It's official: the Pittsburgh Steelers are not Super Bowl Champions.
Ahem, I mean: the Green Bay Packers are Super Bowl Champions!
If you were alive and breathing yesterday evening, you probably saw the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in a thrilling Super Bowl game. Instead of actually recapping that game, I thought I'd point out three things about the Packers win from a Patriots' perspective:
1. No more Brady/Roethlisberger Comparisons, For Now. Very similar to last year, when the media preemptively crowned Peyton Manning the "best quarterback of this era," the media jumped on the opportunity to make comparisons between Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady. After all, should the Steelers have won, both quarterback would have had three rings. While the argument was a little bit ludicrous in my opinion, the debate has been settled on a national level for now. Of course, at some point, Brady has to win another ring or two to join the all-time greatest playoff quarterback discussion.
2. No more Steelers/Patriots Dynasty Comparisons. Dynasty is a word that shouldn't be used loosely when it comes to professional sports, yet people were treating it as such when it came to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. To be a "dynasty," you have to dominate a particular era. The Steelers never dominated. Their closest season to "dominating" was 2008. But even then, you could argue they won in a watered down season that didn't feature Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady, who would have made a tremendous difference for the 11- 5 Patriots, who failed to qualify for the playoffs. While three in six would have been nothing short of extremely impressive for the Steelers, it would have reminded me a little bit more of Joe Gibbs' Washington Redskins in the 1980's and early 90s than an actual dynasty (although the drastic difference would be the quarterback position, in which the Redskins had three different quarterbacks start and win Super Bowls). With the best case scenario three Super Bowls in seven years for the Steelers, there is no dynasty. The Patriots are the team of this era, as if there ever was any question.
3. Packers the Worthy Super Bowl victor from a Patriots fan perspective. If you took a poll of Patriots fans and asked them, pre-playoffs, which team scared them the most, most fans would probably say the Green Bay Packers. In their December 19th game against the Packers on Sunday Night Football, the Packers had proved to be more than a worthy opponent for the Patriots. Without starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Pack moved the ball well enough to keep themselves in the game. On defense, they seemed to have an answer for Tom Brady and the offense. Had it not been for a couple of lucky breaks (Dan Connolly return, Kyle Arrington pick-six to start the 2nd half), the Packers very well could have won that game. Of course, the Jets proved to be the team that would knock the Patriots out of the playoffs, but I think most fans thought the Packers would give the Patriots the hardest potential Super Bowl match-up. I also think most fans were upset by the fact that the Patriots never got a chance to play the Steelers in the playoffs. After all, one of the Patriots' most defining wins this season was their week ten blowout victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Patriots have lucked out from a legacy-perspective in terms of the Super Bowl results for two straight seasons. Now, in order to fully silence those doubters, the Patriots must deliver ring number four in 2011.