Super Bowl Champions Shuffle: Why it's so hard to repeat

The Super Bowl captivates everyone. Americans relish this annual event as essentially a national holiday, drawing in 111 million viewers last year when the Seattle Seahawks thrashed the Denver Broncos by a score of 43-8. The Seahawks dominance on Sept. 4 over the Packers came against one of the best offenses in the league, making many people ask the question of how the Seahawks can be stopped from returning to the top of the pedestal in the most watched event in all of sports.

There have only been eight repeat Super Bowl champions in back-to-back years in the 48 Super Bowls that have been played. The world has not seen a repeat champion since the 2003 and 2004 New England Patriots.

The Seahawks have displayed a dominance at home that is rare in the National Football League. Since 2012, the Seahawks are 19-1 when playing in Seattle. The team’s stadium has been measured at a record 137.5 decibels––150 decibels is known to rupture human eardrums. As impressive as the Seahawks are at home, the Super Bowl is in fact played on a neutral site; keeping teams away from their advantageous and raucous home crowd.

Super Bowl champions generally struggle with trying to repeat their success from the previous year. The 2013 champion Baltimore Ravens followed their championship season with a record of 8-8, missing the playoffs entirely. The 2011 champion New York Giants put up a mediocre 9-7 record the next season, also missing the postseason.

Why is this feat is so hard? If the point of a champion is to crown the best team in the league, then how do teams such as the 2010 Packers (10-6) or the 2011 New York Giants (9-7) end up being crowned as the best team in the nation’s most popular sport?

The NFL lacks an oligarchy of teams that constantly dominate from year-to-year, while the other major sports display a pattern of repetitiveness in their championships. The Boston Celtics dominated an entire decade in the 1960s in the National Basketball Association, winning eight championships in a row before being unseated from their throne.

So before one starts penciling in the Seahawks for a date with Super Bowl XLIX, keep one thing in mind: history has shown that nothing is certain in the NFL—and that’s why more than 100 million people will tune in to see who takes home the Lombardi trophy this February. After all, who was that team that squeaked into the playoffs in 2010 with a losing record of 7-9? The Seattle Seahawks.

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