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stlrz d
05-16-2009, 11:55 AM
James Walker, ESPN's AFCN blogger, recently asked people to write in with their thoughts on dynasties in the NFL and what makes one. It stemmed from a dude in CT (could be a Pats, Giants or Jets fan there) writing him to let him know he shouldn't call the Steelers a dynasty if they repeat this coming season "because dynasties are prolonged periods of excellence" and it takes at least 4 super bowl titles to be considered a dynasty.

The dude in CT didn't like this comment: With another championship, it would mark Pittsburgh's third title in five seasons and cement its status as an NFL dynasty. which came from this story: http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-2 ... --06-.html (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-2-480/Can-Steelers-avoid-repeat-of--06-.html) You can read Jason from Naugatuck, CT's comments here: http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-2 ... e-Day.html (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-2-524/Thought-of-the-Day.html) and see what James had to say as well.

Plenty of people took the opportunity to email James on the topic of what makes an NFL dynasty and you can read those responses here: http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-2 ... ay-II.html (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-2-528/Thought-of-the-Day-II.html)

Most seem to understand that the NFL has changed and it's harder to win titles than it was before more teams were added and before free agency completely changed everything. Except for a few. This one is an unusual take from someone I suspect is a Packers fan...I mean, why else would he mention the Packers of the 30s but not the Browns of the 40s and 50s?:


Rich from Bellevue, WA writes: I COMPLETELY agree with Jason, four is the mark of excellence. To me, to be a dynasty, you have to dominate a decade, and three doesn't cut it for that. For instance, the 90's Cowboys won three in the early part of the decade, but failed to impact the latter part. That doesn't cut it as a dynasty. In the 50's, two teams (Lions and Browns) each won three championships, but neither completely owned the decade. No, four is the minimum. Jason is only wrong about one thing: there have been *four* dynasties in NFL history. 80's 49ers, 70's Steelers, 60's Packers... but let's not forget 30's Packers. From 1929-1939 they won *five* championships, including three-peating ('29, '30, and '31). That certainly has to count as a dynasty in my book. I don't buy this watering down the definition because of the claim that it's so much harder today. So what? Greatness is still greatness. And the Patriots put the lie to that thinking anyway because they were a hairbreadth away from getting their fourth this decade and qualifying as a true dynasty.

This is kind of an odd take:


Jim from Worcester, MA writes: There have not been any NFL dynasties! Sure there have been strong and multiple championship teams, but none of them were dynasties. The 50's Browns, 60's Packers, 70's Steelers, 80's 49'ers, 90's Cowboys, 00's Pats and 00's Steelers (As a fan I'll list them twice.) all had down years and were never dominate [sic] during their entire championship runs. As a comparison some candidates for dynasties would be the Yankees and Canadians- pick the 10 most successful consecutive years for each, the Celtics winning 9 of 11 championships, Wooden's UCLA Bruin basketball team winning 10 championships in 12 years, Oklahoma football winning 47 straight. Nope, good teams winning back to back championships does not a dynasty make.

But this one is most bizarre:


Joey from Cincinnati writes: James, I'm not sure if it's just the number of Super Bowls that determines a dynasty, or their regular-season record, or their playoff appearances. When I think dynasty, I think of the men that make up the team as well as what they accomplish. The Steelers of the 70s would not have been a dynasty in my opinion if it wasn't pretty much the same cast of characters. But it was. So far, all of the teams have pretty much been the same. But as soon as you change coaches, quarterbacks, or a large portion of a starting lineup, I think a team is eliminated from the dynasty discussion. In this way, I'd say that Mike Tomlin himself needs to win a few more with Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, et al. to be considered a dynasty. Would we call the 70's Steelers a dynasty if Chuck Noll won two Super Bowls and then two years later, a new Steeler coach wins two? Of if Terry Bradshaw wasn't QB in all four games?

It seems that some of the people who emailed (and not just the ones I posted here) are confusing dynasty with team of the decade. 3 titles in 5 years is certainly a dynasty for those 5 years at least. Probably even longer since a team doesn't win 3 in 5 years without bracketing those titles with some good seasons and playoff appearances.

Btw, don't bother to read the reader comments below any of the stories. I'm convinced ESPN doesn't allow anyone over the age of 15 to post comments on their stories. Seriously.

Oviedo
05-16-2009, 12:09 PM
dy·nas·ty (d?'n?-st?)
n. pl. dy·nas·ties

1. A succession of rulers from the same family or line.
2. A family or group that maintains power for several generations: a political dynasty controlling the state.

Really no way to get an accurate definition but in my opinion it isn't about a specific "Version" of a team but more about an organization that under consistent leadership maintains a controlling position in their sport.

I don't think that you can in the era of free agency call a team a dynasty because the pieces change too much. IMO the last real football dynasty were the 49'ers of the 80's because they maintained the core of their team so like the Steelers of the 70's it was the same people doing it over and over.

In the NFL of today with free agency I would have to say 4 championships in 6 years is probably the metric I would default to. Three in five is too easy.

grotonsteel
05-16-2009, 12:28 PM
I don't think that you can in the era of free agency call a team a dynasty because the pieces change too much. IMO the last real football dynasty were the 49'ers of the 80's because they maintained the core of their team so like the Steelers of the 70's it was the same people doing it over and over.

In the NFL of today with free agency I would have to say 4 championships in 6 years is probably the metric I would default to. Three in five is too easy.


:Agree

stlrz d
05-16-2009, 12:36 PM
dy·nas·ty (d?'n?-st?)
n. pl. dy·nas·ties

1. A succession of rulers from the same family or line.
2. A family or group that maintains power for several generations: a political dynasty controlling the state.

Really no way to get an accurate definition but in my opinion it isn't about a specific "Version" of a team but more about an organization that under consistent leadership maintains a controlling position in their sport.

I don't think that you can in the era of free agency call a team a dynasty because the pieces change too much. IMO the last real football dynasty were the 49'ers of the 80's because they maintained the core of their team so like the Steelers of the 70's it was the same people doing it over and over.

In the NFL of today with free agency I would have to say 4 championships in 6 years is probably the metric I would default to. Three in five is too easy.

I disagree. Since the era of FA how many have done it?

Flasteel
05-16-2009, 12:42 PM
dy·nas·ty (d?'n?-st?)
n. pl. dy·nas·ties

1. A succession of rulers from the same family or line.
2. A family or group that maintains power for several generations: a political dynasty controlling the state.

Really no way to get an accurate definition but in my opinion it isn't about a specific "Version" of a team but more about an organization that under consistent leadership maintains a controlling position in their sport.

I don't think that you can in the era of free agency call a team a dynasty because the pieces change too much. IMO the last real football dynasty were the 49'ers of the 80's because they maintained the core of their team so like the Steelers of the 70's it was the same people doing it over and over.

In the NFL of today with free agency I would have to say 4 championships in 6 years is probably the metric I would default to. Three in five is too easy.

Good points O, but 3 championships in 5 years is anything but easy. I'm not sure we could make a sound argument that another title this year warrants dynasty status either. But if this same core of players wins a couple more in the next 3 or 4 years then I think the label might be deserving. It's not really a magic number of 4 as much as it is the same group of players being on top for an extended period of time.

A championship this season however would cement us as the team of the oughts (with respect to the Patsies* 3 titles). Remember, 2 of New England's titles came after facing us in the AFC championship game (in Pittsburgh no less) so we've been in the hunt or on top for pretty much the entire decade. Plus we didn't cheat.

Oviedo
05-16-2009, 03:25 PM
Being called a dynasty should not be easy. That is why I think you need 4 in 6. You need to go beyond what people believe is possible.

Crash
05-16-2009, 03:41 PM
Three in five years in a real free agency era would be a dynasty IMO.

Only one team, EVER, has won 4 SB's in six seasons. I'd say it's kind of foolish to use that one instance as the bench mark.

Jooser
05-16-2009, 04:40 PM
I think the next NFL "Dynasty" is still in progress with Ben Roethlisberger. I think the definition may change in the next few years, as well as the expectations raised. WoooHoo! I feel a need to be called a Dynasty team yet, because we still have unfinished business through '09 and beyond. Ben will define dynasty in years to come.

stlrz d
05-16-2009, 11:00 PM
Three in five years in a real free agency era would be a dynasty IMO.

Only one team, EVER, has won 4 SB's in six seasons. I'd say it's kind of foolish to use that one instance as the bench mark.

:Agree

stlrz d
05-16-2009, 11:10 PM
And Walker wraps it up with a few more emails and his own opinion on what makes a dynasty these days.

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-2 ... inale.html (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-2-531/Thought-of-the-Day-finale.html)

pfelix73
05-17-2009, 12:07 AM
To me, you would have to include many factors not just the SB wins in a given period.

You would have to include the playoffs and Championship games over a period of many years. The teams record over a period of years, the players that stay within the nucleus of the team. The changing of the coaching staff would not be a factor IMO.

Right now, I would say that the Steelers of the 70's would be the #1 in dynasties, just because of what they did over a period of 8-10 years record wise. The # of hall-of-famers that came from that group of players that pretty much stayed the same over the entire period.

The 49'ers of the 80's would be next in line. I do not see the Cowboys of the 90's or the Patsies or the Steelers of the 2000's as dynasties just yet. Now if we win another this year, then maybe a 4th under Ben a few years after that, then we can discuss this again..

Now, on another note, what if defining a dynasty would have to be on what a team has done over a longer period of time?

Since 1970 or so, The Steelers FO has been the same for the most part with The Chief (dating all the way back to 1933) to his son Dan, and now to Dan's son- Art II. We pretty much have the best win-loss record over this 40 year time period, and we have more SB wins-6, than any other team in the NFL. I would also say, that the Steelers have inducted more players into the HOF during this time than any other team in the NFL. We have had only 3 coaches over this 40 year period. We have been in more Championship games and won more except maybe the Cowboys than any other team over this period. We have only had a handful of losing seasons over the past 40 years. The 49'ers have been awful and down and out for some time now....And the Cowboys were awful for a stretch too. Because of this, we have truly been the most consistent team in the NFL over the past 40 years....

In my book, we're the only Dynasty right now in the NFL. It will continue.. I would put the GB Packers of the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's up there as well.

:tt1

aggiebones
05-18-2009, 11:36 AM
What are the parameters of a dynasty?

I say its pointless to demand it going in a hard decade, like the 70s. That makes no sense. If you insist on 10 years, it could be from 75-84.

So is it 10 or is 5 enough. What about 4 straight SB wins? Would that be as strong of a dynasty as winning 4 of 6? What if the Bills had won all 4. Had they won the first, it might have been possible. I think they mentally collapsed after that missed field goal robbed them.

Alas, can you just win 4 straight? Do you need to be good on either side of that? Can you go 1-16, win 4 straight, then fall off the map for 10 years?

It is a weird thing to comprehend. I've always considered the Steeler's 70s club a dynasty. But what if the Cowboys (God forbid) had won in 71, 72, 77 and 78. It wasn't a stretch. Then 2 teams would have been good the whole 70s and would have won 4 each. I think that's why a real 10 year dynasty would mean that you need to win at least 6 Super Bowls in a 10 year span, any span of 10. That means it wasn't even possible for anyone to rise over you. I think you have to be able to stack up your accomplishments against any side scenario, not necessarily against reality.
Would it be fair for the Steelers to be called a 70s dynasty for winning 4 of 6? Then say the Pats win in '02, '04 & '05 and maybe '08, while the Steelers win '01, '03, '06,'08. They would both be comparable dynasty and both aren't that much of a stretch. Neither would be considered a dynasty of the '00s. But both could compare evenly to the '70 Steelers.
Yes, reality does rule, but naming a dynasty, it should be something that will forever stand unchanged. But if 2 teams win 4 SBs in a decade which is possible, then there would be no dynasty in that span, thus also removing the label of dynasty from the '70s Steelers.

Either way, the '70s was a dynasty for sure. Regardless of my brains odd inner workings.

pfelix73
05-20-2009, 09:40 AM
If you think of all the political dynasties throughout history, they are way more than just 10 years....

This is why I'm saying our dynasty continues to this day. It started when Chuck Noll (The Emperor) was hired.... and continues today through Cowher and Tomlin......

:tt1