The Atlanta Braves are the Pittsburgh Steelers
You read that right.
Although they play entirely different sports, there are an astounding amount of similarities between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Braves organizations in the past, and today.
To start, let's talk about their fan bases — Both teams have massive national followings.
There are Braves and Steelers fans in, seemingly, every town in America. For Atlanta, this stemmed from its monster television contract with TBS in 1973, which put them in the living room of every family in the U.S.
The Steelers fan base not only comes from their success throughout the 1970s, but through the movement nationwide of steel workers leaving the city when the mills shut down.
Both teams have been the model of consistency since their creation. The Braves, from their founding through 2015, have a win percentage of .505 in 20,994 regular season games. The Steelers are fourth all-time in NFL win percentage at .529.
While both teams may not always be at the top of their sport, it’s hard to remember a time when either franchise was irrelevant.
Since 1990, both have won their respective divisions 15 times, and both won them this past year too.
However, neither are talked about as much as other teams in their divisions recently. National League East talk has centered around the Mets and the Phillies, primarily, this eason even though Atlanta currently has a 3.5 game lead in the division.
The Steelers lost one division game last year to the Bengals on their way to an AFC North title. Yet, all of the talk this offseason from analysts and commentators centers around the Ravens and Browns.
Could this be because fans and media are ready to see someone else on top? Who’s to say, but neither team has received the respect that they have earned recently.
The faces of both franchises are two of the most polarizing players in sports. Both are cocky, and are not afraid to be. Both dance and are celebrated on Sportscenter for their sideline antics. Both are under the age of 25. Juju Smith-Shuster and Ronald Acuña Jr. are not the leaders of their teams, but are the faces of them for the national media and fans everywhere.
The leaders of the Braves and the Steelers also share striking resemblances to each other.
Ben Roethlisberger and Freddie Freeman are both veterans that are highly regarded in their sport and organizations. Both are the glue that has seemed to hold their organizations together and keep them consistently in the win column.
Freeman has somehow kept the Braves in the win column in the absence of Ronald Acuña Jr., who suffered a season-ending injury. Roethlisberger has never even had a losing season in the NFL in his 17-year career. Heck, they’re both 6-foot-5 and weigh close to 230 pounds (assuming Roethlisberger’s weight is being accurately reported by his team).
So there you have it. Pittsburgh and Atlanta are two cities with entirely different public images and lifestyles. However, it’s clear they at least share one thing in common.