As Super Bowl XLVIII nears, thought I’d be fun to put together my own Top 10 list of Greatest Super Bowls of All time. Please remember, some of these are based on nothing but my own life experience (Raiders) and personal bias (Raiders!).
TOP 10 ALL-TIME SUPER BOWLS
10) Super Bowl I, Jan. 15, 1967 Green Bay vs. Kansas City
… “The Beginning”. How can the first NOT be on the list? Friends and family of Vince Lombardi insist this game made the greatest football coach ever more nervous than any other game in his career. The AFL, AL Davis, Lamar Hunt and the Jets’ Sonny Werblin, were in a war with the NFL. An upset loss to the upstart league would have been humiliating to the NFL and the NFL owners made that crystal clear to Lombardi, whose name would later adorn the Super Bowl trophy.
GB 35 KC 10.
9) SUPER BOWL XXIII, January 22, 1989 S.F. vs. Cincinnati
…”Hey Bart. Look, It’s John Candy.” It’s the immortal last words of the greatest QB ever right before one of the many drives that earned him his four rings and title as GOAT (Greatest of all time). If you’ve ever seen the NFL films and audio of Sam Wyche you must feel his pain. “Thirty five seconds away! That’s how close we came. Thirty five seconds!”
8) SUPER BOWL XI, Jan. 9, 1977 Oakland Raiders vs. Minnesota
… “My first Super Bowl!” My pop knew a guy, as the story usually begins, but he really did. He sold tickets professionally, legitimately at a place called Murray’s on Exposition Boulevard down near the Coliseum and he owed my dad a favor. We were Ram season ticket holders so I had no horse in the race but it was one of the greatest days of my youth. My dad and I drove downtown and took the bus to the Rose Bowl and participated in one of the coolest half time shows ever.
Raiders 32- Vikings 14
7) SUPER BOWL XLVII Feb. 3, 2013 Baltimore vs. S.F.
… “So long, Ray!” The NFL bid adieu to arguably the greatest linebacker and greatest football player the game has ever seen. Like Elway and Strahan before him, Ray Lewis went out a champion and in typical fashion. Ravens make a four down stop on the goal line with Ray screaming, “One mo, just one mo!” on fourth down! Classic!
Baltimore 34 SF 31
6) SUPER BOWL XXV Jan. 22, 1991 NY Giants vs. Buffalo
… “WIDE RIGHT” For years Scott Norwood was harassed and vilified by idiot Bills fans who blamed him for the first of a series of four SB losses, including losing twice, back to back, to Jimmy Johnson’s Cowboys.
Giants 20 Bills 19
5) SUPER BOWL III Jan 2, 1969 NY Jets vs. Baltimore Colts
… “I guarantee we’re gonna win.” The game became the biggest upset in NFL history at the time. Joe Namath was ground zero for the war between the NFL and the AFL. Davis talked his AFL buddies into going after NFL prospects and Namath was the first big sign. The victory played a huge role in causing the two leagues to finally merge. “The Legend” Johnny Unitas did not play till late but did account for the Colts’ only score.
Jets 16 Colts 7.
4) SUPER BOWL XIV Jan. 20, 1980 Pittsburgh vs. LA Rams
… “A Tale of Two Cities.” To steal from Dickens, it was the best of times it was the worst of times. This time we went to the Super Bowl as fans. AS I mentioned we had Ram season tickets and once again headed to the Arroyo Sacco believing my team could upset the three-time and defending champions. And the game was much closer than the final score. Rams were trailing 24-19 on 3 and 19 when Terry Bradshaw hit John Stallworth with a 40 yard pass that sealed the game and our losing fate. Hardest loss I ever suffered. Said nothing to my dad on the 45 minute ride home! But I am still part of a Super Bowl record … largest crowd ever, 103, 982. So I got that going for me!
Pittsburgh 31 Rams 19
3) SUPER BOWL XIII Jan. 21, 1979 Pittsburgh vs. Dallas
… “The First Shoot-Out” This looked like a rout but you can never write off Roger Staubach. America’s QB made a last ditch effort and came an on-side kick away from stunning the Steelers who at one point was leading 35-17 in the fourth quarter. I’m not going to do the math but just take a look at the rosters of both teams and count the number of Hall of Famers on both teams, including Tight End Jackie Smith who uncharacteristically dropped a pass YOU would have caught in the end zone which might have changed the outcome of the ballgame.
Steeelers35- Cowboys 31
2) SUPER BOWL XLII Feb. 3, 2008 NY Football Giants vs. NE Patriots
“ One of the greatest endings to one of the most unlikely upset victories in history as the Giants and Eli Manning bust up the Patriots bid to end the annual champagne self-admiration, love fest that goes on down Miami way with the undefeated Dolphins.
Giants 17 Patriots 14
- For my money the greatest Super Bowl ever was XVIII Jan 22, 1984 Los Angeles Raider vs. Washington. So many factors made this game my PERSONAL greatest. Clearly not the greatest Super Bowl but it is to me. I was a senior at Morehouse College and my roommate was from Oakland. My then GF, Kay McCloud, was an engineering student at Georgia Tech from, you guessed it, Washington D.C., and this was the Raiders first year in Los Angeles and Ed Skelly and I over Christmas olidwere at the Coliseum when the Raiders set another NFL record, most fans at an NFL playoff game, 92 thousand and change. Fred, my roommate in Atlanta, and I threw a huge party but the game was out of control by halftime and we were left with two cases of Stroh’s Beer, a favorite in Georgia.
Raiders 38 Redskins 9