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Super Short

January 27, 2003|Jim Barrero

Of franchises* that have been in existence for at least five seasons, there are only six that have never reached a Super Bowl. A quick summary of their trials and tribulations:

ARIZONA/ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

Closest they've come: In NFC divisional playoffs, lost to Minnesota (41-21) in 1998, to the L.A. Rams (35-23) in 1975 and to Minnesota (30-14) in 1974.

Comment: All the move to the desert has accomplished so far is to bring out the Cardinals' wilting qualities even more.

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CAROLINA PANTHERS

Closest they've come: Lost to Green Bay (30-13) in 1996 NFC championship game.

Comment: Panthers will get there faster than you can say Tshimanga Biakabutuka. OK, so it may take a while.

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DETROIT LIONS

Closest they've come: Lost to Washington (41-10) in 1991 NFC championship game.

Comment: Where have you gone Barry Sanders? The Motor City turns its lonely eyes to you.

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JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Closest they've come: In AFC championship games, lost to Tennessee (33-14) in 1999 and to New England (20-6) in 1996.

Comment: If pattern holds that next-youngest NFL coach will win Super Bowl, things look great for Jaguars and Jack Del Rio.

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NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Closest they've come: Lost to Minnesota (34-16) in 2000 NFC divisional playoffs.

Comment: Hank Stram didn't make it to the Hall of Fame for his time here. Mike Ditka almost had his membership revoked.

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SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Closest they've come: Lost to the L.A. Raiders (30-14) in the 1983 AFC championship game.

Comment: What will happen first? World champion Seattle Seahawks or President Steve Largent?

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The new Cleveland Browns just completed their fourth season and the Houston Texans completed their first. Note -- Years cited refer to the season involved.

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-- Jim Barrero

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