When the Falcons (#1 seed) host the 49ers (#2 seed) on Sunday it will be the 23rd time that the top two seeds in a conference meet in a Conference Championship Game since the NFL expanded to a 12-team playoff format in 1990, but it will be only the fourth such meeting in the last eight seasons (Bears vs. Saints in 2006, Saints vs. Vikings in 2009, Patriots vs. Ravens in 2011). The top seed is 14-8 vs. the #2 seed in Conference Championship Games over that span.
The Vikings are in their 52nd season; they entered the NFL in 1961 and they’ve never won a league title. The Vikings and baseball’s Texas Rangers are tied for the most seasons played by any franchise — in the NFL, NBA, NHL or Major League Baseball — that has never won a championship (a Super Bowl, pre-Super Bowl AFL or NFL title, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup or World Series).
The five franchises — across those sports leagues — with the most such seasons:
|52||Minnesota Vikings||NFL||1961-2012||Lost in Super Bowl 4 times|
|52||Texas Rangers||MLB||1961-2012||Lost in World Series twice|
|51||Houston Astros||MLB||1962-2012||Lost in World Series once|
|47||Atlanta Falcons||NFL||1966-2012||Lost in Super Bowl once|
|45||Cincinnati Bengals||NFL||1968-2012||Lost in Super Bowl twice|