Friday, February 5, 2010

Colts 34, Saints 24

TigerBlog's three favorite Super Bowls have been the three that the Giants won.

He watched the first two at 336 Taylors Mills Road in Manalapan, in a room filled with people whose last name was Zucker. For the record, there haven't been too many people better to TB in his life than Dorothy and Arnold Zucker, both of whom passed away a few years ago.

Among their other great attributes was the ability to throw a tremendous Super Bowl party, though it didn't hurt that the Giants won both of those. The loss to the Ravens in the Giants' third Super Bowl doesn't sting as much now, knowing that two years ago the Giants pulled off one of the great upsets in sports history in one of the great games in sports history with the 17-14 win over the 18-0 Patriots.

TB does much better with what number each President was rather than what number each Super Bowl was. For instance, he knows off the top of his head that Princeton's own Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the Unites States, but he's not 100% sure which Super Bowl was XXVIII. Only after pausing to look it up did he find out that it was one where the Cowboys thumped the Bills. TB didn't remember this, but apparently Dallas and Buffalo played in consecutive Super Bowls (XXVII and XXVIII), with back-to-back blowout wins for the Cowboys.

TB can list all the Presidents in order, but he's not necessary sure he can list all the Super Bowls in order. Still, he's not without a pretty good knowledge of the big game.

The first one TB remembers watching was Super Bowl III, the one where the Jets and Joe Namath beat the heavily favored Colts. Since then, TB has seen at least some of each Super Bowl, with varying degrees of memories of the finishing touch on the Dolphins' 17-0 season, the Steel Curtain, Terry Bradshaw and Lynn Swann, the Purple People Eaters, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, the Bills and so on.

TB remembers attending a funeral on the day that Dan Marino played in his only Super Bowl (a loss to the 49ers); it was one of the coldest days of all time. He remembers how dull a few games in the ’70s were, especially when the Dolphins and Raiders beat the Vikings in back-to-back years. In one, a 24-7 Dolphins win in VIII, the Dolphins threw only six passes.

One of the best quotes TB has ever heard came from a malcontent, Dallas running back Duane Thomas, who basically said: "If it's the biggest game of all-time, why are they going to play another one next year?"

A famous Super Bowl media day moment - probably the most famous of all time - was the time that Jim Plunkett was asked to clarify what he had said about his parents: “Jimmy, Jimmy, I want to make sure I have this right. Was it dead mother, blind father or blind mother, dead father?” The person who asked that question is described here as a member of the Philadelphia press corps, but he was really from the Trenton Times.

As far as TigerBlog knows, there are only two Princeton alums who have been active players in a SuperBowl: Bob Holly, who was a backup quarterback with the Redskins in XVII (a win over the Dolphins) and XVIII (a loss to the Raiders), and Jason Garrett, who was a backup quarterback with the Cowboys for two Super Bowl wins and with the Giants for their loss to the Ravens.

As an aside, it was during that Raider win over the 'Skins that TB vividly remembers watching the commercial for the original Macintosh computer, the legendary "1984" commercial. TB uses his Mac every day.

Marc Ross, a wide receiver/punt returner for the Tigers in the early ’90s, won a ring with the Giants as a player personnel man two years ago. TB is sure there have been other front office types who have been on Super Bowl teams, and recent alum Blake Williams will be there Sunday as part of the Saints' coaching staff.

It used to be that the NCAA men's basketball tournament championship game would always be a great game and the Super Bowl would always be a blowout, but they seem to have reversed roles in recent years.

In the last decade, there were five Super Bowls that could be called "great," and the last two are probably the two best Super Bowls of all time.

Of the first XXXIII Super Bowls, only eight were decided by seven points or fewer. The last X had six decided by seven points or fewer.

The NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament used to play down-to-the-wire classics pretty much every year.

In the decade of the 1980s, here were the winning margins in Super Bowls:
17, 5, 10, 29, 22, 36, 19, 32, 4, 45.

In the same decade, here were the winning basketball tournament margins:
5, 13, 1, 2, 9, 2, 3, 1, 4, 1.

Of those 10 basketball games, at least four and maybe a fifth are among the, oh, 25 greatest college basketball games ever played.

As for the upcoming Super Bowl, TigerBlog can see another close game, one with a lot of points, but it's probably asking too much for another classic. In that case, TB will go with Eli Manning's brother and the Colts, 34-24 (disclaimer - this is all in fun; TB does not condone gambling in any way).

So enjoy the game. And if this one isn't great, well, as Duane Thomas said, they'll play another next year.

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