I’ve been around long enough to have seen every Super Bowl on television, starting with the first one, which wasn’t even called the Super Bowl in 1967, rather the NFL-AFL Championship game.
Most of us know that Green Bay won the first two Super Bowls, beating Kansas City in I, 35-10 and then Oakland the following year, 33-14. Had the Baltimore Colts dominated the Jets in Super Bowl III, who knows what the future of the Super Bowl might have been. By the time Kansas City won Super Bowl IV, 23-7, over Minnesota, the merger of the two leagues was imminent and the hype which has made the game a national holiday today was well underway.
We all have our favorite games, probably based on a favorite team, or player. As a Cleveland Browns fan, obviously I don’t have one to choose from, but I love watching and can still dream of the day my team finally makes it. (Maybe next year, at the Meadowlands!)
Anyway, here are my top 10 Super Bowls of all times. Most people feel that Super Bowl 42 was the best of all time, with the Giants beating the previously unbeaten New England Patriots, 17-14. To me, the Giants defense was the story of that game, but somehow Eli Manning was named MVP. I never agreed with it. In fact, if Eli’s last name was Jones and not Manning, a Giants defensive player would have gotten the award. Manning was average, at best, in that game and if Assante Samuel had made a relatively easy interception on the Giants’ last drive, New England finishes 19-0 and we don’t have to hear any more from Dolphins fans about their team being the only unbeaten in NFL history.
The same holds true with the Giants’ second Super Bowl win over New England last February. In that game, Wes Welker dropped what appeared to be an easy pass (for him) in the closing minutes that probably secures the Patriots fourth Super Bowl crown in that game.
Give Manning credit for connecting on a huge pass that set up the winning touchdown, and of course, the writers gave the popularity contest (better known as the MVP) to Manning.
Anyway, my top 10 Super Bowls are Pittsburgh beating Dallas in the ’76 game, 21-17, where the legend of Jack Lambert took shape, Pittsburgh’s second win over Dallas in ’79; San Francisco beating Denver, 55-10, because other than Eli, I never saw a more overrated quarterback than John Elway and I always thought Joe Montana was the best ever; San Francisco’s come-from-behind 20-16 win over Cincinnati in 1989, again because I thought Montana was the best, but also because my friend, David Grant played the entire game for the Bengals on the defensive line; Oakland’s 27-10 win over Philadelphia because I respected Jim Plunkett, the Rams’ 23-16 victory over the Titans in 2000 because that Rams offense was something special; Washington’s 42-10 rout of Denver because I always liked Doug Williams; the Jets’ win over Baltimore in Super Bowl III, because as a little kid, I loved the AFL and rooted big time for Joe Namath; Kansas City beating Minnesota, again because I loved the AFL, and Super Bowl I because it was the first one.
I remember watching that first game on Black and White TV (I don’t think I had color TV until Super Bowl V) but not really understanding what I was watching on Jan. 15, 1967. I do remember, however, that entire week after the Super Bowl, because it would be the last on this earth for one of the rare heroes in my life, my uncle Art Abramoff, who lost his life in Vietnam five days after the Packers beat the Chiefs. I often wonder if my uncle had watched that first Super Bowl, and when I see the footage on the NFL Network, I always think ‘wow, he was alive for that game.’
By Super Bowl II, I felt I was much more knowledgable about football. I remember the first game I had really watched was the Ice Bowl, which Green Bay won over Dallas on New Year’s Eve, 1967, 21-17, to make it to Super Bowl II.
What are your favorite games? Let me know sometime, and thanks for reading.