You gotta hand it to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hands down there is no franchise in the NFL, arguably ever, with more organizational consistency. They don't panic, they have a philosophy of what kind of team they want to be and they stick with it, they have a stable coaching staff and they just keep winning. As I was watching Mike Tomlin hoist the Lamar Hunt Trophy, I remembered how I thought that he basically won his first Superbowl with Bill Cowher's team. Now that may be partly true, but here is several years later and they're back in the dance.
Here's the thing, I think Tomlin is a good coach. Do I think he's a genius? Not really. But, it almost doesn't seem to matter. That franchise is so set up to succeed, that they don't need some kind of coaching savant in charge. All they need is a guy that buys into their organizational mindset. It seems to be the same for any player they bring in there. I gotta give them nothing but credit, here they are with a shot at a seventh Superbowl ring. Seven rings?
This is the Steelers 8th Superbowl appearance, which ties them for the most in NFL history. Pittsburgh also has a record 6 Superbowl wins which solidifies them as the greatest franchise of the Superbowl era, but they'll be facing arguably the most successful team in league history. The Packers have a combined 12 titles, three of which are Superbowls. When your league champion gets a trophy named after your former coach... you know you've got a pretty successful franchise.
Two historic franchises, two rabid fanbases, two great defenses, and two of the better QBs in the game. Other than the fact that these were probably the two smallest media markets in the playoffs, the NFL has to be pretty happy about this matchup. I'm certainly bummed the Eagles aren't there, but I have to admit I'm excited to see this game.
Also, if I can take a moment to pat myself on the back... this was the matchup I called and I nailed both games against the spread. Although, don't be too impressed by me because generally I've been awful picking these postseason games...
Next up is the Pro Bowl, then the Superbowl the following Sunday then... well, we're all waiting to find out. Possibly a lockout, an extended shut down of the league? It's hard to say what will happen, but suffice to say we should enjoy our football while we've got.