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.