Thursday, February 2, 2012

Top 10 Super Bowls of all time

With the big game coming up Sunday, here's a look at the top 10 Super Bowls of all-time.

1. Super Bowl XXIII San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16

Montana to Taylor will live in Super Bowl lore as long as American sports flourish. So will John Candy eating popcorn in the end zone, Boomer Esiason mouthing the words to "I'm going to Disneyworld" before his hopes are dashed, and Tim Krumrie's agonzing knee injury shown in slow motion, over and over again.

2. Super Bowl XLIII Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23

Certainly one of the best endings and last second drives in the history of the game. Kurt Warner to Larry Fitzgerald up the seam is outdone by Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes' breathtaking conection in the back of the endzone with precious seconds remaining. James Harrison's fumble return at the end of the half cannot be forgotten either. One of the most memorable games in recent memory with a fantastic finish.

3. Super Bowl XXXIV St. Louis 23, Tennessee 16

A seemingly innocuous three quarters turns frantic by game end, as the late great Steve McNair engineered one of the great two-minute drills of all-time, minus the final result, as St. Louis turns back the Titans at the one yard line as time expires and confetti descends. Kurt Warner's story book season gets its perfect denoument.

4. Super Bowl XLII  N.Y. Giants 17, New England 14

The perfect ending to an imperfect season? This loss will always remain bitter with Patriots fans. An 18-0 season was dashed by the upstart Giants, led by Michael Strahan, Eli Manning, and David Tyree, whose helmet catch will live forever with Big Blue's faithful.

5. Super Bowl XXV N.Y Giants 20, Buffalo 19

The Gulf War tributes and Whitney Houston set the tone early. But by game end, it's Ottis Anderson and Jeff Hostetler who have made their mark. And Scott Norwood, whose "wide-right" field goal to lose it haunts Bills fans to this day. Buffalo would go on to lose four straight Super Bowls, a feat most of northern New York would rather forget.

6. Super Bowl XXXII Denver 31 Green Bay 24

"This one's for John." The words from Broncos' owner Pat Bowland sum up what Elway meant to a city and an organization. And how much he wanted it in his fourth Super Bowl appearance. Don't forget Terrell Davis's performance, the Green Bay give-away goal line stand decision by Mike Holmgren with two minutes remaining, and Favre's inability to lead them back. Had he tied the score, this game might be number one all-time.

7. Super Bowl XLIV New Orleans 31 Indianapolis 17

The final score doesn't quite do the game justice. Peyton Manning was poised to tie the game with less than three minutes remaining, when his ill-advised pass across the middle was picked and returned for a pick-six. The frenetic last three minutes of the game turned bizarre and ended the perfect catalyst for Bourbon Street's all-night celebration of their Saints' first world championship.

8. Super Bowl XXXVI New England 20 St. Louis 17

The Silence of the Rams. Tom Brady's first Super Bowl might still be his most memorable, coming of an ankle injury two weeks before to lead his team down the field on the final drive, setting up Adam Vinatieri's last second FG to win it over the 14-point favorite Rams.

9. Super Bowl XXXVIII New England 32, Carolina 29

...Unless Brady's second supercedes it. Two bursts of scoring (24 points at the end of the first half and in the final quarter) provide the fireworks to an otherwise stale game. Once again, Adam Vinatieri's leg wins it for the Patriots as Tom Brady cements his legacy with his second MVP trophy.

10. Super Bowl III, N.Y. Jets 16 Baltimore 7

Certainly, this is the most important Super Bowl in history, if not its most sublime. Namath's guarantee precedes the Jets' triumph at the Orange Bowl, as Broadway Joe delivers on his promise. The AFL's first win over the previously-thought invincible Colts opens eyes to the balance of power between both leagues. The merger two years later can be attributed - in large part - to this game's outcome.

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