Friday, February 1, 2013

Super Bowl 47 notes/oddities

By Rick Morris

^ It was VERY unlikely for both Baltimore and San Francisco to make it to this Super Bowl for reasons that have nothing to do with the head coaches being brothers.  Only one time previously, when Pittsburgh and Dallas qualified for Super Bowl 30, have both losers from the previous Championship Sunday rebounded to make the Super Bowl the next year.  Here’s the list of all other teams to do it, and it’s not that long: New England (SB 42), Pittsburgh (SB 40), Philadelphia (SB 39), Green Bay (SB 31), Washington (SB 22), Chicago (SB 20), San Francisco (SB 19), Los Angeles Rams (SB 14) and Oakland (SB 11).

^ San Francisco, at 5-0, is the only team to have won more than one Super Bowl without ever having lost one.  There will still be only one team that has managed this distinction after Sunday: either the 49ers at 6-0 or Baltimore at 2-0.

^ If you think Baltimore coming in with a perceived advantage in “momentum” matters, it very well may.  Since 2005, the team coming into the Super Bowl with three playoff wins has beaten a team with two wins five out of six times (the Giants in 2011, Green Bay in 2010, the Giants in 2007, Indy in 2006 and Pittsburgh in 2005 were the winners and Arizona in 2008 was the loser).  Overall, teams who have had to play and win the extra playoff game are 7-4 against those with two playoff wins going back to the implementation of the present system of two wild card teams per conference in 1990.

^ Baltimore and San Francisco have no significant interaction between any of their teams in major sports history (although San Fran had an epic NFC rivalry with the other Beltway-area city, D.C., back in the 1980s).  But right now, Baltimore is trying to block San Francisco from joining them in an exclusive club.  You see, BMore became the first city in 1970-71 to experience a Super Bowl win right on the heels of a World Series championship.  The only other areas in this club are Pittsburgh (1979-80) and Boston/New England (2004-05).  Some might make a case for New York in 1986-87, and technically the city would qualify, but there’s not a ton of cross-pollination between Giants and Mets fans. 

^ There were some close calls for other cities in relation to the last note.  Oakland almost brought this distinction to the Bay Area in 1973-74 shortly after Baltimore, but while the As won the World Series in both of those years, the Raiders could not make it past Championship Sunday in either instance.  San Francisco came close to making it in 1989, when the 49ers won the Super Bowl for that season, but the Giants were swept in the Bay Area (earthquake) World Series (in the year that “Roger Craig did double duty for the Niners and Giants”).  The Phillies won the World Series in 2008, but the Eagles were surprisingly upended by Arizona in the NFC Championship Game.  And the Dodgers lost the World Series in 1974, while the Rams lost the NFC Championship Game in the same season.

^ This is only the fourth East Coast/West Coast Super Bowl in history and weirdly, the other three took place in a five-year span: Oakland/Philly in Super Bowl 15, Washington/LA Raiders in SB 18 and San Francisco/Miami in SB 19.  Good news for the 49ers: West Coast teams are 3-0.

^ San Francisco is attempting to accomplish something they’ve done before: win two Super Bowls in the same city.  Their previous New Orleans win was in Super Bowl 24.  But they also won two Miami Super Bowls (SBs 23 and 29).  Other teams to win two big ones in the same city: Baltimore/Indy Colts in Miami (SBs 5 & 41), Dallas in New Orleans (SBs 6 & 12) and Pittsburgh in Miami (SBs 10 & 13).  San Francisco would be joining Pittsburgh as the only teams to have won two Super Bowls in the exact same stadium.

^ NFC teams are 5-3 in Super Bowls played in New Orleans, with Dallas (Super Bowls 6 and 12), Chicago (SB 20), San Francisco (SB 24) and Green Bay (SB 31) as the winners from that conference.  AFC teams who won the Super Bowl in New Orleans are Pittsburgh (SB 9), Oakland (SB 16) and New England (SB 36).

^ The Ravens are trying to win the Super Bowl after not having been there for exactly 12 years.  The only other team to attempt this was Denver and oddly, it happened twice.  Denver lost Super Bowl 12 and then dropped 24 a dozen years later.  They lost Super Bowl 21, but then won SB 33.  San Francisco is trying to win the Super Bowl after an 18-year appearance drought.  The only other team to try this also did so twice!  Dallas won Super Bowl 12 (strangely, referred to earlier in this paragraph) and then took Super Bowl 30.  They also lost Super Bowl 10, but bounced back to win Super Bowl 28.

^ After only a decade of February Super Bowls, this already marks the third February 3 big game (and the first one without New England, who played in Super Bowls 36 and 42).  Only January 26 has more of them, with four.  Other dates with three Super Bowls: January 25, January 28, January 30 and January 31.  The earliest Super Bowl was on January 9, 1977, when the 11th version of the game was played.  From January 9 to February 7, there has been at least one Super Bowl played on every day except January 10, January 19, January 23 and February 2 – and next year will mark the first February 2 Super Bowl.

^ To build on the last note, Super Bowl 36, played on February 3, also took place in New Orleans.  These are the only other instances of two Super Bowls in the same city on the same date: January 26 in New Orleans (Super Bowls 20 and 31) and January 30 in Atlanta (Super Bowls 28 and 34 – the only ones ever played in Atlanta).

^ With 46 Super Bowls now behind us, let’s take a look at the teams with the most appearances in the first 23 Super Bowls and the second 23 Super Bowls.  In the first 23: Dallas and Miami (5), Denver, Oakland/LA Raiders, Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Washington (4).  In the second 23: New England (6), Buffalo, New York Giants and Pittsburgh (4) and Dallas and Green Bay (3).

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