Super Bowl memories

I don't know why I thought about this; was just in bed and started reminiscing about previous Super Bowls and some fond memories from those games. The first one that sticks out to me is the first Super Bowl III in 1969; the first football game I ever saw. The Jets and Joe Willie upset the Colts in an epic underdog victory. Joe Willie's guarantee will go down in history as one of the greatest guarantees of all time. Jets won 16-7.

 

In 1976, the Steelers defeated the Cowboys in Super Bowl X. Just remember Lynn Swann making one of the greatest, most acrobatic catches I had ever seen. Swannie was a great one as the Steelers kept their 70's dynasty going. Steelers won 21-17. I remember that game distinctly for it was right before my mother, my sister and I were heading over to Spain where my father was already working on a book.He was a college professor and he was on sabbatical in Spain and he was doing a lot of writing including writing a book. We lived there for four months and he later got the book published. Those were great times in Spain. My father passed away a year and a half later, but those were some happy times for him.

 

Super Bowl XIII was another classic Cowboys-Steelers matchup. I loved Roger Staubach. That game in 1979 was famous for Jackie Smith's drop in the end zone of a Staubach pass that could have won the game for the Cowboys. The Steelers won 36-31. Smith was such a great player, I hated seeing him remembered that way much like I hated it for Bill Buckner, a great baseball player, villified for his error against the Mets in the '86 World Series, a game the Red Sox were leading and the Mets won. If the Red Sox had won they would have won the Series. It was the bottom of the ninth and they were leading. Buckner's boot was sad for him and his legacy. Both were great players and deserved better fates. They still should be remembered as great players.

Super Bowl XIV was another memorable one for me personally. I was a senior in high school at boarding school in Washington D.C. (actually Alexandria, Virginia). A friend of mine and I got a day pass from school, and we journeyed over to a bar in Georgetown. We were legal to drink, but not legal with the school. If we got caught in the bar , we'd be in a lot of trouble, maybe kicked out of school, but we took our chances. We were typical teenagers; not very smart.

Anyway, we got to Chadwicks in Gtown and started ordering beers and watching the game. It was the Rams-Steelers and the Steelers were a heavy favorite. This may have been the best Steelers team of all with Terry Bradshaw, Swannie, John Stallworth, Franco Harris, Rocky Bleir, and a defense led by Jack Lambert, one of the toughest football players of all time, "Mean" Joe Greene and Mel Blount. I would argue that that team is the greatest in the history of the NFL.

But the Rams were giving them a battle and had a lead at halftime. My friend and I had the bar rocking leading cheers: "Give me an R-A-M-S. What's that spell?" The bar would blurt out "Rams." We had the bar rolling. It was a blast.

Unfortunately in the second half, Bradshaw hooked up with Swann for a td pass and Stallworth on a memorable 71-yard td pass (Stallworth, if you remember went to Alabama A &M). Stallworth's td catch was on the cover of Sports Illustrated the next week. The Steelers won 31-19. My friend and I  were a little down, but had a great experience to look back on.

Another one of my favorites happened two years ago. Super Bowl XLII (42) was a classic with the Giants ending the Patriots attempt to tie the Dolphins as the only undefeated NFL team of all time. The amazing catch by David Tyree on a prayer throw by Eli (though it was a great play by Eli to get away from the rush and he threw a good ball, and then Eli's throw to Plaxico Burress in the closing minute to win it 17-14 was amazing. Tyree's catch was so amazing; holding the ball over Rodney Harrison's helmet and keeping control of the ball as the point of the ball stuck out as he fell to the ground.

And then Eli to Plaxico to seal it. I felt so bad for Plaxico when he was sentenced to jail time for possessing a weapon in a bar. He had seemed like such a humble, kind guy at the end of the Super Bowl in the interview. I know that's a felony, but his apology to his wife and young children was heartbreaking. Sad story.

 

Maybe this year will be another memorable one. A lot of great teams contending. Could be the Colts-Saints or the Vikings-Patriots. The Bengals are in the hunt as are the Steelers. Can't count out the Cardinals or the Giants. Plenty of regular season left to enjoy though, then the playoffs. As Sly Croom said: "It don't get better than this."