So Archie Manning has a dilemma?
His beloved Saints are playing against his son Peyton and the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.
Talk about bad timing, after 44 years, Archie's New Orleans Saints are FINALLY in the Super Bowl and as luck would have it, they are playing against Peyton.
For 10 seasons (1971-1982) Archie was the starting quarterback and the face of the Saints and it was a rough career at best. All he got from his experience was 10 losing seasons and a lot of beat downs from defensive linemen. To put it simply-- the Saints stank. Archie himself was pretty good but he had no team around him, especially on the offensive line.
But nonetheless, Archie has remained a loyal fan and has lived in New Orleans for the past 39 years.
He raised his family in New Orleans and his 3 sons (Cooper, Peyton and Eli) all grew up die-hard Saints fans. And in a strange twist of fate, its the Mannings (known as New Orleans first football family) who stand in the way of the Saints and their first Super Bowl win.
When asked who he's rooting for, Archie said, "I'm pulling for the Colts, 100%. That's not close."
And it's understandable-- after all, blood is thicker than, let's say, Cajun food.
How has history treated first-timers in the Super Bowl?
First of all, at some point, every team was a first-timer. So how have teams performed in their Super Bowl debuts? The answer-- not good.
So far 27 of the other 31 NFL teams (not including the Saints) have played in at least 1 Super Bowl. As I mentioned in an earlier post-- only the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans remain as non-Super Bowl participants. And the 27 teams who have participated are a disappointing 8-19 in their Super Bowl debuts.
The only teams to win their Super Bowl debuts are: The Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Not a good sign for the Saints. But I guess, that's why we play the game.
In the past 20 years, 9 teams have made their Super Bowl debuts and those teams are 2-7. And of the 9, only the Buffalo Bills have made it to more than one. But unfortunately for the Bills (0-4)-- they lost 4 in a row.
The Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons and the San Diego Chargers have all been recent losers in their lone Super Bowl. Only the Buccaneers and Ravens have been recent winners in their debuts.
So on which side of history will the Saints be on? We'll soon find out, but one thing is certain-- history has been way more negative than positive for first-timers.
I'm sure Archie (no matter how much it breaks his heart) surely hopes the negativity continues.
Photos courtesy of sports-photos.com