23 January 2006

Top Super Bowls

NFL.com has a piece on the top 10 Super Bowls of all time. Right now they've posted 10 - 6. I'm interested in hearing your top 5 Super Bowls. If you want a list of Super Bowls and recaps to jog you memeory, go here (http://www.superbowl.com/history/recaps/). Here are my picks for Top 5 Super Bowls:

5. Super Bowl XX: Chicago 46, New England 10
This was the first game I remember where people who had no interest in the NFL wanted to see the game. Chicago's constant appearences in non-sports newscasts made them a team everyone wanted to watch and they didn't disappoint against a New England team that was a lot better than history will probably ever give them credit for. It's only at 5 because though it was a popular game and it was very significant as far as NFL popularity is concerned, it wasn't a particularly good game.

4. Super Bowl XXVII: Dallas 52, Buffalo 17
If you take the 4th quarter out of this game, there's no way it's one of the best, but in the 4th quarter we got to see Leon Lett take center stage. Leon Lett is probably one of the best defenders who ever played football, but that's not what we know him for. We know him for 2 things:
a. At the end of a Thanksgiving Day game, all Dallas had to do was not touch the football after a punt and Dallas could've ran out the clock for a win. Instead, Leon Lett tries to recover the ball (on a sheet of ice!), touches but misses and Miami recovers, kicks a field goal, and wins the game.
b. In this Super Bowl, Lett recovered a fumble and ran it to about the 10 yard line. At that point, he starts showboating and holding the ball out like a jackass as he trots in for what he thinks will be a score. He didn't even see Beebe come up behind him and knock the ball into the end zone for a touchback. The Bills stuck it to a showboater in front of most of the civilized world. It was fantastic.

3. Super Bowl XVI/XXIII: San Francisco 26/20, Cincinatti 21/16
The 49ers won every Super Bowl they ever played. Most of them weren't even close, but Cinci managed to go toe to toe with them twice in pretty similar games. Both of them had a 92 yard 49ers drive that ended in a TD that ended up being the points needed to win the game. Both of them really showed us that Cinci's D was better than most people gave it credit for. It was nice seeing an AFC team stand up to the 49ers for once.

2. Super Bowl XXXVI: New England 20, St. Louis 17
This game reaffirmed to me everything that is right in football. This is the closest my head coach list ever came to being wrong. The beautiful part about it is that the Rams failed for exactly the reasons Martz was on that list. The Rams turned over the ball a LOT all season. If you asked the coaching or players about it, they brushed it off since they also scored a lot. New England didn't turn over the ball once but forced 3 turnovers for 17 or their 20 points. The last three came in the closing minutes where the Patriots drove down the field instead of just trying to run out the clock and go to overtime. They managed to decimate a tired Rams defense who spent a LOT of time on the field mostly due to Martz's offense moving down the field way too fast to give their defense a rest and the turnovers that offense tended to produce when they didn't score.

1. Super Bowl VI: Dallas 24, Miami 3
The Doomsday Defense really earned their name here by doing something that no defense has done before or since in a Super Bowl: They kept the other team out of the end zone. No Steel Curtain ever did that and even the almighty `85 Bears gave up 10. It was a nice cap on the 25 previous consecutive quarters in which Dallas did not allow a touchdown. I only wish I could get the whole game film instead of the highlights of this game. The highlights really don't do justice to what that defense and running game must've done to Miami. Dante likes defense and this was the best defense ever to grace the Super Bowl. Dallas shut down that Miami team that would go on to have the only perfect season in the NFL, beginning after their loss in Super Bowl VI and ending after their win in Super Bowl VII.


At 12:14 PM, Blogger Laddi said...

Such a tough question, especially since the first SB I watched was SB XVIII.

I'll start with quick hit honorable mentions from pre-SB XVIII.

SB VII - Miami completes the undefeated season.
SB III - The Guarantee. RB Matt Snell's 121 was overlooked by the pressers.
SB V - Unitas wins his last championship on a game-ending FG, marking a major comeback against a good Landry squad. Strangely enough, Unitas got injured early in the game. You'd have thought they were done for.
SB XIII - Dallas gets the short end of the stick in the rematch, marking the second time they fall short after a great comeback effort. Pittsburgh become the first to win three.

5) SB XXXVI: New England 20, St. Louis 17
The heavily favored Rams get owned by a young Patriot squad. Ty Law's 2 INTs and 1 TD get overlooked in favor of the drive to set up Vinatieri's game-ending winning FG. Brady gets the MVP with only 145 yards and a 2nd quarter TD. HUH??? Mike Martz only allowed MVP Marshall Faulk to run the ball 17 times, much of that early in the game.

4) SB XXXVIII: New England 32, Carolina 29
Affectionately known as the "Vinatieri saves Brady's ass again, but Brady gets the MVP, Part II" Bowl, how a game in which you need to only watch the 2nd and 4th quarters can be top 5 is baffling. But those 1st and 3rd quarters were exciting to us folk who like to watch good defense. Carolina had this game. Trailing 14-10 at the half and then 21-10 shortly into the 4th, Delhomme mounted an excellent drive capped off by Foster's 33-yard run, and then after MVP Brady was intercepted, threw a 85 yarder to Muhsin Muhammad. Bafflingly, John Fox went for 2 after each TD, so it was a 22-21 for Carolina. New England mounted a quick response and converts their 2-point conversion. Unfazed, Delhomme drive the Panthers again, connects with Proehl, extra point good. Tied game. The rest is history as Vinatieri, once again, saves Brady's butt, and gives New Englad their second SB title.

3) SB XXXII: Denver 31, Green Bay 24
Favre v. Elway. But equally interesting Terrell Davis v. Dorsey Levens. It was a back-n-forth game as the audience was treated watching Favre throw for 3 TDs, two to Antonio Freeman who caught 9 for 126. But this was to be the Terrell Davis show, who ran 30 times for 157 yards and 3 TDs. I also remember this because Patrick and I did our community service cookout that day. Good times!

2) SB XXV: New York 20, Buffalo 19
This game has it all. Hostetler as QB in relief of an injured Phil Simms. Bruce Smith records a safety in the 2nd quarter. Ottis Anderson vs. Thurman Thomas. But it would all come down to the final 8 seconds, after Matt Bahr had kicked a FG to give the Giants the lead midway in the 4th. Buffalo set up to kick the potential game winning FG from 47 yards. Who can forget: "It's got the distance. NO GOOD!" Norwood, WIDE RIGHT!

1) SB XXXIV: St. Louis 23, Tennessee 16
McNair, who was for sure supposed to have been sacked no less than three times in the same play, passed 40 yards to Dyson to set up the final gasp by the Titan with 6 seconds remaining. It was 17-0 St. Louis midway into the 3rd quarter. 20 minutes later Tennessee had surged back to tie the game. Then 21 seconds later, Issac Bruce had taken a 73 pass into the endzone for the eventual win, but not before a specatular effort by the Titans. Anyone who saw it will always remember those last 6 seconds as Dyson's streeeetches his arm to only fall one yard short of sending the game into overtime. Rams win.

At 1:02 PM, Blogger Dante said...

"SB V - Unitas wins his last championship on a game-ending FG, marking a major comeback against a good Landry squad. Strangely enough, Unitas got injured early in the game. You'd have thought they were done for."

A game with 11 turnovers and what most claim to be the worst officiating ever in a Super Bowl deserves an honorable mention? I'm a Dallas fan and I'm proud of Chuck Howley for getting player of the game in a game he lost, but from everything I've ever seen or read of Super Bowl V (which is actually quite a bit), it was pitiful.

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Laddi said...

Pitiful? That I didn't watch it does bring a major mark against it, but it was chockful of stories, including 10 turnovers and a missed extra point. If Mr. Comedy of Errors Leon Lett is on a top 5 list, then at least the Comedy of Errors that is Super Bowl V can be okay at honorable mention :P

Interestingly, I finally found the article you've referenced. My top 4 already out (at numbers 5-8). I thought for sure SB III would have cracked the top 3. I'm guessing SB XXX and XIII will be #1 and 2 in that order. Maybe Super Bowl XXXVI or XXIII will sneak into third. I have to give XXIII (SF v. Cincy, II) a nod into the honorable mentions if not #5.

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Dante said...

The "Comedy of Errors" that was Leon Lett was there for mostly philisophical reaons. I REALLY hate folks who trot into the end zone and do little dances and all sorts of other showboating activities. I even hate when the defender acts all big and bad after a sack (or worse yet, after tackling someone who made a significant gain).

Leon Lett acted like a jackass and Beebe didn't give up on a play while the rest of the Buffalo offense was busy standing around doing nothing. Lett's jackassery cost Dallas the record for highest scoring Super Bowl team ever (49ers still have that one). If that's not a celebration of all that's good in football, I don't know what is. Even as a Dallas fan, I would've been happy if such an action cost them the game (like it did against Miami).

Now contrast that to Super Bowl V where the most memorable moment was when Dallas recovered a fumble but the refs gave it to Baltimore because Baltimore did a better job of acting like they had it. I just can't see putting the game that sparked the rule of "refs pulling players off a pile to determine who has the ball" as any better than the other 38 Super Bowls we've seen so far.

And just to be clear, even as a Dallas fan I'm not particularly bitter about that bad call. Dallas managed to lose a football game to an aging Colts team without their starting QB. They deserved that loss. Like Landry said afterwards the loss "was a team effort."

Oh and to justify putting a Super Bowl I didn't see all of as #1 (stupid lack of real game film), I did win a free lunch for 2 off a radio contest here in Athens (960 the Ref) this week over my knowledge of Super Bowl VI. They wanted to know which team has the lowest score of any Super Bowl team. I called in with Miami and won.

Money won off of Super Bowls 1-5 and 7-40: $0
Money won off Super Bowl VI: $20

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Dante said...

And just so you know, if I mention an article but I don't specifically give a link, it's usually because I've lined it to the column's headline. If you click on the headline, you'll get that page. (I'd make sure to open it in a new window since it doesn't do that for you.)

At 5:12 PM, Blogger S.A.W.B. said...

Here's another vote for Super Bowl XXXIV. Quite possibly the most complete game I've ever seen. Enough offense to make it worthwhile, a fantastic scramble of a finish, with the losing team coming up the proverbial yard short. The greatest show on turf was still firing on all cylinders, the Titans put up a much, much larger fight than anyone ever dreamed they would. Classic.

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Dante said...

I might've voted for Super Bowl XXXIV if they didn't show Kurt Warner's wife on camera. That was the first time I ever saw her and my initial thought was, "Hey, I'm trying to eat here!" That image has been seared into my memory just as much as Dyson's last push. She looked like the Crypt Keeper wearing a feater boa.

But back to the game itself, I have no love for Tennessee, but if Dyson has made that play I think it'd be a bit more classic. As it stands in my mind, the Rams were up and Tennessee couldn't get it done on the final drive. That's pretty typical in football. Good win for the NFC though.

I can remember watching Atlanta's home game against the Rams that year. I was thinking that if they were going to lose 35-0 to the Rams that the Rams had better win the Super Bowl so the Falcons loss didn't look that bad. The Rams did indeed win. Too bad the Falcons had plenty of other losses that year that looked pretty bad.


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