Super Bowl trivia gets so quirky and nuanced that it could be a major at most universities, but rarely do people consider NFC Championship Game trivia in the same light.
But there are some pretty interesting nuggets of information concerning this NFL semifinal, which has been taking place since the 1970-71 NFL season. Here's a handful:
- The Dallas Cowboys have the most wins (eight) in NFC Championship Game history, and the 49ers have the most losses (seven). In the loss category, the Cowboys are second, where they're tied with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams (six losses).
- A lot of hoopla has surrounded the Eagles making their fifth NFC Championship Game appearance in eight years. Has it been done before? You bet. With no games overlapping, the Cowboys have done it twice, with five games each in the time frames of 1970-75 and 1977-82. The Los Angeles Rams also made five in six years, from 1974-1979, and San Francisco made an amazing six in seven years from 1988-1994 (overlapping, the 49ers did it even more recently from 1990-1997).
- With the Cardinals advancing to the 2008 NFC Championship Game, all 16 NFC teams have reached this point. The previous 15 teams are a combined 7-8 in their first appearances in the game.
- Not including the Cardinals, only two teams have never won an NFC Championship Game – New Orleans and Detroit. Both teams are 0-1. By the same token, not including Arizona, only two NFC clubs have never lost an NFC Championship Game – the Giants (4-0) and the Seahawks (1-0).
- The Eagles are the only team with at least five NFC Championship Game appearances (six games, counting this year) that has never had a repeat opponent – Dallas, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Atlanta and Arizona.
- The NFC Championship Game has never had a threepeat winner, but ""boasts"" three different threepeat losers: Los Angeles (1974-1976), Dallas (1980-1982) and Philadelphia (2001-2003). The last team to repeat as winner was Green Bay in 1997.
- From 1984-1996, the NFC Championship Game was, in essence, the Super Bowl. The winner of these 13 games went on to win the actual Super Bowl every time.
- The New York Giants, at 4-0, have had rousing success in the NFC Championship Game. In addition to this impressive mark, they can lay claim to two records thanks to their performance in the 2000 edition of the game. With a 41-0 win over Minnesota, the Giants tied the record for most points by a single team (1991 Redskins), and boast the largest margin of victory.
- Teams have won their NFC Championship Games in bunches – no team has won an NFC title game in all four decades since its inception. Only the Rams and Vikings have appeared in at least one game in all four decades.
- Two games have gone to overtime – Atlanta-Minnesota in 1998 and New York-Green Bay in 2007.
- There have been six shutouts in NFC Championship Game history, the last occurring during the 2000 season (Giants-Vikings).
- If you like high-scoring football, don't watch an NFC Championship Game between the Rams and Buccaneers. The franchises have met twice during the NFC Championship Game, and each game was rather futile offensively. The L.A. Rams won 9-0 in 1979, the lowest-scoring game in NFC Championship Game history. The St. Louis Rams, then, prevailed 11-6 in 2000, tied for the second-lowest scoring NFC Championship Game in history.
- There have been six repeat matchups in NFC Championship Game history. Five matchups have occurred twice – Washington-Dallas, Minnesota-Dallas, San Francisco-Chicago, Minnesota-Rams and Tampa Bay-Rams. And the flagship matchup of the NFC Championship Game, Dallas-San Francisco, has occurred a whopping six times in 39 games.
- Dallas and New York are the only two teams to win more than one NFC Championship Game on the road. The Redskins have the most wins (five) without winning a single road game (0-1). In all, road teams are 13-25 in the NFC Championship Game.
- The NFC East has a monopoly on appearances – the four teams combined have a whopping 30 appearances in the game. Only 13 times in the game's 39-year history has it been between two non-NFC East teams. The NFC West is second with 23 appearances, the NFC North third with 16 and the NFC South has nine.
- The two teams with the longest current NFC Championship Game appearance drought, 17 years, met each other in the 1991 NFC Championship Game. Washington smoked Detroit, 41-10, and went on to win Super Bowl XXVI.