The Steelers have won six of their eight Super Bowl appearances. That's a darn good winning-percentage that every last fanbase would take in a heartbeat. The Steelers hold the record for most Super Bowl titles and have a very proud fan-base that is very happy with their team's success over the last four decades. Yes, winning 6 of 8 Super Bowls is something to really be proud of, but that doesn't mean that the two losses don't hurt at least a little.
Rocky Balboa feels pain during his matches despite his very tough jaw. I'm sure even Chuck Norris feels pain from time-to-time. Steelers fans are no different. Yes, we feel invincible on most days, but we can still feel the sting of a heartbreaking Super Bowl loss even if we've experienced the joy of winning more than any fan-base since they started handing out Lombardi Trophies XLV years ago.
One of my first posts on BTSC was about the 1995 Steelers season. I described how awesome of a time I had watching that team overcome the hangover of losing the 1994 AFC Championship game and make it to their first Super Bowl since the dynasty days of the 70's.
I could never figure out why fans were so bitter about Pittsburgh losing Super Bowl XXX to the Cowboys. Yes, I know the Cowboys were the Steelers hated-rivals dating all the way back to the Super 70's. Yes, it's true, Neil O'Donnell threw those two atrocious interceptions in the second half with the game in the balance. But the Cowboys were huge favorites in that game and the Steelers did represent themselves fairly well.
Besides, they made two Super bowl appearances in the 00's and brought back two more titles to the "City of Champions." The bitterness over Super Bowl XXX should have subsided a bit.
However, it never really has. You take a survey of Pittsburgh sports fans and ask them to name their most disappointing sports moments and Super Bowl XXX is always up there at the top of the list.
That brings me to Super Bowl XLV. The Steelers overcame long odds last year to make it to the Super Bowl, and even though they lost a tough game to the Green Bay Packers, I am very proud of what they accomplished in 2010. I've said this before and it bears repeating: Of the 8 AFC Championships that Pittsburgh has won in their history, in my opinion, last season's was their most impressive when you consider what they had to overcome. We all know the myriad of problems the 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers faced--no point repeating them-- and every Steeler fan should be happy they made the Big Game.
And I am, believe me, but I just can't shake the disappointment. It's not like XXX. I have yet to sit down and re-watch Super Bowl XLV. You would think I could just shrug off the loss. As I said, they won 2 World Championships in the last 6 seasons. What's one loss even if it was in the Super Bowl? Why am I still disappointed?
If I had to pick a reason, it's probably because I'm used to seeing these Steelers win with everything on the line. It's a strange sight to witness players like Roethlisberger, Ward, Harrison, and Polamalu come up short on the game's biggest stage. If you're old enough, try to imagine what it would be like to see Bradshaw, Swann, Greene, and Lambert lose a Super Bowl. That's how I feel about this current group of Steelers. They'll always be champions in my eyes.
<a href=http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/2/9/1983564/30-other-nfl-fan-bases-would-take-this>In another post I wrote immediately following the Super Bowl,</a> I said that 30 other fan-bases would take being the runner-up in the Super Bowl. I still feel that way and I don't agree with those who feel that they'd rather their team not even make the Super Bowl if they're going to lose.
No, any season that ends in the Super Bowl (even if it's as the losing team) is still a pretty awesome one. I'll always look back on the 2010 campaign with fondness, but it won't seem as magical as the Super Bowl XXX season. Not with Super Bowl triumphs and awesome parades being the standard of excellence for this era of Steelers football.
So which Super Bowl loss was more painful for you? Super Bowl XXX with Neil's two infamous interceptions or Super Bowl XLV with Ben's pick six, Mendenhall's fumble, and the Steelers' secondary unable to stop Rodgers when it counted?
Maybe it's a loaded question beings that Super Bowl XLV is still pretty fresh in our memories, but I know there are a lot of you out there who still can't let go of the Super Bowl XXX loss. Maybe this one doesn't hurt as much as that one did. Maybe you're the opposite of me and considered Super Bowl XXX the Steelers only real shot of the 90's whereas this past Super Bowl was more of a bonus. It's hard to say.
You tell me, Steelers fans.