Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Super Bowl memories

I can’t really say I recall life without a Super Bowl.

I am actually older than the Super Bowl, but just barely. The Super Bowl is a game I have always tried to watch, ever since I was a little Craigman.

The first Super Bowl I really remember watching was the Colts over the Cowboys on a late field goal. I blame that loss on the Colts forcing the Cowboys to wear their dreaded dark shirts, which used to always mean a loss.

I have watched every Super Bowl since. I saw the Cowboys win their first Super Bowl over the Dolphins, the year before Miami was perfect, and several more, along with several losses along the way.

Many of the Super Bowls were not all that super. Some have been more than super. Probably the best one was the Giants beating the Patriots two years ago.

I watched that one on a tiny television in a hotel room in Louisville. The TV was so small it was impossible to read the score or time remaining unless I stood approximately a foot away from the screen.

I saw Terry Bradshaw and the Steelers dominate in the 1970s and the current edition win a couple, but not nearly as impressive. I saw the Vikings throw a big donut in each of their Super Bowl appearances, along with the Bills (which was good because two of those were against the Cowboys) and have seen the Patriots win way more than I would like.

Some of the games were suspenseful, usually the games involving the 49ers in the 80s and 90s weren’t.
Do I have a favorite game? Probably the Cowboys over the Broncos in the 70s when Randy White and Ed “Too Tall” Jones ruled and Tony Dorsett flashed his speed.

The games used to be played early in the afternoon or mid-afternoon, not the late start they have now. I even remember back when people watched the game to be watching the game, not the silly commercials, although some have made me laugh and many more made me wonder how many millions of dollars were blown for that junk.

They used to not even have a big halftime show. Now it is necessary, for some reason. I remember the outfit malfunction where Janet showed her Jackson for the world to see, not that it was all that impressive.

One Super Bowl that I will always remember was shortly after the first Gulf War started with the Giants and Bills playing. The jets flew over the stadium and Whitney Houston sang the national anthem as good or better than it has ever been done before or since.

The country was united then, everybody worried and praying for our troops as they battled a madman’s army in the middle east. We had been watching bombs explode over and in Baghdad for way too long and needed a release. That game took our worries and fears away for a few hours and it was a good one, coming down to the end when a field goal sailed wide, leaving the Giants on top.

There was even a game that made me seriously dislike a player for the rest of his career. It was Desmond Howard. He returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the Packers’ Super Bowl win over the Patriots.

Why do I dislike him? I had bought a square for that game and it was in the fourth quarter and after the Patriots scored, I had the right number to win the moolah. I danced, hollered and probably spilled a drink or two.

Then the Patriots kicked off and I got a bad feeling. It grew worse as Howard sprinted upfield and NOBODY touched him. I prayed for a flag or a whistle, but none came. In seconds, I had tasted the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat as ABC sports used to proclaim.

I don’t take part in those stupid squares any longer. But I will watch the game tomorrow evening with no particular care who wins. I will even watch the ads, except when nature calls.

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