Who do Steelers root for in Super Bowl? Anybody but Ravens, Niners

by | CBSSports.com
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Steelers Nation is conflicted.

More than any other fan base, Pittsburgh fans are wrestling with one of life's fundamental questions: Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?

Sidewalk vendor Paul Dausch called it "sacrilege" that he's rooting for the archrival Ravens.

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"It's a sacrilege, it's a sin," he told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. "But the 49ers have five Super Bowl rings and we don't want them to have six."

Steelers fans might root for Baltimore

1. As Dausch noted, Pittsburgh stands alone with six Super Bowl titles, one more than Dallas and San Francisco. If the 49ers win, they'd be 6-0 in Super Bowls compared to the Steelers' 6-2 mark. You could argue it's better to have made eight Super Bowls, but the Steelers would lose their unquestioned top-dog status.

2. AFC North pride. If the Ravens win, the division will own four Super Bowl titles (two for Baltimore, two for Pittsburgh) this century, tops in the league. It would snap a tie with the AFC East, which has three, all by the Patriots.

3. While Steelers-Ravens is arguably the NFL's most bitter rivalry, there's also respect.

"Hatred is a strong word," Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark told Sports Illustrated a couple of years ago. "I don't particularly hate them. In fact, the ultimate respect I can give them is if I couldn't play for Pittsburgh, I'd want to play for Baltimore."

4. Joe Flacco. Baltimore's quarterback started his college career at the University of Pittsburgh before transferring to Delaware because he was stuck behind Tyler Palko.

Fan Poll

Which team should Steelers fan root for in Super Bowl XLVII?

49ers
38%
Ravens
62%

Total Votes: 428

"We have a special place in our heart for Joe Flacco because he went to Pitt," Pitt alumnus Scott Blumenthal told KDKA.

Steelers fans might root for San Francisco

1. It's not enough that Pittsburgh's main pro franchises are 7-0 all-time in the postseason against Baltimore's -- the Pirates beat the Orioles in the 1971 and 1979 World Series, and the Steelers are 5-0 against the Colts and Ravens in playoff games -- Steelers fans want Ravens fans to continue to suffer.

2. They can't stand Ray Lewis, his dancing and preening. They don't want him to go out on top. "Definitely hate the Ravens, especially Ray Lewis," fan Andy McCabe told WTAE-TV, calling Lewis' signature dancing and celebrating "a little bit too much."

3. Joe Montana. Though it would be hard to stomach the 49ers' sixth Super Bowl trophy, Steelers fans can take solace that the quarterback who won the first four grew up in western Pennsylvania. "I've been a Steelers fan all my life," Montana said before the Steelers-Packers Super Bowl two years ago.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to ourRSS Feed, watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can also follow Larry Hartstein @LarryHartstein.

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