest year-round and routinely contends for championships.

Here they go again, still chasing the ultimate dream in the dead of this winter while 28 other NFL teams already look toward next year.

The Steelers playing in the AFC Championship Game isn’t quite an annual rite of January, but it’s certainly not rare. When they play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, they’ll make their 14th appearance in the AFC title game.

Think about that for a moment.

In the 43-year old Super Bowl era, the Steelers have been a win away from making it to the grand finale in roughly one-third of the time.

There’s a legion of fans throughout the Steeler Nation old enough to have lived through the glorious Steel Curtain dynasty of the 1970s. They’re still waving their Terrible Towels with a new generation of fans cheering on modern-day Steelers like Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu who are continuing a proud tradition of excellence.

“It’s a sense of pride,” said Mike Tomlin, who, in just his second season as coach, has guided the Steelers to the AFC Championship quicker than his predecessors, Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher. “The tradition is awesome. You can’t put a price tag on it.”

Chairman Dan Rooney has often been called cheap by some for the way he’s run the organization since the late 1960s when his father gave him full control of the day-to-day operations. But for the most part, the Rooney Way has worked well here.

Sunday’s highly-anticipated game against the Ravens marks the fourth time in this decade that the Steelers are playing for the AFC Championship. To put that in perspective, the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones haven’t gotten to the NFC Championship in 13 years. The Redskins, now owned by billionaire Daniel Snyder, haven’t played for the NFC crown since the ’91 season.

The Browns, who used to be the Steelers’ most-hated rival, haven’t played in an AFC title game since ’89 and have yet to play in a Super Bowl, let alone win one.

“I think it’s terrific,” Rooney said of yet another appearance in the AFC Championship. “It’s our whole objective … to get to the Super Bowl and win … to just play the best football, the most entertaining football for our fans who are the greatest bar none.”

“No disrespect to the Penguins or the Pirates, but there’s nothing like Steelers football in the city of Pittsburgh,” added wide receiver Hines Ward. “I mean, it’s special to put on that uniform. There’s pride in putting on that uniform.”

Tomlin agrees. “We’re playing for hardware this week,” he said.

That would be the Lamar Hunt Trophy that goes to the AFC champions.

The Steelers already have six of them.

The Duke
01-15-2009, 11:15 PM
How lucky Pittsburgh fans are to have the Steelers.

How lucky they are to have a professional sports team who piques their interest year-round and routinely contends for championships.

Here they go again, still chasing the ultimate dream in the dead of this winter while 28 other NFL teams already look toward next year.

Yet we have fans that want to fire everyone after a bad performance :doh:

To put that in perspective, the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones haven’t gotten to the NFC Championship in 13 years.

:flap:

Dr. Steel
01-15-2009, 11:26 PM
Success always raises expectations. That is why some fans have knee jerk reactions.

But my Grandfather is in his early 70s. So he has seen this team rise from the ashes of 40+ losing years to the dynasty that Chuck Noll built in the 1970s. Then of course the mid to late 80s when the team didn't have much success and onto the Cowher/Tomlin era.

He always says to me in mid-late season. Don't book your Super Bowl tickets yet and never says anything positive. But that doesn't make him any less of a fan. I know he loves the Steelers. That is just the way he is and he isn't going to change.

devilsdancefloor
01-15-2009, 11:56 PM
The Browns, who used to be the Steelers’ most-hated rival, haven’t played in an AFC title game since ’89 and have yet to play in a Super Bowl, let alone win one.

:doh::doh:

NEPAsteeler
01-15-2009, 11:57 PM
So we don't always make it to the big game. At least we know our team's always right there in the thick of things.

JackHammer
01-16-2009, 02:30 AM
Yet we have fans that want to fire everyone after a bad performance :doh:



:flap:

You're fired :hatsoff: Great read, btw.

CaliStillersFan
01-16-2009, 02:37 AM
You have to admit, life is good being a Steelers fan!!!

CPanther95
01-16-2009, 07:51 AM
Half the teams in the league have played in at least one Super Bowl since the last Cowboys playoff win.

stlrtruck
01-16-2009, 07:53 AM
The Browns, who used to be the Steelers’ most-hated rival, haven’t played in an AFC title game since ’89 and have yet to play in a Super Bowl, let alone win one.

:doh::doh:

Wow, with that stat, it brings to mind that should the cardinals win, I believe the browns will be one of the few teams not to play in Super Bowl:

browns
jaguars
texans
lions
saints
cardinals (if they lose on Sunday)