Could this be one of the classic Super Bowls?

by Gary Shelton on January 24, 2020

in general

Friday, 4 a.m.

Think of it like a yearly movie.

Most of them are duds.

Most of them have bad actors, and bad scripts, and major plot holes. Most of them are death at the box office. You look at them, and you think that it's no wonder that the event fizzled.

But every now and then, too rarely for you to count on it, the Super Bowl works.

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Every now and then, there is drama, and there are heroes, and there are memories. Every now and then, you reflect on what you have just seen and think 'Wow. Now, that was a game."

There were times the Super Bowl was an annual bore-fest. I remember an early Super Bowl, the first one I covered for the Times, then the Super Bowl promised a duel between Joe Montana and John Elway. Great theater, right?

It ended up 55-10.

You may remember it as the "Heaven's Gate" of Super Bowls.


Lately, however, we have some some thrills, and the Super Bowl has been worth watching.

The Top 10 games.

  1. Super Bowl XXIII: This has always been my favorite game. You had Joe Montana, driving down the field in the dying seconds. He lifted his team over the Bengals, a team that lost Stanley Wilson to cocaine usage the night before the game, and Tim Krumrie on a grisly injury during it.

2. Super Bowl XLIII: You say you like comebacks? How about two comebacks. First, Arizona's Kurt Warner brings the Cards back into the lead with 2:37 to play. Then, Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a 27-23 win with a six-yard pass to Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds to play.

3. Super Bowl XXV: Giants 20, Bills 19: Everyone remembers Scott Norwood's miss in the final seconds. But Norwood hadn't hit a field goal of that length on grass all season. I've always thought the Bills' failing was ignoring Thurman Thomas Thomas averaged nine yards a carry but touched the ball only 15 times.

4. Super Bowl XXXIV: The Rams won this game by a foot as Rams' linebacker Mike Jones tackled the Titans' Kevin Dyson just short of the goal in the closing seconds. It preserved. 23-16 win.

5. Super Bowl XLIX: Technically, the game was decided by a misplay, not a grand comeback. But when Seattle coach Pete Carroll decided to throw instead of run at the New England goal line, it was a gaffe that will last forever. Instead of giving the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch at the goal line, the Seahawks called a pass play. Malcolm Butler intercepted the ball at the one in the closing seconds.

6. Super Bowl XLII: No, Super Bowl III wasn't the biggest upset in Super Bowl history. That came when the Giants upset the undefeated Patriots, l7-14, in a game that featured a receiver catching a ball off of his head. The Giants, a wild-card team, upset the high-flying Patriots, who seemed to be inches from an undefeated season.

7. Super Bowl LI: It was the size of the Patriots comeback that makes this one memorable. The Patriots trailed the Falcons 28-3 at one point before coming from behind to win 34-28 in overtime.

8. Super Bowl XXXVI: At the beginning of a dynasty, no one knew much about Bill Belichick and even less about Tom Brady. But the Pats, a decided underdog to the Rams, pulled off a 20-17 victory.

9. Super Bowl XXXVII: Brady's reputation became golden when he led the Patriots to a comeback victory over Carolina. Adam Vinatieri kicked a winning field goal with four seconds to play.

10. Super Bowl XLVI: By now, we are used to Tom Brady leading the Patriots from behind. But he isn't perfect. In a 21-17 loss to the Giants, it was New York who came from behind when Ahmad Bradshaw ran six yards for the winning touchdown with 57 seconds left to play.

Can this game crack the top 10. Perhaps. Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City against the 49ers' defensive front is interesting. Will Jimmy Garoppolo be allowed to pass? We'll see.

Hey, it's the Super Bowl.

There's a chance it will be Super game.

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