If you’re looking for another reason to feel good about the Colts’ Super Bowl chances, how about this — they didn’t win last year.
Given recent trends, that makes Indianapolis much more likely to hoist the Lombardi Trophy than defending champion Seattle.
None of the past nine Super Bowl winners have repeated.
It gets better.
None of the last nine Super Bowl winners have even won a playoff game the next season.
Huh? That can’t possibly be correct. But it is.
The Patriots were the last to pull off the double in 2003 and 2004. They did it with a then-rising young quarterback Tom Brady, and a solid, hard-hitting defense.
Since then, it has been a near-decade of falling short.
Colts fans are personally aware. After their 2007 Super Bowl title, the Colts lost at home to San Diego in a playoff bust that closed the Hoosier Dome.
At least Indianapolis made the postseason. Four of the past nine defending champions (Ravens, Giants and Steelers twice) failed to make it.
Whether it is the pressure of repeating, a curse from the football gods or simply bad luck, this is something more than happenstance.
Parity has been a hallmark of today’s NFL, where each season opens a new chapter with little assurance the direction the storyline will take. The only assurance in recent years is that last year’s football king will fall.
That is great news for fans.
Except, of course, for those in Seattle.
It also leads to great preview stories for this season explaining why the Seahawks are about to break this trend — young quarterback and shutdown defense just like the 2003 Patriots is the common storyline.
Vegas agrees. Seattle is 5-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl, along with Denver.
Not me. No, don’t confuse me with football logic. I’m riding the hot streak.
Seattle will not repeat. The curse will continue.
Why? This is not evidence of voodoo. If it was, the sorcerers along Bourbon Street would have the Saints win every year.
No, it is a matter of parity, as schedule-stacking and free agency especially level the playing field among the 32 teams. It is not a matter of the champion failing as much as it is of many other solid teams with much the same opportunity to put together a magical run.
That also explains why football gurus like Peter King of Sports Illustrated, who visits every preseason camp, admittedly fails in preseason predictions. There are just too many variables.
Although this NFL trend seems exceptional, it is really in line with other major sports.
There have been repeat winners eight times out of 48 Super Bowls (14 percent).
During the same general period, baseball has had seven repeat winners out of 47 World Series
(13 percent, 1994 canceled), basketball has had 11 of 48 NBA Titles (19 percent) and hockey has had 12 of 47 Stanley Cups (2 percent, 2005 canceled).
(Speaking of trends, in addition to Seattle, you can also cross off the Arizona Cardinals from the list of Super Bowl contenders. Phoenix hosts the game and no team has ever hosted and played in the game.)
So, as we approach the regular season, remember that the Colts already have something on their side as they chase the Lombardi Trophy. They did not win it last year.
It may not always make sense, but history shows us that matters.
Repeat after me, it is tough to repeat.
For NFL fans everywhere but Seattle, that is great news.
Bob Johnson is a correspondent for the Daily Journal. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.