The first Super Bowl I have any recollection of is Oakland v. Minnesota. I picked Minnesota, primarily as I recall because I thought “sota” was related to my favorite drink of the time “soda”. Sketchy rationale for sure, and irrelacent as they lost. I watched the game in my parent’s oh so 70’s wood paneled basement. The same wood paneling was in place many years later when during high school I suffered a Budweiser-induced episode of flatulence that prompted my father to ask, with no small amount of disgust, if I had “shit my pants.”
My first Super Bowl hero was Lynn Swann, who despite his effeminate name, was an iconic figure of my youth. His poised elegence on the biggest stage always made it difficult to comprehend the marginal statistics during the regular season as I read them on the back of his Topps football card. Swann was singularly responsible for stretch of my childhood where I went airborne to catch even a waist level toss, and intentional juggled every third ball thrown to me. As an aside, he was my all time favorite competitor on “Superstars”, a 70′-early 80’s show that featured athletes from different sports competing in various events culminating in the dreaded obstacle course.
In the early 80’s, I developed a deep hatred of the Joe Gibbs Redskins featuring Joe Theisman and John Riggins. I simultaneously maintained an affinity for Marcus Allen. Allen and the Raiders destruction of the Redskins was a magical moment for me. Riggins was the last genuinely dangerous white running back, and I gagged on my Count Chocula cereal watching Lawrence Taylor snap Theisman’s leg.
I recall the greatness of Joe Montana in several Super Bowls, and Jerry Rice being open by 10 square yards in every critical situation. I detested the 49ers and much like the mid-80’s Celtics if I had to do it over again, I would hate less and enjoy the spectacle of their greatness more.
The 85 Bears defense was the best I have seen. They literally produced fear in other professional teams. I hope Mike Ditka resents giving the Fridge a touchdown that belonged to Walter Payton. I hope in my coaching career I never do the same.
The Redskins win with a black quarterback. Doug Williams aided by the surreal 202 yard rushing performance of Tim Smith made history.
I was drawn to the New York Giants of Bill Parcells that won on Scott Norwood’s missed field goal. It was a vintage Parcells team based on gritty veterans displaying all the best qualities that professional players can possess. Four images stand out. An OJ Anderson run off tackle with swinging forearm to gain extra yards. The Hoss somehow not fumbling as he took a blow to a single arm holding the football during a sack. Mark Ingram spinning, leaping and powering his way to a first down. Finally, a group of Giants holding hands, kneeling and praying as Norwood shanked them to a World Championship. Pre-recorded Whitney Houston on the anthem during the first Gulf War wasn’t bad either.
Jimmy Johnson’s Dallas Cowboys hold a special place in my heart. My favorite moment being the all Emmitt Smith possession to start the second half in the second Bills game.
I remember the Broncos breakthrough against the Packers for three things. Happy John Elway won, Terrell Davis was outstanding and I bought to Honda Accords that day and missed the first quarter.
I am thankful Ray Lewis has a Super Bowl ring as he is one of my favorite all-time competitor’s though I recall nothing from the game.
The Patriot reign was enjoyable to me because I believe in the power of the dynasty. I think sports are best when there is a standard bearer to be pursued.
I fondly recall the Steelers win over Arizona because it was a fantastic game, and it was the first Super Bowl where one of my children sat and watched with me.
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