Super Bowl still looking for first 'true' home team

Posted Feb. 09, 2011 @ 4:31 p.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

Now that the first Super Bowl played in Dallas has come and gone, the league turns its attention to Indianapolis. Next season's champion will be crowned at Lucas Oil Stadium, and history tells us that the Colts will not be part of Super Bowl XLVI.

A lot of pressure will be on Peyton Manning and the hometown Colts to become the first team in league history to play the season's final game in their home stadium, but the pressure likely won't be as high as it was on Dallas. Many people, Jerry Jones included, expected the Cowboys to break the trend and play Super Bowl XLV at home, but they struggled through a disappointing season, firing Wade Phillips after a 1-7 start and ending with a 6-10 mark.

Historically, the teams that have played host to the Super Bowl have struggled during that season. Even the Dolphins, who have had 10 Super Bowls played in their home of Miami, have yet to play for the title in South Florida.

Taking a look at the five cities that have hosted the championship game the most times, here is how the hometown teams have fared the years the Super Bowl was to be played in their venue:


1. Miami (hosted 10 Super Bowls)

Miami has hosted the most Super Bowls, yet the Dolphins never played in the big game when hosting. It's even more surprising when you consider this: In the first 10 Super Bowls, the Dolphins played in three (winning two), and Miami hosted four of them, yet the two never overlapped. Miami hosted Super Bowl V following a 1970 season that saw the Dolphins post a 10-4 record. However, they lost to the Raiders in the divisional playoffs. The Dolphins played in the next three Super Bowls. They made the playoffs three more times in years Miami hosted the Super Bowl, never getting past the divisional round. The Steelers and 49ers won two Super Bowls in Miami, and the Cowboys lost three there.


2. New Orleans (nine)

First at Tulane Stadium and then at the Superdome, New Orleans has hosted some of the league's more memorable games, from William "the Refrigerator" Perry's touchdown run in Super Bowl XX to Adam Vinatieri's game-winning field goal to end Super Bowl XXXVI. There has been one constant with the nine Super Bowls held in the Crescent City — the Saints have never been close to playing in any of them. In fact, the Saints have had a winning record in only one of the seasons that ended with the big game being played in their city (1989, when they posted a 9-7 mark). The Saints will try to halt the trend when Super Bowl XLVII is played at the Superdome.


3. Los Angeles and Pasadena, Calif. (seven)

Starting with Super Bowl I, Southern California has a storied connection with the NFL. That includes seven title games — two at the L.A. Coliseum and five at the Rose Bowl. The Rams played their home games at the Coliseum both seasons the Super Bowl was played there, but they failed to make the playoffs in each year. They did have some success in 1979, posting a 9-7 record before winning two playoff games to reach Super Bowl XIV, held in Pasadena. Despite being just 15 miles from their home stadium, the Rams didn't have enough to overcome Terry Bradshaw and the Steelers, as the Rams blew a fourth-quarter lead and fell 31-19.


4. Tampa (four)

The Buccaneers, who didn't make the playoffs from 1983-96, didn't come very close to threatening to be the first team to play in its home stadium in the Super Bowl, posting a 2-14 record the first time the game was held in Tampa. Of the four times the city has hosted the Super Bowl, the Bucs made the playoffs once — in 2000, when they were 10-6. But their loss to the Eagles in the wild-card round kept the Bucs from playing for the championship in the confines of their home stadium. They won their only Super Bowl just two years later.


5. San Diego (three)

San Diego has hosted just three Super Bowls, and the Chargers never made the playoffs in any of those seasons. Their only Super Bowl appearance, a blowout loss to the 49ers in 1995, came three years before San Diego hosted Super Bowl XXXII. While the Chargers were spectators for all three Super Bowls in their home stadium, the Broncos played in two of them. Since San Diego hosted its last Super Bowl following the 2002 season, the Chargers have made the playoffs five times.