Saturday, February 6, 2010

Favorite Super Bowl Memories

Why am I not excited about this year’s Super Bowl? If only the Vikings wouldn’t have thrown and fumbled the NFC Championship away. I can’t stand the Colts (not a Manning fan, and too many Hawkeye players on their team) and I’m pretty impartial to the Saints, even though I’m rooting for them. I’m not going to give you a bunch of analysis or a lengthy preview of Sunday’s Colts vs. Saints match up--you can get that kind of stuff anywhere. So here’s a list of some of my favorite all-time Super Bowl memories instead:

First Super Bowl Memory—-I may be dating myself a little here (not as much as some of you out there), but my first Super Bowl memory was the 1983 contest between the Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins. In fact, that Redskins team was my first NFL love. And how could it not be? Watching a team with an offensive line called the “Hogs” and their pig-snout wearing fans, along with quarterback Joe Theismann, bruising running back John Riggins, Art Monk, and Dexter Manley were more than enough to win over the heart of a 7 year-old. They even had a wide receiver named Charlie Brown! Could it get any better than that? I remember getting a pair of Washington Redskins gloves for Christmas that next December--those big vinyl, astronaut looking kind. Man, those were cool. The Redskins beat the Dolphins, 27-17, and had one of the greatest seasons ever the following year, but were unable to repeat as champions, losing to Marcus Allen and the Raiders.

Favorite QB Match Up—1985; Joe Montana vs. Dan Marino—I was your typical bandwagon jumper at this stage of my life. By 1985, Dan Marino had won my heart, and I was sporting one of those sweet teal and orange Dolphins jerseys. It was one of my all-time favorite pieces of clothing. Miami had that great receiving duo of Mark Clayton and Mark Duper, but no running game to go with it. Joe Montana and the 49ers had a good running game with Roger Craig who scored three times as they annihilated Miami. By the way, the 49ers have some of the worst uniforms of any team in any league.

Best Super Bowl Team of My Lifetime—1986 Chicago Bears. I hate to admit it now, but the ’85 Bears were one of my favorite teams of all-time. Told you I was a bandwagon jumper. Isn’t it amazing that one of the greatest teams ever only went to one Super Bowl? Jim McMahon, Walter Payton (Loved Him!), Willie Gault, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, Mike Singletary, Richard Dent, Dan Hampton, Wilber Marshall, Jay Hilgenberg—what an incredible list of superstars that team had. And SO many different personalities. That’s what made this team really fun. And who can forget the Super Bowl Shuffle?

And that’s when it all changed for me. After the Bears’ championship excitement wore off and Walter Payton’s career began to fade, I set my allegiances to one team and one team alone: The Denver Broncos. The reason? John Elway—still my favorite athlete of all-time. There was NO ONE better in clutch situations than #7. There was no one more fearless, more confident, and more fun to watch than him. Never will be. I had to endure three humiliating Super Bowl defeats in 1987, 1988, and 1990, but that just made Denver’s Back-To-Back titles in 1998 and 1999 all the sweeter. Elway retired after that 1999 win, going out on top, and the Super Bowl has never been the same for me since. It’s still fun, but not what it used to be.

If you really want to know who’s going to win this year’s big game, I pick the Colts, 35-28, as Peyton Manning secures his status as one of the greatest ever. Ugh. Anybody have any 80’s Super Bowls on VHS I could borrow? And send some Doritos and Throw-Back Pepsi with it.

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