Super Bowl Moments

6 Feb

By Darius Barnes

Its that time of year again. The most wonderful time of the year! For NFL addicts atleast. The Superbowl. We all have come accustomed to making the final game of the NFL season one big party. A viewing party of the two top teams in the NFL. Call all of our friends, get the party dip out and get in front of a large television.

We all have favorite moments that we remember throughout the era of the Super Bowl. Some more than others. Many highlights remind us of how great some of these games have been, and the history of some of the greatest teams defying the odds and bringing their franchise a forever remembered title. Ah to be “Super Bowl Champions.” The Super Bowl is enveloped by hype – from media days, to the plethora of fans packing hosting cities and we can’t forget the parties that all go on during Super Bowl Week. For some non football fans, the best part of the game is the commercials – a 30 second spot this year will cost you upwards of $3 million!

But lets not forget why we are looking back at Super Bowl moments right now. Memories are great to reflect on before the game and remind us fans of what makes this game so special.

Remarkable Super Bowl Feat

The First Black Quarterback to Win A Super Bowl:

This was a great break through for the NFL, not only because it was an African American winning the Super Bowl, but he did it in fantastic fashion against one of the greatest QBs of all-time – John Elway. As former Grambling State Tiger, not only did Williams come from a Historically Black College, (HBCU), but now that the Super Bowl is a February event, we get to reflect on this moment during Black History Month (Ironically Super Bowl XXII was on the 31st of January, though) as well. As a month where we remember historical moments in African American history and how African Americans changed the world as we view it today, we cannot over look William’s achievement, it made many look at the black quarterback in a different light.

Williams’ MVP performance in Super Bowl XXII was definitely the highlight of his pro career. During the 1987 regular season, Williams only started two games – and lost both – but they made it all the way to the Super Bowl and he engineered a 42-10 win over the Denver Broncos, scoring five touchdowns in the second quarter. He completed 18 of 29 passes for 340 yards that night, adding four touchdown passes (all in that second quarter), and was well deserving of the Super Bowl MVP. Williams retired with a 5-9 record as Redskins starter (8-9, counting playoffs) and a 38-42-1 record as a regular season starter (42-45-1, including 7 playoff starts). He had 100 passing touchdowns, and 15 rushing touchdowns, in 88 NFL games.

Greatest Play In Super Bowl History

Tyree’s catch to End a Perfect Season:

Not only is this is one of the greatest catches in my recent memory, but also for most who have been around for a while and seen all the great Super Bowl moments. In 2008 the Patriots came into Super Bowl XLII the undefeated, unblemished and unconquered. The seemingly invincible New England Patriots made it to the Super Bowl looking to become one of the greatest franchises in history led by a Hall of Fame quarterback (Tom Brady) and one of the game’s greatest coaches (Bill Belichick). The 18-0 New England Patriots were looking to surpass the 1972 undefeated Miami Dolphins with their 19th victory of the season.

This was all cut short by a 3rd down catch by New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree. Let’s pause for a second to pay homage to other notable plays in Super Bowl history that are worthy of some second place votes, but none of these top Manning to Tyree in my eyes:

Some may say the greatest catch in Super Bowl history was Max McGee’s one-handed stab in Super Bowl I, or Butch Johnson’s tumbling touchdown grab for Dallas in Super Bowl XII, or even better Lynn Swann’s balletic leap for Pittsburgh in Super Bowl X. How about Marcus Allen’s 74-yard touchdown run in Super Bowl XVIII. Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning field goals in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII. How about John Riggins’ 43-yard touchdown run in Super Bowl XVII or Joe Montana’s touchdown pass to John Taylor, lifting San Francisco to victory in Super Bowl XXIII. Or even John Elway’s daredevil dive for a first down in Denver’s upset of Green Bay in Super Bowl XXXII.

Not to take anything away from those great plays, but the point in the game when this jaw dropping catch occurs increases its significance in my eyes. Many of the afore mentioned plays happened for the team that had the game already in bag or they just weren’t impressive to make you just stare at the TV for a minute wondering what just happened. This great Super Bowl XLII moment did just that.

The play began with Eli Manning facing a third-and-5 at the Giants’ 44-yard line. One minute, 15 seconds remained in the game. Manning faded to pass and vanished in a wave of Patriot blitzers. Jarvis Green and Adalius Thomas had him wrapped up, or so it appeared. Somehow, Manning escaped and lofted a desperation pass toward the middle of the field. Tyree, who played mostly special teams and had only four catches in the regular season, jumped for the ball. Harrison climbed on his back and tried to rip the ball away, but Tyree pinned the football to his helmet, then pulled it in before hitting the ground. It was a 32-yard gain and four plays later, Manning found Plaxico Burress in the end zone for the winning touchdown. It was the play that changed everything.

When you watch this Game again through the multiple angles of our NFL Films cameras. You still won’t understand it. In the end the New York Giants defeated the Patriots 17-14.

The greatest play in Super Bowl history?
Judge for yourself.

A Storied Franchise Remembered By Losses.

The Big Game is what makes a team the greatest for that year and marks their name in the NFL books forever. The Lombardi Trophy is what the players strive to grasp and hold high above their heads for the world to see. The Buffalo Bills won two consecutive American Football League titles in 1964 and 1965 but the franchise’s championship wins are overshadowed by their multiple Super Bowl losses. Buffalo is also the only team to win four consecutive American Football Conference Championships, and the only team in either conference to play in (and lose) four consecutive Super Bowl games. So close and yet so far. Nothing epitomizes that idea more than the Super Bowl history of the Buffalo Bills. The quarteback at the helm was Jim Kelly. Kelly led the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls in 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993 and all four resulted in a loss. The losses came against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXV, Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXVI and the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII.

Despite the heartbreak, the Super Bowl Bills left a legacy behind that any team would be proud of. Three players on those teams–quarterback Jim Kelly, running back Thurman Thomas and wide receiver James Lofton–were eventually selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, along with head coach Marv Levy.

The last 10 years has seen 14 different teams appear in the Super Bowl. Lets just hope no team has to go through the failure of losing four straight Super Bowls again. It has to do something to a players confidence! I highly doubt that will ever happen again.

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