“Thank God for Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks,” says Arthur Blank. I hope. In my mind.
And why shouldn’t the Atlanta Falcons owner be grateful for Carroll and what he’s done with the Seahawks. By building a culture on how to create a team good enough to get to the Super Bowl, and unleashing his old defensive coordinator Daniel Quinn into the head coaching market in 2015, Carroll has given the Falcons hope that they will a Super Bowl.
As soon as this Sunday.
Of course, Atlanta is facing the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI and I do believe that they’re the better team. (I’m picking the Patriots because I don’t think that the best team is going to win.) But if the Falcons do win, they’ll finally be able to do what Seattle got to do, with Quinn, three years ago: Place their first Lombardi Trophy into the mantle.
Somewhat shockingly, that will still leave 12 franchises to have never won a Super Bowl at all: Bills, Bengals, Browns, Texans, Titans/Oilers, Jaguars, Chargers, Eagles, Vikings, Lions, Panthers, and Cardinals.
Consider this: Since 1974, 16 franchises have won a Super Bowl. That’s a total of 42 Super Bowl championships going to 16 franchises. I mean, all 50 have gone to just 19 franchises.
But since ‘74, you’ve got six going to the Steelers, five going to the 49ers, five to the Cowboys, four to the Patriots and Giants, three to the Raiders, Redskins, and Broncos. There actually aren’t very many single-timers: Seahawks, Bears, Rams, Bucs, Saints. Before ‘74, you’d add in the Chiefs and Jets. But that’s it.
In the last 42 Super Bowls, only five teams have won just a single Super Bowl. Seattle made it back once (so far) and lost. Chicago made it back once and lost. Tampa Bay and New Orleans didn’t make it back. Kansas City and New York have not been back to the Super Bowl since their wins in the late-60s.
Parity? Not really. If the Patriots win, it’ll make them one of six teams to win multiple Super Bowls in the last 20 years alongside the Packers, Broncos, Steelers, Ravens, and Giants. Those five teams have won 15 of the last 20 Super Bowls. If the Falcons win, it’ll move the needle a little closer to equality, but you just know that New England, Denver, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and if we’re lucky, Seattle, will be right back at it again next season.
These things don’t really seem to change. Or maybe Atlanta will just become the next juggernaut. Sorry, Cleveland.