Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Super Bowl Hype, Part V : The Greatest Dynasty Ever?

Steelers, Niners, or Patriots? Baring of course, that the Patriots win this one. If you're going to get all old school, then you'd have to include the Packers and the Browns too. As I've written before, it's just hard to compare modern teams with the teams of the earlier era. The Packers won NFL championships in 1961, 1962, and 1965, but to win those championships they only actually had to win one playoff game. Same with the Browns of the 50's. We shouldn't forget about football's past- if I get any requests, I'd be happy to do some blogging about it- but it just difficult to impossible to find a means of comparison between the Super Bowl era teams who've faced 14 and 16 game regular seasons, 3 playoff games, and a league of 30 some odd teams and the pre-Super Bowl era teams who played 12 games, had 1 championship game, and played in a league of 8-12 teams.

So we'll stick with the big boys. Sorry Dolphins, Cowboys, and anyone else who feels like they should be part of this discussion. The 70's Steelers, the 80's Niners, and the 00's Patriots. I was thinking of preparing a long post on the subject, but decided against it because it's all so damn subjective. One thing should be clear- today's Patriots would crush either of those teams. The players today are bigger, stronger, and faster, and the game is just so much more complex. But that's not really the point of the debate as you have to put each team within the context of its era.

Some nostalgic types like to call into sports radio shows and proclaim the Steelers the greatest team ever no matter what these Pats do- And let me just say, those people are idiots. Not because of their opinion, but because of the ignorant and arrogant way they have to go about stating it. By objective criteria, the Patriots probably will have a slight edge. If they win this Super Bowl, they'll have more playoff victories in their decade than either the Niners or the Steelers. Two playoff seasons of at least 10-6 in this decade's final two years will give them the same number of seasons in the playoffs and a slightly better winning percentage than either the Niners or the Steelers.

Of course, I'm never one to look at numbers alone and the truth would be that, along with 4 Super Bowl titles, all the other numbers would be pretty damn close. What your left with is a lot of emotion, and having to hear about those old Steeler teams, I now know what 49er fans in the 80's had to go through. The Steelers were the greatest team ever because they were so tough. Sure, fine, whatever. If that's your criteria. Just realize that when that's the argument you make, you take all the fun out of the debate.


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