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Old 01-27-2008, 07:00 AM   #1
HometownGal
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Default The Great Debate: Super Steelers or Super Patriots*

Hmmmmm - our own Steelers greats seem to feel if the Pats* win SBXLII, they will be equated with their 70's dynasty.

I'd have to respectfully disagree for a variety of reasons which would take me a month to post, so I'm going to just leave it at that. Thoughts?

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08027/852551-66.stm

The great debate: Super Steelers or Super Patriots

Sunday, January 27, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Resolved: If the New England Patriots win Super Bowl XLII Sunday, would they be the equal of the Super Steelers?

Speaking for the affirmative: The Super Steelers.

New England's 21st century reign would make them a dynasty worthy of being ranked with the one from Pittsburgh in the 1970s if the Patriots win their fourth Super Bowl in seven seasons.

Who says? Many of those Steelers who won four Super Bowls in six seasons from January 1975 through January 1980 -- including four Pro Football Hall of Famers.

"I'll tell you what, four in seven in this era?" former linebacker Jack Ham said in admiration. "They're comparable."

"It's pretty impressive, I think," former cornerback Mel Blount said. "Especially with the way free agency works now and the salary cap, it's pretty impressive what their management and personnel people and coaches all have been able to do."

"I don't think you can compare any of the teams as best of all time because the game has changed," former wide receiver Lynn Swann said. "But certainly it's a tribute to their entire organization from [owner] Bob Kraft all the way down to the last player -- to play on a high level consistently and to be in the position they are today."

And former defensive tackle Joe Greene sees similarities between the Steelers of the 1970s and the Patriots of the young century.

"Our team, when we won the Super Bowls, we were the best, and these guys are the best now if they win. It's as simple as that. In terms of comparing, the best barometer is the approach that teams take, the attitude they have, and I think that's where you'll find it very similar. They are about the team first.

"We had our individuals, and we put them together collectively to have the success we had. I think this is probably true for this ballclub."

Ham, Blount, Swann and Greene are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They were part of a group of 22 Steelers players who earned four Super Bowl rings in the 1970s, when there was no free agency and no salary cap.

The Patriots would have just nine players with four Super Bowl rings if they defeat the New York Giants in Arizona next Sunday in the Super Bowl. The Patriots also would become the second undefeated NFL team in the 42-year history of the Super Bowl and the first to go 19-0.

The Steelers still would be the only team to win four Super Bowls in a six-season span, but the Patriots were the first to win three in four seasons. Like the Steelers in 1976 and 1977, New England did not return to the NFL championship game for two seasons until now.

"It's really a remarkable thing what the Patriots have accomplished, under the new rules of free agency," '70s Steelers free safety Mike Wagner said. "They've been able to do it with a number of different players at key positions over seven years. They struggled a couple of years ago with a number of injuries, but came close even then."

That was similar to what happened to the Steelers of 1976, when, going for an unprecedented third consecutive Super Bowl victory, they lost their starting backfield of Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier to injuries in their first playoff win. Without them, they lost the AFC championship game in Oakland.

"I just think that organization has done a tremendous job; it's obvious to everyone at this point in time," Wagner said of the Patriots. "I've been impressed with that staff and program for five years now."

Some of the '70s Steelers spoke of New England coach Bill Belichick the way they might their own coach, Chuck Noll. Belichick can join Noll as the only head coaches with 4-0 records in Super Bowls.

"When we watch football games," Wagner said, "we watch how disciplined players are -- are they doing what you think they should be doing. I think Belichick has gotten players to do what they're supposed to do without a whole lot of freelancing, and that is unique in that way. That was a large part of our success -- not just having great talent, but having great talent to do what the coaches wanted us to do."

None of the former Steelers displayed any jealousy about the Patriots approaching their accomplishments, nor did any wish them misfortune against the Giants. Another victory and they merely would welcome them to the club, if they're not already there with three Super Bowl victories in four seasons.

"The Steelers of my era, we have our place in history," Wagner said. "I met Ray Nitschke once, and I wasn't going to argue whether his Packers of the 1960s were better or not. If New England wins another Super Bowl, there's nothing in the cards that says they won't win down the road again. That's the thing about that franchise, they seem to have a pretty nice formula for success."

Ham believes part of that formula is how they deal with player turnover in the free-agency era and the two constants on their four Super Bowl teams -- Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.

"They adapted [their game], as we adapted," Ham said. "There are a lot of similarities except the personnel. More than half of our team stayed through all four Super Bowls, and he's doing it with different players every year.

"It also seems like players want to come there, guys like Corey Dillon and Randy Moss. It seems like guys want to come there because winning championships are important to them. It seems like a lot of guys have bought into what he's selling."

Some thought the Patriots are similar to the San Francisco 49ers when they won four Super Bowls in nine years in the 1980s, then added a fifth in 1994. The Green Bay Packers won five NFL championships in seven seasons in the 1960s, including the first two Super Bowls. And the Dallas Cowboys, like the Patriots, won three Super Bowls in four years in the 1990s.

Those are the dynasties, one each decade, in the NFL's Super Bowl era.

Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, also in the Hall of Fame, said there were dynasties throughout NFL history and it would be hard to pick the best.

"I wouldn't rank anybody as 1-2-3-4," Rooney said. "I wouldn't rank them over the Bears of the '40s [with four NFL titles]. I'll say the Patriots belong in the list of dynasties, but I'm not for numbering them because it doesn't mean anything."

Joe Gordon, the Steelers' public relations director in the 1970s and 1980s, believes not only will the Patriots join that list of dynasties with a victory in Super Bowl XLII, but their 19-0 record would raise them to a higher level than the others.

"This would be the greatest season any team ever had, and it would have to be considered one of the greatest teams of all time," said Gordon. "To me, it's a far better team than the Dolphins were, because of free agency. There's greater parity now and they played more good teams.

"What they've done is phenomenal and compares favorably with the great Steelers teams, the 49ers' teams and the 1985 [Chicago] Bears -- they could compete with any of those teams."

Ham tends to agree with Gordon.

"That's a long haul to be able to go 19-0. I played this game and I can't fathom that; there's always one part of your team that loses a game. But this team has pulled out a couple games here, that's impressive. What the Dolphins did was great, but this is even better."

Blount, though, reminded everyone that the Patriots do not wear the crown just yet. They still have to play the Giants.

"I'll be interested to see what happens at the Super Bowl. I'm not ready to hand them the Lombardi Trophy yet. I think it's going to be a good game. I think they'll put up a good fight, and it's really up for grabs."

If they win, the Patriots will be hands-down a dynasty worthy of the '70s Steelers. So say those very same Steelers.
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Old 01-27-2008, 07:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Great Debate: Super Steelers or Super Patriots*

Nice to see the 70s Steelers take the high road and acknowledge the magnitude of the Pats accomplishments as opposed to the whining we hear from Shula and the 72 Dolphins any time a team has threatened their status as the only undefeated NFL team.

70s Steelers still act like champions.
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Old 01-27-2008, 07:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Great Debate: Super Steelers or Super Patriots*

Add Ron Cook to the list of hated Steeler media types. Thank God for those professionals at ESPN. I guess Cook is Himmler.....or Eichmann Preach?

Patriots are best dynasty if they win
Sunday, January 27, 2008
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The New England Patriots are one win away from becoming the greatest dynasty in NFL history.

How's that for getting to the point?

Better than the Packers of the 1960s, the Steelers of the '70s, the 49ers of the '80s and the Cowboys of the '90s.

You read it right.

Better than the Super Steelers.

Sorry.

A lot of people will rush to label the Patriots the best team of all time if they beat the New York Football Giants in Super Bowl XLII and finish 19-0, but it's hard to go there. The reason has nothing to do with the Patriots' overblown Spygate scandal early in the season and everything to do with the fact that it's impossible to compare individual teams from different eras. Yes, the Patriots are bigger, stronger, faster and better than the players from 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago. No clear-thinking person will argue that quarterback Tom Brady throwing to wide receiver Randy Moss next Sunday is not a more dangerous pass-catch combination than Green Bay's Bart Starr throwing to hung-over Max McGee in Super Bowl I. But that doesn't necessarily mean the Patriots are a better team in their era than the Packers were in theirs. Certainly, the Patriots aren't a better team than any of those great Steelers teams. They might not even be better than the ultimate one-year wonder, the 1985 Bears. Neither might the 1972 Dolphins, who went 17-0, for that matter.

But if the Patriots do finish a perfect season by beating the Giants, their dynastic run will be the most significant in NFL history. That would make four championships in seven years, not as good statistically as the Steelers' four-in-six run, but more impressive because of the circumstances of the two eras. It's much harder to win multiple championships in today's NFL.

The Steelers' dynasty -- like those in Green Bay, San Francisco and Dallas -- was built before free agency and the salary cap. Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll knew exactly the kind of players he wanted. Personnel wizard Art Rooney Jr. and his staff did a marvelous job finding them. Once in place, the Steelers were able to keep those great players together for their entire careers. An astonishing nine made it to the Hall of Fame. There never has been a better collection of talent in the NFL, probably never will be.

The Patriots' dynasty is much different. Coach Bill Belichick and Brady are among the few key constants over the seven-year period. This is a franchise that has kept winning despite having to replace integral parts every year. It's not as if the Patriots' team this season is loaded with future Hall of Famers. How many would you say there are? Three, maybe? Brady, Moss and linebacker Junior Seau, who spent the best days of his career with the San Diego Chargers?

Brady, obviously, is the key. He will take a 14-2 postseason record into the Super Bowl and is nothing less than the greatest quarterback of all time, all due respect to Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana and the other 29 quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame. What makes Brady's success -- and his teams' success -- so amazing is that the Patriots have had three different leading rushers and five different leading receivers during their run. Until Moss joined them before this season, the Patriots' wide receivers were good, but not great. It's not as if Brady has been throwing to Lynn Swann and John Stallworth for seven years.

No matter how passionate you are about protecting the Super Steelers' legacy, you have to give the Patriots credit for a wondrous achievement.

You are awfully narrow-minded if you won't.

Of course, the Patriots still must win one more game to be anointed as the NFL's greatest dynasty. There's a chance the Giants will beat them. Maybe it's only a 1 percent chance, but it's a chance nonetheless.

If the Giants do pull off the greatest upset in Super Bowl history since Joe Willie Namath's Jets beat the Colts in Super Bowl III, the final words to this discourse will belong to the one and only Emily Litella, who frequently and famously said on the great "Saturday Night Live" television shows:

"Never mind."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08027/852362-87.stm
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Old 01-27-2008, 07:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Great Debate: Super Steelers or Super Patriots*

Typical Cook - selectively argue the facts in contending it is "much harder" to win multiple championships in today's NFL

Free agency undermines all teams - It is remarkable what the Pats have accomplished as free agency eats away at the roster every year, but because of free agency the Pats have not been required to run a gauntlet of other excellent teams every year to win.

During their run the Steelers had to deal with the 70s Raiders and 70s Cowboys in the playoffs (both teams made the NFL America's Game ranking of top 10 Super Bowl teams), were kept out of the Super Bowl by the 72 Dolphins (ranked as the #1 Super Bowl winner in the America's Game series), and annually had to deal with tough competition within the AFC Central (e.g. - in 1975 Bengals and Oilers were a combined 21-3 against the rest of the league and 0-4 against the Steelers)

Not exactly comparable to getting an annual bye to the playoffs by playing in the AFC East, having as your main playoff rivals during your run a Colts team that gagged in the first round at home 2 out of the last 3 years + a Steelers team with a very sketchy playoff history under Cowher, and meeting such legendary teams as the Donovan McNabb Eagles and Jake Delhomme Panthers in the playoffs.

In addition, with the flag football rules today a dominant QB is even more important to success - having Brady covers a lot of problems such as free agency losses that would not be so easily addressed if different pass coverage rules existed

Arguments can be made for the dominant team of any era - Cook of course does not have the time or inclination to make his arguments honestly.
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Great Debate: Super Steelers or Super Patriots*

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCSteeler View Post
I actually read something in the Boston Globe that is some what fairly written(I didn't think it possible).
It's a long article discussing all the greats and the fact that you really can't rank them or compare them.

http://www.boston.com/sports/footbal...nknown/?page=1
Excellent article (in the Boston Globe of all places)

Thanks for the link
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Great Debate: Super Steelers or Super Patriots*

When will people get it through there heads that the patriots are not as great as they seam. Remember if it wouldn't have been a coaching error by the ravens the pats would be 15-1! And I might be a little partial, but Ben is a much better qb, imagine if he was only sacked 10-15 times instead of 47. Down with the patriots!!!!!
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Great Debate: Super Steelers or Super Patriots*

of course they are going to be comparable since they would be only the 3rd team to win 4 super bowls in a decade. i dont think any of the steelers players think they are any better though and neither do i. its nice to see them not acting like the 72 dolphins though. those guys have gotten pretty loony over the years.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Great Debate: Super Steelers or Super Patriots*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
Nice to see the 70s Steelers take the high road and acknowledge the magnitude of the Pats accomplishments as opposed to the whining we hear from Shula and the 72 Dolphins any time a team has threatened their status as the only undefeated NFL team.

70s Steelers still act like champions.
Very classy team...

all the dolphins especially mercury morris just whines and whines about how the pats are gonna lose and blah blah blah....

fact is the patriots team they assembled is quite impressive...
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Great Debate: Super Steelers or Super Patriots*

Let me preface this response by mentioning my severe disdain for the Cheatriots . . .

Anyhow, are they comparable to the 70's Steelers? Absolutely!

Is what they've done these past 7 or 8 years incredible? Absolutely!

Should they win the Superbowl (or not) they will have done some truly "Dynasty" worthy things.

Now, I will be really impressed if they break their own record of 21 consecutive wins ('03-'04) - That, to me, was a truly great accomplishment. Not only did they win 21 in a row . . . They had to beat the Colts three times to do it (once in the AFC championship game) they beat the Titans twice (once in the divisional playoffs) and the Panthers in the Superbowl. (Their streak was busted up by none other than our beloved Steelers - Remember? )

I don't know who they'll open their season with in '08 . . . But, should they win the Superbowl and win their first three games next year . . . I don't think anyone could argue their status in history.
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Old 01-27-2008, 07:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Great Debate: Super Steelers or Super Patriots*

Even though they are a dynasty, I have no respect for the Pats, they are a classless organization with a bunch a whiny little babys. I truely hope the Giants bury tom brady and crew in the desert. It seems over the last few years brady has become more and more of a shit-talker on the field. Meanwhile Big Ben goes out takes a beating play tough and doesnt say much on the field and lets his play do the talking. As far as I'm concerned, The pats Can't Touch the SUPER STEELERS !!!!!!!!!
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