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SteelersFever 06-13-2007 08:17 AM

NFL Super Bowl Champion: Third Year Theory
Title: NFL Super Bowl Champion: Third Year Theory
Source: Steelers Fever
Date: 6/13/07
Author: Neal Coolong


Summary: The concept of a team needing to pass through three levels -- Years -- in order to become Super Bowl champion. It's retrospectively looking over the previous three seasons of a champion, and noticing a trend that suggests that champion started off having a talented team that hasn't brought it together yet (Year 1) followed by a season where they broke out, and maybe even became the trendy pick for a Super Bowl, but fell short (Year 2) and finally, after facing some adversity during the third season, came together and won it all (Year 3). Year 0 exists for teams that have taken drastic steps back from Year 1, and don't look to bring themselves forward this season.

tony hipchest 06-13-2007 08:40 AM

Re: NFL Super Bowl Champion: Third Year Theory
another fine job by mr. coolong

lamberts-lost-tooth 06-13-2007 09:06 AM

Re: NFL Super Bowl Champion: Third Year Theory
Good article..and I believe that that Neal does a very good job of backing the three year theory...however I think that by probing just a little deeper...some teams would move from one category to another....

Being a Homer...Lets start with the Bengals...(of course!) With the loss of Eric Steinbach at left guard and the retirement of their ceteran center they have bigger questions with their front five than the Steelers...simply because out of their projected starting O-line, only one player started all 16 games last year. Of course with typical head-scratching, arbitrary precision...Marvin Lewis explains this all away by saying "I don't know that we lose anything (except) experience,"...:hunch:

Also take into consideration that outside of two very talented WR's in Chad & TJ....without the suspended Chris Henry the remainder of their WR corps had a grand total of catch. I am sure that the bengals fan base are thrilled that the FO neglected the Tight End position...again

Odell Thurman is one jaywalking ticket away from making Jeanty a starting LB..

....and the secondary is up for grabs with two very talented young players in Hall and Joseph...but young they are...and I am sure that Ward is already thinking that both had better bring apples for the teacher. In reality Hall will get some time to develope..which means O'Neal (who spent the season in Lewis's doghouse last year) will start the season.
At safety the overrated Dexter Jackson will be the starting beside Madieu Williams who is going to WOW anyone with his steady but unspectacular skills.

QB and RB are strongpoints....but in my assessment...without a great TE or a legit 3rd reciever...we should be able to cover easily and have the men left over to stop the run...
simply put..2nd tier team.

Livinginthe past 06-13-2007 09:08 AM

Re: NFL Super Bowl Champion: Third Year Theory
Well, the Colts have been living 'year 2' for the last 5/6 years up until last year.

The Patriots were a mediocre 8-8 in 1999, went backwards to 5-11 in 2000 and then won the SB in 2001 - so I don't see a correlation there.

Tampa Bay went from 10-6 (2000) backwards to 9-7 (2001) and then leapt to 12-4 and won the SB (2002) - so its not strictly true here either (the backward 2nd year).

I left off the Patriots 2nd and 3rd wins as the fact they actually won SB's in the previous 3 year stretch negates the theory.

The Ravens went from 6-10 (1998) to 8-8 (1999) to 12-4 and a SB win (2000) - but there was no playoff appearance in year 2.

St Louis Rams went from 5-11 (1997) backwards to 4-12 (1998) then amazing step forward to 13-3 and a SB win (1999) .

To be quite honest, I can't see a correlation between the article and the facts and the Colts comparison seems to be a poor one - mainly because they have suffered very few regular season blips compared to the Steelers who were up and down in the years previous to their SB win.

Work fine as a theory if you apply it just the Steelers really.

Elvis 06-13-2007 09:11 AM

Re: NFL Super Bowl Champion: Third Year Theory
Yeh.. lets just play and see what happens in '07
:tt02: :tt02: :tt02:

fansince'76 06-13-2007 10:53 AM

Re: NFL Super Bowl Champion: Third Year Theory
Sorry, not buying the theory - San Diego a year 3 team? The Steelers were listed as a year 2 team essentially due to the coaching turnover and San Diego's in the same boat in that regard. Sure, Tomlin is completely unproven as a NFL HC, but Turner hasn't exactly been a knockoff of Lombardi or Walsh in his previous stints as a HC. Not only that, but SB runner-up Chicago is listed as a year 2 team, while the Bungles, who haven't won a playoff game since Bush Sr. was in office is listed as another year 3 team? Riiight.

ChronoCross 06-13-2007 11:16 AM

Re: NFL Super Bowl Champion: Third Year Theory
A well thought out article, and a good read. But there is a lot to be questioned about it.

The Duke 06-13-2007 05:17 PM

Re: NFL Super Bowl Champion: Third Year Theory
Nice article, but Steelers will win :tt02:

PalmerSteel 06-13-2007 07:57 PM

Re: NFL Super Bowl Champion: Third Year Theory
i dont buy that 3 year stuff at all. teams have way too many changes in players year in and year out in this era.

ncoolong 06-13-2007 08:52 PM

Re: NFL Super Bowl Champion: Third Year Theory
As usual, it's fantastic to receive feedback. I decided to post it all here as opposed to SteelersLive, mainly because it's so FREAKIN' long, so I apologize to those who actually read the whole thing.

Some may not have...

"Well, the Colts have been living 'year 2' for the last 5/6 years up until last year."

Actually, no, they haven't. They were embarrassed in the playoffs by your Patriots in 2004, were an odds-on favorite to win it all in 2005 and clearly had a loss in the middle-to-late part of 2006 that had most people writing them off (at Jacksonville).

I will remind you all again this is a retroactive theory. the results will be better known at this point next year. While I do recognize that conveniently removes most if not all doubt about it, let's keep in mind this is done for entertainment purposes.

Also, you'll notice I didn't point out any team earlier than the Steelers' Super Bowl win. This was intentional, Living. Personally, I think you used it as a ploy to passive-aggressively point out the Patriots were able to repeat as champions, while the Steelers lost to the 2-14 Raiders. Nuthin' but love for the Pats, though. Jerk. No worries, I'm sorta kidding.

"...<the Colts> have suffered very few regular season blips compared to the Steelers"
Umm...did you forget the fact they lost two of their final three games that year? No, they hadn't clinched yet.
As for others...

"Sorry, not buying the theory"
Of course you aren't! You didn't read it. We'll start with your mark against San Diego. I left off the coaching part largely because I was running over 10,000 words at one point. However, look at the Theory as explained: A first year of amassing talent on a young team - they just missed the playoffs after going 10-6. A second year of breaking out to a high level, but falling short, all the while gaining the experience and anger to take it all in a third year. Does this NOT sound like the San Diego Chargers? C'mon now...and if you disagree, take a look at the current Super Bowl favorites.

"...SB runner-up Chicago is listed as a year 2 team, while the Bungles, who haven't won a playoff game since Bush Sr. was in office is listed as another year 3 team? Riiight."
Chicago has done nothing to suggest they can stay at the level they were last year. I refuse to ever give a team the benefit of the doubt because they lost a big game the previous year (not a peep from you, Living). They won't have their versatile LB not named Urlacher, they lost their defensive coordinator (their new one was the first coach I covered...a Pittsburgh guy, too! More on Bob Babich in a later column), and basically did nothing but anger their fans and players for an entire off-season. As long as No. 8 is under center...can you give this team Year 3 status?

Much is made out of teams that don't make the playoffs following a Super Bowl win. What about the team that lose the Super Bowl? Seattle eeked in a horrible NFC and should have lost in the first round, Philadelphia didn't make the playoffs, Carolina didn't make the playoffs (I don't think).

I guess you could call Year 2 sort of like The Schwartz. There's an upside, and there's a downside. Pittsburgh is Lone Star, Chicago is Dark Helmet.

I mentioned quarterbacks a minute ago. Is it a surprise that the ones generally considered the best are all on Year 3 Teams? This isn't an accident. The QBs are usually the face of that tough loss they suffered in Year 2 - except for the Chargers, as LDT clearly held that look when he was about to attack the entire Patriots' defense after their playoff loss. Carson Palmer had that look when Santonio went over the pylon (I'm still saying it, the most satisfying non-playoff win since Pittsburgh kicked the halos off the Pats in 04). Steve McNair had it when his team couldn't get a first down in the second half. Peyton Manning had it when he looked at his wife a few months after his first Super Bowl win and realized TONY ROMO is apparently marrying Carrie Underwood.

Most importantly, Tom Brady had it when he had to look Peyton Manning in the eye, and take in that southern sneer of his, and congratulate him on beating him in the playoffs. While Brady will certainly lead the league in WR Broken Fingers this season, he's right up there with the other guys in the running for Biggest Chip on Shoulder.

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