Sunday, February 1, 2009

Best Super Bowl ever? Yes

After all the hype, the mini-concerts and the endless pregame shows, they finally played a football game Sunday night.

And what an unbelievable Super Bowl it was -- ultimately won by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who now stand alone with six Super Bowl wins in franchise history.

That was a mesmerizing game and an incredible fourth quarter, when Arizona leaped from 20-7 down to 23-20 ahead, only to lose 27-23 when Pittsburgh's Santonio Holmes tapped his toes in the corner of the end zone to score the game-winning TD with 35 seconds left.

I thought NBC's Al Michaels showed some nice restraint in the final moments saying only that "this was in the same neighborhood" compared to last year's New England-N.Y. Giants thriller, but I'll go a bit further.

To me, this one was the best. I had no dog in the hunt and didn't care who won, but the game felt big and well-played and had a great final hour. I always favor a game that ends with a TD, not a FG, for the winning points (unlike Carolina's dramatic Super Bowl loss to New England 5 years ago).

So here's my list of the half-dozen most entertaining Super Bowls ever, counting them down from 6 to 1.

6. Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31... 1978 season. Bradshaw throws 4 TDs, Bleier recovers late Dallas onside kick to seal it.

5. New England 20, St. Louis 17... 2001 season. The Greatest Show on Turf goes down and the Patriots' dynasty begins.

4. N.Y. Giants 17, New England 14.... 2007 season. David Tyree catches the ball off his helmet and the Giants ruin the Patriots' season of perfection.

3. San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16... 1988 season. Montana begins the 92-yard drive to win it by off-handedly noticing that actor John Candy was in the stands.

2. New England 32, Carolina 29... 2003 season. You know all about this one, but the 37 total points scored in the fourth quarter still amazes me.

1. Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23... 2008 season. Larry Fitzgerald and Kurt Warner shredded the Steel Curtain in the 4th quarter and the Steelers still pull it off. Amazing stuff.

11 comments:

Jefferson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Privett said...

Scott,

I agree. This one was the best, and I believe I'll still feel that way in a couple of months. I would place it just ahead of 38 (Patriots-Panthers), which has been seemingly forgotten because of last year's New York-Boston bias fantastic finish. Last year was great, but not the best ever.

The fact of the matter is the NFL has put on some great championship games over the past fourteen seasons. Beginning with XXX, the Cowboys' last title, there have only been four (maybe five) Super Bowls you could argue were bad games (33, 35, 37, 40, and if you stretch 41). Meanwhile, we've heard "greatest Super Bowl ever" mentioned after 32, 34, 36, 38, 42, and now 43. What a stretch!

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Ryan said...

I didn't particularly care who won, but I thought the officiating was very biased against the Cardinals. The roughing the passer against Dansby, running over the holder (which I've never seen called), and the fact that they didn't even review the final Cards play were all completely ridiculous

punt said...

If we're talking about an entire game... it was boring. It was an entertaining fourth quarter, yet disappointing. I also thought the penalties were one-sided. Agreed that Arizona's LT Gandy had a rough day. But Pittsburgh O-line held many times too... a total of 2were called. Three personal fouls called in one series... all against Arizona. And why wasn't Harrison ejected for his thuggish display? I'm not sure if this game would be in the Top 10, for over all entertainment... it was too sloppy and one sided.

punt said...

If we're talking about an entire game... it was boring. It was an entertaining fourth quarter, yet disappointing. I also thought the penalties were one-sided. Agreed that Arizona's LT Gandy had a rough day. But Pittsburgh O-line held many times too... a total of 2were called. Three personal fouls called in one series... all against Arizona. And why wasn't Harrison ejected for his thuggish display? I'm not sure if this game would be in the Top 10, for over all entertainment... it was too sloppy and one sided.

prowlinpanther said...

Not even close, one quarter does not equal "Best Super Bowl Ever".
There were way too many officiating mistakes. The Steeler's interception return for a SB record TD should have been called back for an illegal block in the back. It did not matter to me who was victorious, but it was very lop sided as far as momentum/game changing calls made on the field.

Michael said...

Sorry, Scott...this game was entirely mediocre until the end. And your note that it was "well-played" could not be farther from the truth. Both offenses were weak, and neither D was all that impressive. Best ending? Maybe, but certainly not best overall game.

jkp1516 said...

Minus the end (with the Cardinals actually giving the Steelers a little bit of a Challenge), the game was terribly boring!!! The Steelers were picked by EVERYONE to win and did....what is great about that??? Holmes was the MVP and he didn't do anything but make one spectacular catch. All in all, this game merely demonstrated that the Cardinals weren't the best team in the NFC and got very lucky in the playoffs....

The best Superbowl ever would have to be a game that was addictive and kept you fascinated from the first play to the last play...this game did not do that...but of course after each superbowl, every reporter wants to say that "ohmy gosh! this was just the best game EVER!"----NO IT WASN'T

Best Superbowl I have ever watched- #38-Panthers/Patriots---thrilling from start to finish...

Morgan said...

The officiating was way, way, way too bad to even consider it a decent game. Take away 15 of the 20 flags thrown and it would have been a good game. I am so tired of professional sports journalists totally ignoring the story when it concerns suspect or incompetent officiating. Are you a journalist or a part of the NFL marketing department? A quick survey of non-Cardinal and non-Steeler fans reveals a shocking consensus that the refereeing was too one sided to consider it a good game. Where is that story?

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