By Rick Bozich
WDRB Sports 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Some people said that I was wrong last week when I suggested the Pittsburgh Steelers were the NFL team of choice in the Louisville market.

Could be. Happens all the time.

But I wasn’t out of touch on this call, not after compiling the 101 responses that I received when I asked readers and WDRB listeners to respond to my query about their picks as the most popular NFL team in the area.

Without a hometown team in the market, there’s more of a general vibe toward the NFL than an obsession with one franchise, right?

But the two teams that topped the list were the Steelers and Colts. They received 27 first-place votes and were named by 50 respondents. That gave Pittsburgh a slight edge over the Colts, who earned 25 first-place votes and were mentioned by 47 people.

Why did I place Pittsburgh Number One?

What’s the local connection?

Why did so many folks pick the Steelers?

My take is simple: Long ago, the Bengals opened the door for the Steelers with Cincinnati’s sustained mediocrity, especially against Pittsburgh.

The Steelers built a broad and fervent fan base by winning those four Super Bowls from 1974-through-1979.

Mean Joe Greene. Terry Bradshaw. Lynn Swann. Jack Lambert, Mel Blount, Rocky Bleier, Franco Harris. You know the names.

Toss in the Super Bowls won by Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin. You’ve got a football team from football country. You’ve got all those Lombardi trophies.

Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy made the Colts embraceable — more embraceable than years of head-scratching management and draft choices by Mike Brown.

Although the Packers earned more first-place votes (13-to-10) than the Bengals, Cincinnati was the leading choice as the second-most popular team in the market with 18 runner-up votes.

Overall 19 NFL franchises were mentioned. The biggest surprises were the lack of love for the Ravens (named by only four people), the Raiders (nobody’s team) or the 49ers (nobody’s team).

Here is the rundown:

1. Steelers (27 first-place votes, mentioned by 50 respondents)

"It's the Steelers, I agree with you," wrote Jim Parkerson. "The Colts are close and they are not the Bengals. The Bengals are also close, but run by Mike Brown so they are stuck in third. The Browns are fourth even though they are consistently terrible. Their fans are rabid."

"Steelers fans are everywhere,'' wrote Justin Weiger. 


2. Colts (25, 47)

"The Colts are close and have had success within a millennial's lifetime," wrote Greg  Schoenbaechler. "Peyton. Unitas(Baltimore Colts). Luck. How bad is it when your current QB, a #1 pick, is naturally listed third? Can’t be good. UK tight end Jacob Tamme was there."


3. Packers (13, 37)


4. Bengals (10, 39)

5. Cowboys (4, 16)

6. Bears (4, 8)

7. Browns (3,8)

8. Vikings (3, 7)

9.  Saints (3, 5)


10. Lions (2, 4)

11. Broncos (2, 3)

12. Titans (1, 7)

13. Patriots (1, 5)

14. Ravens (1, 4)

15. Bills (1,2)

16. Dolphins (1,1)

17. Rams (0, 10

18. Chargers (0, 1)

19. Cardinals (0, 1)

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