The Sports Lounge presents… My Top Ten Super Bowl Moments of my Lifetime; Numbers 10-6
Super Bowl 50 is just a little over a week from now and either the Broncos and Panthers will be crowned champions of the NFL. But before then, I wanted to take a look back at my top ten moments in Super Bowl history, in my lifetime. I was born shortly before the Raiders beat the Eagles in Super Bowl XV in New Orleans, LA. So, every Super Bowl from then on was considered and I have ranked my favorite ten moments from those games. And in this part, I will go over the bottom five moments in my Super Bowl history.
10. The Broncos finally get the big win.
The Denver Broncos had always been the runner-ups. They had been to four Super Bowls before then and lost all of them. Many critics and sports writers began to believe that John Elway would never win the big game. But the Broncos reached football’s pinnacle once again and faced off against the Green Bay Packers and star QB Brett Favre.
But on that January night in San Diego, John Elway and the Broncos were ready and finally won the championship. Most people will always remember John Elway’s “helicopter” run. It is an iconic image for sure. But the moment I remember is Terrell Davis’s TD run after suffering from intense migraine headaches throughout the game. His score helped lift the Broncos ahead of the Packers and hold on to win the Super Bowl.
9. Heisman Trophy winner to Super Bowl MVP
Just a year before losing to the Broncos, the Green Bay Packers played in Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans against the New England Patriots. This was the Packers first appearance in the Super Bowl since their win in Super Bowl II in 1967. After suffering through years of mediocrity, the Packers were hoping to change their fortunes with quarterback Brett Favre leading the Packers back to the top.
The two teams combined for 24 points in the first quarter and then Green Bay responded with 17 unanswered points, including an 81-yard touchdown pass from Favre to Antonio Freeman, a record that stood until 2004. The Patriots then scored to make it a close game, but Desmond Howard, the Heisman Trophy winner from Michigan put the game out of reach with a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff. His then-Super Bowl record 99 yard return touchdown sealed the victory for the Packers and earned Howard the Super Bowl MVP award.
8. A Debatable Decision
The Seattle Seahawks have been a good team for a few years now. Their turnaround came when they hired Pete Carroll as their head coach in 2010. They had made a Super Bowl appearance previously but failed to maintain their success. After Carroll arrived, the Seahawks became seen yearly championship contenders and, in 2014, won Super Bowl XLIII. And when they returned to the Super Bowl the following year against the New England Patriots, many people thought they would repeat.
And even against the Patriots, the closest thing to a dynasty in the past 15 years, the Seahawks had a chance to win back-to-back Super Bowls. The Patriots had built a lead, but gave Russell Wilson and the Seahawks the ball back with plenty of time left to score a winning touchdown. Seattle then drove all the way down the field but, in a highly criticized play, the Seahawks tried to pass for the touchdown only to be intercepted by Patriots rookie CB Malcolm Butler. Many believe that the Seahawks should have run the ball with their bruising RB Marshawn Lynch. But they did not and instead of winning a second Super Bowl in as many years, they made a legend of a rookie and helped add to the legacy of the Patriots.
7. The Championship Gold Rush
The San Francisco 49ers are known as a football dynasty. They were the team to beat in the 1980s. They had won the big game in the 1981 and 1984 seasons and had returned to the pinnacle of football following the 1988 season. This time, they faced the 12-4 Cincinnati Bengals, a team that was tied for the league’s best record after a disappointing 1987 season. The only problem for the Bengals was that they faced a 10-6 San Francisco team that was led by Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana.
In Super Bowl XXIII, the Bengals held a 13-6 lead going into the fourth. All the signs pointed to the Bengals finally winning their first championship. The 49ers responded by scoring a touchdown in the fourth to tie the game. But then Cincinnati responded with a field goal to take a 3 -point lead. But with 3:10 left on the clock, Montana led San Francisco on an 11-play, 92 yard drive that resulted in a touchdown for the win. His pass to John Taylor is historic and will never be forgotten. Neither will Montana’s cool demeanor as he reportedly pointed out John Candy in the crowd while they drove down the field in the biggest football game in the world.
6. Just one more…
Some Super Bowls are remembered for being blowouts. They are remembered for being so lopsided that one team just didn’t look like they belonged. Others are remembered for being a tight battle between two of the best NFL teams for that year. These are usually the games that are regarded as classics. But when the Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Rams met in Super Bowl XXXIV, the term “falling just short” was more literal than ever.
The St. Louis Rams were known as the “Greatest Show on Turf” because of their high-powered offense led by Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, and Isaac Bruce. But this historic offense was held in check by the Titans for the first half only holding a 9-0 lead. They then scored a touchdown and went up 16-0. But Tennessee rebounded and tied the game with 2:12 left in the game. The Rams, however, found their groove and scored a touchdown to take the lead. But the Titans got the ball back and started their own drive. They got to the St. Louis ten yard line when QB Steve McNair completed a pass to Kevin Dyson. Dyson ran toward the end zone for a potential game-tying touchdown, but was tackled before reaching the goal line. He did all he could and extended his arm out but fell just short of the scoring. The Rams had won the game by a yard. The Titans suffered a heart-breaking loss that will always be remembered as their Super Bowl moment until they can get back to the big game and win.
Daryl Karpinski, Jr.