We all know about the devastation leveled on the preeminent player that graces the cover of EA Sports Madden NFL, but one player facing a bad year is nothing compared to watching an entire franchise plummet into the abyss that is "The Super Bowl Curse."
A city might earn hundreds of millions in economic revenue, but it can cost the NFL franchise a year of futility to host the Super Bowl.
Don't believe me? Let's look at the Saints. A team that went 13-3 last year, sent through a gauntlet of offseason tumult and started this season 0-4. Fought to 5-5, got hammered by a backup quarterback at home to fall to 5-6. They faced a daunting schedule to finish out and host the Super Bowl but miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
After the Colts stumbled to an 0-13 start, I got thinking, "Wow, one of the NFL's most consistent franchises chose a bad year to face plant into futility..." No team had won more games in a decade than the Colts did between 2000-2009. They were coming off a season where they had tied the NFL record for most consecutive playoff appearances, were looking to own that record and host the world's largest single-day sporting event. And then Manning can't play and the goose egg showed up in the win column for 13 straight week. Still not convinced?
The Cowboys were happy to show off Jerry's World to the planet in 2010. What they didn't account for was Tony Romo's clavicle snapping, going from an 11-5 record in 2009 to collapsing into a 6-10 season as they watched the Green Bay Packers turn the 6th seed into a Lombardi Trophy on their giant big screen.
Need more? Miami has hosted it's fair share of Super Bowls and received some cruel punishment because of it. 2006 the Dolphins were 6-10, hosted the big game and paid for it with a 1-15 season in 2007. The solution? How about a big time turnaround for the franchise with Tony Sparano. In 2008, the team rebounded to an 11-5 record, shocked the NFL by winning the AFC East. Sure they were ousted in the first round of the playoffs, but when 2009 opened up, this team was looking to build on '08 success and once again host the Super Bowl. They went 7-9 that year. Haven't made the playoffs since 2008.
And it's not just recent history either. The 1980 New Orleans Saints were up for the task of host the Super Bowl. They were coming off an 8-8 campaign in 1979, then promptly went 1-15 in 1980 and still hold the second longest losing streak in NFL history at 15 games.
Below is a list of every Super Bowl, the host team and how they faired. Turns out, in 46 years of this game, only 21 teams that hosted the Super Bowl ended the same season with a .500 record or above. Only 10 teams made the playoffs, the last being the Buccaneers in 2000. Only 2 have played in the Super Bowl and ONE team in NFL history has hosted and won the game. That'd be the 1984 San Francisco 49ers when the game was held at Stanford.
So Jets fans, you think THIS year is bad. Wait until your team is officially the Super Bowl host franchise. (Giants will likely be the exception to the rule. They usually are.)
|SUPER BOWL||NFL SEASON||HOST CITY||HOST TEAM||RECORD||PLAYOFFS?|
|V||1970||MIAMI||DOLPHINS||10-4||WILDCARD- LOST IN 1ST ROUND|
|XI||1976||PASADENA||RAMS||10-3-1||WESTERN DIVISION WINNER, LOST IN NFC CHAMPIONSHIP TO MINNESOTA|
|XIII||1978||MIAMI||DOLPHINS||11-5||WILDCARD- LOST IN 1ST ROUND|
|XIV||1979||PASADENA||RAMS||9-7||WESTERN DIVISION WINNER, LOST IN SUPER BOWL TO STEELERS 31-19|
|XVII||1982||PASADENA||RAIDERS||8-1||LOST IN SECOND ROUND TO JETS 17-14|
|RAMS||2-7||**STRIKE SHORTENED SEASON|
|XIX||1984||STANFORD||49ERS||15-1||DESTROYED MIAMI IN SUPER BOWL 38-16|
|RAMS||10-6||WILDCARD-LOST IN FIRST ROUND|
|XXIX||1994||MIAMI||DOLPHINS||10-6||WON DIVISION- LOST IN SECOND ROUND TO SAN DIEGO WHO WAS DESTROYED BY 49ERS IN SUPER BOWL|
|XXXIII||1998||MIAMI||DOLPHINS||10-6||WILDCARD- LOST IN 2ND ROUND TO DENVER|
|XXXV||2000||TAMPA BAY||BUCS||10-6||5 SEED, LOST IN 1ST ROUND|