Jay C. Brandriet
Remember those Buffalo Bills teams that went to four straight Super Bowls and lost?
The Bills run was so impactful; they came out seeming like a partial winner to me.
Let me ask the following:
IF WE GIVE A SUPER BOWL CHAMPION “100% CREDIT”, WHAT PERCENT CREDIT SHOULD THE RUNNERS- UP GET?
To attempt to answer that, we have to agree on three things.
#1- THERE IS NO CORRECT ANSWER
It’s a perception question for sure.
Every season has a story. Each fan and player would have a different experience.
We could ask the individuals on the 1988 Bengals how much of a “champion they feel like?”
Think of how the answers would vary.
One guy would say, “negative five percent. It will haunt me forever.”
Another athlete responds, “50. We were there.”
Some dude may go, “105 percent! We got screwed by the refs.”
#2- ALL 56 WORLD CHAMPIONS HAVE THE EXACT SAME VALUE
(We know the 1985 Bears would whip most teams, but every squad was the best of their respective seasons. So we give each champion “100 percent credit.”)
#3– ALL 56 RUNNERS-UP HAVE THE EXACT SAME VALUE
(We know the 18-1 Patriots were on a higher level of skill and may feel a different amount of shock. The 2000 Kerry Collins led Giants that lost to the Ravens, were pretty vanilla. Let’s treat the runners-up the same.)
THE PAIN OF SECOND PLACE
“Second place is the first loser.” (Dale Earnhardt)
“I couldn’t imagine losing THAT game.” (Terry Bradshaw on the Super Bowl)
Initially? I get it. Losing at the top, could feel like the bottom.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SECOND PLACE
Every champion needed a dance partner.
They couldn’t claim their rightful place in history without a quality victim.
There’s something sports romantic about those that made it to the biggest stage and failed.
They were already named the champion of one half of the National Football League.
The franchise has been presented a major trophy.
Even for a short time, these men partied.
The 1970’s Steelers wouldn’t be quite as legit without taking out the Landry/Staubach Cowboy’s twice.
How big of hill did the 2017 Falcons create (28-3) for the Patriots to make the greatest comeback?
I’m looking at it from seeing the games results from a “several years later” point of view.
The two common answers I hear from fans is either, “0 or 50 percent.”
I’ve always had my own specific spin on it.
Super Bowl losers feel like “22 percent of a champion.”
Jay C. Brandriet