Friday, January 21, 2011
Cowboys fans aren't pulling for Steelers
By Tim MacMahon
You don't need to be smart enough to spell "cat" after having been spotted the first two letters to figure out the answer to the following question:
Which of the conference finalists would Cowboys fans least like to see play a Super Bowl in their $1.2 billion football palace?
"Duh, Steelers !" one Twitter follower responded to an informal poll, pretty much summing up the consensus opinion.
Anti-Steelers bias runs strong in these parts. It's not just limited to the old-timers who lived through the Steelers' pair of Super Bowl wins over the Cowboys in the 1970s and have vivid memories of Lynn Swann's acrobatic act, Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson's trash talk directed at Terry Bradshaw and Jackie Smith's drop in the end zone.
The logic is simple. Just look at the Lombardi Trophies.
For a little while, the Cowboys' five Super Bowl titles gave them ultimate bragging rights. The fact that the tiebreaking fifth championship came against the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX made it even sweeter.
But Cowboys fans can't puff out their chests around folks from Pittsburgh anymore. Not after downtown Pittsburgh has hosted two Super Bowl parades in the last five years, bringing the Steelers' Super Bowl title total to six.
That's tough enough for Cowboys fans to stomach. To mention that the Steelers have as many championship as the Cowboys have playoff wins since their last Super Bowl meeting would just be rubbing it in.
The thought of the Steelers strutting around JerryWorld after winning their seventh Super Bowl? Ooooh.
That might be more painful than Tony Romo's broken collarbone. That, by the way, was the moment when even the most optimistic of fans had to accept that Jerry Jones' dream of having the first home team in a Super Bowl simply wasn't going to happen.
If the Steelers beat the Jets on Sunday, Cowboys fans will be forced to endure a couple of weeks of hearing about Pittsburgh truly being deserving of the America's Team nickname.
How can Cowboys fans make a convincing case? The blue-collar Steelers are a model of stability, having had three head coaches in the last four decades, each of whom won at least one Super Bowl. Jones' glitz-and-glamour Cowboys have employed six head coaches since their last Super Bowl.
Never mind that Packers backers, who refer to Green Bay as "Titletown," can point to their 12 NFL championships. Or that the Bears have nine NFL titles. As far as Cowboys fans are concerned, it's all about the Super Bowls.
And they can't stand the idea of seeing the Steelers claim their seventh Super Bowl title on their turf.
Tim MacMahon covers the Cowboys for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.