While Super Bowl XLIII was easily one of the most entertaining Super Bowls ever and continued the recent trend of the NFL's premiere game actually being worth all the hype, it had to be somewhat bittersweet for Bears fans watching at home. Not because they felt some kind of manufactured loyalty to the Arizona Cardinals with that franchise's Chicago origins, or because Chicagoans tend to relate themselves to the underdog, but because the Steelers are an incredible reminder of everything the Bears aren't.
Philosophically the two teams have always been very similar. When you think of Steeler football you think of tough-nosed defense, just like you do when you think of the Bears. We have the Monsters of the Midway, they have the Steel Curtain. Then on offense the Steelers had always been a three yards and a cloud of dust type team until the retirement of Jerome Bettis along with the emergence of Ben Roethlisberger. Now they've opened things up a bit, but at the end of the day they still rely on their defense to win games. Really, their football team is nothing but a reflection of the blue-collar working-class fans who fill Heinz Field every Sunday. Just like Bears fans tend to see themselves.
As head coach Mike Tomlin said during the post-game celebrations, the Steelers don't care about style points. They win ugly because at the end of the day an ugly win is still a win, and is there any other way than to describe any Bears victory other than ugly? The difference between both organizations is the way they're run.
Both franchises are run by a family that has been in charge of the team since their inception, but the Rooneys of Pittsburgh seem to have a better grasp on how to run a franchise. While the Bears have long been more concerned with turning a profit, the Steelers seem more concerned with winning championships, and it's showed. They stick with their coaches through good times and bad, make smart personnel decisions, and they actually have the ability to evaluate a quarterback. All things the Bears don't have a clue on how to do.
It's no wonder that the Steelers have won six Super Bowl titles, more than any other team in NFL history, and the Bears are still left hyping up their lone Vince Lombardi trophy won 23 years ago. The Steelers are everything the Bears can only hope to be, and seeing them win their second Super Bowl in four seasons only further rubs salt in our wounds.