New England kicker Adam Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal to win Super Bowl XXXVI might be the freshest memory from a Super Sunday, but we wanted to find out what the most memorable moment was.
|OUR TOP 10|
|Here's how Page 2 editors ranked the 10 most memorable Super Bowl moments of all-time:
1. Joe Namath jogs off the field waving his finger to cap off his guaranteed Jets victory. (Super Bowl III)
2. Tennessee's Kevin Dyson falls a yard short on final play (Super Bowl XXXIV)
3. Denver's John Elway gets knocked spinning while scrambling for a first down. (Super Bowl XXXII)
4. New England's Adam Vinatieri kicks 48-yard FG on final play (Super Bowl XXXVI)
5. San Francisco's Joe Montana hits John Taylor with a 10-yard TD pass with 39 seconds left. (Super Bowl XXIII)
6. Pittsburgh's Lynn Swann makes a juggling, acrobatic grab while falling down over Dallas' Mark Washington. (Super Bowl X)
7. Miami kicker Garo Yepremian's feeble pass attempt after his FG attempt is blocked. (Super Bowl VII)
8. Buffalo kicker Scott Norwood's 47-yard FG attempt goes wide right as time expired. (Super Bowl XXV)
9. Buffalo's Don Beebe chases down Dallas defensive tackle Leon Lett and forces touchback. (Super Bowl XXVII )
10. Chicago's William "The Refrigerator" Perry scores on a 1-yard touchdown plunge. (Super Bowl XX)
After receiving more than 600 letters of nominations, we've listed our readers' top 10 below. Be sure to vote in the poll at right to crown the No. 1 most memorable Super Bowl moment of all-time.
1. Vinatieri delivers victory (105 letters)
This has been the weirdest season of Patriot football I've seen, with the greatest ending imaginable. I am still in shock!
I know Joe Namath predicted the Jets would beat the Colts, but when you talk to people who watched that game (like my dad), you find out the game was never in doubt. The Patriots had to win the game with no time left in a tie ballgame.
Yes, I am from Boston. Yes, I am biased. But the football equivalent of knocking a dinger in the bottom of the ninth of a tied World Series Game Seven (for good measure, throw in a shot bullpen making an extra innings loss a foregone conclusion) is tough to beat. Unbelievable.
2. Wide Right (86 letters)
The Giants were huge underdogs and had a backup quarterback in there (who saved the game by not fumbling when sacked in the end zone by Bruce Smith). Not only that, but he had to complete a third-and-about-15 on the last drive (Mark Ingram caught a 7-yarder and made everyone miss, just a great individual effort). Then the Bills drive right back down the field, seven seconds left, 47 yards away, the kick is up, got the distance ... it is no good. On Sunday, the final kick looked good the entire way, as soon as he hit it you knew it was good; Norwood's looked great for about the first 30 yards, then you weren't sure. That's drama!
Everything about that game was memorable, from Houston's anthem all they way through the final kick. Get's the nod over the Pats' win because of the "if they make it they win, if they miss it they lose" drama. Not to mention, the first three quarters were more exciting.
Only three Super Bowls have been decided on the last play. The kick that went wide right takes the title, because it defined the Buffalo Bills of the early '90s. Close, but just not close enough. Also, Super Bowl XXV's final play gave us two images that no Giants or Bills fan will ever forget: the image of the ball sailing wide and the image of the celebration of Emerson Walls photographed for the cover of Sports Illustrated.
3. Showboat runs aground (58 letters)
It would have to be Don Beebe knocking the football away from a prematurely celebrating Leon Lett in an otherwise lousy game. This was so memorable that "Saturday Night Live" featured it in a skit, "Worst Sports Momemts in Black History."
Keep in mind, this is the same Leon Lett who tried to recover a blocked field goal, which led to Miami's Thanksgiving victory over Lett's Cowboys.
Don Beebe and his never-give-up attitude shined bright that Sunday with a play that will define his career and give future showboaters (see Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, among others) something to think about for a long time to come.
4. Satisfaction Guaranteed (53 letters)
For all the talk of Scott Norwood's "wide right" or the Titans falling a yard short in 2000, Broadway Joe blows them away. This win shook the football world like no other before or since. It validated the NFL-AFL merger and made Namath the ultimate Super Bowl hero. It also showed the arrogant establishment of the NFL, including men like Vince Lombardi and Art Modell, that the AFL was not inferior. The Jets' win changed this annual event from the "NFL-AFL Championship game" to a "Super" Bowl. The Super Bowl trophy is named for Vince Lombardi, but it should be named for Joe Namath. His guarantee and the Jets' performance that day in 1969 made this game "must see TV."
5. The Longest Yard (49 letters)
Watching Dyson come up a yard short and looking at the official hoping he would signal touchdown was great. You can't ask for a better ending to a Super Bowl.
New Oxford, Pa.
6. "This one's for John" (33 letters)
Has anyone ever shown as much desire to win? Elway's sacrificing of his body, only to pop back up to pump his fists in the air, gave hope to his team, the city of Denver, and every Broncos fan everywhere. It was the definitive "We're Going To Win This Game" moment, and we owe it all to the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. Thanks for the memories, John!
John Vecero III
7. Riggins Rumbles (28 letters)
I was 6 when Riggins took off down the left side on fourth-and-1 and stiff-armed Don McNeal to the turf on his 43-yard run to football immortality, and I can still tell you exactly where I was sitting.
Made me a die-hard football fan for life.
8. Joe Cool (26 letters)
I grew up with Joe Montana and Super Bowl XXIII. It's never lost the magic.
Joe Montana, the golden boy that carried us on his small shoulders, on his own 3-yard line. 1:30 left. Bengals on the sideline cheering in advance. Cris Collinsworth noting the number 16 in the huddle and telling them that it's not over.
Legends, memories and a classic.
9. A new rushing Marc(us) (19 letters)
I will never forget Marcus Allen's run in the 1984 Super Bowl. I was 10 years old and just turning into a football fan. I was living in Europe at the time since my dad was in the Army. That meant the Super Bowl started around midnight. My brother and I begged and begged my dad to let us stay up to watch with him. We were not disappointed.
I remember Ray Guy's catch of the high punt snap and I remember Jack Squirek's interception return, but most of all I remember Marcus Allen. He heads left and is completely stopped. He spins around and heads back to the right. He swerves through a couple Redskins defenders, then hits a lane and he's gone. What I remember most was the way he just seemed to glide to the end zone. He wasn't running. He wasn't straining. He just glided past the defenders. Effortlessly pulling away from everyone.
It wasn't really until the next fall though that I realized just how special that run was. I was playing running back on my peewee football team and ran a sweep. The other team had me bottled up so I spun around and headed the other way. It took them about two seconds to wrap me up for an even bigger loss. It was at that moment that I realized just how incredible that run was and how it could never be done again.
10. The Fridge gets his fill (17 letters)
One of the most memorable Super Bowls. You had a team with Milli Vanilli singing talent. A quarterback who craved the limelight -- and negative press. And the first 300-pound running back to score a touchdown in the Super Bowl.
The Fridge will live on forever. Just ask KFC.
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