The Minnesota Vikings could be the first team to play in the Super Bowl at their home stadium. It is a storyline that has been mentioned quite a few times this season.
One of the team’s local newspapers, Minneapolis Star Tribune, first brought it up a year ago. Then ESPN and several online bloggers got into the mix in December.
In the previous 51 Super Bowl games, eight were played at stadiums unaffiliated with an NFL team - the Orange Bowl, home of the AFL’s Miami Dolphins, hosted Super Bowls II and III, the Rose Bowl hosted Super Bowls XI, XIV, XVII, XXI and XXVII and Stanford Stadium hosted Super Bowl XIX.
Of the remaining 43 Super Bowls, it has not gone well for the host team. They have averaged just over six wins and nine losses in the regular season and 3-7 in the playoffs. That includes a divisional round exit by the Houston Texans last season and a wild card round loss by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2014 season.
Here are some facts about that this year’s Vikings team in comparison to the other 43 teams to host a Super Bowl:
14 other teams had a winning record in the regular season
Seven other teams won at least 10 games in the regular season
No other team won more than 11 games in the regular season
Seven other teams made the playoffs
Three other teams won their respective division
No other team hosted a divisional round game
Three other teams played in the divisional round, one of which came in 1970 when the divisional round was the first round
Three other teams won a playoff game
Five other teams played a game at home in the playoffs
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was asked this week about the franchise’s playoff curse, but that was in reference to the team’s 2009 loss to the New Orleans Saints and 1998 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship games, rather than being the Super Bowl host.
The fourth-year head coach said he has a “crystal ball” and “wood spirit” in his office, but doesn’t believe there is a curse.
Perhaps the two relics can get the Vikings past both curses.
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