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.
"... 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.