Memories are made of these (cont.)
Posted: Tuesday February 5, 2008 2:40PM; Updated: Wednesday February 6, 2008 3:08PM
XLI (2007) Colts 29, Bears 17 -- Chicago, for all its great defense, had no one who could keep up with Joseph Addai, my personal MVP. Rex Grossman, playing dinkball, threw two picks.
XXXIX (2005) Patriots 24, Eagles 21 -- I don't know why, but this No. 3 in the Pats trio of Supe victories, didn't really thrill me. I remember doing a complicated strategic piece about Charlie Weis throwing two straight screen passes off multiple wideout formations.
XXXVII (1994) Cowboys 30, Bills 13 -- For the fourth straight year, I picked Buffalo. SI's preview issue had on its cover, "Cheer up, Cowboys, Dr. Z Picks Bills." Worst of all, I was never informed. Nothing like a little loyalty from your employer. Let's call this one a C-minus.
XXII (1988) Redskins 42, Broncos 10 -- Another in the Bombs Away series, this time Doug Williams lighting it up with 35 points in the second quarter. Felt bad for the Broncs, good for Doug, who deserved a bit of good luck.
XVII (1983) Redskins 27, Dolphins 17 -- Joe Theismann and Joe Gibbs' Bunch Formation, Riggo and his 43-yard burst. Dolphins and David Woodley actually carved out a brief lead.
X (1976) Steelers 21, Cowboys 17 -- Like an idiot I followed the official directive to proceed downstairs with five minutes left, ("TV monitors will be provided"). Thus I neatly schnookered myself out of watching the end of this exciting contest, saved by a Glen Edwards end zone interception. We were herded into a room with no monitors, my howling and hand wringing went for naught. I can't cheer about something I didn't see, but I never heeded that foolish dictum again.
VII (1973) Dolphins 14, Redskins 7 -- A non--competitive game. Skins weren't in it, collecting their only points on Garo Yepremian's bloop pass attempt. Miami safety Jake Scott was the MVP. We all yelled when it didn't go to DT Manny Fernandez.
V (1971) Colts 16, Cowboys 13 -- Jim O'Brien's winning field goal produced the only last-second victory for the next 18 years. But the game was a parade of miscues. For the only time a member of the losing team (LB Chuck Howley) was named MVP, and I want you to remember this for later on.
BUSY B's (B-, B+, plain B)
XXXVIII (2004) Patriots 32, Panthers 29 -- Scoring, which included 37 points in the fourth quarter, was a little too free and easy for my tastes, but beginners in the art of football connoisseurship found it exciting. Winning field goal with four seconds left. A straight B.
XXXII (1998) Broncos 31, Packers 24 -- The Terrell Davis show. Strange ending in which Brett Favre threw three straight incompletes, the last an ill advised pitch to a covered receiver. Grade: B-
XXX (1996) Cowboys 27, Steelers 17 -- Another B-. Larry Brown's two interceptions of Neil O'Donnell's mishaps earned him MVP, and why, you ask, does this rather mundane affair get a decent grade? Only because the game was in Phoenix, and attending the contest was my new girlfriend, a flamingly red-headed Phoenix beauty named Linda Lou Bailey.
XIX (1985) 49ers 38, Dolphins 16 -- Montana vs. Marino, and gut pressure supplied by Big Hands Johnson and Fred Dean upended Danny. The straight B grade is the result of the game being held in the best of all venues, Stanford Stadium and the San Francisco Bay Area.
XVIII (1984) Raiders 38, Redskins 9 -- Marcus Allen got the MVP for his 191 yards, but my choice was a split between Matt Millen and Reggie Kinlaw for the shutdown job they did. Oh, yes, once again the rule was proved that unknown players always emerge in this arena, this time LB Jack Squirek, with his five-yard TD off an interception of a Theismann screen pass right before halftime. You're right, the game wasn't close, but I had gotten to know some of those Raiders defensive players pretty well. Grade: B-
XVI (1982) 49ers 26, Bengals 21 -- Game not as close as the score, but the whole thing fairly breathed with excitement -- the start of something big, the Walsh system and young Joey Montana, Ronnie Lott and the great DB's. Grade: B+
XV (1981) Raiders 27, Eagles 10 -- The Bowl of Flakes. Charles Phillyaw and John Matuszak and Teddy the Stork, lovingly known by his teammates as Kick'em. A million angles, all funny, pleasant to write, and to read. My favorite, the peanut shells found on the Raiders' sideline after the game. Yes, they had all been noshing away. Straight B for this one.
XIII (1979) Steelers 35, Cowboys 31 -- Yeah, it was exciting, with a recovered onside kick at the end and then Rocky Bleier recovering the final one, but this was the heyday of the America's Team arrogance and I wanted to see the Cowboys crushed not merely beaten. Call it B-
XI (1977) Raiders 32, Vikings 14 -- Best Super Bowl interview ever. Tuesday before the game I'm in the room of Oakland's OLB from Jersey, Phil Villapiano, with a few of his paisans, and we're putting away the pepperoni and mortadella and he asks me, "Say, do you ever bet?" and I tell him it's not professional for a man in my ... and he says, "Don't BS me, all you guys on the Post bet, so do yourself and your family a favor and send it all in on us. No way we won't cover 6˝ points." Yes indeed, a very valuable interview. A B+ here.
IX (1975) Steelers 16, Vikings 6 -- The rise of the Steel Curtain against a typically inept Minnesota entry. Famous Pete Rozelle line at the next draft, after it's announced that Minnesota passes. "And L.C. Greenwood knocks it down." Straight B.
IV (1969) Chiefs 23, Vikings 7 -- Yeah! All those stuffy NFL people didn't really believe it when the Jets beat Baltimore in Supe III, but this one clinched it. I mean the champions of the new league just toyed with the Joe Kapp Vikes, who were actually favored by 12. Grade: B+
I (1967) Packers 35, Chiefs 10 -- A B grade with sadness because I begged my sports editor to let me cover this one and he said, "We've got Al Buck out there and that's enough." Close at the half, then the Pack pulled away. If I'd have covered it I'd be, right now, one of only 3˝ living writers who've been to all 42.