I’m old enough to say that I’ve watched and enjoyed all 47 Super Bowls, and eagerly await the next one, which hopefully will include my team, the Seahawks. Never been to a Super Bowl, but that only means I’ve missed the hoopla, not the game.
Thoroughly enjoyed Sunday’s game as the Ravens held off a 49ers comeback. Has to rank among the best just for its down-to-the-wire finish. Game turned on a kickoff return and clutch defense. This could’ve been one for the ages if San Francisco had completed its comeback. Now it’s just one for the ages for Baltimore fans.
I was a football player myself when the Super Bowls started in the late 1960s and felt more personally linked to the action in those days.
Sorta like naming the presidents, I can pretty much recall every Super Bowl winner, although the order might be skewed. And like the presidents, I remember the early and recent ones best.
I grew up admiring Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers and read Jerry Kramer’s “Instant Replay” as gospel. Read it on the recommendation of my high school coach, who was a big Lombardi man in his own right. Recall the scene in “Instant Replay” where Kramer talks about going out for ice cream at training camp and ducking around a corner when he spotted Lombardi approaching. Not that Kramer was doing anything wrong, mind you; he just didn’t want the coach to see him enjoying himself for fear of what he “might” say. Had a similar respect for my high school coach, who was a tough ol’ bird to play for, but a source of pride for me years later when I’d still rather eat a cigarette than allow him to see me smoking one.
Memorable Super Bowls for me include those involving friends who also played for my old high school coach: Curt Marsh with the Raiders in 1984, coach Keith Gilbertson Jr. with the Seahawks in 2006 and coach Bret Ingalls with the Saints in 2009. Always been a Seahawks fan, so the 2006 loss to the Steelers remains particularly vivid.
Before the Seahawks, I very much liked the Vikings coached by Bud Grant and the Cowboys under Tom Landry, in addition to Lombardi’s Packers. I also appreciated Chuck Noll’s Steelers, John Madden’s Raiders and Marv Levy’s Bills. Never cared much for the Raiders after the Madden days, or the John Elway-led Broncos when they were division rivals of the Seahawks. Not much of a 49ers fan now either for the same reason.
I like offensive football as much as the next guy, but I like good defense even more, which led me to embrace Minnesota’s Purple People Eaters, Miami’s No-Names, Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain and Dallas’ Doomsday Defense in the 1970s.
Most Memorable Super Bowls
1. Seahawks losing to the Steelers in 2006.
2. Joe Namath delivering on his victory guarantee in the Jets’ 16-7 upset of the Colts in 1969.
3. Dolphins’ 14-7 win over the Redskins in 1973 to cap a perfect season.
4. Giants’ 17-14 win over the Patriots in 2008, spoiling New England’s perfect season.
5. Steelers’ 27-23 win over the Cardinals in 2009.
6. Giants’ 21-17 win over the Patriots in their 2012 rematch.
7. Ravens’ 34-31 win over the 49ers on Sunday.
8. Colts’ 16-13 win over Dallas on Jim O’Brien’s last-minute field goal in 1971.
9. Bills’ 20-19 loss to the Giants in 1991 on Scott Norwood’s missed field goal on the final play.
10. Chiefs’ 23-7 win over Minnesota in 1970 to give the AFL it’s second SB win prior to the NFL-AFL merger.
Most Memorable Super Bowl Plays
1. Miami kicker Garo Yepremian’s botched pass after a blocked field goal, and Mike Bass’ subsequent TD interception return, in the Dolphins’ 14-7 win over the Redskins in 1973.
2. John Mackey’s tipped-ball, 75-yard TD catch from John Unitas in the Colts’ win over the Cowboys in 1971 in the first Super Bowl after the NFL-AFL merger.
3. Jackie Smith’s dropped pass in the end zone in the Cowboys’ 35-31 loss to the Steelers in 1979.
4. James Harrison’s 100-yard interception return in the Steelers’ 27-23 win over the Cardinals 2009.
5. Mike Jones stopping Kevin Dyson a yard short of the end zone on the final play in St. Louis’ 23-16 win over the Titans in 2000.
6. David Tyree’s one-handed, top-of-the-head catch from Eli Manning during the Giants’ game-winning drive against the Patriots in 2008.
7. Mario Manningham’s clutch 38-yard reception from Eli Manning in the Giants’ game-winning drive against the Patriots in 2012.
8. Jacoby Jones’ 108-yard kickoff return in Baltimore’s win over San Francisco on Sunday.
9. Willie Parker’s 75-yard TD run against the Seahawks in 2006.
10. Joe Montana’s game-winning TD pass to John Taylor in the final seconds of the 49ers’ 20-16 win over the Bengals in 1989.