Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Top Super Bowl Memories

1. In Super Bowl I, Max McGee reaching back to make a one-handed catch against his hip, helping the Packers crush the Chiefs. There was quite a story behind McGee's even playing. After catching only 4 passes all year, the aging McGee had stayed out late partying the night before as he didn't expect to play. But the regular wide receiver got hurt early in the game, and McGee was pressed into service. The game plan called for the wide receiver to take advantage of perceived weaknesses in the Chiefs' secondary, and McGee did just that.

2. Joe Namath brashly guaranteeing victory in Super Bowl III and then making good on his promise. This, along with the Chiefs' win the following year, cemented the AFL's status as an equal to the NFL.

3. Perhaps the first truly entertaining Super Bowl was number XIII. The image I remember is Terry Bradshaw firing the ball toward the goal line, and his receiver (both Swann and Stallworth scored touchdowns) leaping up during a crossing route and making a nice grab at the goal line. I remember Bradshaw remarking that he had never (or rarely, perhaps) even had 300 years passing in an entire game, and here he almost had that in the first half. The NFL had instituted new rules limiting what defenders could do, which played a role in opening up the game. It truly was a memorable one, with the Cowboys hanging in there nicely and ending up making it close at 35-31.

4. During the playoffs following the 82-83 season, John Riggins had told his teammates to climb on his back, he would carry them to victory. He did just that, rushing for over 100 yards in all 4 playoff games, and carrying the ball a record 38 times (!) in Super Bowl XVII to lead his Redskins to a 27-17 win over the Dolphins. As Yogi once said, "it ain't bragging if you can do it!". And Riggins sure did it.

5. The most memorable finish was surely that of Super Bowl XXXIV, with the Titans needing a touchdown on the last play of the game to catch the Rams. Rams defender Mike Jones made a great one-on-one tackle on Titans receiver Kevin Dyson at the one-yard line to preserve the Rams 23-17 win. Another great story line was the amazing season Rams QB Kurt Warner had. What a story he was! He had been working in a grocery store and playing in the the Arena League, when he caught on with the Rams as the back-up QB. Then when the regular QB was hurt early in the season, Warner took over and passed the Rams to the World Championship.

6. All the pre-game hype for Super Bowl XL concerned it being Jerome Bettis' last game, and how special it was that it was being played in Detroit, his hometown. Well, the officials must have read the hype and decided to let Bettis go out with a win, because they simply gave the game to the Steelers with a series of crucial bad calls. The one I remember most was a "pushing off" penalty on the Seahawks receiver, resulting in a Seahawks touchdown being nullified. The so-called pushing off consisted of the mildest of nudges, the sort of thing which never would have been called on a defender, who is typically allowed to mug the receivers as the receivers attempt to run their routes, and surely did not affect the result. Whatever happened to "no harm, no foul"?? It is obvious instant replay has a long way to go to correct the injustices caused by bad calls.

Last Wednesday night at Stooges last night, as my daughter had her final exam and will be on a different schedule next semester. My friend Oil was there but left early, and I ended up playing Six sitting next to the (delightfully) quirky blonde woman, Newman. She actually won the game, making only the 2nd time I played Six there and didn't get on the bar's top 10 board for the last year (the other time I had a bad box).

Interesting exchange with Oil linking Quincy's--formerly Players--formerly cop bar--incident there once in which a bunch of off-duty cops foiled an attempted holdup--reminding me of the opening restaurant scene in Pulp Fiction in which the couple decide that restaurants are easy targets to rob because there are fewer "heroes" there. Well, Players had many "heroes" there when some poor slob decided to rob it!

No comments: