Viking and Saint fans better enjoy the moment

I was listening to Scott Van Pelt’s radio show on ESPN earlier today and he brought up an interesting fact about the NFC Championship Game: Over the last five years, there has only been one team to make a repeat performance in the NFC Championship Game, which are the Saints (2007, 2009). That means we have seen nine out of possible 10 teams that could make the title game.

Talk about parity.

The interesting thing to me about this factual nugget is that every year when fans and media pundits make their predictions, how many of them include the Super Bowl winner or runner-up in the conference title game? I don’t have hard facts, but I’m willing to assume that more times than not, prognosticators predict that teams that won the previous years will at least make another deep postseason run, yet history says otherwise (at least in the NFC, that is).

Take the Saints for example. The 2009 season hasn’t concluded yet, but chances are they’re going to have a similar makeup next season. Sean Payton will still be the head coach, Gregg Williams will still be the defensive coordinator, Drew Brees will still be under center and they’re still going to have a potent offense, regardless of whether or not Reggie Bush is retained. So logic would state that if they made it this far in 2009, that they could repeat next year.

But that’s the great thing about the NFL – it’s completely unpredictable. That’s why teams that didn’t make the playoffs this year still have hope, and not just hope for a postseason berth next season, but possibly more. If history repeats itself, there’s a very good chance that we will see two completely different teams in the NFC conference game next season.

Of course, if you’re a Detroit Lions fan just go ahead and disregard that last paragraph.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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