Memories are made of these
Giants-Pats takes place among best Super Bowls ever
Posted: Tuesday February 5, 2008 2:40PM; Updated: Wednesday February 6, 2008 3:08PM
Super Bowl XLII, Giants 17, Patriots 14, was, to my way of thinking, the best Super Bowl ever. There, I've said it! I spent many hours on a torturously delayed flight from Phoenix to Newark ranking all of them and reviving old memories. I will list them all for you, according to grade categories, then I'll give you, in order, the eight I've selected for grades in the A class. Remember, these are strictly personal choices, many of them reflecting not so much the quality of the game but my own relationship to it.
The FEARSOME F's
XL (2006) Steelers 21, Seahawks 10 -- Both quarterbacks awful. Only strong memory was the terrible officiating. Signs everywhere proclaimed it 40th Anniversary. I got into at least 50 arguments. Super Bowl 40 is not a 40th Anniversary, I explained. Just as the day of your wedding is not the first anniversary. The only argument I got was, "We've made the signs already."
XXVII (1993) Cowboys 52, Bills 17 -- Nine turnovers for Buffalo. Naturally, your faithful narrator had the Bills. Michael Jackson provided halftime entertainment just to make the act complete.
XXIV (1990) 49ers 55, Broncos 10 -- Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips supposedly was a serious head coach prospect, but it took him four years after this debacle to land a job. What I remember best was strong safety Dennis Smith covering Jerry Rice when he lined up in the slot. Oy! Five TD's for Joe Montana.
XII (1978) Cowboys 27, Broncos 10 -- I was doing a book with Lyle Alzado, an eight-day special, written during Super Bowl week. I was hanging out with the Bronco defensive guys and they were in a mood to kill. I was sleep deprived. My lead for my game advance for the NY Post was advice to the bettors to jump on the Broncos getting 4˝. I'd forgotten that Craig Morton and the boys also had to take the field on the Denver offensive side of the ball. Eight turnovers later, down the dumper goes old Z.
THE DREADFUL D's
XXXVII (2003) Bucs 48, Raiders 21 -- Five picks for Rich Gannon and his Raider gnat attack, three for TD's... 34 unanswered points. Bleeaugh!
XXXV (2001) Ravens 34, Giants 7 -- 152 yards for the G-men, five turnovers, battle of the century between Trent Dilfer and Kerry Collins. A whole week of Ray Lewis and Tony Siragusa beating their chests in a "we are the greatest" frenzy.
XXXIII (1999) Broncos 34, Falcons 19 -- Overmatched Atlanta never in it. Biggest headline involved Falcon safety Eugene Robinson, a proud old vet and a good guy, getting caught in a sting operation in a hooker neighborhood in South Beach.
XXXI (1997) Packers 35, Patriots 21 -- Max Lane trying to block Reggie White. Three sacks and counting. There should have been an arrest. Right. Three picks for Drew Bledsoe, who was lucky to get out alive.
XXIX (1995) 49ers 49, Chargers 26 -- Steve Young, record six touchdowns. Sorry, but a whole bunch of pitch and catch, seven-on-seven TD's doesn't thrill me.
XXVI (1992) Redskins 37, Bills 24 -- O-line couldn't handle Redskin rush. Four picks for Kelly. Old Z had picked the Bills to win big.
XX (1986) Bears 46, Patriots 10 -- Chicago coach Mike Ditka actually caught some heat after this one when the Fridge scored more TD's (one) than Walter Payton (zero).
VIII (1974) Dolphins 24, Vikings 7 -- Vikes once again show up unprepared. Highlight for me was the author, Hunter Thompson, joining my writers' handicapping pool and signing up four times, under four names. Nope, he didn't come close.
VI (1972) Cowboys 24, Dolphins 3 -- Duane Thomas and the "evidently" quote. Best player on the field, but Sport Magazine gives its trophy car to Roger Staubach out of fear that the elusive Thomas wouldn't show up at their ceremony.
II (1968) Packers 33, Raiders 14 -- Not that terrible a game, but a tough one for me because, as an old AFL man, I was pulling hard for Oakland. Tom Keating, the Raiders' terrific defensive tackle, tore an Achilles but finished the game, actually recording a sack.