To make this perfectly clear...I hate rankings. Sure, when I was younger, I'd check out Power Rankings throughout the NFL season to see where "experts" felt the Steelers were at in comparison to other teams, but it's easy to grow cynical of said rankings when you begin to understand that they are just the opinions of some chump. I put my opinions on this page, but that doesn't mean you have to follow them and take them as Gospel truth. There's a comments section and my email address, and God knows I've been yelled at by many a reader through both. Most of 'em are clueless, but its nice to see that the entire population isn't made up of sheeple.
So I don't get worked up about lists and rankings like I did as a younger man. That is...until the past few days. The Steelers and their fans have not only been disrespected by several rank-ers, the reasoning behind the dickery is completely unfounded. Let us investigate...
Emailed to me by Cotter this weekend...Fox Sports decided to rank each NFL fan base. Don't get me wrong...I don't expect Pittsburgh to be ranked #1 in everything, but after awhile, it's pretty dumb to show love for certain teams/fans instead of those hailing from Pittsburgh. According to the losers at Fox Sports, the Steelers have the 6th best fan base in the NFL. Like I said, we don't always have to be #1...but 6? Let's look at the asinine explanation:
The "Stillers" fans are a very annoying bunch. If you ever encounter one and the subject of football comes up, all you'll hear about is how many rings they have. Whatever your argument is, they will counter with that. That being said, they have Heinz Field and sports bars around the country rocking on Sundays. They're very passionate about their football and it's completely understandable. Before Sidney Crosby, what else have they had to root for?
WHAT?!?!?! This is on a legit sports-media website? Man, I wouldn't expect to see this type of reasoning from the shittiest of the shitty sports blogs out there. And there's some shitty sports blogs out there. How about not generalizing all Steelers fans from one experience, and instead, ask some fans about their take. The rings are one thing, but we also boast a million HOFers, one of the most influential ownership families and fans who were displaced by the downfall of the steel industry that still show up for games, be they in Pittsburgh or Seattle. Keep our names out your mouth and do some research next time. And I guess the World Serieses and Stanley Cups meant nothing before Sid came to town. EPIC FAIL.
I'd begin my debate about Cleveland at #4 and Philly at #1, but I can feel an aneurysm coming on.
I found the other ranking while clicking through one of The Big Lead's Roundups from this weekend. Cold Hard Football Facts ranks the All-Time NFL Franchises. If I can use Fox Sports' generalization, our 5 rings should have the Steelers somewhere in the top 3, along with San Fran and Dallas. Plus, being the only team to win 4 Super Bowls in 6 years should give us some extra leverage. Nope. They have the Steelers at number 8, behind the Raiders, Redskins and Giants. THE GIANTS...you know, the team riding the emotion of their recent Super Bowl win. If they lose to the Patriots in that game, there's no way they sniff the top 8. Here's the Steelers reasoning:
To understand the Immaculate Reception's impact on the psyche of Steelers fans, it pays to remember that it was not only a miracle win, it was the first postseason victory in franchise history, a victory 40 years in the making. Then came the great draft class of 1974 (four Hall of Famers) and a first NFL championship immediately followed.
As the old advertisement used to say, "You've come a long way, baby."
VIRGINIA FREAKING SLIMS?!?!? If you smoke Virginia Slims in Pittsburgh, anyone within 5 feet is allowed to punch you. It's written in the city's laws somewhere. I'd look it up, but I'm still following the no-research attitude given to us by Fox Sports.
Again, we don't have to be #1, but 8? My buddy Cian, as seen in today's MPotD, called Pittsburgh "Contenders Forever." We regularly put out a good team and are the class of the AFC
So yeah, I'll probably forget about these rankings as soon as I hit "Publish," but I needed a place to vent. You don't have to agree with my opinion, because that's all it is...one man's take.
/my take is better than these two, though.