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Old NFL Championship vs. Super Bowl

Discussion in 'Professional Football' started by buckeyegrad, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. buckeyegrad

    buckeyegrad Don't Immanentize the Eschaton Staff Member

    A friend of mine and I got into an argument last night about whether or not pre-Super Bowl NFL Championships are equal to Super Bowl Championships in terms of accomplishment.

    He says that they are the same because the NFL Championship game was the Super Bowl before the event was created (which is not factually true!).

    I say winning the Super Bowl is a bigger accomplishment and that the old NFL Champsionships should be compared with the current NFC/AFC Championships. I base my argument primarily on the fact that the 1968 Colts and 1969 Vikings were NFL Champions, but did not win the Super Bowl.

    Were does everyone here fall?
    Thump likes this.
  2. Thump

    Thump Hating the environment since 1994

    Super Bowl definitely means more. How many teams did the AFL have anyways, 8?

    I'm sure you'll get a bunch of whining Browns fans on here saying otherwise.

    Wonder what Tibor thinks about this?
  3. OilerBuck

    OilerBuck Sweet Crude

    I don't consider any of the champions pre-1933 as equal because those were the "APFA-NFL" champions were based on standings alone...not a championship game. 1933-1945 and 1950-1959 and 1967-Present games should DEFINATELY be counted because the NFL was the lone professional football league. The All-America Football Conference (AAFC) was in existence from 1946-1949, so no champions should be considered equal during that time because the AAFC dissolved and the Cleveland Browns joined the NFL and won the Championship in their very first year. It could be argued that there WERE better teams in the AAFC. 1960 was the year the AFL was founded and it could be argued that there was no TRUE professional champions until Superbowl I when the NFL played the AFL. The 66, 67, 68 and 69 NFL champions played against AFL teams in the 67, 68, 69 and 70 they are essentially conference champions. In 1970 the leagues merged creating a single NFL entity. You will find that both SuperBowl IV and SuperBowl V are considered the 1970 NFL championship because the first four SuperBowls were referred to by the date of the game and since have been referred to by the year of the regular season (hence the numbering system).

    You could also argue that if the games that don't include all leagues don't count as championships, neither should the ones now. Remember we've had the Arena League, the Canadian Football League, NFL Europe and even the XFL. Take from this what you will...but at a MINIMUM, th 1933-1945 and 1950-1959 and 1967-Present games should all be considered equal.
  4. buckeyegrad

    buckeyegrad Don't Immanentize the Eschaton Staff Member

    I'm not saying the pre-Super Bowl NFL Championships weren't the champions of professional football, what I am saying is that it was not as great an accomplishment as winning the Super Bowl.

    I'm sorry, but is that a joke? You could make an argument for the Browns based on their NFL performance in the 1950s, but that is were it must end. The 49ers came from the AAFC as well, but they went 3-9 in their first NFL season. The Baltimore franchise (although named the Colts is not the same franchise as today's Colts) that joined the NFL folded after one season.

    As for the rest of the league:

    Brooklyn Dodgers: After going 8-32-2 their first three seasons, they were merged with the NY Yankees in the last season of the league.

    Miami Seahawks: Folded after their first AAFC game. League had to come in an run the team for the remainder of the year until they were moved to Baltimore and renamed the Colts.

    Chicago Rockets/Hornets: Four years in the leauge with four different owners and at least nine different coaches.

    Los Angelas Dons, New York Yankees, Buffalo Bisos/Bills: .500 teams in the AAFC who did not make the transaction to the NFL.
  5. OilerBuck

    OilerBuck Sweet Crude

    I'm not claiming there were numerous better teams, but if there is even a single better team that renders any championship obsolete that doesn't include the best team (Which it could be argued the Browns were). Might not want to fight that assessment too much, considering that part supports your argument that the Championships aren't as great of an accomplishment.

    Obviously it is harder to judge these things. I would argue that the old NFL teams weren't as diluted. Expansion and Free Agency has hurt some of the level of competition. But you can also argue that free agency spreads talent and no one team can keep it all. It's all apples and oranges. I think that you cannot consider greater and lesser championships on the basis of a changed system. Would you consider all NCAA championships prior to the BCS as less of an acheivement? If we ever go to a playoff, does it render all other championships obsolete?

    The champions were relevent then, and I think they are just as great of an acheivement as a Super Bowl. That all falls within your own personal feelings though, I suppose...maybe it's because I'm a Browns fan :biggrin: .
  6. Bucklion

    Bucklion Throwback Staff Member Former Premier League Champ

    The Giants and Colts of the late 50's were just as good, IMO, as the Packers of the late 60's, so I'd have to say that some of the teams are comparable, but the comparison is much like apples to oranges, I think.
  7. buckeyegrad

    buckeyegrad Don't Immanentize the Eschaton Staff Member

    I have to admit that it is difficult to compare championships of different eras and systems, but I still contend that the Super Bowl is a greater accomplishment than the old NFL Championships.

    Why? I just can't get past the '68 Colts and the '69 Vikings. These two teams did everything the prior NFL champions did to earn that title, but they didn't go the additional step of winning the Super Bowl. And that is just it, the Super Bowl is a greater accomplishment in my mind because it is an additional step beyond the old NFL Championship. One that the past champions did not have to take because their was no rival league of a caliber (both in terms of talent and finances) equal to it. Because they did not have to take this step does not mean they were "mythical" champions or illegitimate, nor does it diminish their accomplishments, it just means the extra step did not exist.

    Once the AFL and NFL merged in 1970 the AFL and NFL championships became AFC and NFC championships with that additional step, the Super Bowl, remaining. That is why I think it is better to compare the pre-Super Bowl NFL Championships to the current NFC/AFC Championships as a measure of accomplishment.
    Thump likes this.
  8. OilerBuck

    OilerBuck Sweet Crude

    I feel that the difference between the '68 Colts and '69 Vikings as opposed to teams that won championships prior to the AFL is that all the major talent was within the NFL. When talent is spread across two leagues, it is diluted. The the NFL pre-1960 was a compilation of the best of the best. Every single team was tough and players that could've played if more teams existed, were cut. If you are going to make the argument that more teams + more games = more difficult championship...then you also have to agree that the Steelers and Niners dynasties had it easier because teams have been added since then. I would argue that it is actually easier to have an inflated record, as demonstrated by the blowouts we have been seeing in pro football. A lot of the teams nowadays have glaring weaknesses exposed by injuries and by lesser quality players.

    In reality, it would be better to assume that they are equal in ratio. Overall, teams are weaker top-to-bottom because of free agency and expansion...but every team has been hit equally. In the early days, the teams were all 2 and 3 deep with talent...but that was the case on every team to a close ratio to that nowadays.

    Keep in mind I am a young guy (22) that is in love with the way football used to be played. I dislike expansion and favor fewer teams and a more smashmouth style of play. I am definately biased, and as a Browns fan, I cling to those championships because thats what we've got. :) I think your side is more than valid, however. Issues like these are so subjective that I think the real answer lies somewhere in the middle of our two assertions.
  9. tibor75

    tibor75 Banned

    It's always funny when Clowns fans make fun of Bengal fans and bring up the championships they won in the days of black-and-white. They're too ignorant to realize that the Browns have been as big of a laughingstock as the Bengals since both teams were in existence. Instead they try to act like they're a "legit" NFL franchise. Yeah, maybe that's why they were without a team for a couple of years. :slappy:
    Thump likes this.
  10. Thump

    Thump Hating the environment since 1994

    That's the Tibor I've been waiting for!

    Couldn't have said it better myself.
  11. OilerBuck

    OilerBuck Sweet Crude

    Almost no team in professional sports is as big of a trainwreck as the Bengals have been. The Browns were in the playoffs in the mid-90's while the Bengals were sniffing the basement. In fact, the Browns have been to the playoffs TWICE since the Bengals last had a winning record, and the franchise was non existent for several years and then came back as an EXPANSION franchise. I'm not arguing the Browns have been a smashing success since the 80's but look at the records and you'll see the Bengals are on another level...

    CLE: 6-10
    CIN: 3-13

    CLE: 7-9
    CIN: 5-11

    CLE: 7-9
    CIN: 3-13

    CLE: 11-5 (playoofs)
    CIN: 3-13

    CLE: 5-11 (beat the Bengals twice)
    CIN: 7-9

    1996, 1997, 1998...
    Can't compare. Although the Bengals were a combined 18-30

    CLE: 2-14
    CIN: 4-12

    CLE: 3-13
    CIN: 4-12

    CLE: 7-9
    CIN: 6-10

    CLE: 9-7 (Playoffs)
    CIN: 2-14

    CLE: 5-11
    CIN: 8-8

    Neither team has been successfull, by any stretch of the imagination...But don't compare us to the Bengals until they have a winning season.
  12. tibor75

    tibor75 Banned

    2 playoff apperances since 1991? So the Browns have been awful and the Bengals god-awful. the point is that only Browns fans care. To the rest of the sporting world, you're a pathetic franchise just like the Bengals.
    Thump likes this.
  13. OilerBuck

    OilerBuck Sweet Crude

    I'd venture far enough to say that pretty much every professional franchise in Ohio (outside of the Cavs) is a wreck right now. The Bengals can't stop the bleeding until they get into the playoffs at least once. The Browns are starting from scratch and won't be able to field a reasonable team for at least 2 or 3 years. The Reds are a small market team that has to catch lighting in a bottle to have a shot and the Indians are chasing their own tails hoping that some of their young talent pans out without causing clubhouse problems.

    When on the bottom, take comfort in the teams below you, which may be only the 49ers right now... but it's nice to be able to say we'd have to have 10 more losing/even seasons to equal the Bengals. Everyone (Not just Browns fans) takes a little comfort in the using the Bengals recent history to feel better.

    Right now, Cincy seem to have direction, most Cleveland fans would admit we'd rather have their team and coach right now. I'm not too big to admit when I'm a little jealous. I'm just hoping they can manage to fall short again this year so I have something to look at and feel good about. Bengals fans would do the same if they could (Prarie View A&M football maybe?).

    I think you and I have successfully jacked this thread and should let it jump back on track. Don't worry about me trying to pass one of my teams off as something they aren't though...I'm pretty honest with myself when things are hopeless (for now).
  14. MililaniBuckeye

    MililaniBuckeye The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St Staff Member Tech Admin

    Yet again, the ignorant immigrant boy who wasn't fortunate enough to be around football in his childhood in Asspackinstan comes up with another anti-Cleveland jab. I guess Cleveland wasn't "legit" from Cincy's inception throughout the '80s:

    1968: 10-4 (NFL title game)
    1969: 10-3-1 (NFL title game)
    1970: 7-7
    1971: 9-5 (made playoffs)
    1972: 10-4 (made playoffs)
    1973: 7-5-2
    1974: 4-10
    1975: 3-11
    1976: 9-5
    1977: 6-8
    1978: 8-8
    1979: 9-7
    1980: 11-5 (made playoffs)
    1981: 5-11
    1982: 4-5 (made playoffs, strike year)
    1983: 9-7
    1984: 5-11
    1985: 8-8
    1986: 12-4 (AFC title game)
    1987: 10-5 (AFC title game, season shortened by one game)
    1988: 10-6 (made playoffs)
    1989: 9-6-1 (AFC title game)

    Ten playoff appearances and five league/conference title games.
  15. tibor75

    tibor75 Banned

    10 and 5. The Bengals have 6 and 2 in the same time period with 2 super bowl loses (versus zero super bowl apperances by the Browns). The point is that neither has won in 30 years. Yep, great legacy. :roll1:
    Thump likes this.

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