Greatest Super Bowls By Decade
My Generation’s Greatest Super Bowls by Decade
People try to put us d-down (Talkin bout my generation)
Just because we get around (Talkin bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old (Talkin bout my generation)
This is my generation
This is my generation, baby
Why don’t you all f-fade away (Talkin bout my generation)
Don’t try to dig what we all s-s-say (Talkin bout my generation)
I’m not trying to cause a big s-s-sensation (Talkin bout my generation)
I’m just talking bout my generation (Talkin bout my generation)
No, I wasn’t alive when this song came out. The hit song “My Generation” by The Who was sweeping across American radio 14 years before I was born to my parents in a Baltimore hospital in February 1979. So, how would I know about the song? Well, it is considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time, but also because it was my Dad’s generation of music. Music he listened to when I was a kid and still listens to today. All I heard about growing up was the Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors and The Beatles. In that same way with sports, all I heard about was Vince Lombardi and Green Bay winning the first 2 Super Bowls. Joe Namath guaranteeing victory as an underdog and beating my Dad’s beloved Colts. The undefeated 1972 Dolphins and the dominant Steelers teams of the 70’s. All of these teams and names are legends, but legends I never experienced myself. I’m about to share with you the greatest Super Bowls I’ve witnessed that I will be telling my kids about. In the words of Roger Daltrey, this is “My generation baby” and because of that, these great Super Bowls can’t just be talked about. In my generation, the highlights need to be watched on You Tube, so make sure you do!
Greatest Super Bowl: 1980-1989
Super Bowl 23
San Francisco 49ers 20
Cincinnati Bengals 16
The Greatest Super Bowl in the 1980’s occurred in the 1988 season. This Super Bowl involved 6 future Hall of Famers(Walsh, Lott, Montana, Rice, Young, Munoz), the league MVP in Boomer Esiason and who all remembers Ickey Woods and “The Ickey Shuffle”!? (Watch: Ickey Woods Shufflin)
This game was made great by the game winning drive at the end of the game. The game was a back and forth battle and was tied 3-3 at Halftime. From the beginning, the 49ers took the lead, and then it was tied. The Bengals took the lead, and then it was tied again. The Bengals took the lead again and it was tied again by San Francisco until Cincinnati pulled ahead 16-13 on a field goal with 3:20 left in the game. The 49ers started with the ball on their own 8 yard line. It is said that while in the huddle at the start of the drive, Joe Montana looked up into the stands and said “Hey, isn’t that John Candy?” He did that to calm his players down to focus on the task at hand. That task was winning the greatest game of their lives. 11 plays and 92 yards later, John Taylor catches a 10 yard Touchdown from Joe Montana to take the 20-16 lead with 34 seconds left and seal the game. (Watch: Montana to Taylor Game Winner) I love the fact that it was Taylor’s only catch of the game. This was the greatest Super Bowl I saw as a kid in the 80’s.
Greatest Super Bowl: 1990-1999
Super Bowl 34
St. Louis Rams 23
Tennessee Titans 17
The Greatest Super Bowl of the 1990’s occurred in the 1999 season. It involved 2 Hall of Famers (Faulk, Matthews) the league MVP in Kurt Warner and NFL greats Steve McNair, Eddie George and Isaac Bruce.
This game was not made great by the game winning drive at the end because the game winning drive was stopped on the last play of the game with no time left on the clock, 1 yard short of the end zone. 1 yard short of glory. 1 yard short of triumph. 1 yard short of celebration. 1 yard changed the entire course of history of all of these players lives. That is what makes it so great.
Watch this before you continue reading. (Watch: Super Bowl 34 Last Drive) Sense the tension, the desire to win, the pressure of the situation, man against man. And it all comes down to one play, the last play.
McNair and the Titans started with the ball on their own 12 with 1:48 left in the game and 1 timeout. Being down 6, they had to score a touchdown. McNair scrambled and passed his way down the field until he made a completion to the Rams 10 yard line with 6 seconds to go forcing Tennessee to use their final timeout. On the last play, Wide Receiver Kevin Dyson slants across the middle, makes the catch and looks like he has a clear path to the end zone when all of the sudden, Rams LB Mike Jones comes up and makes the solo tackle to seal the Rams win in the greatest Super Bowl I watched in the 90’s.
Watch the last play here: 1 Yard Short!
Greatest Super Bowl: 2000-2009
Super Bowl 42
New York Giants 17
New England Patriots 14
The Greatest Super Bowl of the 2000’s occurred in the 2007 season. It involved league MVP Tom Brady and NFL stars, Randy Moss, Eli Manning, Michael Strahan and Rodney Harrison
This game was great in a lot of ways before the game even started. On the line for the Patriots was an undefeated season. They had gone an undefeated,16-0 in the regular season. A Super Bowl win and the greatest NFL season of all time seemed almost sure with them being 12 point favorites. Their opponents, the Giants were just a wild card team that did not win their division and had barely won their 3 playoff games. With the Patriots already considered one of the greatest teams of all time and working on their 4th Super Bowl win in 7 years, the Giants did not stand a chance right…???
With history sitting perched on the Patriots doorstep, the Patriots scored to go up 14-10 leaving one last drive for Eli and the Giants to knock off the highly favored Patriots. The Giants got the ball on their own 17 yard line with 2:42 left in the game and 3 timeouts. On the drive, the Giants had to convert a 4th and 1 which would have ended the game and further lifted the Patriots legacy but it obviously was not meant to be. Especially after this happened…(Watch: Manning to Tyree)
First is Eli’s amazing escape from being sacked multiple times, and then is the catch, which Tyree forces against his helmet while he falls to the ground, back bending backwards against Rodney Harrison’s body as Harrison tries to rip the ball out of Tyree’s grip. Tyree never lets go of the ball and the rest is history. Manning caps off the 12 play, 83 yard drive with a touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress to take the 20-17 lead with 35 seconds left. Brady and the Patriots get the ball back with 3 timeouts, but the Giants don’t give up one single yard to the most prolific offense in NFL history at the time to win the greatest Super Bowl I watched in the 2000’s.
Greatest Super Bowl: 2010-2019
Only time will tell what 2010-2019 has in store for us. I think 2011’s Giants/Patriots rematch was the greatest Super Bowl so far. (Although in my non biased, very humble opinion, every Ravens Super Bowl win has really been the best) I am loving this Seahawks/Broncos, #1 Defense vs #1 Offense matchup and can’t wait to see how the game goes.
So, what are some of the greatest Super Bowls on your list for your generation? Would you choose a different one for one of the decades above? Please share in the comments down below. This is the list that has over the years, shaped my desire to watch what will unfold in the game this Super Bowl Sunday. Will it be considered one of the greatest Super Bowls of the decade or even all time? Like I said, only time will tell. That’s why they play the game. So make sure you don’t miss it!