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Every athlete hates to lose, and every NFL player hates it even worse.
You don’t get to be one of the 1,696 men who play in the best professional football league in the world unless you have done a whole lot of winning already, but regardless of that, even NFL players must spend time losing, too.
Coming up short in a regular-season game hurts, for sure, and losing in the postseason is even more painful because it sends you straight home, but failing to win in the Super Bowl has to be the ultimate wound since you were just one win away from being the best football team in the league that season.
For every winner, there is a loser, and for every Super Bowl Champion, there are 53+ disappointed men who couldn’t get the job done, who will have to wait a whole other season (if they are lucky and healthy enough) to get another chance to have at it again.
In this piece, we are going to (with all due respect to these incredibly talented players, teams and coaches) break down what it means to lose in the Super Bowl, starting with where it really hurts – in the wallet.
For more on the Super Bowl check out also our full break down of the Super Bowl winners.
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Yes. Super Bowl losers get extra paychecks.
Just like the winners of the Super Bowl, every loser also makes an extra paycheck, and though it’s less than what the winners make, it’s still (relatively) substantial.
Last year each one of the Los Angeles Rams players, who lost in Super Bowl LIII, received extra money for playing, each getting $59,000 for their SB appearance, plus what they already received for winning the Divisional playoff ($29,000) and the conference playoff ($54,000), bringing their postseason total to $142,000.
Compare that to what the winning New England Patriots got – every Pats player received an extra bonus worth $118,000, which gets added onto what they already received for winning the Divisional playoff ($29,000) and the conference playoff ($54,000), bringing their postseason total to $210,000.
You may think that only the Super Bowl winners receive a special victory ring, but the losers of the Big Game get something for their finger, too.
Remember, just to get to the Super Bowl, a team must win their Conference first, AFC or NFC, which in the world of accomplishments is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
And for that, they get a special ring, too, one that may not be as huge (or expensive) as the winners receive, but that represents excellence on the field, nonetheless.
Not a bad trinket to have on your finger at functions and gatherings for the rest of your life.
12 different NFL teams have been to one or more Super Bowls and lost.
Four NFL teams have never even been to the Big Game so haven’t even had the chance to lose.
The rest of the teams have been to the Super Bowl and won at least one of their appearances.
The Denver Broncos (3–5) and the New England Patriots (6-5) have each lost a record five Super Bowls.
The Minnesota Vikings (0–4) and the Buffalo Bills (0-4) have lost four.
The Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, and Carolina Panthers have each lost two of their Super Bowl appearances.
That “honor” goes to four different NFL coaches who each had four Super Bowl losses:
Tom Landry was 2-3 with the Dallas Cowboys and Bill Belichick is 6-3 with his New England Patriots
Mike Holmgren is 1-2 with the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks
Of all the NFL quarterbacks to play the game, Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly has lost the most Super Bowls with 4, and the fact that he has never won one adds more insult to that injury.
Next in line with 3 Super Bowl losses are the Patriots’ Tom Brady, the Denver Broncos’ John Elway, and the Minnesota Vikings’ Fran Tarkenton.
Four NFL quarterbacks have had two Super Bowl losses and six have had one loss.
For more on Super Bowl odds check out the ultimate guide to betting on the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl LIV will be played in a few days (Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 pm ET). It will be a battle between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Philadelphia Eagles have the best odds of being the next Super Bowl champs, currently listed at -125
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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