IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE SUPER BOWLS
When sports’ analysts discuss championships, invariably it only includes Super Bowl wins. How many Super Bowl wins for the Patriots or 49ers? What’s their record in the big game? Which teams have made it that far only to lose their biggest game of the season if the biggest game of one’s franchise? One more, a dubious honor, which teams have never made it to the Super Bowl? .
Let’s take the Cleveland Browns as an example, they have never made it to the big game since the Super Bowl era. The only mention in this vein includes the fact they have never made it to a Super Bowl. If you include the fact the Browns have won 8 NFL championships, one should realize their historic success even though they’ve fallen on hard times during the Super Bowl period. When commentators on ESPN or the NFL Network mention the fact the team that plays only a few feet from Lake Erie hasn’t tasted the Super Bowl experience, how often will these announcers also mention the Browns have indeed won 8 championships prior to the Championnat de Football Americain?
Is it safe to say that most NFL fans have no idea how many championships the Browns have won over their history? Have we become too Super Bowl focused?
The Green Bay Packers are in an interesting position. They are one of the oldest NFL franchises who won 9 NFL championships prior to the Super Bowl era and 4 since then. Again, in today’s Internet and Sport’s networks, the primary focus for a fan born after 1970 or later is on Super Bowl victories. If you’re a student of the game, do you know the city of 100,000 inhabitants has won 13 championships during their glorious history?
Those NFL historians don’t need to be reminded that the NFL championship era did not start at the Super Bowl. As a Packer fan, I love the fact that our fans, Packers’ announcers and players will often mention Title town USA and within the same breath, include the fact that the Packers have amassed 13 championships, more than any other NFL franchise. If Packer fans don’t keep that fact alive, who will?
The Super Bowl brand is alive and as strong as ever. Having said that, teams with NFL championships prior to the Super Bowl might sometimes get a short shrift. Therefore, especially for those franchises that have won in both eras or were successful prior to the Super Bowl era, it’s brand value to keep this fact alive regardless of what you hear on SportsCenter.
BEAR FANS SHOWING THEIR TRUE COLORS?
During the 2014 NFL draft, the NFL network would sometimes show fans celebrate after their team’s draft pick which is certainly to be expected. When it came to Bear fans, primarily men celebrating, I vaguely heard of them were chanting something about Green Bay. Initially, I didn’t trust my ears until I viewed and listened again and realized these fans were chanting “Green Bay sucks.” Mind you, these were Bear fans whose organization just made a crucial draft pick.
Do many of these fans feel inferior about their team (brand), enough so that they feel compelled to dis their rival instead of cheer for their success? Celebrate your team’s success and don’t worry about your rivals until the evenings begin to turn cool and it’s time to do so. I even saw one fan in blue and orange wearing a cheese shredder. Cute, but again, why not celebrate the fact that your team is getting better and if your focus is on the Packers, perhaps does that indicates you’re giving some of your opponents too much love and respect. Besides, it’s probably not a good strategy to focus on one time in your division, they’re all trying to get better and perceive everyone in their division as a threat to their success.