Super Bowl Memories

6 Feb

Super Bowl 50 is here, and it is special enough to abandon the Roman Numerals. Honestly, I wish they would leave them off forever. The Super Bowl is everywhere. Radio ads. Television ads. Lists of the greatest games. Lists of the greatest players. Millions are getting ready to watch the Super Bowl.

It is during this time of year that I realize how lucky I have been to attend two Super Bowls and that they rank as two of the best.23

Super Bowl XXIII pitted the San Francisco 49ers against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 49ers had Joe Montana, and the Bengals had the Icky Shuffle. My dad took me to the game, and I can remember trying to take in every detail. Unfortunately, a lot of those details have faded away.

The game was played in Miami, at what was then called Joe Robbie Stadium. White tents filled with corporate parties were everywhere. We sat in the corner of the upper deck with Bengals fans. That was good because I was cheering for Cincinnati. Tim McGee, a Bengals receiver, played for the University of Tennessee, and I had to be for him. Besides that, the rise of the 49ers began by beating the Dallas Cowboys, my favorite childhood team. I could never forgive that.

The Bengals led for most of the game, but Joe Montana got the ball with a few minutes left. He drove the 49ers down the field and threw a go ahead touchdown with only a few seconds left. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 20-16.34

Super Bowl XXXIV was important for this part of the country. The Tennessee Titans had a miracle run through the playoffs and made it to the final game. For the second time that year, they would play the St. Louis Rams. The first game was a Titans victory.

A bunch of us took a luxury bus to Atlanta to see the game in the Georgia Dome. It was a good thing that the Super Bowl was inside because an ice storm hit the city. Unlike my first Super Bowl, we did not have any tickets and had to find some for an entire bus full of people.

The tickets that we got were scattered throughout the stadium. Club Level. Front Row. Upper Deck. We all paid the same but had to decide who would get what. Someone suggested cutting cards to choose tickets. I cut the wrong card and ended up on the last row of the upper deck. I could almost touch the ceiling.

I remember that Tina Turner performed at the game. I can always say that I have heard Tina in person. However, I have not seen her in person. That is all I remember about the entertainment because the game was the important thing. We were not there as casual observers. We had a stake in the outcome.

The Titans fell behind but made a gallant comeback to tie the game with 2 minutes to go. Then, Kurt Warner hit a bomb for a touchdown. The events that followed have gone down in Super Bowl lore.

Steve McNair led the Titans down the field. On one play, he broke a tackle to complete a pass near the end zone. Timeout was called to set the last play. McNair dropped back and hit Kevin Dyson on a slant across the middle. He was running into the end zone when he was tackled from behind. He stretched out the ball but was stopped one yard short of the first overtime in Super Bowl history.

It was a stunning ending. As Titans players laid on the field, confetti rained from the ceiling. The Rams fans next to me were celebrating as we stood in silence.

We were not upset on the ride home. This was our first NFL season, and we did not realize how it worked. We went to the Super Bowl once and figured it would happen again. However, it has not happened again. In fact, the Titans are not the worst team in the league.

Hopefully, I will get to another Super Bowl, and it would be awesome if my team was in it. That is doubtful, but, without a doubt, it would not be as dramatic as the two I have seen.

12 Responses to “Super Bowl Memories”

  1. Andrew Petcher February 6, 2016 at 07:27 #

    I didn’t understand any of that of course but I do appreciate last minute deciding action. I remember England winning the Rugby World Cup with the last kick of the match. In England lots of people leave a football match before the end especially if their team is losing. I have always considered that a strange thing to do, there is often a last minute goal!

    • Rick February 6, 2016 at 15:22 #

      No matter the sport, a true fan stays until the end.

  2. frontrangescribbles February 6, 2016 at 12:45 #

    Being a Rams fan at the time (until the greedy Kroenke ripped the team from my hometown) it was one the best Super Bowl games I have seen. Thankfully now living in CO I have more than a passing interest in this year’s game.

    • Rick February 6, 2016 at 15:23 #

      As a fan of the University of Tennessee, I’m hoping Peyton goes out as a champion.

  3. Cindy Bruchman February 6, 2016 at 14:31 #

    Joe Montana is still the best QB in history. I’m looking forward to Manning and Brady retiring. We are having a party and I’m looking forward to the commercials. Let’s hope I don’t burn the potato skins. 😉

    • Rick February 6, 2016 at 15:24 #

      I feel honored to have seen Joe Montana play.

  4. Marilyn Armstrong February 7, 2016 at 03:09 #

    We’ll watch it, but when we don’t have a stake in the game, it’s not quite as thrilling. Baseball is a little different because Garry is very invested in the game, no matter who is playing. Not so much in football.

    • Rick February 7, 2016 at 04:32 #

      I have a hard time watching anything that doesn’t have one of my teams in it.

  5. jcalberta February 12, 2016 at 18:39 #

    I’m sure Tina didn’t expose her breasts or pull any political crap. But then she probably failed to attend the Madonna or Lady Gaga school of publicity stunts. She had some degree of talent.
    I’ve never been to an NFL game, I do recall several Super Bowl games that were awful. Lately however, there have been some real gems that went right down to the last minute.

    • Rick February 12, 2016 at 21:49 #

      For years, the Super Bowls were duds. You are right that there have been some good games recently.

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