by Mike Hayes - 01/31/2006
For a handful of teams a trip to the Super Bowl is hardly a novelty but for most franchises trips to the NFL title game have been few and far between with six teams still looking for their first Super Bowl berth.
The Seahawks appearance in Super Bowl XL reduces the list of teams that have never been in a Super Bowl to six and should they upset the Steelers on Sunday the Seahawks will also come off of the list of NFL teams that have never won a league title.
The Cardinals, Saints, Browns, Texans, Jaguars and Lions are now the only franchises never to appear in a Super Bowl.
The Cowboys have appeared in a record eight Super Bowls - a remarkable 21 percent of the previous 39 games - posting a 5-3 mark in those games.
The Broncos and Steelers (including XL) are second with six visits and are followed by the 49ers, Patriots, Raiders. Redskins and Dolphins with five games apiece.
These eight teams have accounted for an amazing 56 percent of all Super Bowl berths, a number that increases to 72 percent if you add the four appearances each by the Bills and Vikings.
The eight combined appearances by Minnesota and Buffalo are noteworthy for other more dubious reasons as well. The Bills have the distinction of being the only team to appear in four consecutive Super Bowls and are of course the only team to lose four consecutive title games.
The Vikings, the NFC representative in four of the first 11 Super Bowls, share with the Bills the distinction of being the only team with four Super Bowl loses.
It's been said about the Bills that you have to be good to lose four Super Bowls so fans of the Bills and Vikes should take solace in the fact that they even made it to the Super Bowl. After all, does anyone even remember or even care that the Browns actually had five shots at a Super bowl berth, only to post an 0-5 mark in AFC Championship games?
The Vikes, who joined the NFL in 1961, are also the oldest franchise to never have won a title of any kind. Others who have never won a title include the Falcons who joined the league in 1966, the Saints, 1967, Bengals 1968, Seahawks 1976, Jaguars and Panthers 1995 and Texans, 2002.
Of the other current NFL teams that have not appeared in a Super Bowl the Lions were in the 1991 NFC title game and the Jaguars had two shots, including their AFC Championship loss to in just their second year in the league.
The Texans, who came into the league in 2002, have not yet even qualified for the post-season, but their predecessor in Houston, the Tennessee Titans, won the 1961 AFL Championship Game as the Houston Oilers. The Oilers had three shots at a Super Bowl berth prior to the move, including a 1967 loss to Kansas City that would have put them in the first ever game against the Packers.
Some other Super Bowl appearance trivia of note include the following:
--Of NFL teams that have one a league title the Cardinals are engaged in the longest drought, having won the NFL Championship in 1948.
--New Orleans has been the host city a record nine times, perhaps because there is little danger of the Saints ever being in the game as they have a 1-5 post-season mark.
--Of teams with at least one Super Bowl appearance the Chiefs have the longest drought, having appeared in the first and fourth contests and never making it back since. Of Super Bowl winners the Jets have the longest drought between titles, having won Super Bowl III and having failed to reach the game since.
--Prior to Pittsburgh this year, eight wild card teams have advanced to the Super Bowl, posting a record of 4-4. The Chiefs, Raiders, Broncos, and Ravens won the game as wild card entrants while the Cowboys, Patriots, Bills and Titans came out on the losing end.
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