Thursday, January 22, 2015

49 Stops To Super Bowl XLIX (#30-39)

Every year since Super Bowl XL, I have used this blog for my "Stops To Super Bowl" list.  Every year, I create a list of smart, dumb, inane and chat worthy items for you to use in any banter leading up to and during the Super Bowl.

This year, it is 49 Stops to Super Bowl XLVIX and I'm back with some more (and some of the same) little items for you about the upcoming big game.

#39-TOP SEEDS MEETING AGAIN: Believe it or not, but Super Bowl XLIX is the third time that the No. 1 seed in the NFC and AFC met in the Super Bowl since 1993.  The top seeded Colts and Saints met in Super Bowl XLIV and the Seahawks and Broncos met a year ago.  Both times, the NFC team won the big game.  

#38-DIVISION ALL IN: The only divisions that don't have all of their members with appearances in a Super Bowl are the AFC North (Browns), AFC South (Titans, Jaguars) and NFC North (Lions).

No division has all their members with Super Bowl championships. The NFC East (Eagles didn't win), AFC West (Chargers) and AFC East (Bills) have seen three of their four members win a title. The NFC East is the only division to have each of their members in multiple Super Bowls. The Cowboys have been to eight, the Redskins and Giants have been to five and the Eagles have been to two.

The odd thing is that each team in the NFC South has been exactly once to the Super Bowl. The Panthers and Falcons lost their only time there, while the Bucs and Saints won in their only appearances.

#37-NFC EAST TOPS THEM ALL: The NFC East easily has the most Super Bowl champions than any other division. The 12 titles won bests the AFC North for the top honors.

The NFC East dominated from 1986-1995. In that span, the Giants ('86, '90), Redskins ('87, '91) and Cowboys ('92, '93, '95) went to and won 7 of 10 Super Bowls during that decade. The only other Super Bowl champ was San Francisco ('88, '89, '94).

Here's a rundown of the divisions:

12-NFC EAST (Cowboys-5, Giants-4, Redskins-3)
8-AFC NORTH (Steelers-6, Ravens-2)
7-NFC WEST (Niners-5, Rams-1, Seahawks-1)
6-AFC EAST (Patriots-3, Dolphins-2, Jets-1)
6-AFC WEST (Raiders-3, Broncos-2, Chiefs-1)
5-NFC NORTH (Packers-4, Bears-1)
2-AFC SOUTH (Colts-2)
2-NFC SOUTH (Buccaneers-1, Saints-1)

As for Super Bowl appearances, the NFC East wins this title again:

20-NFC EAST (Cowboys-8, Redskins-5, Giants-5, Eagles-2)
18-AFC EAST (Patriots-8, Dolphins-5, Bills-4, Jets-1)
15-AFC WEST (Broncos-7, Raiders-5, Chiefs-2, Chargers-1)
13-NFC WEST (Niners-6, Rams-3, Seahawks-3, Cardinals-1)

12-AFC NORTH (Steelers-8, Ravens-2, Bengals-2)11-NFC NORTH (Packers-5, Vikings-4, Bears-2)
5-AFC SOUTH (Colts-4, Titans-1)
4-NFC SOUTH (Panthers-1, Bucs-1, Falcons-1, Saints-1)

#36-THERE IS AN EXTRA VINCE LOMBARDI TROPHY OUT THERE: Excuse this one taken from my FanHouse post but it is rather interesting:

There have been 48 Super Bowls to date ... yet there are 49 Vince Lombardi Trophies (given to the Super Bowl winning team) out and about. How is that?

Well, that little ditty comes to light after the recent passing of Rams owner Georgia Frontiere. Frontiere's husband, former-Colts and Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom, is the reason behind the story:

However, when Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom, Frontiere's late husband, traded the Colts for the Rams in a franchise swap in 1972, he decided he wanted to keep the Lombardi Trophy the Colts won in Super Bowl V. When Super Bowl VII took place in Los Angeles, Rosenbloom told the Colts he was going to put on a display of Super Bowl trophies and asked them to bring it to the West Coast. They did. There was no display, and Rosenbloom never returned the trophy. After the Colts complained to the league office, former NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle had a duplicate made for the Colts, which remains in Baltimore (it was originally shipped to Indianapolis when the team moved but a deal was struck and it was returned to Maryland). The original Super Bowl V trophy? It presumably was in Frontiere's possession and now belongs to her heirs.

So, there are two Vince Lombardi trophies awarded for Super Bowl V ... yet neither are with the franchise that won it. The original was in St. Louis with Frontiere with the other in Baltimore, the Colts old digs. Meanwhile, Indianapolis can only show off the trophy they won over the Bears.

#35-RUSSELL WILSON LOVES TO FACE SUPER BOWL QBS: Russell Wilson is an amazing 10-0 against quarterbacks who have also won a Super Bowl.  He has beaten Aaron Rodgers' Packers three times, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning twice apiece and his opponent in Super Bowl XLIX Tom Brady once.

Of those 10 games, 8 have been in Seattle.  Another one, Super Bowl XLVIII against Denver last year, was on a neutral site.  The lone true road game was at the New York Giants.

#34-PETE CARROLL CAN DO IT ALL: Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is one of three head coaches to win a Super Bowl and a college National Championship.  Carroll won a Super Bowl last year with the Seahawks and a National Championship with USC.  Jimmy Johnson (Miami Hurricanes, Dallas Cowboys) and Barry Switzer (Oklahoma Sooners, Dallas Cowboys) have also done it.

#33-UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX STADIUM: The Arizona Cardinals home field is no stranger to big events.  It has already hosted Super Bowl XLII (the one where the Giants shockingly upset the previously undefeated Patriots) and two BCS Championship games.  It is also the site of the Fiesta Bowl and will host the 2017 NCAA Final Four.

The stadium will be the 10th to host multiple Super Bowls (the Mercedez-Benz Superdome tops the list with 7 Super Bowls).  The Phoenix metro area will now have hosted three Super Bowls -- only the Miami area, New Orleans, Los Angeles metro area and Tampa have hosted more.

The design of the stadium looks sort of like a barrel cactus.

#32-CHAMPIONSHIP CITIES:  Boston and Seattle have had some recent successes in sports championships.

Boston (well, Foxborough) has seen the Patriots win three Super Bowls since 2001, the last title being in 2004.  The Boston Red Sox have won three World Series since 2004, the most recent being in 2013.  The NBA's Celtics won their 17th championship in 2008.  The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011.  

Obviously, the Seahawks brought Seattle their first pro title since the NBA's SuperSonics won in 1979.  

#31-ASK THE CHIEFS HOW TO BEAT 'EM:  The Kansas City Chiefs beat both the Patriots and Seahawks this season, becoming the 17th team to beat both eventual Super Bowl participants but also the 5th to ever fail to make the playoffs themselves.  Remember that the Chiefs spanked the Patriots 41-14 on that Monday Night game in Week 4.  In Week 11, the Chiefs would down the Seahawks, 24-20.

This could be good news for the Chiefs.  Of the previous four that failed to make the playoffs, only the 2000 Redskins didn't go on to reach the postseason the following season.  

#30-QUARTERBACKS COMING BACK: 19 quarterbacks have started multiple Super Bowls, including both quarterbacks of this one. Tom Brady will be making his record sixth start as a QB for a Super Bowl, breaking a tie with John Elway. Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Jim Kelly and Roger Staubach have all started four Super Bowls. Only Peyton Manning, Craig Morton and Kurt Warner have started Super Bowls for two different teams.

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