For Superbowl 50 in 2016: Fun Superbowl Trivia and Facts

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As we approach the 50th Superbowl, a bit of trivia here to review and ponder.  As sometimes the case, this one is lengthy, and if of interest, absorb it at your leisure – possibly a bit here and there during Superbowl game commercials.  While I love baseball and basketball more, I’ve always looked in on football AND have seen each and every Superbowl since #1.

Actually, and as to tidbit #1, the game was known as the National Football League and American Football League championship for #1 and #2.  The 3rd championship with the famous Joe Namath/Jets upset over the then NFL (now AFC) Baltimore Colts was the first time the title “Superbowl” was used.  The two leagues merged into one NFL in 1970, after which each side was known as the NFC and AFC.

NFL Championship History: Pre-Superbowl  The NFL was formed in 1920 (known then as the American Professional Football Association), and the first NFL championship was in 1933.  Great teams included the 1930’s through 1940’s Chicago Bears, who won that first championship in 1933 and appeared in the game 9 times in these two decades.  The Cleveland Browns won 10 division titles, and 7 NFL championships in the 1950’s and early 60’s.  Vince Lombardy’s Packers won 6 division titles in his 9 years, with NFL championships in 1960, 61, 62, and 66 – and Superbowl wins in 1967 and 68 – the first 2.

SuperBowl Appearances by City:

8 (eight appearances) Pittsburg – 2011, 09, 06, 96, 80, 79, 76, 75 (Most wins with 6), Dallas – 71, 72, 76, 78, 79, 93, 94, 96, Denver – 78, 87, 88, 90, 98, 99, 14, 16, New England – 86, 97, 02, 04, 05, 08, 12, 15 (last 6 -Tom Brady)

6:  San Francisco – 82, 85, 89, 90, 96 (5-0), then 2013

5:  Green Bay – 67, 68, 97, 98, 2011, NY Giants – 87, 91, 01, 08, 12, Washington – 73, 83, 84, 88, 92, Miami – 72, 73, 74, 83, 85, Oakland/LA – 1968, 1977, 1981, 1984(LA), 2003

4:  Baltimore – 69 (NFL Colts), 71 (AFC Colts); 2001, 2013 as Ravens, Minnesota – 70, 74, 75, 77 (lost all 4), Buffalo – 91, 92, 93, 94 (All consecutive losses)

3:  Seattle – 2015, 14, 06

2:  Philadelphia – 1981, 2005 (both losses), Carolina – 2016, 2004, Chicago – 1986, 2007, St. Louis Rams – 2000, 2002, Cincy – 82, 89 (both losses), Indianapolis – 2007, 2010, Kansas City — 1967 (#1) 1970

1:  LA Rams – once in 1980 (lost to Steelers IN LA) Tampa Bay – once in 2003 (beat Raiders), Arizona Cardinals – once in 2009 (lost to Steelers, St Louis Cards never went), San Diego – once in 1995 (lost to Niners, & Steve Young’s record SIX TD passes), Atlanta – once in 1999 (lost to Elway/Denver), Tennessee – once in 2000 (lost to St. Louis Rams), Jets – Once – won in 1969, as predicted by Joe Namath!

NEVER Been, so far:  Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Oilers or Texans, St. Louis Cardinals

Never Won:  In 50 years, there are still a DOZEN teams in league history that have never won the Superbowl:  St Louis Cards, Titans, Falcons, Chargers, Bengals, Browns, Jaguars, Oilers, Texans, Bills, Eagles, and Vikings.  In saying 50 years, this is my way of predicting that the Panthers will win #50, and I believe, as many, are one of the greatest teams in league history.

Quarterbacks with 4 Superbowl Appearances or more:  Tom Brady – 6, winning first 3 & his last one, with 2 MVP awards; John Elway – 5, winning last 2, with 1 MVP; Terry Bradshaw – went 4-0, with 2 MVP’s; Montana – won 4 of 4, NO interceptions, 3 MVP’s , Highest QB rating ever for Superbowl; Jim Kelly – 4 straight, though all loses, one on the famous missed field goal at the end;  Peyton Manning – 4, winning 1st (MVP) – and we await the result of the 4th in 2016.

Johnny Unitas, Montana, Brady, Elway, and Peyton Manning are currently widely thought of as the best five quarterbacks ever, with others arguing for Bradshaw, Otto Graham, Brett Favre, Bart Starr, and Dan Marino.

Miscellaneous Facts/Trivia:

Kansas City Chiefs played in #1 and lost, #4 and won (1970), and haven’t been since!  (Thus 4 years shy of a half-century, so that Royals WS win is to be cherished!)

John Elway lost 3 before winning two in his last two seasons in the game (amazing what a defense will do…sorry Dan Marino, et al)

Jim Kelly & the Bills lost 4, BUT went to 4 straight;  Miami: only team to 3 straight (2-1)

Miami is still the only undefeated team to then win the Superbowl (1972 season,1973 Superbowl), and though they went to five, they haven’t won in 42 years, nor been in 30 years.

Baltimore, as the Colts, won one in the AFC, but first lost to the Jets as an NFL team before the league merger.  Then won 2 as the Ravens.

Rams went to just one in LA (1980 loss to Steelers), but went twice as St. Louis (1-1)

The Steelers-Cowboys rivalry of the 70’s was special.  Steelers went to and won 4, while Cowboys went to 5 and won 2.  Minnesota was the other power team of the 70’s, going to 4 Superbowls, though losing all 4, although the Oakland Raiders played in 6 AFC championships in the decade (1-5)

Oakland last won in 1984 (32 yrs ago) as LA Raiders, and the Packers, after winning #1 and #2, went 29 years before getting to another one.

And a final, fun 49er (my team) trivia item – John Taylor in 1989 Superbowl:  just 1 catch, 10 yds for his total stats, but oh what a single catch to win that Superbowl late in the game, one of the most exciting Superbowls ever.  Once a football juggernaut, the 49ers have only been once in the last 20 years – and lost.

Any favorite trivia or Superbowl history you would like to share?  e.g. who was that one player who got MVP from the losing team?  A defensive player has won it 7 times, and a special teams player once.  Uh, that would otherwise be 41 MVP’s for quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers.  So as George Will once said, though referring to baseball vs. football, who wants to grow up being a 3rd-and-long pulling guard?

Enjoy the Game!

Roy

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