- Associated Press - Thursday, September 9, 2010

ARLINGTON, TEXAS (AP) - The Super Bowl used to be a simple enough event that NFL owners could decide in the spring where to put next season’s championship game.

It was that way in 1971, when the Dallas Cowboys showed up to the league meetings hoping to lure the game to their new state-of-the-art stadium.

Then Oakland’s Al Davis reminded his AFC peers that Dallas had just played in the Super Bowl. Giving them the next Super Bowl, he warned, could mean sending one of their teams to Texas Stadium for the title game. That spurred a push for Miami, which had hosted three of the first five Super Bowls.

On the 12th vote, Dallas was still ahead, but not by enough to seal it. So owners gave up and went with New Orleans. Guess which teams wound up meeting there? Yep, the Cowboys and Dolphins.

Nearly 40 years later, that’s still about as close as any team has come to playing a Super Bowl on its home field.

Call it a Super Bowl jinx or call it a fluke. The bottom line is the same: 37 Super Bowls have been held in an NFL stadium and never has the home team been involved.

The next championship is being held at Cowboys Stadium, and Jerry Jones has made no secret of wanting his ‘boys to break the streak. With their season kicking off Sunday night in Washington, here are some details of how much history they’re up against:

_ Only five would-be Super Bowl hosts have even made the playoffs. The 1994 Miami Dolphins were the only division winners; the rest (the Dolphins in ‘70, ‘78 and ‘98; and Tampa Bay in 2000) got in as wild cards.

_ That handful of hosts has won just two playoff games, one each by the ‘94 and ‘98 Dolphins.

_ Because both wins came in the wild-card round and were followed by losses, no host has even reached the league championship game.

“Hmmmm,” Jones said. “Goodness.”

Jones didn’t realize the numbers were so ugly, but he has several explanations to take the edge off the 0-for-37. (Of the 44 Super Bowl, seven were played in NFL markets, but not NFL stadiums.)

Jones noted the teams that have played in the most Super Bowls _ Dallas, Pittsburgh, New England and Denver _ haven’t been eligible to host because they have cold weather and outdoor stadiums. Texas Stadium came close in ‘71 because it hadn’t opened and folks were told the partial roof would keep out the elements more than it really did. Once the myth was exposed, the Cowboys never had a chance until building the new stadium with a real roof.)

Then there’s the reverse of that theory _ Super Bowl sites are warm-weather cities or domed stadium, and those kinds of teams do not routinely play for the championship. Various clubs make it now and again, but they haven’t been fortunate enough to match the years they dominate with the years they host.

“Luck of the draw,” said Dick Anderson, a starting safety in three Super Bowls with the Dolphins in the 1970s and head of Miami’s host committee for the game following the 1988 season.

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