Growing up a Steelers fan, there are certain teams that you are raised to hate. The most important teams to hate would be the teams within the division. As time has progressed, the division has changed, and new rivalries have emerged based on meetings in the playoffs or overall dislike for the city, coaches, or players. Here is a compilation of the teams I feel are most relevant now for Steeler fans to hate and root loudly against. Let the smack talk begin.
First, I must share a disclaimer. Hate is a strong word. The hate used in this post is merely in the football sense of the word and not meant to invoke or elicit any acts of violence towards these cities or fans of their teams. If you take it that far, you have completely missed the fun involved in smack talk, and you should probably seek some kind of counseling for your anger issues. That being said, here is my haterade.
Dallas Cowboys: I hate the Cowboys since the moment I heard them referred to as “America’s Team”. I’m convinced that Jerry Jones is Satan and he made a deal with Neil O’Donnell to throw those two interceptions to Larry Brown in Super Bowl XXX. No one has been able to convince me otherwise since. The rivalry between the Cowboys and the Steelers dates back to the 70’s when the Steelers beat them in Super Bowl’s X and XIII and then heated back up for Super Bowl XXX. Both teams are tied with the most Super Bowl appearances, with 8, with the Steelers edging them out with a 6-8 Super Bowl record. The rivalry has diminished slightly, mostly because the Cowboys aren’t making it back to the promise land anytime soon. But it still stings to hear them referred to as “America’s Team” when Steeler Nation, and all the fans in the visiting stadiums across the country, know differently.
Philadelphia Eagles: I actually never considered the Eagles a rival of the Steelers. Sure there’s the whole interstate rivalry going on, but they play each other every 4 years so what’s to get all emotional about that? It’s like having a rivalry with the Leap Year. The state of Pennsylvania would explode with emotions at the thought of an interstate Super Bowl, but while we’ve made it there 3 times in the past 6 years, the Eagles have fallen short. They have stacked themselves up this offseason, making many people wonder where in the world they have all this salary cap space, but all the pro bowlers in the NFL on your team won’t make a difference if Andy Reid still can’t seem to manage his time-outs in critical games. Time will tell if the state will ever get its wish for a Turnpike Super Bowl.
Oakland Raiders: Talking about the Steelers rivalries would not be complete without including the Oakland Raiders. They couldn’t be more irrelevant, now since Crazy Al Davis still has a strangle hold on the franchise, making ridiculous decision after ridiculous decision. But, if you grew up a Steelers fan, you were told of that amazing December afternoon in 1972 when Franco came out of the blue to scoop up the ball and score the winning touchdown in the AFC Divisional Championship, known as the Immaculate Reception. Raiders fans still contend that it was an illegal play, and Steelers fans still contend that it was the most awesome friggin thing that ever happened on a football field. Do yourself a favor right now and You Tube it and watch the goose bumps rise on your arms.