Having had a chance to digest what I admit was a very entertaining and bizarre Super Bowl, here is what I think:
Let’s just get this out of the way up front. No self-respecting, card-carrying Citizen of the original sports nation can say they are happy with how this Super Bowl played out.
The ravens winning their second Super Bowl by beating the San Francisco 49ers means that we will have to listen to thousands of purple-clad clowns cawing for the next year. For those of us who have the misfortune to live within the unfriendly confines of Baltimore, this will be doubly difficult. It’s never easy living in Baltimore as a Steelers fan. Now it will be almost insufferable.
Having said that, I imagine my feelings leading up to this game were the same as Packers fans had in 1974; or how the Steelers fans felt in 1990; or how the 49ers fans felt in 1996. Each of those groups of fans had to deal with another team on the verge of tying them for the most Super Bowl wins at the time.
Where those other teams had to suffer through the agony of someone winning the big game to tie them, the Steelers saw history. For only the second time in the history of the Super Bowl, a team with a chance to tie for the most Super Bowl wins at the time failed to do so. (The other time was Super Bowl 30, but that game featured two teams with four Lombardi Trophies each, both trying to tie the 49ers with five. Steelers fans do not need to be reminded what happened in that game.)
So, in the grand scheme of things, and setting aside my dread for the upcoming year because I live in the purple capital of the western hemisphere, this is really good for the Steelers. Had the 49ers won, not only would they have become the second team with six Lombardi trophies. They would have been able to continue to crow about how they had never lost a Super Bowl.
Now, the ravens are the only team left to have played in the Super Bowl and not lost. We’ll let them have that for now. When they have played in even half as many as the Steelers, we’ll see what their record is.
Now, the 49ers have tasted defeat in the big game. Their hyper-competitive coach can go blow a head gasket someplace where cameras won’t see it. (By the way, is there anything funnier than watching Jim Harbough lose is mind on every call? I can’t help but wonder if his parents and his brother were thinking, “Wow. Jimmy is really a competitive douche.”)
So, take heart, Citizens of the Black and Gold Nation, for this win, while certainly inconvenient and annoying, preserves the Steelers’ status as the preeminent team of the Super Bowl era. Let the ravens enjoy their time in the sun. Even I can’t deny they have earned it.
My heart and mind are secure in the knowledge that the Steelers are still the class of the NFL since the creation of the Super Bowl. They have played in the most Super Bowls. They have won the most Super Bowls.
And all is right in the world.