When this season's AFC and NFC champions face off for the Lombardi Trophy in Santa Clara next February, it will be impossible not to think of the 49 Super Bowls that have come before -- especially if the participants have previously done battle on football's ultimate stage.
Give me more of all that, especially after what we just went through with Deflategate.
Pittsburgh, of course, also holds the Super Bowl series advantage over the Cowboys, 2-1, and the Steelers' second Super Bowl win in that matchup, Super Bowl XIII, sticks out in my memory. The game was an all-time classic -- but the drama started well before kickoff. I remember our bus driver ignoring the attempts of one of our players, Larry Brinson, who was from Miami, to warn him that we were going the wrong way -- and getting us stuck on a dead-end street. We had to turn all the buses around, and we got to the Orange Bowl about 45 minutes late; I remember Steelers fans rocking the bus as we pulled in.
The teams were evenly matched, as we'd been in Super Bowl X, with two very good quarterbacks in Roger Staubach and Terry Bradshaw. I remember Steelers receiver Lynn Swann making a great catch, and I remember Franco Harris running for a touchdown on a draw when an official got in the way of Charlie Waters trying to make a tackle. The play before that Harris touchdown, we thought we'd stopped the Steelers with a sack of Bradshaw, but the play didn't end up counting, as a delay-of-game penalty had been called before the snap got off.
The Cowboys, of course, got a taste of revenge in Super Bowl XXX, but they're still behind Pittsburgh all time. Looking forward, I don't think it's out of the question that they could win their second against the Steelers in Super Bowl 50. Both teams are good enough to make it that far, and it would be a good game.
Scott Norwood's missed 47-yard field goal turned "Wide Right" into a thing that would haunt Western New York for years to come. Let's go back to the source of the pain, reverse it and give this year's intriguing/imperfect Bills squad a Lombardi. A quarter century after Jeff Hostetler guided the Giants to glory, Buffalo passer Tyrod Taylor would make for just as improbable a Super Bowl hero.
I'm not sure I can stomach seven days of Rex Ryan during Super Bowl week -- or Odell Beckham Jr., for that matter -- but the Bills coach would like nothing more than to stick it to the Big Apple. Let's make it happen.
Of course, the final score was not close in that Super Bowl: 38-9 Raiders. The first half, when the Raiders jumped out to a 21-3 lead, was where we lost the game. Fourteen of those points came on a blocked punt and the infamous "Rocket Screen" that turned into a Jack Squirek pick-six at the end of the first half. Take away those two touchdowns and we would have been down only 7-3. We scored on our first possession of the second half. That would have put us in the lead and perhaps made it a different game.