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It’s OK if the 49ers win their sixth Super Bowl

I was recently talking to a friend of mine–a fellow Steelers fan–regarding next Sunday’s Super Bowl LVIII matchup between the 49ers and Chiefs.

He said, “I have to root for Kansas City reluctantly. I don’t want to see the 49ers win a sixth Lombardi trophy.”

Honestly, before he said this, it never even occurred to me that this was something I was supposed to care about. That seems old-fashioned, like worrying about asbestos or hating disco.

I haven’t worried about the Steelers losing their “Got Six?” title since about 2015, and that was three years before the Patriots finally tied Pittsburgh by capturing their sixth Lombardi trophy thanks to a win over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Championship records are meant to be tied and then eventually broken. The Packers set the Super Bowl standard right out of the gate with two championships in the 1960s before the trophy was even called a Lombardi. The Dolphins tied Green Bay in the early-’70s before the Steelers franchise rose from the ashes and doubled Miami with four by the end of the decade.

The 49ers, led by Joe Montana and Bill Walsh, matched Pittsburgh’s standard 10 years later.

San Francisco and the Cowboys set the new standard in the 1990s by winning enough Super Bowls to both have five in their respective trophy cases.

We all know what happened in the 2000s, and that’s why we have so many t-shirts, license plates and bumper stickers informing observers that Pittsburgh is really Sixburgh.

At some point, football fans in other cities will likely be wearing t-shirts that refer to Seventh Heaven. That’s right, Steelers fans may have been the first to wish for such a state of Super Bowl ecstasy, but the folks in Northern California may be the first to experience it.

Or the Chiefs, who currently have three Lombardis, may very well get there before Patrick Mahomes is finished slinging footballs around. Dallas showed us in the 1990s how quickly those titles can pile up. The Cowboys were stuck on two for 15 years, but they suddenly had five by the mid-’90s.

It might be the Giants, who currently have four Super Bowl titles.

Teams like the Patriots and Steelers may be playing catch-up by that point. Remember, it took Pittsburgh 26 years before it captured its one for the thumb. New England spent 36 years stuck on zero before its two-decade run of dominance began in 2001.

I don’t really know who I want to see win Super Bowl LVIII. I don’t despise either team, and I think either victor would make a great story.

Brock Purdy, Mr. Irrelevant, winning a Super Bowl in his second year? Is this guy the new Tom Brady? If Kansas City won, Mahomes would join an exclusive club of quarterbacks with at least three rings.

Andy Reid would cement his legacy as a Hall of Fame coach and one of the all-time great offensive minds. Speaking of which, Kyle Shanahan’s schemes are now all the rage in the NFL. It seems like every struggling offense wants a branch from the Shanahan coaching tree to be its new coordinator. A 49ers Super Bowl victory could do for offense in the NFL what Walsh’s West Coast philosophy did in the 1980s.

While we’re on the subject of struggling offense, Steelers fans have spent the past few seasons wondering why the team won’t even try to throw passes over the middle of the field. They head into the offseason questioning whether Kenny Pickett is the future of the franchise or if Pittsburgh should throw money at Mason Rudolph.

In other words, Steelers fans are in no place to worry about Lombardi records. Their time has passed.

For now.

But their time will come again.


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