Ever since the middle of the 2011 season I have had something one my mind. I hadn't wanted to say anything yet because I didn't think enough time has passed to be able to claim somewhat of any validity to it. I still think some time is needed to truly raise concern, but the wheels seems to have been set in motion.
We hear all of the time about certain curses in the NFL world. I want to state for the record that I don't believe in such superstitious non-sense as curses, but some things do have funny little coincidences that seem to happen over and over again, or perhaps the curse gets to the head of those it supposedly will affect. First of all we know of the Madden Curse that has supposedly plagued players over the years. The only exception being Larry Fitzgerald as he shared the cover with Troy Polamalu (who was snakebitten that season). Then I believe is the Sports Illustrated Curse where the cover athlete is destined to have a bad month when they are featured on the cover. Then we have the supposed Super Bowl Curse (or super bowl hangover) that plagues the team that loses the Super Bowl to have a bad season the following. I think everyone remembers the Patriots losing Tom Brady to start the season where they missed the playoffs while still going 11-5.
The last of those supposed "curses" seems to have the least effect of all of them. However, it has come to my realization another curse having to do with the super bowl. But in this case, has nothing to do with the teams that actually play in said super bowl. Find out what I am talking about after the jump...
Let's hop in the DeLorean for a moment and take a trip back in time and revisit the last two NFL Seasons. After that we will return to talk about what is already taking shape for this season and then take a look at what may come to pass for the 2013 season if things continue following this pattern. So let's go back to the 2010 season and the reason that I even think about posting this to BTB... Our very own Dallas Cowboys. To the DeLorean!!!!
2010 and the Dallas Cowboys
It is finally April and we are in the middle of the first round of the draft. For the first time ever they are airing the draft in primetime. Some prospects are flying off the board and others are sliding further and further down. It is the 22nd overall pick. Broncos are on the clock and everyone is screaming "Do not let Dallas get Dez!!!!" Broncos have made their selection, WR Demaryius Thomas. people go in an uproar that they didn't take Dez and he still might make it to Dallas. But there was still hope, the Ravens selected before the Cowboys at pick #25. Pick #24, Patriots are on the clock, uh-oh, A TRADE!!!! New England trades their pick to the Dallas Cowboys!!!! An emphatic "NO" could be heard outside of Cowboy nation. It sounded something like this:
Dallas Cowboys select Dez Bryant, WR Okalahoma State. The Dallas Cowboys had just won their first playoff game in years and were already favorites to make it back to the super bowl and be the first team to play a super bowl in their won stadium. Now a "Top 5 Talent" Wide Receiver had just fallen down to them at #24 overall adding to that potent attack. The rest of the league was in trouble. Or were they?
Skip ahead to the day following the Packers game. The Cowboys had just been destroyed 45 - 7 at Lambeau Field. Tony Romo had been knocked out for the rest of the season against the Giants with a broken Collarbone. Cowboys were in an inexplicable downward spiral. Jerry Jones has had enough and has fired Wade Phillips and made Jason Garrett the new Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys were 1 - 7 and all hope was lost. However, with Jason Garrett at the helm, the Cowboys would turn out the lights on the Giants (pun intended) in his debut and lose only 3 games for the rest of the season finishing the season at a disappointing 6 - 10 but leaving room for optimism for the future. Jason Garrett has instilled a new culture on the Cowboys that we haven't really seen since the Jimmy Johnson era. He has begun to bring in players and personnel implying a right kind of guy attitude towards football and the team overall. The Cowboys seem to be headed in the right direction, taking the proper steps back to dominance. However, the Cowboys would watch the Packers and the hated Steelers duke it out in their stadium for the Lombardi Trophy. Hope for the future still comes with disappointment for the present. Oh well, there is always NEXT SEASON...
2011 Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have been in the playoffs and fighting for championships pretty much ever since Peyton Manning had come onto the scene. They were still one of the most successful franchises in all of the NFL at the moment. However, there were some glaring holes that existed on the team. However, these were masked by the presence of QB Peyton Manning on the franchise. No worries, the Colts would ride him to another AFC South title once again and see what would take place in the playoffs. Guess again...
Rumors and then news stories began to surface about Peyton's apparent neck issues and the surgeries involved. He had just signed a huge extension though, so it was widely believed he would still start the season and play. However it wouldn't turn out that way. He would not start the season and they would get off to a very ugly start. There was still hope in the reserves for Peyton to still return and save the team from total embarrassment. Guess what? Wrong again. The team would finish 2-14 and earn the right to the first overall pick in the draft. They will select a QB (Andrew Luck) and have already released Peyton Manning as well as many other staples on the team. Starting from scratch and with Peyton now in Denver to continue his winning ways, there is still great hope for the future after the Colts select the best QB to come along in the draft since the man they just released. However, you must be surrounded by darkness to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
2012 New Orleans Saints
The season has not yet begun, however the Saints have already been hit hard. Sean Payton, their head coach, has been suspended for the entire season without pay enforced April 1, 2012. Joe Vitt, the Assistant Head Coach has been suspended for the first 6 games of the season, and their GM Mickey Loomis will be suspended for the first 8 games of the season. The Saints do not have a 1st round pick this year because they traded it to the patriots last year for the rights to select Mark Ingram in the back end of the first round, so the league has taken the next two second rounders from the saints for the same effect of one 1st rounder this year.
Drew Brees is livid following the franchise tag being placed on him yet again and refuses to sign the contract. GM Mickey Loomis still has until the beginning of the season to get this done but as of right now, Drew Brees will not take a snap for the New Orleans Saints without a deal in place. Without their head coach, assistant head coach, GM and possibly being without their franchise QB, the Saints may be in worse shape than the Colts were in 2011. Although there is still time to fix the QB issue.
So what do all of these teams have in common?
Well, if you haven't figured it out by now from the title and after reading the section on the Cowboys then shame on you. Each on of these teams in their respective season was the host of the Super Bowl. Now this doesn't mean that every team will crash in spectacular fashion in the same season that they host the super bowl, but I can't remember the last time that the host of the super bowl even sniffed the super bowl or even made the playoffs for that matter. Maybe someone could help me out there.
The Future and Super Bowl XLVIII
So who is the host of Super Bowl XLVIII? Some of you already know but allow me to be dramatic. If you believe in these curses/jinxes then this may excite you. If not then you may just release a resounding "MEH". Anyway, Super Bowl XLVIII will be held at the following location:
Home of the New York Jets and New York Giants. Now this provides for an interesting dilemma. Even if you do believe in these curses/jinxes then you may recall what happened with the Troy Polamalu/Larry Fitzgerald Madden cover fiasco. Troy Polamalu got bitten by the snake, however Larry Fitzgerald went along his way doing what he always does. Although the so called curse could always affect both teams.
I don't necessarily believe in these curses or such superstitious matters, however, even so, we will need to see what happens with the Saints this year to see if the same pattern continues. It already has the last two seasons, as the hosts have crashed in spectacular fashion when they were among the leagues best the season prior. Although both now are on pace to be even better than they were before, so it isn't all skulls and crossbones in this so far when it affects a team already in good standing. We shall have to wait and see, but just a caution through this pattern to the New York Giants/Jets in 2013... beware...