I read the Robert Dvorchak story posted by PsychSalameh over the weekend (great read, by the way), and at the end of it he included a poll question that asked "How many Super Bowls will the Steelers win from 2010-2020? I don't have an answer to that question, but I see some parallels between the first 2 Supes we won in the 70s and the two we've won recently. To me, those parallels suggest we have at least two more in us in the near future.
Our Super Bowl 40 win over Seattle was very similar to the Super Bowl 9 victory over the Vikings. It was an inartistic game against an opponent we had virtually no history with. Both Terry Bradshaw and Ben Roethlisberger completed only 9 passes as the Steeler run game carried the offense (158 yds rushing for Franco in SB9 and 181 for the team in SB40, including the 75 yd TD run by FWP). Most significantly, both victories ended long draughts without a title, as SB9 was our first title of any kind and SB40 ended a 26 year title-less run. We were not expected to win the Super Bowl in either of those years and pulled off big upsets en route: we were underdogs vs. the Vikings despite having upset the Raiders in the AFC championship game, and in '05 we were a six-seed when the playoffs began and KO'd the heavily favored Colts in the divisional round. Each of those titles were treated by the national media as singular accomplishments unlikely to be repeated any time soon. No one outside of Pittsburgh anticipated a dynasty.
(Even the beards were similar...)
However, we won it all again in SB10 by beating the Cowboys in a game (and perhaps rivalry) that was not very different from SB43. The 1975 Cowboys and 2008 Cardinals both featured wide-open offenses and dangerous quarterbacks. Both teams were more glitz than grit. And though the Steelers did not yet enjoy a great rivalry with either, the game would lead to one. Pittsburgh-Dallas became the marquee cross-conference rivalry of the decade, much like Pittsburgh-Arizona could in coming years (the Whisenhunt/Grimm situation having already laid the foundation for one). As for the games, each featured huge moments by Steeler QB's (Bradshaw's bombs vs. Ben's two-minute drive) and even bigger ones by Steeler receivers (the Swann catches vs. Santonio's tap-dance). There were memorable defensive moments by Steeler tough-guy linebackers (the Jack Lambert/Cliff Harris altercation vs. the James Harrison pick-six); and both games ended on turnovers by the opponent with the Steelers up four in the final seconds (Glen Edwards picking off Staubach in the end zone on SB10's final play vs. the Woodley sack and Kiesel fumble recovery to end SB43). By knocking off "America's Team" in SB10, we beat the media darlings just as we did in SB43, where the two weeks leading up to the game were dominated by warm and fuzzy Kurt Warner stories. As if these parallels aren't convincing enough, both games were played in the state of Florida and drew a 42 Nielsen rating for national television viewership.
(Great catches at the expense of hapless defenders...)
So what does all of this suggest? Well, Ben is just entering his prime (ala Bradshaw in the mid-70s); the defense, although not quite the Steel Curtain, is filled with tough guys and playmakers; like Chuck Noll, Mike Tomlin is a young, sharp head coach with a solid staff; the front office remains committed to financial sensibility (Max Starks aside) and to building through the draft; the Rooneys remain the best owners in pro football; and the fan base is more loyal and rabid than ever. The parallels between that 70s dynasty and the one we're building now seem undeniable. And though nothing is guaranteed in this sport, I see another two titles in the near future to match our run of four in the 70s.
How about you?