As the old saying goes, history has a tendency to repeat itself. I'm wondering if that might be true about the Super Bowl this year.
With two teams so seemingly well matched in Super Bowl XLVIII, picking a winner between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks feels harder than most seasons. Can the best defense in the game today stop one of the best offenses in history? Will the Seattle offense be able to outplay the Denver defense? Which of these two great teams is going to win on Sunday?
We can toil for hours studying film, breaking down each position battle and analyzing coaching strategies. Hell, we could put both logos on a board and throw a dart to pick a winner this year. Or, perhaps, we can take a look at history.
Can past Super Bowls tell us anything about this year's game? Can history tell the future?
On its face, the idea of looking at past games seems like a ridiculous premise when trying to prognosticate this year's contest. The Super Bowl is just a name given to a series of individual annual events—grand events they might be—and one game between Baltimore and San Francisco played in the Louisiana bayou should have no bearing on the result of a game between Denver and Seattle played somewhere in the swamps of Jersey.
Unless it might. It wasn't just a coincidence that from 1982 through 1997 the NFC won 15 of the 16 Super Bowls. It's not mere happenstance that five of the last six games were decided by just one score. The game has evolved, and the league has become more balanced. The rules have been written and rewritten a thousand times, to not only try to make the sport safer, but more entertaining as well.
The most entertainment comes when the biggest game of the year goes down to a final drive, not when the game is over by halftime and people talk more about the best commercials than the MVP.
So maybe history can't guarantee a Broncos blowout or a Seahawks squeaker, but looking at the past can definitely tell us something—a few somethings—about what might happen on Sunday.