Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Best Steelers Super Bowl Team Is...; Steelers Off-Season Questions

The Best Steelers Super Bowl Team...

As I sat at home today watching an awesome snow storm developing (can't help it---it's my ski patrol background), I pondered another lost Steelers season this year. Instead of dwelling on two disappointing seasons, I revisited the Steelers of the 1970's to lighten my mood.

I asked myself which 1970's Steelers Super Bowl  team was the best of the best. It's not an easy decision to make considering they won 4 Lombardi trophies in that decade. 

I know many Steelers fans point to the 1978 Super Bowl team. In 1978, the Steelers came off a disappointing 1977 season (9-5). Their defense was awesome holding half of their opponents to 10 points or less. And who can forget the performances of Stallworth and Swann combining for 20 of Bradshaw's 28 touchdowns.

While the 1978 team was awesome, the 1975 Super Bowl team (Super Bowl X)---in my opinion---was spectacular. 

I lean toward the 1975 team for several reasons. 

On a personal level, I was not much of a football fan prior to the early 1970's. I grew up in Manhattan and the Bronx. In those days a young lad like myself only followed one team---the New York Yankees. Football was not as popular as it is today. My interest in football was specific to only to stars like Unitas, Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Jim Brown and other greats rather than a team. Although as a New Yorker, I recall being engaged with the NY Giants to a small degree (I really liked Y.A. Tittle, Frank Gifford and Sam Huff).

But then in 1972, I attended grad school in Steeler Nation territory. Football became my primary interest in sports. The Steelers became my passion. 

The 1975 Steelers came off a 12-2 season.  But the most revealing statistic for that team was points allowed---162 points. They also featured 11 Pro Bowlers. It was in this Super Bowl when Lynn Swann recorded 161 yards on four catches---two weeks after suffering a concussion in the AFC title game against the Oakland Raiders. The Steelers beat the Cowboys 21-17.

Yep, I'm sticking with the 1975 Steelers
(And, no, I've never abandoned the Yankees. To do so would be a major violation. Yankee memories and moments became part of my DNA)

Several Off-Season Questions For The Steelers

  • What's Troy Polamalu's future with the Steelers?  Salary cap
  • What to do with LaMarr Woodley? He's owed a huge chunk of change and the investment has not turned out what many thought it would be.
  • What to do with Emmanuel Sanders? Watch for the Steelers to look for a replacement.
  • What system changes will emerge in 2014? With Le'Veon Bell in the backfield, Steelers might turn to its running game again. Defense has to make some changes. Turnovers and sacks were a disappointment last season.
Sources: Bleacher Report, Pittsburgh Steelers.com