Caption: Super Bowl LV will be the first-ever NFL Championship game played in a home staiumd
When Tom Brady led his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to the Super Bowl over conference championship weekend, he set a number of personal records as the GOAT or ‘Greatest Of All Time’.
In the process, he also broke a longstanding curse that has dogged the NFL for 54 seasons. Until this year, no team has ever made it through to a Super Bowl that was held in their home stadium, let alone won one.
On the road
Most teams find that playing games on the road is tougher than playing at home. An unfamiliar environment is intimidating for anyone, which is why so many people take their vacations close to home instead of traveling overseas.
It’s the same reason that many people prefer to play casino games at home, on Unibet PA online casino, avoiding intimidating casinos, and why more and more people are choosing streaming services like Netflix instead of venturing out to the cinema.
Yet ironically, Tampa Bay seems to thrive on the challenge, winning all three of their post-season games away, at Washington, New Orleans, and Green Bay.
The home field curse
The curse of home advantage goes deeper than the home team not reaching the Super Bowl. Since 2010, only four of eleven teams have even managed a winning season, and overall that figure is just 11 out of 55. Prior to this year, only a handful of host teams had even qualified for the divisional playoffs, and only one, Minnesota Vikings in 2018, has made it to the conference final.
Close to home
There have been two occasions where the Super Bowl was held close to one of the competing team’s home, in a local stadium with no home NFL team.
This happened in 1980 and 1985 when the Rams were beaten by the Steelers at the Rose Bowl and the 49ers beat the Dolphins at Stanford Stadium. We could argue that the 2003 Super Bowl, between the Raiders and the Buccaneers, was also a home state game for Oakland, but with San Diego 490miles from Oakland, this hardly offers home advantage.
Super Bowl LV
This year’s game, Super Bowl LV, will be held on Sunday 7th February at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida in front of a crowd of just 22,000 fans. Tampa’s new recruit, 43year old Tom Brady, is certainly looking forward to the game.
“To go on the road and win another play-off game is just a great achievement,” he said after the Buccs beat the Green Bay Packers 31-26. “And now a home Super Bowl for the first time in NFL history I think puts a lot of cool things in perspective. Any time you are the first time doing something it is usually a pretty good thing.”
Old GOAT vs Baby GOAT
Looking forward to his tenth Super Bowl appearance in just 19 seasons, Brady should be used to setting records. His remarkable career stats show that he has also made the playoffs in 18 of his 19 seasons and the conference game in 14 of them, with an overall record of 33 wins and 11 losses in the playoffs.
As his career draws to an end, he will now face a new challenger, not just for the Super Bowl, but for his GOAT title, with Patrick Mahomes already an NFL legend at just 25 years old. Whether youth will triumph over experience, or whether playing a Super Bowl at home really does offer an advantage, only time will tell.