There's a drastic difference between having two championship rings and one. Just ask "The Greatest Show on Turf." I've talked to every star from those late-1990s and early-2000s Rams teams. Kurt Warner. Marshall Faulk. Isaac Bruce. Orlando Pace. Torry Holt. DeMarco Farr. And the vibe is obvious -- the pain of losing Super Bowl 36 to the Patriots remains fresher than the joy of capturing Super Bowl 34 against the Titans.
At least those Rams got to raise the Lombardi Trophy in 2000, unlike excellent teams like the 1980s Browns, 1990s Bills, or Dan Marino's Dolphins. The Rams will forever be champions. But, there's a sizable difference in winning multiple Super Bowls, especially for a team with a decently-sized window.
The biggest question the 1985 Bears still face: "Why didn't you earn more than one title?" The Seahawks will forever be haunted by Malcolm Butler's late pick in Super Bowl 49, despite winning Super Bowl 48 in blowout fashion one year earlier. Aaron Rodgers gets dinged for "only" winning a single championship.
The Chiefs stand before this ledge now, either to slip off again or step onto an invisible stairway to football immortality. Three seasons ago, the team danced under confetti for the first time in a half-century. They've knocked on the door for another ever since. There was the blowout loss to the Bucs in Super Bowl 55, and then they let their guard down and witnessed the Bengals storm back from an 18-point deficit in the AFC title game last winter.
Maybe Patrick Mahomes is great enough to wedge this door open for another decade or more. But Tyreek Hill was already one cap casualty, and Travis Kelce will turn 34 next October. The AFC is loaded with talent, and the Bengals, Bills, Jags, Chargers, and others are charging from behind. Nothing is guaranteed.
The Chiefs have hosted five consecutive AFC title games -- an incredible run. They've appeared in three of the last four Super Bowls. Any team would love to enjoy that success, but this championship is a separator. The list of teams with a pair of rings, with the same nucleus, is impressive. The 1960s Packers, 1970s Dolphins, 1980s Giants, 1990s Broncos, and 2000s Steelers are on the list. We look at them far differently, due to the confirmation of their greatness with a second title.
Once upon a time, Chiefs coach Andy Reid was known for losing big games. He was defeated in three straight NFC title games, and fell in his lone Super Bowl with the Eagles. A loss in Arizona next weekend would scare up those old criticisms. It'd be especially painful for him, at the hands of his old team.
Mahomes is at his apex now, having polished any of the slightly rough edges he might've had in younger years. Reid's had the greatest quarterback in the league to execute an amazing offense for five years now. He'll always lament not getting more than one ring in this window, if they lose Super Bowl 57.