The League

Jim McCormick
Blitz Magazine Publisher

Jim McCormick

The editor and publisher of Blitz Magazine

The Rooney Blueprint Wins

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The Steelers have forged an indelible identity over the years and are the best franchise in the Super Bowl era of professional football. Simply put, no other team has cast such an enduring template for success over the past 30 years. And now that we've now exhausted all possible metal wordplay, we can move onto some football vernacular.

Pittsburgh's only peers in this discussion are San Francisco and Dallas. Forgive the exclusion of New England but they are much like what the San Antonio Spurs are to the NBA -- a dominant modern team that boasted little in the way of legacy before the millennium.

For those loyalists asking where the Packers and their gaudy 12 championships are, do you still watch Ed Sullivan? Nine of Green Bay's titles predate Super Sunday. The Pack are arguably the most storied franchise in pro football, but when it comes to an argument of dynasties they just haven't been dominant enough in the modern era. I'm not merely discounting Green Bay's or even Cleveland's long stretches of dominance in the league's early days, rather, it's their lack of brilliance over the past 35 years that has left them out. It's my (possibly naive) opinion that those dynasties were helped in part by the realities of the era -- no free agency, fewer teams, shorter seasons etc. -- and have never truly dominated the modern landscape.

We are well aware that the defining element of a dynastic run is winning multiple championships and stamping an era with consistent competitiveness. The Cowboys can make a compelling argument with their record eight Super Bowl appearances marked by two sustained stretches of excellence in the '70s and '90s. The 49ers simply owned the '80s and were relevant into the late '90s. Pittsburgh's "Steel Curtain" of the '70s netted them four rings and we are currently witnessing yet another brilliant run. Yet of the Super Bowl era elites, the Steelers have been the most durable franchise.

The star-laden Cowboys have lived and died by their ostentatious personalities. As we saw once again this year, they have died by them over the past 15 seasons. Dallas has too often hosted too many personalities with too much reliance on rebuilding the roster and staff with poached talent. That's just too much too. The 49ers simply haven't boasted the same aura and sheen since Steve Young and Eddie DeBartolo Jr. left the team, and have lost considerable luster in the past decade.

While each of these teams have established strong national followings over the years, no team has produced a more consistent product both on and off the field than the Steelers. Their unwavering adherence to a distinctly Steelers way of conducting a football team has kept them relevant throughout. Regardless of the year, when the black and gold suit up we know that we are getting a hard-hitting, defensive-minded team. We're talking about a team that has more rings than the Olympics logo. Their unique brand of football has survived the ever-changing, high-stakes climate of professional football better than any other.

Every other professional football team has spent stretches of unsuccessful years on the coaching carousel, has fruitlessly changed their schemes and overhauled their front offices and rosters. Not the Steelers. They don't react hastily to changing trends or down seasons; instead they ride it out believing that they'll eventually get it right with their lasting recipe for success. The Rooney family has owned and operated the team since it's inception in 1933 and their longevity is unrivaled in professional sports. It's quite simple, really, the Rooney's are the best in the business of football, and thus own the best team.

In a league rife with copycats the Steelers have always followed their own blueprint. And it's built quite a trophy room.

By Jim McCormick  |  February 3, 2009; 12:30 PM ET  | Category:  Dallas Cowboys , Green Bay Packers , NFL , New England Patriots , Pittsburgh Steelers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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Hey, this was well done article. It looks like the Rooney's made the right choice between Whiz and Tomlin.

Posted by: blitzmagprez | February 3, 2009 1:14 PM

One indicator: The Steelers are the only NFL team with NO cheerleaders.

Rooney said he wanted his fans to be watching his football team... not the cheerleaders.

It says a lot.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 3, 2009 11:07 PM

Sorry, Browns and Packers don't have Cheerleaders either...

There goes That theory.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 3, 2009 11:11 PM

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