Super Bowl XLVIII promises to be a game for the ages, but what can history tell us about which of the teams will emerge victorious?
We took a different approach to predicting this year’s winner: mascots. We separated all of the NFL mascots into the following classes:
**There has been some unrest regarding these classifications, particularly the Browns, Titans and Texans. Here are the actual mascots of those teams: Browns Mascot – Chomps the Dog, Titans Mascot – T-Rac the raccoon, Texans Mascot – Toro the Bull. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused!**
- Birds: Ravens, Eagles, Seahawks, Cardinals, Falcons
- Cats: Bengals, Panthers, Lions, Jaguars
- Horses: Broncos, Colts
- Misc. Land Animals: Browns, Bills, Rams, Bears, Titans, Texans
- Sea Creatures: Dolphins
- Human: Steelers, Cowboys, Patriots, Niners, Packers, Raiders, Redskins, Vikings, Chiefs, Saints, Buccaneerss
- Fantasy Creatures: Giants, Chargers
- Machine: Jets
Overall, the animals (18) outnumber the humans (11) as far as the sheer number of teams in the class. Oddly, however, the humans have truly dominated the Super Bowl by both appearances and wins. Here’s how the classes split up across Super Bowl history.
Unfortunately, the cats have yet to win a Super Bowl despite three appearances in the big game. They are the only group that has yet to win a game. As mentioned before, the Humans dominate, having won 32 out of the 47 Super Bowls, or 68.1%. Animals as a whole have won 10 Super Bowls (21.3%) despite outnumbering the humans by a considerable margin.
The winningest class to appear in more than one Super Bowl is the Fantasy Creatures, who have won four out of six games. This is due entirely to the hard work of the New York Giants, who have won the game four times in five appearances. The San Diego Chargers made it to one game, but ended up losing badly to the 49ers. The Jets have won 100% of their Super Bowl appearances, but have only been to one. Another Jets Super Bowl victory would make the machines the winningest class.
For the full class-by-class matchup numbers, reference the chart below.
Now to predict this year’s winner.
The Seahawks fall into the bird class, which has won a mere two out of seven appearances (28.6%). Both bird victories can be credited to the Baltimore Ravens. The Broncos on the other hand, fall into the Horse class, which has won four of its ten appearances in the big game (40%). This makes the Horses the most dominant animal when it comes to the Super Bowl. They are only beat out by the fantasy creatures (66.7%), humans (61.5%) and machines (100%) as far as winning percentage.
This year’s game presents a rare animal vs. animal matchup, something that has only happened two other times in Super Bowl history. The 1998-99 Broncos defeated the Falcons in the first instance of animal vs. animal, and the 2006-07 Colts defeated the Bears the second time. That means that every time an animal vs. animal Super Bowl has occurred, a Horse team has come out on top. Birds are 0-1 in animal vs. animal games.
With this in mind, it’s hard not to pick this year’s horse team, the Broncos, to win it all.