There are just five NFL football teams with four or more Super Bowl championships since the game began 45 years ago. The Green Bay Packers demonstrated early Super Bowl dominance with wins in Super Bowls I and II in 1967 and 1968. To date, the Packers have won a total of 4 Super Bowl championships spanning three decades: two in the 60’s thanks to the likes of Bart Starr, one more in the 90’s, thanks to the gun-slinging mentality of Brett Favre, and most recently, one in 2011, led by the GPS-like accuracy of Aaron Rodgers. Despite the Packers’ early dominance and recent success, that pales in comparison to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have demonstrated continued dominance by winning a total of six Super Bowls in three decades, including three in the 70’s and one in the 80’s, all led by then-quarterback and current Fox TV NFL analyst Terry Bradshaw. They added two more in the 2000’s with the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, not to mention a stifling defense.
The Dallas Cowboys, meanwhile, have five Super Bowl wins to their name. All five of their Super Bowl wins occurred in two decades: two in the 70’s led by Roger Staubach, and three more in the 90’s thanks to the dynamic trio of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin. The San Francisco 49ers have five Super Bowl victories occurring in just two decades (and just a 10-year span): three in the 80’s and two more in the 90’s. Joe Montana was the man for the first four Super Bowl victories, including three MVP awards. Meanwhile, Steve Young was at quarterback for their last Super Bowl and Jerry Rice was a key component in their most recent three Super Bowls spanning both quarterbacks.
The Raiders dominated the Super Bowl early and often with three championships, one in the late 70’s and two more in the early 80’s, but their wins spanned just a seven-year period. The Raiders’ last two Super Bowl victories were led by quarterback Jim Plunkett, a factoid that might surprise many an analyst and Monday morning quarterback alike to this day. The Washington Redskins have three Super Bowl championships in two decades: two in the 80’s, one led by Super Bowl MVP John Riggins along with Joe Theismann, and the other led by Super Bowl MVP, Doug Williams, the first and to this day, the only African-American quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl. The Redskins would add one more in the 90’s led by MVP, Mark Rypien, who, in honor of our friends to the north, was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Meanwhile, the New England Patriots have demonstrated Super Bowl dominance like no other team in recent memory during one decade, the 2000’s, with all three of their championships occurring in a four-year span during that decade, and all at the hands of their sure-handed quarterback, Tom Brady and several key role players.
On Sunday, with the Giants victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, the Giants have four Super Bowl championships occurring one each in four consecutive decades: the 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s, and now in the 2010’s. The Giants’ first two Super Bowls were led in part by the defensive play of Lawrence Taylor, while quarterbacks Phil Simms, who holds the record for quarterback completion percentage in the Super Bowl to this day, led the Giants to their first Super Bowl victory, and, after he broke his foot late in the season during their second Super Bowl run, his late-season replacement, Jeff Hostetler, led them to their second. Fresh off of his victory in Super Bowl XLVI, Eli Manning has now lead the Giants to two Super Bowl victories in four years while claiming MVP honors in both games. As a result, the Giants have claimed four Super Bowl victories, one each across four decades, over a span of 25 years, demonstrating tremendous consistency and success that can only make their fans and supporters pleased.
In other words, four Super Bowls victories puts the Giants in elite company with the Packers, Cowboys, and Steelers, and one Super Bowl victory in each of four consecutive decades is a record the Giants can call their own. Conversely, with their loss in Super Bowl XLVI, the Patriots join the Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, and Minnesota Viking with a record four Super Bowl losses.
For more about Super Bowl history, visit the NFL’s official site: http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/history