The Super Bowl more than any other sporting event evokes strong emotions and memories from football fans. The fans of the San Francisco 49ers have only good memories of football biggest game, while fans of the Buffalo Bills having nothing but nightmares about the Super Bowl. Football fans are never going to forget Joe Montana hitting John Taylor to finish a 92 yard drive to beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII.
All anyone has to say is wide right and football fans immediately picture Scott Norwood missing a field goal that would have won Super Bowl XXV for the Bills. There are the plays but there are also the images that will live forever. Joe Namath running off of the field waving his index finger after his New York Jets pulled off the greatest upset in Super Bowl history, knocking off the Baltimore Colts. There’s the grace of Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Lynn Swann, Don Beebe giving full effort to save a touchdown even though his Bills are being blown out. There are so many of those types of memories, we could go on forever. Every football fan has their own memories and I’m no different.
Up until January 25, 1998 all of my memories of the Super Bowl and the Denver Broncos were awful. There was the loss to the New York Giants in January 1987 when the Broncos were leading at the half, only to be blown out in the second half. The next year, the Broncos jumped out to 10-0 lead over the Washington Redskins and then the second quarter started. 35 points later, it was another sad Super Sunday for all Bronco fans. Then in January of 1990, the Broncos lost 55-10 in a game that wasn’t even that close. Even the most die-hard Bronco fans had to wonder are they ever going to win a Super Bowl?
Then on January 25, 1998 the dream came true. The Broncos beat the heavily favored Green Bay Packers for their first World Championship. There are, of course, hundreds of memories from that game. There are two that lead the way, though. The John Elway helicopter play is at the top of the list, it’s easy to say now but I knew at that moment the Broncos were going to win that game. The other image that will always stay with me is the look on Elway’s face when he took that final snap, turned and raised his hands over his head. It was a face of pure joy, the money and the fame did not matter at that moment in time. It was a man who had finally accomplished the only goal he really ever wanted, to be a champion. As a fan of his and the Broncos, I shared in his joy and to this day is my favorite moment as a sports fan.
The Broncos returned the next season and won their second straight Super Bowl over the Atlanta Falcons. My overriding memory of this one is the fact that I was never nervous, I knew the Broncos were going to blow out the Falcons. If there’s one image that is still in my mind, it is the same one as the year before. Elway running off the field with his hands in the air, knowing his career and legacy were complete. I’m too old to have sports idols now but Elway was mine growing up, and to see him go out on top was perfect.
The Super Bowl will be played again on Sunday and there will be more memories made. Memories and images that will be replayed and re-lived forever. Send us a Rant with your favorite Super Bowl memory; we would love to hear them.
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