Steelers Nation Rooting Guide to AFC and NFC Championships

Championship Sunday is upon us. And has been the case since 2011, the Pittsburgh Steelers are spectators leaving legions in Steelers Nation to wonder, “Who to root for?”

As it did last year, Steel Curtain Rising is happy to provide its Championship Sunday rooting guide for Steelers Nation.

This year’s guide is a little different as the Steelers Nation has something to root for, as opposed to having something to root against. And there is plenty to root against.

Steelers Nation Skin in the Game?

As pointed out recently, John Fox is a member of the Chuck Noll coaching tree, which gives Steelers Nation some semblance of a “Skin in the game.” A Super Bowl victory for Fox would bring the Noll coaching tree’s collective Lombardi total to 7 (4 for Noll, 1 for Tony Dungy, 1 for Mike Tomlin.)

Of course Fox’s ties to Pittsburgh are not terribly deep, having only coached on Chuck Noll’s staff from 1989 to 1991 and having coached at Pitt from 1986 to 1989.

Citizen’s of Steelers Nation shouldn’t be expected to roll out the towels for Denver, but even if they don’t find this as a compelling reason to root for Denver, there are others to root against everyone else.

Championship Sunday Rooting Guide

Denver gets top priority, not only because of Fox’s ties to Pittsburgh, but also because of who he is up against. That is of course the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick.

New England, as always, looks unstoppable. It has lost its last two Super Bowls, but it fought them both the wire. Yet, it’s been over ten years since New England won the Big Dance. Tom Brady has shown no signs of slowing, but he’s now closer to the end of his career than the beginning. And that raises the imperative of defeating New England in the AFC Championship.

Brady is an honorable player and if he can tie or break Terry Bradshaw‘s Super Bowl record, and put his own Lombardi count beyond Ben Roethlisberger‘s grasp, then more power to him.

But the same cannot be said about his coach. Bill Belichick is a cheater. And this cheater stands poised to tie Chuck Noll’s record as the only coach who to win four Super Bowls. He must be stopped.

  • Chuck Noll’s record is not the only one at stake.

The San Francisco 49er’s enter the game with a chance to tie Pittsburgh’s 6 Lombardi’s.

To some in Steelers Nation this might seem like smaller potatoes compared to defending Chuck Noll’s legacy. But the Lombardi count will be broken or tied at some point by some other team. There’s no assurance that Bill Belichick will catch The Emperor.

  • So that’s why Steelers Nation should back San Francisco over New England, if it comes to that.

Seattle also offers something of interest. Should they win, perhaps the Seattle Seahawks fans can finally quit their excuse making over Super Bowl XL.

So Steel Curtain Risings Championship Sunday rooting guide reads like this:

  • Root for Denver over New England
  • Should Denver win,
  • Root for Seattle
  • Should New England win,
  • Root for whoever you think can beat New England (yours truly leans towards the 49er’s, but that’s only guess.)

There you have it folks. Enjoy Championship Sunday.

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