The Lost Souls of the NFL

Posted by Jack Tumen

AP

Is your trophy case empty? Do you long for a championship ring on that naked finger? Are you constantly defending yourself against everyone who’s been there and done that? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re most likely one of the 13 NFL franchises that have never won a Super Bowl.

The quest for the ultimate achievement in sports is an elusive one, indeed. Only the best to walk this earth have ever reached the summit of every boy’s dream and been touched by eternal greatness. Some have been lucky enough to climb that mountain twice, three times or even…just once.

But the strive for that immeasurable satisfaction never dies. It haunts every player, coach and fan for as long as they’re willing to put on a jersey, headset or beer helmet every fall Sunday. The closer one gets, the harder it is to reach the finish line – and just when you think your team is on the doorstep of a championship, the rope snaps and you fall into darkness, only to awake in a cold sweat as you get out of bed and splash some water on your face.

Another bad dream.

For 13 franchises, all they’ve ever known is a bad dream. Talk about the Bills; man do I feel badly for those guys. Four straight losses in the big game? Makes me thankful to be a Jets fan. The Bills have been bad for so long that there are whispers of them moving to L.A.. Listen, that’s silly. The only place the Buffalo Bills belong is in Buffalo. For crying out loud, they’re named after a guy called Buffalo Bill! Without the Buffalo, everyone will suddenly ask, “wait, what the heck is a Bill?” Sshhhhhhh. Don’t draw attention to it. Just keep pretending it makes sense.

Chris O’Meara/AP Photo

Another franchise with four Super Bowl losses is the Vikings. I feel less badly for them because they’re losses were mostly separate – just one back to back – and they all happened wayyy back in the medieval times of the NFL. Then you’ve got the Eagles and Bengals as the only other teams to lose multiple Super Bowls without a Lombardi to fall back on. Philly has been one of the better teams of the last decade, but to no avail. I’ll tell you one thing, though, Cinci ain’t winnin’ nothin’ with that Dalton kid. I never got to watch Boomer Esiason so I grew up thinking that Bengal’s QBs are supposed to be totally and completely average. Well, Carson Palmer is the only one I truly remember watching, but there you go.

Then there’s the “yeah no” group. This would include the Chargers, Titans, Falcons, Panthers and Cardinals; each franchise losing its only Super Bowl appearance. San Diego’s had its chances since Phillip Rivers has been around. Atlanta’s so close, but so far. Carolina’s stock is on the rise for the next half-decade while Arizona, one of first NFL franchises, hasn’t done so much as to lift a finger to show it’s fans what a winning team looks like in nearly 100 years of existence. They’re getting into Cubs territory.

The Titans in my opinion have it the worst out of this group. To lose a Super Bowl by 1 yard? Man, that’s rough. I’d love to see them get back but that’s a franchise with a lot of work to do; they have no true leaders. They should at least bring back those dark blue unis; they’re not making it to the big game in that baby blue.

Finally, we arrive at the bottom of the barrel; the franchises that have never even appeared in a Super Bowl. This group consists of the Texans, Jaguars, Browns, and Lions. I give Houston and Jacksonville the benefit of the doubt since their franchises are still fairly new. I really thought Houston had its best shot to get there in 2011 until Matt Schaub was injured. Jacksonville actually made it to two AFC Championship Games back in the late 90s during the Mark Brunell/Tom Coughlin era. The Jaguars were actually a pretty decent team 10 years ago but they’ve been a franchise running on fumes for the better part of the 2010s.

AP

The Lions may not have a trophy but at least they had, in my opinion, the greatest running back ever in Barry Sanders. I guess in a way that actually makes it worse. At least they’re not the Cleveland Browns. Anyone seen the preview for that movie coming out called “Draft Day”? The Browns have been the laughing stock of the league for so long that they actually had to make a movie about them having the number one pick. I may be a Jets fan, but I can be certain that they’re not making any movies about the Butt Fumble.

This group of franchises recently said “farewell” to the Seattle Seahawks, who now party with the big boys. It’s nice to see a city like Seattle join the ranks of those with a Lombardi Trophy, especially after they were robbed of the Sonics. People forget that Seattle is really a basketball town (or was.)

For the remaining 13 teams, they continue to wander through the forest in search of answers; the lure of a Super Bowl title always in mind. But if you’re one of the lost souls of the NFL, not to fret; there’s always next season.

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