Thanks to the Patriots exciting and perhaps fortunate victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX this past Sunday, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick joined Terry Bradshaw and Chuck Noll as the only coach and quarterback duo with four rings.
And some kudos must also go to New England's quarterback and coach for being the only people at their respective professions to ever make it to six Super Bowls. It's a tremendous accomplishment just to make it to that game, and a team coming out on the losing-end is something that shouldn't be mocked and ridiculed too much (even though it usually is).
Just ask the fans of the four teams who have never even appeared in the Super Bowl--Browns, Lions, Texans and Jaguars--how much they'd enjoy even watching their team play in that game, and some of them may even sign their names in blood just to see it happen.
It's hard to take anything away from what Brady, Belichick and the Patriots have done over the past 14 seasons. However, the New England organization owned by Bob Kraft has been on the losing-end of Super Bowls in recent years, and everyone involved, from the owner on down to the fans, has experienced that pain.
Again, while it is tremendous what the Patriots have accomplished since the 2001 season, imagine never losing a Super Bowl.....ever.
Click on this link that takes you to a page highlighting the players with the most Super Bowl rings. Isn't it kind of overwhelming how the Steelers dominate the screen? There are 22 members of that exclusive 1970s club, who not only won four Super Bowls together, they never had to ask "what if?" following a loss.
In an interview with the late Steve Sabol that's part of The Complete History Steelers DVD which was released in 2005, Bradshaw said the thing he's most proud of is that he never lost a Super Bowl. It's safe to assume many Steelers from that era feel the same way.
If you're going to have a legacy, that would probably be the one that most players would pick. While statistics and MVPs can make you a Hall of Famer, being part of a dynasty is something that nobody can vote on and nobody can take away from you--regardless of your position on the team.
Randy Grossman, Rocky Bleier, Gerry Mullens and Larry Brown don't share the national recognition their nine Hall of Fame teammates enjoy, but they're always welcome at the reunions because all of them had their hands in four championships. And, unlike Brady and Belichick and hundreds of other NFL players and coaches, those four underdogs never have to worry about appearing on some DVD where they must relive the pain of a Super Bowl loss.
Most regular season games kind of get forgotten over time, as do most playoff games that don't have memorable endings. However, we all know about the Super Bowl. I can sit here right now and recite the winners and losers of all 49 Super Bowls--complete with scores--and maybe even rattle off a healthy list of heroes and goats.
Former Cowboys running back Duane Thomas was one of the goats of Super Bowl V, thanks to a second-half fumble that sparked a Colts' comeback and victory. A year later, in the week leading up to Super Bowl VI, Thomas pulled a Marshawn Lynch prequel by refusing to talk to the media. How do I know these things? (Both games were played before I was born.)
I know these things because I have old VHS tapes of NFL Films highlight shows of about two dozen Super Bowls played from the 60s all the way up through the early 90s. I know the history of the event, and I'm certainly not alone in that regard.
It's not easy to find old DVDs and tapes of playoff games, but the Super Bowls? They're available everywhere.
Your average NFL game doesn't pique the interest of non-fans, but the Super Bowl sure has its fair share who tune in just because it's such an enormous spectacle.
There's a reason Steelers fans are so proud of winning the most Super Bowls, and that's because it means something in debates and discussions with supporters of other teams. Regardless of who just won or who is dominant in this current era, "Got Six?" can end many arguments.
It must be doubly special to have a career in the NFL and be part of a group that accomplishes something no other team ever did.
There are certain things in life that money can't buy, and those 22 Steelers players from the 1970s, as well as the coaches and scouts, what they accomplished and what they left behind is priceless.
Again, never having to say you lost a Super Bowl? There were a lot of great teams around during those days. Kind of amazing.
And while the 49ers of the 80s achieved what Pittsburgh did a decade before, only five players were part of all four championship teams.
There are very few teams in the history of professional sports who achieved what the Steelers of the 1970s did, and there's a reason that group is called the greatest NFL dynasty of all-time.