Wednesday, February 02, 2005

May it be a Super (Mark) Duper Bowl

First off, Hi. No, I didn't get a haircut. This is just a new blog.

First, I'd like to say thank you for making this list cover only "ESPN Era" Super Bowls. I don't want to see any of that "Jets over Colts" bullshit. I support Jeff Merron's position that Joe Namath is the single most overrated ath-eh-lete of all time. He gets way too much credit for this admittedly monumental upset: he dinked and dunked a bunch of screen passes, Matt Snell ran his ass off, and Earl Morrall threw four interceptions. There you go. If Namath hadn't played in New York, people would care 77.45 percent less about him than they do now. No, that's not technically "accurate," Mother.

Oh, and nice list there, Dids. You "expect controversy"? In the "ESPN Era," 3 out of every 4 Super Bowls have legitimately sucked ass. What the hell other game would even make the list? The only one that could conceivably be on there is the Rams-Patriots game. And for being as enormous an upset as it was, that game was boring. So I'm gonna stick with your 5. I'll see if I want to re-order them...

5.) 49ers 20, Bengals 16 (1989)
Since I wasn't particularly aware of football at that point in my life, I simply can't fathom how a team led by Boomer Esiason and Icky Woods apparently came within one epic 92-yd, Montana-led drive of knocking off THE NFL dynasty while it was still in its prime. Whatever. To be honest, the fact that it involved the Bungles probably DID lead to it being a little less-remembered than many other Super Bowls.
Signature Moment is undoubtedly the game-winning pass to John Taylor. And great mention of the end-zone view of it that you always see on NFL Films and shit.
Goofy stat of the game: Out of the 4 Super Bowls the 49ers won in the 80s, this was the only time Joe Montana wasn't the game's MVP, despite the fact that out of those 4 Super Bowls, the game-winning drive in this one is probably, probably what Montana is best-remembered for. The MVP? Jerry Rice, who caught 11 passes for a (still standing) Super Bowl record 215 yards. But wait, Montana went 23-36 for a then-Super Bowl record 357 yds, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs. So why not Montana? I'm thinking they pulled a "Chevy donating to the general scholarship fund" and announced the players of the game either before the last drive happened or before it was over. No, I have no proof or rationale. Shut up.
Stupid Stat, part II: This was the first Super Bowl that went into halftime tied (3-3).

4.) Patriots 32, Panthers 29 (2004)
This was a bizarre game all around. The game was scoreless almost until halftime, and then 24 points were scored in the last 3:05 of the second quarter (14-10 Patriots at halftime). Then the third quarter went scoreless, and a whopping 37 (37!?! In a row?) points were scored in the 4th. Jake Delhomme played one of the worst halves in Super Bowl history, then turned around and played one of the best. Mike Vrabel caught a TD pass. Janet Jackson's tit caused a national uproar. And Adam Vinatieri kicked the game-winning field goal, because, as Todd said, Adam Vinatieri kicks game-winning field goals. The fucker.
Signature moment, unfortunately, has to be said field goal by Vinatieri. Although my favorite moment was Muhsin Muhammad's Super Bowl record 85-yd TD catch up the left sideline.
Goofy stat of the game: Time of Possession: New England - 38:58 ; Carolina - 21:02

3.) Broncos 31, Packers 24 (1998)
I wouldn't say that this one was overrated. It was tight the whole way, a classic back-and-forth game, and it was a huge upset, so I don't see how it's overrated. I do agree that "getting Elway his first ring" is a yooge factor in the way this game is perceived in retrospect, though. And you're 100% correct: this was Terrell Davis's game, not Elways'. Elway went 12-22 for 123 yds, 0 TDs, and 1 INT. Davis's line: 30 rushes, 157 yds, 3 TDs. That's why Davis was the game MVP. However...
Signature moment has to go to Elway's "helicopter" dive. I mean, it WAS a big play. It got them a key 1st down inside the 10 late in the game, leading to the go-ahead TD, which was huge because Green Bay got down to the Denver 30 with under a minute left.
Goofy stat of the game: The immortal Mark Chmura became the only player on record to catch a TD pass in the Super Bowl and later be charged with Child Enticement and Statutory Rape by his family's babysitter.
Stat, II: The Broncos' win broke the NFC's streak of THIRTEEN consecutive Super Bowl wins over the AFC.

2.) Rams 23, Titans 16 (2000)
Fantastic, fantastic game. Yeah, I was rooting for Ed-die George's team to pull it out. But man, what a fun game to watch. You had McNair, George, Mason, Faulk, Bruce, Warner, Jesus, Warner's wife, Warner's wife's crew-cut ... what a cast. Kurt Warner broke Montana's afore-mentioned record for passing yards in a single Super Bowl, gunning for 414 yds (while Marhall Faulk inexcusably only carried the ball 10 times. I guess I see where Martz got it...), while the McNair/George duo tried to keep up. Bonus points for spawning the funniest bit that Conan O'Brien ever did. If you don't know ... you'll have to ask. Maybe I'll tell you ... someday.
Signature moment COULD have been Warner's 73-yd TD pass to Isaac Bruce with 1:54 left, and probably would have been for most Super Bowls. But Dids is right: it's gotta be the last play, when ... wait for it ... wait for it ... MIKE JONES (!)(?) stopped Kevin Dyson at the 1-yard line. It's somewhat shocking that everyone remembers that it was Kevin Dyson who got stopped short, but next-to-noone remembers that it was Mike Jones who made the textbook form-tackle, stopping Dyson at the 1:

Goofy stat of the game: Yards gained - First half: St. Louis 294, Tennessee 89 - Second half: Tennessee 278, St. Louis 142.

1.) Giants 20, Bills 19
This is the class of Super Bowls I've seen, as far as I'm concerned. You can't ask for any more, with regard to level of play, contrast of styles, stars involved, big plays, and the "upset" factor. The two teams were incredibly evenly-matched -- considering that they played a very tight game in the regular season, too -- although most prognosticators were picking the Bills (probably because Phil Simms was hurt). This was an efficient, well-played game with zero turnovers. The Giants combatted Buffalo's wide-open, no-huddle style with a pounding, ball-controlling game plan, one of the best in Super Bowl history. Todd's right: it's a shame those great Bills teams of the early 90s are now remembered as losers. This was probably the best team out of those four. Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas (who rushed 15 times for 135 yds in this game), Andre Reed, James Lofton. Great team. But they couldn't match MVP Otis Anderson and QB Jeff Hostetler, probably the last great "athlete with a pornstache" out there. Plus, after sharing a pre-game block of crack with Lawrence Taylor, Whitney Houston delivered what is widely considered to be the most stirring performance of the national anthem ever recorded. What a game.
Signature moment: Well, it wasn't a moment, but the Giants' epic 14-play, 9:30 drive in the third quarter was unreal, and I feel bad for Norwood, so I'm gonna make that my signature moment from this awesome game.
Huh?: Oh, all right. For a single moment within that epic drive, I'm gonna go with Jeff Hostetler's 14-yard completion on 3rd-and-13, where Mark Ingram juked and jiggled and broke tackles to get the first down. There.
Dude, come on: All right, fine. It was Norwood.
Goofy stat of the game: Once again, time of possession, indicative of the Giants' game plan: NYG 40:33, Buffalo 19:27.

There you go, Dids. Fu-out.

4 Comments:

At 4:06 PM, February 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, let's see what the character limit on this bad boy is.
Before I get to my list, a note on Super Bowl III. True, Joe Namath is the 1969 version of Freddie Mitchell, but don't underestimate the game itself. It's still in my top 4 or 5 Super Bowls ever. (By the way, if Freddie Mitchell gets his own talk show, I WILL watch.)

5. (3-way tie). Niners/Bengals - WHAT I REMEMBER MOST: This was the first Super Bowl that I can honestly remember at all, so all I really remember is the last drive, where it looked we'd finally get a Sudden Death Super Bowl. Didn't happen and we've had a couple near misses since. Just a side note - once we do get a SB OT, and the coin toss winner gets the Lombardi, the NFL will be forced to change to the NCAA version of OT. I guarantee it. You're gonna like the way you look.
5. Broncos/Packers - WHAT I REMEMBER MOST: I hated Elway, but Denver's offensive line, the league's smallest (I think Gilbert Brown outweighed all of them combined), was fun to watch.
5. Pats/Panthers - WHAT I REMEMBER MOST: This game just didn't make sense. No points for the first 25 minutes. Then 37 in the final qtr. Huh? Delhomme was awesome. And Muhsin Muhammed is the first entrant into my personal fantasy league Hall Of Fame. But after so little scoring to start out, I was desperately hoping for a Super Bowl final score of 3-2, 5-3, or at most 7-6. Didn't quite turn out that way.

4. Rams/Titans - WHAT I REMEMBER MOST: Eddie George's knee not being down. The bomb to Bruce. And of course, Mike Jones. The biggest sports blueballer of all time. Still, a great game.

3. Bud Bowl III - WHAT I REMEMBER MOST: Bud Light finally breaks through with a victory. Bud Dry was unstoppable at QB while the Bud Light defensive front of the Washer, the Dryer, and the Kitchen Sink was dominant. Excellence on both sides of the ball. (It wasn't till a few years later, when I actually started drinking beer, that I realized Bud Light deserved to lose all those games.)

2. Giants/Bills - WHAT I REMEMBER MOST: I adored Hostetler at the time and I think I like him more now, especially after hearing that the loathsome Phil Simms recalled that he didn't really care who won that game.
WHAT I REMEMBER MOST: The Giants ree-dick-ulous T.O.P. (I think they had a 32 minute drive in the first half - don't ask me how.) and the Bills's safety. A SUPER BOWL SAFETY! We were truly blessed with this game.

1. Patriots/Rams - I honestly can't believe this didn't crack either of your top 5s. Okay, it didn't have the offensive (sexy time) explosion that Pats/Panthers did and it wasn't a 1-point game involving a pornstache, but it was a Super Bowl of epic proportions. The Rams were HEAVY favorites and this game was supposed to be their crowning as one the better teams ever, well on their way to being a legitimate dynasty. Remember, they had virtually everyone back from when they beat the Titans. (Remember the Titans?) Remember, Mike Martz seemed competent at the time. Their defense was better than average and their offense was dominant. Faulk. Warner. Holt. Bruce. Jennifer Azzihir Az-Hakim. The Patriots' biggest star might have been their backup quarterback. The whole team was a bunch of no-names at that point. The only reason the Pats were there was because of a bizarre non-fumble in the snow and Bill Cowher's annual playoff letdown. There was just no way this team could beat the Rams. But then they came out and smacked the entire Rams offense in the mouth...repeatedly. It was like what they do to the Colts now, except no one had seen it before. The Rams of course made a game of it, tying it up late w/ a Warner to Proehl TD. We of course know what happened after that: Brady drives the team down the field, in spite of what Madden and a lot of other people were saying. And Vinatieri wins it. Just like they did against the Panthers, except no one had seen it before. (Honestly, how much does Ricky Proehl hate Adam Vinatieri? I mean is it like Finkle/Marino type rage now?)
Not just a great game, but a hyoooooj upset, and what turned out to be a major turning point in the entire NFL landscape.
WHAT I REMEMBER MOST: It was kind of hokey, but when the Patriots were introduced as a team, I honestly got chills. Everything that followed just made a little more sense after that.

- Nipsey

 
At 4:55 PM, February 03, 2005, Blogger The Diddy said...

Nips...nice sell out on the 3-way tie for 5th place. You friggin' mo. I can tell you my reason why the pats/rams didn't make the list. Yes, it was a yooge upset and all that jazz, but the reason it happened was Mike Martz. If he wasn't so arrogant to not give Marshall Faulk the ball, the rams win by 20. He just refused to admit that the players were more important than him and it was surreal to watch. The rams still almost won despite Martz. I don't wanna take anything away from the Patriots, no one gave them a chance in that game. The Patriots were fantastic and the Rams were as bad as Martz could make them. It was just too frustrating.

 
At 9:56 PM, February 03, 2005, Blogger Jack Fu said...

I said it in my post: it was a great game, but I just didn't CARE. I actually found the game, up until the last 5:00 or so, pretty damn boring. Plus, in retrospect, I mean, I hate the Patriots now. Speaking of which, I had a conversation with someone on another site, where we mused about how annoying the Sports Guy has gotten, and the guy I was talking to wrote:

"I think it's basically because the Pats are not the downtrodden underdog anymore, and neither are the Red Sox. Also, he experienced a lot of success in his personal career and kind of 'sold out' to Hollywood for a while. ESPN.com now has a stupid cartoon based on his life. So his columns come off more as arrogant bragging about himself and Boston teams rather than the sharp-witted fusions of pop culture and sports that they once were."

Amen, good sir. Amen.

Am I punishing the Patriots because of this? Maybe. I don't know. But I don't care either. Fuck Boston, fuck the Patriots, and fuck the Red Sox.

 
At 3:54 PM, February 04, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Thank you for the Mad Libs headline. That was almost as good as the Dancin' Detlefs. (Notice I said almost.)

2. It's hard to slam the Sports Guy, but you're right. His columns that are solely concerning either the Red Sox or Pats are pretty hard to stomach. And if he HAS to go local, I'd much rather read his take on Mark Blount than Adam Vinatieri.

3. Pats/Rams: I'll admit the first 3 quarters weren't the absolute best football I've ever seen, but I wouldn't call it boring. The Pats were smacking around a supposedly far superior opponent. (It was a lot like Super Bowl III in that sense.) I think that's fun to watch. And I totally agree that Martz probably cost the Rams the game, but at that point, no one knew Martz well enough to see it coming. I mean, in January 2002, if you asked people who was a better coach, Martz or Beli-The Hot Chick, I'm guessing 80 to 90 % would say Martz. And if you went into a Cleveland sports bar in January 2002 and insinuated that Bill Belichick was one of the best 2 or 3 coaches in NFL history, you'd probably get murdered. NOW, when you think of Martz vs. Belichick, you wonder how the Rams made it that close. But at the time it was a 2-in-the-poo type shocker.

- Nip-Z

 

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