Sometimes things just aren’t good enough. Despite being fans of the greatest franchise in professional sports, there are many times Steelers’ Nation rears its ugly head to complain about the team’s success, the direction things are going, or the lack of results in recent seasons. Whether it’s “the Steelers haven’t won a Super Bowl in the last 13 seasons,” or “they only have three playoff victories in the last 11 years,” it’s not that some of these points aren’t without validity.
For younger fans, the Steelers four Super Bowl victories in the 70s might not mean as much. It wasn’t until Super Bowl XL where I was able to enjoy watching the Black and Gold raise the Lombardi trophy. Because no franchise has won more Super Bowls than the Pittsburgh Steelers, sometimes fans lose perspective of both the elusiveness of a Super Bowl victory and appreciation for what the team has done year after year.
I was thinking more about this topic lately after viewing a comment left on one of the podcasts on our YouTube channel. If you did not realize that we do a live podcasts every day on YouTube, make sure you check out our channel BTSC Steelers Radio and get a notification for when our shows are going live. Check it out sometime and you might find something you never thought you would enjoy as there is a very tight knit community of those participating in the live chat feature.
Getting back to the comment, I’m sure you’re expecting some kind of crazy ridicule of the players, the coaching staff, the front office or all of the above. This time the comment was fairly simple: “2 SB wins since 1979.”
To make sure you understand the context of the comments, there was also an emoji thrown in there with a person shrugging in order to question why someone wanted to say the Pittsburgh Steelers is a good organization. And yes, this came from a Pittsburgh Steelers fan complaining about people appreciating the franchise.
It got me thinking, how many teams have won multiple Super Bowls since 1979? If the four Super Bowls wins of the 70s mean nothing to some fans, I can at least somewhat see where they are coming from. To make the point even greater, I’ll be starting the season after the Steelers just won four of the last six Super Bowls. So, since the Steelers only won two Super Bowls in the last 42 opportunities, I assume they’re going to be at the bottom of the NFL in championships since this is such a “terrible” thing, right?
The good thing about Super Bowl championships is there’s only one awarded every year. The bad thing is, there’s only one team that can win it each season. In going back to the 1980 season, there have been 18 teams which have hoisted a Lombardi at the end of each season. While that sounds fantastic, this also means in the last 42 years there are 14 teams who have not won the Super Bowl. Yes, some franchises are younger than others, but even the baby Houston Texans are not a child anymore as they have now been in the NFL for 20 seasons.
So right off the bat, we know almost half the NFL teams come in behind the Steelers because they haven’t won a championship at all in the last 42 seasons. Next, what about the teams that have only won one? For this category, there would be six more teams. That now puts the running total of 20 teams that have not won as many championships as the Steelers since 1980.
Am I forgetting something? Oh, that’s right. What about those teams that have only won the same number as the Steelers? If the Steelers have only won two Super Bowls since then, it must be pretty terrible for other teams with the same number of victories. They can’t be given credit for doing anything special. In all, the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of six teams that have two Super Bowl wins since 1980. Of the six teams, one franchise, the Oakland Raiders, had their last Super Bowl victory in 1983.
After breaking it all down, since 1980 there have only been six NFL teams that have won more Super Bowls than the Steelers. The obvious winner is the New England Patriots with six championships which have all come since the 2001 season. Of this group of six teams, three of them, the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, and Washington whatever-they-call-themselves, have not won any Super Bowls in the last 25 years. So even though they have more championships through the 80s, 90s, 2000s, 2010s, and 2020s, they all have not been able to celebrate in this millennium.
It’s only natural for Steelers fans to want their team to win. It’s why we buy jerseys and wave towels and tune in week after week. But it’s not like we’re asking the Pittsburgh Steelers to do something that everybody does so much better than they do. If you want to downplay the direction of the team, or complain about the coaches, or just be miserable as you follow the greatest franchise in professional sports, that’s your prerogative. But to discredit Super Bowl victories, especially for a team in which no one else has won more than they have, maybe it’s just about never being satisfied.