Saturday, February 6, 2010

Super Bowl oddities and trivia

By Rick Morris

^ Only once, in 43 previous Super Bowls, has one team surmounted a double-digit deficit – and that was the Redskins, who spotted Denver very early ten points and then put up a 42-spot on them in 1988. So don’t count on a big comeback – based on how you define it, it has never happened yet in one of these games.

^ Much has been made of the fact that the Saints have never made a Super Bowl before, but they have hosted more Super Bowls than any other metro area – except Miami, this year’s host (this will be the fifth Super Bowl at what is now known as Sun Life Stadium with another five before that at the Orange Bowl). There have been six in the Superdome (with another scheduled in 2013) and another three before that in Tulane Stadium – and the first of those Super Bowls was 40 years ago this year.

^ As Peyton Manning pursues his second Super Bowl title in the same place he won his first three years ago, he will become the third quarterback ever to try to win a second championship in the same city. Roger Staubach won Super Bowl VI at Tulane Stadium, then returned to the Superdome in New Orleans to win Super Bowl XII. Terry Bradshaw beat Staubach in the Orange Bowl in Super Bowl X and then repeated the feat in Super Bowl XIII (with both games decided by exactly four points). So Manning is facing a situation where quarterbacks in the same scenario are 2-0 in Super Bowls.

^ This game marks the second time this decade that teams met in the Super Bowl while having played on the same Championship Sunday within the last three years. Indianapolis made it to Super Bowl XLI, while the Saints lost out to the Bears for the right to play in that game. New England beat Philadelphia in Super Bowl XXXIX after just missing out on a matchup with them the previous year after the Eagles lost to the Panthers for the right to face the Patriots. So the AFC is 1-0 in this scenario this decade.

^ With Indianapolis set to host their first Super Bowl in 2012 at their relatively new Lucas Oil Stadium, this marks only the third Super Bowl matchup between teams who have hosted or would go on to host a Super Bowl. Dallas and Miami met in Super Bowl VI; Miami’s history was documented above and Dallas will host their first one next year in Jerry Jones’ new palace. The other matchup was Super Bowl VIII; the Vikings faced the Dolphins that year. Minnesota went on to host Super Bowl XXVI. Teams who hosted a Super Bowl before the other city are 1-1, thus rendering this tidbit as a statistical non-factor.

^ The NFC has seen only one team represent the conference in two Super Bowls over the past decade (the Giants lost XXXV to Baltimore and beat New England in XLII); meanwhile, the AFC has had only three teams account for the last eight Super Bowl berths. The Patriots, Steelers and Colts are a combined 6-1 in these games, with the aforementioned Giants accounting for that only loss back in 2008. Over that same stretch, the NFC has sent some first-time teams to the big game (the Panthers, Seahawks and Cardinals) and others who hadn’t been back there in more than two decades (Eagles and Bears). If these facts mean anything to you, then you can’t be that optimistic for the first-time Saints, considering also that Super Bowl rookie teams are 4-19 historically against teams who have been there before.

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