Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII the greatest ever? Let's hold off for at least a day or two before we make that proclamation.....Whoops, too late, I guess

In society, "now" thinks that anything that happens is the greatest or worst thing to ever happen. No matter what age we may live in, present society is like a 25 year old, it thinks its problems and triumphs are way more important than anyone else's. Take, for example, the yearly proclamation of the world coming to an end--I think we have a few such proclamations each and every year these days. How long have societies been predicting the end of the world all throughout history? It's been going on for as long as man has been walking upright, yet, it didn't stop the "now" society from going out and buying bread and milk in the days leading up to December 21st, 2012, because everyone thought the Mayan calender was suggesting the end of the world was imminent (by the way, if you thought the end of the world was upon us, why would you buy  extra food)?

I digress.

I opened with that little back-drop because I think it's funny that some players (mainly Ravens) and pundits are suggesting that the just concluded Super Bowl XLVII, in-which Baltimore outlasted the 49ers, 34-31, to win their second Lombardi trophy, was the greatest one ever played.

I guess I can see people like Ravens' linebacker Terrell Suggs exclaiming that it was the greatest Super Bowl ever. After all, it was the the first championship in his 10 year career, and the first is always the sweetest.

As a fan, I know Super Bowl XL is pretty special to me because the Steelers won their first Super Bowl in over a quarter of a century when they knocked off Seattle, 21-10.

Of course, I'm not suggesting that Super Bowl XL was a great game, far from it, nor am I saying the 47th Super Bowl wasn't a great game, it was an awesome game.

However, there have been many great Super Bowls in recent memory. Since Super Bowl XXXII, where the  Broncos outlasted Green Bay, 31-24, to end a 13-year run of dominance by the NFC, most Super Bowls have been memorable. What about Super Bowl XXXIV following the '99 season, when the Titans overcame a 16-0 second half deficit to tie the game and set up an exhilarating finish. With the Rams back in front, 23-16, following a 73 yard touchdown pass from Kurt Warner to Isaac Bruce in the final moments, Tennessee was frantically driving for the tying score in the final seconds, when St. Louis linebacker Mike Jones tackled Tennessee receiver Kevin Dyson just one yard short of the goal line as time ran out to preserve the victory for the Rams.

What about Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII, which were almost carbon-copies of one another? In both games, the Patriots jumped out to early leads only to have their opponents, St. Louis and the Panthers, respectively, tie the game in the final moments thanks, eerily enough, to touchdown receptions by journeyman  receiver Ricky Proehl, who played for the Rams in '01 and Carolina in '03. However, in both cases, Tom Brady drove New England downfield in the closing seconds to set up the Super Bowl winning field goal by Adam Vinatieri.

What about Super Bowl XLII, where Giants wide receiver David Tyree made a catch for the ages to help set up the game-winning touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left to stun a New England team that came into the game with an 18-0 record and was a victory away from perhaps having the right to call itself the greatest team of all-time?

A year later, Steelers' linebacker James Harrison intercepted a pass from Warner, now playing in Arizona, and galloped 100 yards to put Pittsburgh ahead, 17-7, at halftime. The Cardinals then overcame a 20-7 fourth quarter deficit to take a 23-20 lead in the final moments, before Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes teamed-up to rescue the Steelers from defeat with the game-winning touchdown pass with 34 seconds remaining to not only give Pittsburgh the Super Bowl triumph, but also a record number of  Lombardi trophies.

I'd say Super Bowl XLIII was a pretty good one.

With so many great Super Bowls in recent memory, I find it puzzling to call Super Bowl XLVII the best ever.

Back in '76, after the first nine Super Bowls were boring and mostly one-sided, I could understand people calling Super Bowl X, in which Pittsburgh outlasted the Cowboys, 21-17, the greatest and most exciting Super Bowl ever. And three years later, after the Steelers once again out lasted Dallas, 35-31, in Super Bowl XIII, I could see people proclaiming THAT Super Bowl the greatest of all-time.

A decade later, when the 49ers came back to defeat Cincinnati with a Joe Montana to John Taylor touchdown pass with 34 seconds left, I could see people getting behind that Super Bowl as the greatest ever. After all, most Super Bowls in the 80's weren't just boring, they were three or four touchdown blow-outs.

Super Bowl XLVII had a lot of drama. It also had a quarterback in Joe Flacco who came of age and proved that he had what it took to win the "Big Game." It had Ray Lewis going out as a champion after 17 glorious and controversial years. It had a 108 yard kick-off return by Jacoby Jones. It also had Colin Kaepernick, the young San Francisco quarterback who nearly brought his team back from a 28-6 deficit before falling just short in the final moments.

The game even had a 35 minute delay thanks to the lights going out in the Superdome.

Yes, Super Bowl XLVII had a lot, but so did most of the recent Super Bowls. Let's wait a while before we proclaim it the greatest one ever.

It's all right for Suggs to say that, but not for the rest of you out there......unless you're Ravens fans.

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