Monday, February 2, 2009

Steelers Move To Front Of Line In All-Time NFL And All-Time Pittsburgh Rankings





"The Stat Rat" unearths little-known rankings



Missed in the recent information overload that has been otherwise known as "SuperBowl XLIII" are some very interesting statistics that have been dug up by our resident "Stat Rat".

It seems that yer "Pittsburgh Stillers" did more than just win their "six pack" trophy. In defeating the Arizona Cardinals 27-23, they also moved into first place all alone atop the all-time National Football League championship standings.

But there is another pennant race that gets very little coverage in this city and that is the All- Time Pittsburgh National Championships Standings. Very few people realize that in the past four years that there has been a seismic shift in the Pittsburgh tectonic plate. By winning SuperBowls XL and XLIII, here now are your new standings.

1) (surprise, surprise)"Rooney U." has just passed the Pittsburgh Pirates as the city's winner of the most championships with six. Amazingly, they've accomplished this since only 1974, the year of their first title. Before that, the Steelers languished in mediocrity for over 40 years.
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 Titles in 75 seasons 7.99% of the time winning the championship (13.95% during the SuperBowl modern era).

2)The currently moribund Pittsburgh Pirates franchise last won a title in 1979. They won their first World Series in the 1909 season, 99 years ago, so they've won five World Series in 99 years, not a great ratio. Don't expect them to "win her all" this year either, so it's safe to say that the Buccos should be stuck on "5" for a while.

Pittsburgh Pirates 5 Titles in 99 seasons 5.05% of the time winning the championship.

Even though they're not a pro team, the Pitt football Panthers have also won 5 national titles although only one of them, their last one in 1976 came in modern times. Their basketball program has never won a national title, but this year they very possibly could be standing near the precipice. Pitt also has 5 other "shared titles" owing to the fact that college football has never been able to figure out how to determine a true champion. So it's pretty tough to include Pitt in these standings when these professional teams weren't playing bowl games.

Pitt Panthers 5 to 10 national titles (depending on who you talk to).

3)Pittsburgh Penguins 2 Titles in 40 seasons 5.0% of the time winning the championship.

In last place in the standings are the Pittsburgh Penguins with 2 titles. While in fairness the Penguins have only been in existence for 40 years, they had little success and never even appeared in the Cup Finals before Mario Lemieux came on the scene. They won back-to-back Cups in '91 and '92, then sunk back into relative obscurity after his retirement until Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin came to town. They came close last year and their young team still has a lot of years to go, so we could look at them closing the current gap on the Pirates during the next several years.




STAT RAT View From 10,000 Feet



Altogether, the three Pittsburgh professional sports franchises have played a total of 214 seasons with a scant 13 seasons being overal championship ones. This translates to a championship ratio of just 6.07% of the time.



If we look at the last 40 years, however, the numbers improve dramatically. The three franchises have played 120 seasons but won 10 titles! This translates to a ratio of 8.33% of the time. During those 40 years the individual percentages look like this: Steelers 6/40- 15%. Pirates and Penguins both 2/40- 5% title years.
So how does this compare to a big city like, say, New York?

By comparison, the "mighty" eight New York sports franchises have had a combined total of 494 seasons with 51 titles (the Yankees have purchased an amazing 26 titles in 95 years or "bought it all" a staggering 26.80% of the time). The overall winning percentage among all the New York teams is 10.32%

So the difference between New York and Pittsburgh sports franchises "winning it all" is 10.32% to 6.06% of the time. Here's how the New York teams stack up: Yankees 27.36%, Islanders 11.11%, Giants 8.43%, Nets 4.87%, Rangers 4.81%, Mets 4.34%, Jets 4.16%, Knicks 3.22%.

If you subtract the juggernaut Yankees from the equation, the remaining seven teams that can't just buy titles have 399 seasons and just 25 championships. The percentage drops precipitously to 6.26% almost equal to Pittsburgh's 6.06%.!

Those are stats worthy of the Stats rat!

STEELER FANS ENTER STATE OF RAPTURE



rapture rap·ture n.
1. The state of being transported by a lofty emotion; ecstasy.
2. An expression of ecstatic feeling. Often used in the plural.
3. The transporting of a person from one place to another, especially to heaven.
To enrapture. Sentence usuage: The Steeler fans were lifted to a level of rapture never experienced before in winning the coveted "six-pack" trophy.



Yeah, that about describes it.

In a game for the ages, a championship in which they pulled ahead of the rest of the NFL by winning their sixth Lombardi Trophy of the 43 that have been awarded (13.95% of all Lombardis ever manufactured by the way) the Pittsburgh Steelers once again showed the nation, no, the entire world, why they are the greatest sports franchise in existence and why their fans idolize them as they do.

Their rabid fan base was not disappointed. They had the bejezzus scared out of them, true, but "Mr. Clutch" pulled it out again.

Above: President Obama declared late last night that what used to be called a "clutch" is officially being renamed a "Roethlisberger".

Ben Roethlisberger pulled another Houdini escape in the last two minutes of a game that was so compelling that words cannot do it justice. Imagine this: In the aftermath of this contest that one day may be considered the greatest game of all time, there were three plays that were ranked by "ESPN" in the top ten of all time SuperBowl plays! #10 was Fitzgerald's 64 yard touchdown that gave the Cardinals their first lead with 2:40 left. #3 was NFL Defensive MVP James Harrison's interception and 100 yard return for a touchdown as the clock struck 0:00 in the first half and of course, #1 was the combination Picasso-Michaelangelo-DiVinci pass from Big Ben to an outstretched Santonio Holmes. This pass was so perfect that three Cardinals defenders couldn't get at it and Holmes footwork and hands were so amazing that even the predictable review that now accompanies every Steeler touchdown couldn't overturn it. It was that good. No, scratch that, it was even better than that.


Above: Big Ben struck midnight on the Cardinals when the Steelers scored the game-winner with just :35 seconds left in the fourth quarter..

After watching about two hours of post game coverage (I was too wired to fall asleep) I came up with the following 22 conclusions:

1) I have been fortunate enough to watch all six Steeler SuperBowl conquests (and yes, their lone loss) and I used to feel that SuperBowl XIII was the best one...It's now second-best in my estimation. The Steelers held off a furious Cowboys rally late in that game, but never had to pull the heroics that occured last night.

2) Ben Roethlisberger is already at John Elway status for being a clutch quarterback only it took Elway twice as long to get there. Think about that.

3) Arizona's offense was incredible. To the Steelers credit, they kept a lid on it for three quarters, but they wilted in the fourth and needed the offense to bail them out. Without being able to run the ball, somehow they did it.

4) I'll never be able to figure out how they won this championship having such a weak offensive line. It's a further testament to Roethlisberger.

5) Santonio was amazing in that last drive (four catches for 61 yards and a touchdown) but I have a problem with Ben not getting the MVP. What does this guy have to do to win one? How much more heroic can a quarterback be? Ben was very classy and didn't whine about it.

6) James Harrison's interception and run is undoubtedly the greatest defensive play in SuperBowl history.

7) The Steelers conducted themselves with humility in their victory. This is why they are so loved by their fans. Santonio needs to lose the salt shaker routine with the football however.

8) Kurt Warner was so gracious as a losing quarterback that I have become a big fan of his as a result.

9) Larry Fitzgerald is an alien. He has to be. Tell me one other player who goes up to get a ball and catches it every time. His hands are like vises.

Above: This is what Larry Fitzgerald looks like when he's not using his "cloaking device". Notice the telltale dreadlocks and muscular arms. He first gave his true identity away by making one catch after another that no other human could possibly make.

10) Mitch Berger's dad was spotted sitting in the stands crying after the game. Yeah, Berger's not a good kicker by a longshot, but he's a champion now. He'll have a ring to prove it too.

11) Mike Tomlin has got to be one of the most riveting speakers I have ever heard. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during his job interview and listened to the Rooney's comments afterwards.

Above: Hines always wears his emotions on his sleeve or even his cheeks. Yesterday's tears, however, were tears of joy. He played in a very limited role because of his knee injury.

12) This SuperBowl was so perfect in every way, from the pregame including the singing by Faith Hill and Jennifer Hudson, to the honoring of the USair flight 1549 crew, the six jet flyover (always my personal favorite) General Petraeus,Joe "Willie" Namath and "The Boss" at halftime. Sandwich around all of this the most exciting game in history and you have, quite simply, the NFL's finest hour as an organization. That takes in a lot of games.

13) John Madden called it, "A real SUPER, SuperBowl."

14) Bob Costas said that the Steelers, "Perhaps rank as THE model franchise in all of American sports.

15) Dan Rooney, when asked if he has room in his trophy case for another Lombardi Trophy responded quickly, "We'll make room."

16) Big Ben described the pass play to Santonio that he called in the huddle as, "Scramble left, scramble right, get open."

17) Ben is the second-youngest qb to win two SuperBowls (Brady youngest).

18) The Steelers have now won six Lombardi's to the 49ers and Cowboys five.

19) Why would Pitt students want to emulate the Hoopleheads of West Virginia and start burning furniture in the streets? Hey, have fun, but don't light fires to demonstrate your joy, that's just plain stupid.

20) I loved Art Rooney standing in the background while his Dad, Dan accepted the trophy. "You never know how many more chances he'll get to do that," he commented. A truly grounded comment by a man who comes from a wonderfully-grounded family. That's another reason why the Steelers are so loved.

21) Mike Tomlin calling himself, "The most blessed coach." True Mike, and now you know why we're the most blessed fans.

22) The Steelers should have quite the lovefest whenever they get to visit the White House and new President Barack Obama. Obama said yesterday that, "The Steelers, after his beloved Bears, are his favorite team. Don't forget," he added, "Dan Rooney was out campaigning for me. Franco Harris was waving a Terrible Towel at rallies for me."

Above: Art II knows that you won't always have your Dad (or Granddad) around to accept the Lombardi Trophy. He's to be congratulated for honoring his dad's lifetime of accomplishments. In the photo above, his grandfather, "The Chief", Art Rooney Sr. accepts their first Lombardi Trophy from then Commissioner Pete Rozelle after winning SuperBowl IX, their first of now six championships.


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All-Time SuperBowl Records

TEAM............ WINS................................LOSSES....... RECORD

Pittsburgh Steelers IX, X, XIII, XIV, XL, XLIII.......... XXX.........6-1
San Francisco 49ers XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV, XXIX...................... 5-0
Dallas Cowboys VI, XII, XXVII, XXVIII, XXX........V, X, XIII..... 5-3
Green Bay Packers I, II, XXXI................................ XXXII.. 3-1
New York Giants XXI, XXV, XLII........................... XXXV....... 3-1
Oakland/LA Raiders XI, XV, XVIII........................ II, XXXVII.. 3-2
Washington Redskins XVII, XXII, XXVI.................. VII, XVIII.... 3-2
New Eng. Patriots XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX.. XX,XXXI,XLII... 3-3
Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts V, XLI....................III........... 2-1
Miami Dolphins VII, VIII..............................VI, XVII, XIX,. 2-3
Denver Broncos XXXII, XXXIII................ XII, XXI, XXII, XXIV 2-4
Baltimore Ravens XXXV........................... .................... 1-0
New York Jets III...................................................... 1-0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers XXXVII.......................................... 1-0
Chicago Bears XX........................................... XLI......... 1-1
Kansas City Chiefs IV..................................... I............ 1-1
St. Louis/LA Rams XXXIV............................ XIV, XXXVI....... 1-2
Minnesota Vikings................................... IV, VIII, IX, XI 0-4
Buffalo Bills............................... XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII 0-4
Philadelphia Eagles........................................ XV, XXXIX 0-2
Cincinnati Bengals........................................ XVI, XXIII 0-2
Tennessee Titans......................................... XXXIV...... 0-1
Seattle Seahawks ..........................................XL.........0-1
San Diego Chargers....................................... XXIX....... 0-1
Carolina Panthers...................................... XXXVIII...... 0-1
Atlanta Falcons .........................................XXXIII...... 0-1
Arizona Cardinals....................................... XLIII....... 0-1

Never Appearing In a SuperBowl:

Cleveland Browns
Detroit Lions
Houston Texans
Jacksonville Jaguars
New Orleans Saints

Above: All time SuperBowl records. Interesting statistics: 31 of 43 (72.09%) Lombardi Trophies have been won by just eight teams (25% of teams)! Five teams have never been to the SuperBowl )15.6%), while a total of 15 teams have never won a SuperBowl game, an astounding 46.87%! Biggest SuperBowl losers? Vikings and Bills (both 0-4).

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