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My 10 Favorite Super Bowl Games Part 1

Well ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of the year again: Super Bowl.




The Super Bowl has basically become a holiday here in the United States. Every year across this country we go to parties, stuff our faces with food, have all kinds of drinks and gather around our television sets to watch the conclusion of the NFL season.

Historically, the Super Bowl has not been this epic or exciting game. For much of it's existence, especially for the games that happened during the retro years as defined by this site, the games were often major blowout's where one team humiliated the other team to complete embarrassment. Every now and then you would get this close, exciting game that came down to the wire, but it wasn't often.

However, since the change of millennium Super Bowl's have become those exciting games far more often. Most games since the year 2000 have been these close, thrilling, back and forth games that came down to the final seconds of game play.

Even with all that being said, there's been plenty of great games regardless of what era they were played in. And that's why today I'm counting down my ten favorite Super Bowl games of all time.




Super Bowl 34 is honestly in my opinion an overrated Super Bowl. It's not that it's a bad game by any means, but the way a lot of people talk about it or reminisce about it puts it on a pedestal that it just doesn't deserve a spot on. It seems like far too many people describe it as one of the best of all time, with them just recalling it as this nonstop exciting game where your heart was just beating heavily at what was unfolding.

However, I can understand why that is. The last quarter of the game was a pretty intense quarter, going down as one of the most thrilling finishes to a Super Bowl of all time. I feel like however the rest of the game was pretty flat. It wasn't that high when it came to scoring, and it was only in the second half when a majority of the points were put on the board. 

I'm not going to say it's a bad game, but it was a decent game that had a really great ending, which is why I feel like it deserves a spot on this list. It might not be as great as everyone makes it out to be, but the game does have merit as one of my favorite Super Bowl's.




The game had a lot of excitement heading into it as both teams playing had these "Cinderella" type stories about their seasons, making the game that was about to be played a "Who Wants It More?" atmosphere. The St. Louis Rams (former St. Louis Rams that is) had transformed from one of the worst teams in the league to "The Greatest Show on Turf", a legendary offense like none had ever seen before, backed by a Hall of Fame running back that they acquired over the off season named Marshall Faulk, and a young quarterback named Kurt Warner, who was having his own Cinderella story as he went from being a grocery store clerk to a NFL starting quarterback.

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Titans were a new team emerging from an old one. The were previously the Houston Oilers, a team with a legacy of having great seasons but absolutely choking in the playoffs. Their move from Houston happened a few years before, but 1999 was the first season where they ditched the Oilers brand completely: they were now the Tennessee Titans. They were a small team that few looked at, made up of players who few thought about. This to them was their biggest chance at glory: finally take home a Super Bowl trophy after decades of despair as the Oilers and do so by defeating a team that had already cemented themselves as legends.




The first half was kind of boring as I said before. The Titans managed to beat up on the Rams elite offense, preventing the Rams from scoring a touchdown in the first half. Their was kind of an excitement in the first half where you wonder "Can the Rams get out of this slump before it's too late?" as you watched the battle unfold. As the second half emerged, both teams started putting up points, with both teams scoring multiple touchdowns in the second half. 

It was the final minutes of the game that really defines why so many people think it's great.




After an amazing touchdown pass by the Rams, the Titans still had time left to try and win the game. With help from Rams defensive penalties, they managed to march into the red zone with only a few seconds left to spare. On the final play, Titans quarterback Steve McNair threw a quick pass to wide receiver Kevin Dyson. As Dyson ran towards the end zone, he was tackled by Rams linebacker Mike Jones who managed to stop Dyson one yard short of the goal line as time expired.

With that hairline tackle, the Rams clinched their first and so far only Super Bowl victory, cementing their championship season as one of the best Cinderella stories of all time.




I'm pretty sure if any real football historian or analyst read this list they would go apesh*t over me placing Super Bowl XIII at only number nine. Super Bowl XIII is considered one of the best Super Bowl games of all time, and it's certainly one of the best of the early era of the Super Bowl. I agree that it's a great game and one of the best of all time, I just personally put it lower then other games I've seen in my lifetime.




This game really captures the NFL of the 1970's, when you think 70's football you think of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys. These two teams clashing is what everyone wanted to see. This was the rematch of Super Bowl X from a few years previous, which was a good game as well. This time both teams unleashed all they had to offer, holding nothing back. The one difference was a dropped touchdown pass that resulted instead in a field goal, which made all the difference as the Steelers defeated the Cowboys to claim their third Super Bowl championship and cement themselves as both a dynasty and as the team of the 1970's.




Super XIX was a blowout by all definitions of the word, a type of game that normally would not appear on a favorites list unless that person writing said list was a fan of the team who won it all. I actually really hate the San Francisco 49ers, but Dan Marino is one of two football players who I respect the most in the history of the game, so I felt like his only Super Bowl appearance should be included on this list even if it ended in a loss and a humiliating blowout.

Both teams entered the Super Bowl with the best records in football that year, and Dan Marino had an amazing record setting season as a quarterback. Even to this day as his records from that season fell, many view it as the best season a quarterback has ever had in the history of the league.




Unfortunately, the 49ers not only had a great offense but a stellar defense as well. The 49ers defense harassed Marino the entire game, while the Dolphins lackluster defense found themselves outgunned by 49ers quarterback Joe Montana and running back Roger Craig. The 49ers slaughtered the Dolphins to claim their second Super Bowl, while the Dolphins haven't been back since.




When Super Bowl XLIV was first played I actually really hated this game. I hated the New Orleans Saints and didn't want to see them win, and I was also sad that Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts lost after having such a great season as a team.

However, in the years since this game was played and the outcome has set in and while also taking in the fact that the very talented Saints organization was ruined by a massive bounty scandal, I will say that Super Bowl XLIV is a pretty good Super Bowl all things considered. It might not have been this close, down to the final second game where you were sitting on the edge of your seat until it was over, but it was a pretty exciting game to watch.


 


Just like the previous entry, both teams entered the Super Bowl as the best teams in the league that year, with the Colts ultimately throwing away the opportunity to become only the second team to go undefeated since the NFL moved to a sixteen game season in 1978. The Saints were making their first Super Bowl appearance after more than 40 years of being in the league, a 40 plus year existence where the Saints were considered the biggest laughingstocks and one of the most "down on their luck" franchises to ever exist in the history of sports.

Much of Super Bowl XXXIV the game was slow in the first half only to go full throttle in the second. The Saints spent the first half struggling to put points on the board, while the Colts spent the first half controlling the Saints and preventing them from running wild, managing to keep the score controlled at 10-6 going into halftime with the Colts supposed to receive the ball in the second half.

It was at kickoff when one of the most daring decisions, one of the most gutsiest calls, one of the most ball growing choices was made by the New Orleans Saints:




They went for an onside kick for the second half kickoff. And it was successful.

From that point forward, the momentum of the game completely changed and was now behind the Saints all the way. The Saints fought back against the Colts in the second half, putting more points on the board and having more successful plays than the Colts did, including at one point going for a two-point conversion that was at first deemed a failure but was challenged by the Saints to be overturned to a success.

As the final minutes of the game drew near, the Colts still had a chance to win the game. Down by only seven points, the Colts began marching down the field to try and tie the game. However, that went out the window when Colts quarterback Peyton Manning threw an interception to Saints corner Tracy Porter who returned it an astonishing 74 yards for a touchdown.

After the pick six, the Colts attempted one last time to win the game, but they failed. The Colts went into the red zone with a minute left to go, but failed on a fourth down attempt to score a touchdown, thus turning over on downs and giving the ball back to the Saints. The clock then ran down as the Saints celebrated their first and so far only Super Bowl title in their franchises' history.






Now it's time for a much weirder entry: Super Bowl XXXVII. This is a game that doesn't get talked about much, a Super Bowl that's kind of been forgotten in some regards. I'm guessing mainly it's because no one in their right minds believe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one of the most destitute franchises in NFL history, actually managed to win a Super Bowl. It's kind of sad in some ways, because not only did Tampa Bay have a pretty talented team and great defense that year, they also might see a fairly large amount of Hall of Famers from that team over the next few years.




The big story going into this game had to deal with Buccaneers head coach Jon "I eerily look like Chucky" Gruden. He had been the Oakland Raiders head coach the season before, but the famous "Tuck Rule" game between them and the New England Patriots from the previous postseason turned a already bad relationship between Gruden and Raiders owner Al Davis into an exploding bomb. Davis traded Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the offseason (back then coaches could be traded), and so many people saw this game as Gruden's quest for revenge against Al Davis.

And get his revenge he did.




Super Bowl XXXVII was an absolute blow out by all definitions. The Oakland Raiders were just embarrassed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Having been the coach of the Raiders just a season before, Gruden knew most of their offensive plays, and coupled with already having an elite defense that could control the pass, the Buccaneers managed to just eviscerate the Raiders offense.

The Raiders managed to attempt a comeback in the second half, but it fell short as Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon threw two pick sixes in the final minutes of the game to make it a blowout. Gannon set a record of five interceptions in that one game.




This is kind of an odd choice for a entry, but I actually thought the game was exciting right up until Gannon threw the first of his last two interceptions. I'm guessing this game has been forgotten mainly because it was a blowout and it was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who won it all. I'm sure it also has to do with the rumors that Oakland Raiders head coach Bill Callahan may have threw the game, and the fact that Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson admitted that he attempted to use deflated footballs to give himself an edge in this game.

Kind of an ugly Super Bowl when you take all that in, but it's my list and I thought it was exciting at some points so it earns it's spot.


************************************


And that'll do it for the first half of these articles, so tune back in when the second half gets published. In honor of the Super Bowl, here's a couple of songs to fulfill you before the second half. And since this is my list, here's some actual GOOD music instead of the crappy pop songs that are normally played.

















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Vaporman87 Posted on Feb 21, 2017 at 10:19 AM

Great idea for a list Rick, and well executed. There is a wealth of great games here, most of which I never tuned in to watch... so breaking them down for me was helpful. LOL

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