This is something I’ve been debating all offseason about the Baltimore Ravens. Was the double-overtime victory over the Denver Broncos in the Divisional Round game better then winning Super Bowl 47 over the San Francisco 49ers? Up until a few days ago I would have said no, but maybe I’m starting to change my tune.
My main argument for why the Super Bowl victory would be better is the fact that it’s the Super Bowl, the ultimate prize. How could winning any other game be better then that? Well, the win against Denver was better and I think I’ve known that all along.
In my humble opinion Ravens/Broncos is the greatest football game I’ve ever seen in my life and I’ve been watching for over 20 years. Clearly, winning the Super Bowl has the greater prize at the end, but I truly feel if the lights didn’t go out in the third quarter, then that game was headed for blowout land. The 49ers mounted a comeback that fell just short in a thrilling goal line stand at the end of the game. What a huge relief it was to withstand that onslaught and of course it was a very joyous moment for all Ravens fans.
The Denver game was a different beast though. I went into the Super Bowl expecting my team to win. I wasn’t as confident against the red hot Broncos in their house, but I truly believed the Ravens could make a game of it.
The game was full of huge plays and the Ravens kept coming back to tie the score. Down 35-28 with less then a minute and no timeouts I had all but conceded the game to Denver. “They gave it a hell of a shot,” I said and then it happened: “The mile high miracle” to Jacoby Jones. I didn’t even scream or jump up like I normally do, I was paralyzed in the sheer amazement of that moment. Never before have I felt an emotion like that in 20-plus years of watching football.
The overtime periods were insanely intense, just knowing that one play could end it. As Justin Tucker lined up for the potential game winner I had horrible flashbacks of Billy Cundiff. “It all comes down to a kick again,” I said. As the kick left Tuckers foot I couldn’t even see straight, I looked at the official and when he threw his hands up I couldn’t even believe it, I was out my mind.
In all normal cases nothing beats winning the Super Bowl, but any game that not only will be considered one of the greatest of all time and can illicit several different emotions out of a grown man (me) supersedes even a great Super Bowl victory.