Thursday, January 29, 2009

43 Stops To Super Bowl XLIII: #8-11

The "43 Stops to Super Bowl XLIII" is a series that will feature stories, stats and interesting trivia that you can use to act smart as you prepare for Super Bowl XLIII. I've done this on SPORTZASSASSIN.COM for Super Bowls XL and XLI and for AOL's FanHouse for Super Bowl XLII.

#8-MAKING FUN OF ARIZONA: Last year, I wrote this at FanHouse:

The Super Bowl will be held in Arizona, of course, who could use a good dose of good NFL football. The desert has become ... well ... a desert when it comes to the bounties of great football teams.Since the Cardinals arrived to Arizona in 1988, they've had exactly one winning season. In 1998, the Cardinals went 9-7 and made their lone playoff appearance in 25 seasons and winning their only playoff game in half a century. The Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals have won just 35% of their contests, had eight different head coaches.Obviously, the Cardinals have never seen an 16-win regular season like the New England Patriots. In fact, the "Phoenix/Arizona" Cardinals have never seen consecutive seasons that add up to 16 wins (you must go back to the 1983-1984 St. Louis Cards to find that). The 2007 New York Giants won 10 regular season games. The Cardinals haven't had a 10-win season since 1976.

#9-NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE UNDERDOG: Okay, the Arizona Cardinals aren't expected to win this game. For every one person that believes that, there are three more picking Pittsburgh. Don't let that bother you, though, Cardinals fans. We all know that NO ONE was picking the Giants to win last year's Super Bowl. Here is a short list of huge upsets:

Super Bowl III: The Baltimore Colts came in as 18-point favorites. They left watching the Jets' Joe Namath fulfilling his prediction of an upset.
Super Bowl IV: The Kansas City Chiefs spanked the Minnesota Vikings, despite being a 12-point underdog.
Super Bowl VII: Oddly, the undefeated Miami Dolphins entered the game as 1.5-point underdogs to the Washington Redskins.
Super Bowl XXV: The Buffalo Bills would begin their four game Super Bowl losing streak by succumbing to the Giants, who were 7-point dogs.
Super Bowl XXXII: The Denver Broncos, an 11.5-point underdog, ended the AFC's thirteen game losing streak by beating Green Bay.
Super Bowl XXXVI: These New England Patriots began their dynasty by beating the St. Louis Rams, who were 14-point favorites.
Super Bowl XLII: The 12-point dog Giants ended the Patriots perfect season with a magical game.

See, it can happen. Just because we all think one way doesn't mean we cannot be shocked. After all, those 2001 Rams were juggernauts who were former champions and were heavy favorites. They left without the trophy.

#10-BUT DON'T DISMISS THE FAVORITES: Yeah, there are upsets, but don't count on them. The favorite has won seven of the last 10 Super Bowls. In fact the favorite is 29-13 in the Super Bowl. Teams favored by at least 7 points are 18-6.

#11-DON'T WIN THE COIN TOSS: The team that wins the opening coin toss is just 20-22 in the game. That averages out to ... well ... the flip of a coin. However, the coin toss winner has been the Super Bowl loser in 9 of the last 12 games.

SB 42: Giants won the toss ... and the game
SB 41: Bears won the toss, lost the game
SB 40: Seahawks won the toss, lost the game
SB 39: Eagles won the toss, lost the game
SB 38: Panthers won the toss, lost the game
SB 37: Buccaneers won the toss ... and the game
SB 36: Rams won the toss, lost the game
SB 35: Giants won the toss, lost the game
SB 34: Rams won the toss ... and the game
SB 33: Falcons won the toss, lost the game
SB 32: Packers won the toss, lost the game
SB 31: Patriots won the toss, lost the game

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