If this is your first visit, be sure to
check out the FAQ by clicking the
link above. You may have to register
before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages,
select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.
The real question here is how do we count the NFL championships pre-merger? Should they count the same as SBs or just a bit less because there weren't as many teams in the league and pro-football hadn't yet evolved into the top flight sport it is today (college football was still the king in the early days of the NFL).
IMO, the top five are GB, SF, Dallas, Chicago, and Pittsburgh, maybe in that order, but I could definitely be persuaded to shift it around (although I think GB has to be #1). I think the two teams just on the outside and looking in would be the Giants and Browns. The case for the Giants has already been made, so I won't make it again, but people don't realize how dominant Cleveland was in the 40's-50's. They crushed the competition in the AAFC before joining the NFL along with the Colts and 49ers, then proceeded to crush the NFL competition over the next few years, proving that they hadn't been succeeding merely because the competition wasn't up to snuff.
Personally, I think we need to kind of leave Mara's influence out of the equation. There's no doubt he was a great guy and a fantastic league architect, but it just makes the situation a lot easier to dissect if we stick with on the field performance. Otherwise, Raiders fans will be here screaming about how the merger might never have happened without Al Davis, and Niner and Packer fans will be arguing over who impacted the game more-- Lombardi or Walsh. At least if we stick to on the field stuff, there's some kind of an objective standard.
I don't want to be an homer, or to argue if the Cowboys are or not the best franchise in the history of the NFL. But that's an intersting reading about why they're known as America's Team:
"After the '78 season, the Cowboys had just lost a crushing Super Bowl to the Steelers. I wanted to come up with a different twist on their team highlight film. I noticed then, and had noticed earlier, that wherever the Cowboys played, you saw people in the stands with Cowboys jerseys and hats and pennants. Plus, they were always the national game on television. If you think back, there has always been one team in each sport that has support from fans nationwide: the Yankees in baseball, Notre Dame in college football, the Boston Celtics in pro basketball. They are all America's teams. So I put that name on the Cowboys' film, and in 1979 the TV announcer for their first game introduced the Cowboys as 'America's Team.'
They took a lot of heat for it, but it stuck. Later other clubs like the Atlanta Braves and the U.S. Olympic hockey team have tried to call themselves 'America's Team.' But that name belongs to the Cowboys."
Bob Ryan, Vice President and editor-in-chief, NFL Films
This topic has really turned into a good discussion. Lots of good posts from people. Its good to see more people have a better appreciation of the history of the game. You can't go forward without understanding how you got there.
Its even important to study the evolution of the Xs and Os of the game. Its really cool if you go back and study it, thats one of my favorite things to do when watching football.
Someone mentioned Cleveland's dominance, and I couldn't agree more. During the Paul Brown years, Cleveland was unstoppable. So many people forget how storied of a franchise Cleveland is. While theyve been unsuccessful as a whole during the SB era, theyre dominance before that should not be ignored.
If you were asking who the best franchise is in the present day NFL I would say the NE Patriots are, but in the best I'd probably say the 49ers are or the Cowboys are based on all their Super Bowl wins and playoff appreanaces.
Well since the Colts did just win the SB, you gotta start with them. I think plenty of people would agree outside of Colts fans. But other than this year, I would agree that probably the Pats are up there along with the Colts. Both have outstanding front offices that produce SB winning teams through the draft.