The Super Bowl is the pinnacle of American Football. Pitting the best the American Football Conference (AFC) has to offer against the best in the National Football Conference (NFC), it determines who just who the NFL champions are every year. It was first played in 1967, the same year the National Football League (NFL) merged with the American Football League (AFL). The first clash was between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers, with the Packers taking the honours 35-10.
The Super Bowl is the culmination of a grueling 17 week regular season and a two week playoff series. The top teams of each division (AFC and NFC North, South, East and West) advance to the playoffs, as do two wildcard qualifiers from each conference. The first week of the playoffs features the four wildcards (teams which finished fifth and sixth in their respective conferences) going head-to-head, with the lowest seeded divisional champions. The winners of these matches go on to face the top seeded teams in the Conference in the Semi-Finals. Once the winners of these matches are decided, they head on to the Conference Final to determine who will go on to the highly-anticipated Super Bowl.
When it comes to Super Bowl appearances, since the merger of course, nobody even comes close to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have made it to the summit of the NFL six times (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005 and 2008). While there are still a few champion players left in the League who can create their own piece of history, San Francisco 49ers Hall-of-Famer Joe Montana holds the record for the most Super Bowl MVP awards (three), having won it in 1982, 1985 and 1990. Making it to a Super Bowl is one thing, winning it is a completely different kettle of fish. Both the Minnesota Vikings and the Buffalo Bills have made it to the NFL showdown four times apiece.
However, their place in the records is one they’d love to shed. Both teams have failed to win the decider and as such hold the record for the amount of times making it to the Super Bowl (four) and never actually winning it. Between the two conferences, the NFC has the upper hand on the AFC, with teams in the NFC having won a Super Bowl trophy 26 times, while teams in the AFC have enjoyed 22 successes.
|2016||DENVER BRONCOS (AFC)||CAROLINA PANTHERS (NFC)||24-10|
|2015||NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (AFC)||SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (NFC)||28-24|
|2014||SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (NFC)||DENVER BRONCOS (AFC)||43-8|
|2013||BALTIMORE RAVENS (AFC)||SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (NFC)||34-31|
|2012||NEW YORK GIANTS (NFC)||NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (AFC)||21-17|
|2011||GREEN BAY PACKERS (NFC)||PITTSBURGH STEELERS (AFC)||31-25|
|2010||NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (NFC)||INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (AFC)||31-17|
|2009||PITTSBURGH STEELERS (AFC)||ARIZONA CARDINALS (NFC)||27-23|
|2008||NEW YORK GIANTS (NFC)||NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (AFC)||17-14|
|2007||INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (AFC)||CHICAGO BEARS (NFC)||29-17|
|2006||PITTSBURGH STEELERS (AFC)||SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (NFC)||21-10|
|2005||NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (AFC)||PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (NFC)||24-21|
Like every major sporting event, the Super Bowl recognises the best player on the field. In the NRL, the Clive Churchill Medal is presented to the man of the match. In the AFL, it is Norm Smith Medal. In the NFL, the best player on the field receives the Super Bowl MVP trophy. Many great players have won this prestigious award over the years, including Hall of Famers Bart Starr, Joe Namath and Jerry Rice. No one has won more Super Bowl MVP awards than the legendary Joe Mantana, who won the award three times, all with the San Francisco 49ers.
|2015||TOM BRADY||NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS||QUARTERBACK|
|2014||MALCOLM SMITH||SEATTLE SEAHAWKS||LINEBACKER|
|2013||JOE FLACCO||BALTIMORE RAVENS||QUARTERBACK|
|2012||ELI MANNING||NEW YORK GIANTS||QUARTERBACK|
|2011||AARON ROGERS||GREEN BAY PACKERS||QUARTERBACK|
|2010||DREW BREES||NEW ORLEANS SAINTS||QUARTERBACK|
|2009||SANTONIO HOLMES||PITTSBURGH STEELERS||WIDE RECEIVER|
|2008||ELI MANNING||NEW YORK GIANTS||QUARTERBACK|
|2007||PEYTON MANNING||INDIANAPOLIS COLTS||QUARTERBACK|
|2006||HINES WARD||PITTSBURGH STEELERS||WIDE RECEIVER|
|2005||DEION BRANCH||NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS||WIDE RECEIVER|