The League

David Aldridge
Sports Reporter

David Aldridge

A nationally recognized sports journalist.

Great Now, Not Always


To believe the Steelers are the greatest dynasty, you'd have to start counting football championships with the Super Bowl era, and ignore the 50 years of history that preceded it. But if you start at the beginning, in the 1920s, and count everything, the conclusions are different.

The Steelers stunk for 40 years before Chuck Noll came on the scene. They weren't just bad; they were a joke, like the Cardinals had been for the last three decades. Pittsburgh's Steel Curtain teams in the 1970s surely are one of the league's all-time great dynasties, with four championships in six seasons, and if you add the two in the last four seasons, you can make a strong case for Pittsburgh being the league's best. But it's not, despite the six Super Bowl wins.

Pittsburgh certainly is in the top five, along with the 49ers of the 1980s and '90s (five Super Bowl victories in 13 years) and the Cowboys (five Super Bowls over a 24-year period, including three in four mid-90s years), with the '71-'74 Dolphins (three Super Bowls, two titles, one classic loss to the Raiders in the '74 divisional playoff) and the Brady/Belichick Patriots (three titles in four seasons, but marked down some until we know the full scope of the videotaping program New England illegally used) right on the edge.

But Pittsburgh can't crack the top two dynasties in pro football history. The always unappreciated Cleveland Browns team of Paul Brown that began play in the All-American Football Conference in the late 40s and joined the NFL after the AAFC disbanded in 1950 reached 10 straight championship games from 1946 to 1955 behind Hall of Famers Otto Graham, Marion Motley and Dante Lavelli: four in the AAFC and six in a row in the NFL. The Browns won three NFL titles and four in a row in the AAFC, and the only reason they aren't number one overall is because it's hard to gauge the quality of the AAFC teams compared to NFL squads.

So that leaves the Packers as my all-time NFL dynasty, with 12 world championships, including five in seven seasons by the Vince Lombardi teams of the 1960s. The Pack is still the only franchise that has won three straight NFL titles, and Green Bay has done it twice, including Lombardi's last three from 1965 to 1967 that culminated with victories in Supers 1 and 2.

By David Aldridge  |  February 3, 2009; 11:18 AM ET  | Category:  David Aldridge , Green Bay Packers , Pittsburgh Steelers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Consistency Proves It | Next: The Rooney Blueprint Wins


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Twelve "world" championships for the Packers? Let's just review the other nations of the world that were competing for this title, if only to highlight the magnificence of the Packers' feat: which year was it that they rolled over Papua New Guinea?

Posted by: Pragmatix | February 3, 2009 1:48 PM

David I disagree - dynasty are set becuase they change the way life is lived and that's what the Steelers have done to professional football.

History, consistency and domination in every aspect of the game is what makes a true dynasty and that's what the Steelers are and always have been. Even in our “30 year SB drought” we still dominated. We didn’t when a Super Bowl since 1979 again until 2005 but we were never absence from the hunt. The Steelers since Mr. Art Rooney got the team out of its slump days, have always been a force to deal with and a franchise that has set the bar high for others to reach. We went to the SB in 1995 and lost when Neil O. threw that game for money if you ask me. But , we were still dominate. I mean look at how many AFC championship games we went to especially during the Kordell years. Just like Caesar’s folks, all the warriors weren’t championship rulers, but that didn’t stop the Caesars from being a dynasty in Rome and so it is with the Steelers in the NFL.

The game has grown and evolved too much to count the old days, I’m sorry that’s the truth. The merger brought more competition and harder obstacles to overcome then the NFL before the merger.

As to the so called America's team - Dallas, sure they have been to more SBs but hands down the Steelers are the best of the NFL in this area and have been since the 1970’s. Our 7-1 SB record beats Dallas 5-3 record any day and twice on Sunday’s. 7 trips, 3 different coaches and only 1 lost with a Defense that has always defined how defense should be played - come on, enough said.

The Steelers wrote the blue print on how Professional football defense should be played and their #1 ranking and SB 43 win proves that even this year as well - lets be real who can argue with this being a fact that the when the student says Teacher what is the true definition of pro-football defense the Instructor says - The Pittsburgh Steelers???

Now if we bring up the best owners in the franchise again owners who set the bar for others to follow then you have another no brainer. They set the mark for black coaches, hiring younger coaches and sticking with Coaches and developing your franchise, add that to the strongest, and most loyalist fan base in the World.

The Steelers rule Dynasty in the NFL – it’s a no brainer.

What the Steelers have done to the NFL and the world is set the bar on how professional football should be played, managed, coached, taught and presented for years past, present and years to come – that my friends equals - A Dynasty.

Posted by: love2much SE | February 3, 2009 2:03 PM

Go back to covering what you know - basketball.

Posted by: creese21 | February 3, 2009 2:10 PM

I said it elsewhere, and I'll say it here Love2much, you're just a blinded fan. If the pre-merger championships don't count because the game changed, neither do the wins from the 70s, because the game has change considerably since then (to include testing for performance enhancing drugs, might I add). And there were plenty of years wher the Steelers weren't in the hunt during that 30 year doughts (take a look at those average seasons in the 80s). In the 15 years between the superbowl win in 79 and the next SB appearance, more than half those years, the Steelers failed to make the playoffs. And in the 7 seasons they did, they won a combined 3 playoff games (and spare us all the "threw the game for money" b.s. They lost. It happens even to the Steelers).

They're a great team, but by no strech are they the greatest. I know every fan likes to think his team is the best, but there is only room for one at the top, and right now, the Packers are still sitting atop that perch.

Posted by: jp81 | February 3, 2009 3:00 PM

Right on David. The historical perspective gets lost in the mad dash to crown the Steelers the greatest franchise in the history of recorded time.

Posted by: floucka | February 3, 2009 3:06 PM

David, you are overlooking the incredible consistency of the Steelers over the past decades. In 1972, the Steelers won their first playoff game. In the 36 years since then, they have made the playoffs 23 times, and had only six losing seasons. Even those losing seasons were not as bad as many of the Cowboys or Packers off-years:
7-9 in '85
6-10 in '86
5-11 in '88
7-9 in '91
7-9 in '98
6-10 in '99

In contrast, over the same span the Packers have had 14 losing seasons, and the Cowboys have had 9 losing seasons (including the '88-'89 span when they won a total of 4 games over 2 seasons).

Posted by: jkarasek | February 3, 2009 4:09 PM




Posted by: STEVEG4152 | February 3, 2009 8:47 PM

To those asking about returning from out of bounds to make a tackle: On virtually every NFL punt, the kicking team's "gunners" are blocked out of bounds, return to the field and are eligible to make a tackle as long as they re-establish themselves in-bounds before making contact with the ball carrier or ball. Offensive players, however, are ineligible to touch the ball after going out of bounds. I don't know if they're permitted to block after coming back inbounds.

Posted by: salescoach | February 3, 2009 9:31 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company