- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Our latest "Thought of the Day" topic struck a chord with our AFC North community. The question is should the Pittsburgh Steelers be labeled a dynasty if they won their third Super Bowl in six years next season?
Here are more responses along with a final say on the matter:
Matt Miller from Thompsons Station, Tenn., writes: I've gone on record before with this. I am a huge Steeler fan, but I can't call their recent run a dynasty. You've got to win Super Bowls back-to-back and probably 3-4 titles in a span of 6-7 years to be called a dynasty. I love my Steelers and they certainly have been dominant most of the 2000s, but they are not a dynasty.
Robert from Latrobe, Pa., writes: Yes, if the Steelers win it all this year, they will be a dynasty. This is not the 1970s. Free agency has brought about previously unforeseen amounts of roster turnover.
Jeff from Baldwin, Md., writes: Absolutely not. People are too quick to use the term "dynasty" these days. Even if the Steelers win Super Bowl XLV, they still missed the playoffs altogether in 2006 and 2009, and lost in the wild-card round in 2007. Compared to the true Steelers' dynasty of the 1970s, who won four Super Bowls, but they also advanced deep into the playoffs four other times. Same with the New England Patriots of the 2000s. Dynasties are made in January.
Glenn from Atlanta, Ga., writes: If the Steelers win a third title in six years then, yes, they should be considered an NFL dynasty. Although they had down years after each title, they have generally been a model of consistency. Every season they are a threat to storm through the postseason. The Patriots won three titles in a shorter time span, but had they won three in six they'd still be crowned a dynasty, as they should. Bottom line: Winning three championships in six seasons, or even an entire decade, should qualify as being an NFL dynasty.
James Calvin Davis from Middlebury, Vt., writes: As a life-long and rabid Steelers fan, I still have to say that another Super Bowl win doesn't make this generation of the team a dynasty. When I think "dynasty," I think of a team that dominates the decade, a team that's in the mix for a Super Bowl year-in and year-out, even when they don't ultimately make it. But the Steelers have had too many mediocre years this decade to be considered a dynasty like the '70s version. Consistent superiority, and not just Super Bowls, marks a sports dynasty, in my opinion.
Hector from Summerfield, Fla., writes: I'm a Steelers fan, but I can't necessarily say we are a "dynasty" at this point. But then again you might want to compare them to the San Antonio Spurs and Tim Duncan. Can you use the same analogy on "Big Ben" when it comes to thinking of him and Pittsburgh as a dynasty? If he wins the next two, or even two more that are not necessarily back-to-back but relatively close, then I would say yes they're a dynasty!
Tony Doctor from Columbia, S.C., writes: Yes, the Steelers would be considered a dynasty if they win the Super Bowl next year. You have to remember, they returned 20 of 22 starters from the last Super Bowl run, and a lot of the guys are still on the team. Ben Roethlisberger has another 10 years in the league and certainly will get two more championships. So, yes, they would be considered a dynasty. Go Steelers!
Zach from West Des Moines, Iowa, writes: Even as a huge Steeler fan, there is no way I could label the Steelers a dynasty if they should rebound and win the Super Bowl in the coming year. Yes, three Super Bowls in six seasons would be an amazing accomplishment with the growing parity in the league. But you can't overlook an important factor over those six seasons. They missed the playoffs twice! Had they made a deep playoff run both years then I could agree with this assessment, but dynasty teams don't miss the playoffs the year after winning the Super Bowl.
AFC North final say
James Walker: This was a very good debate, and thanks again to Lance Hatfield from Wichita, Kan., for sending in the question. However, even if Pittsburgh did win its third Super Bowl next season, it would not make the Steelers the latest NFL dynasty. I don't take this term lightly. Labeling a team a "dynasty" is the highest form of flattery that you can give a sports organization, its coaches and players. Therefore, dominance is required -- at least in the form of back-to-back championships. That's something the Steelers haven't done recently, and they didn't even give themselves a chance by missing the playoffs in 2006 and 2009. But having just one losing season since 2000 is a feat that definitely should be commended.