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10 Most Memorable Super Bowl Moments9

By Chris Littler

10 Most Memorable Super Bowl Moments

The Super Bowl! It’s the one time each year when people who like to watch football can sit down and rest assured that the moments between plays (i.e. the commercials) will be just as entertaining as the plays themselves. They can also be assured that a middle-aged rock act will perform during halftime promptly followed by a display of fireworks. They can even count on the fact that there will be lots of beer, pizza and fried foods available for the duration of the afternoon. It’s almost better than Christmas.

The Super Bowl is a uniquely American tradition. It’s like we took all the excitement that people in the rest of the world have over the World Cup and squeezed it into one beer-swiggin’, cheerleader tossin’, French Onion Dip of a day. With all that spectacle in the air, it’s easy to forget the reason for the season – football.

Sometimes we watch the Super Bowl to follow our favorite team. Sometimes we watch to follow our favorite players. Sometimes we hope to be surprised by a play or sideline drama – like the mental breakdown Jim Maynes experienced before he left pro-football to open a gym in the series The Jim.

Every weekend, we football fanatics sit on our couches to bow at the altar of the pigskin. And, year after year, the pigskin has not failed us. And while the Super Bowl promises epic levels of play, not every Super Bowl has been exciting. But the ones that have been, really have been.

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1. Super Bowl XXXVI – Vinatieri Kicks a 48-Yard Field Goal

Fifty yards is a long way to kick a football – even more so under pressure. But that’s exactly what New England Patriot Adam Vinatieri did in the final moments of the game against the St. Louis Rams. The score was locked in at 17-17, and the world held its breath as the ball soared through the air. There was no way he was going to make it. But it just… might… go.. all… the… way. A final Hail Mary play like this is the stuff football dreams are made of, and made for a moment we’ll never forget.

Patriots: 20
Rams: 17

2. Super Bowl XXXIV – Jones Keeps Dyson from the Last Yard

A game coming down to a ball being kicked half a football field is memorable, but a game coming down to one last yard might just beat it. Rams linebacker Mike Jones had the tenacity to hold back Titans receiver Kevin Dyson, who was one yard away from giving his team a shot at tying the game – in a moment where we’re pretty sure time stopped completely. How could Dyson not get that one extra little yard? It’s hard for us to say, seeing as how we’ve never been blocked by a 250-pound monster like Jones.

Rams: 23
Titans: 15

3. Super Bowl III – Broadway Joe Gets His Ring

One of the most remarkable images in football history is Jets quarterback Joe Namath heading off the field with his right index finger raised in the air. We wanted him to have it, and he apparently wanted it too. The odds were against the Jets going in, and what a stunner the match turned out to be. The Colts went down in flames, and from those flames rose that plucky young phoenix Broadway Joe. Not a great moment if you were a Colts fan, but a great moment if you like a classic underdog story.

Jets: 16
Colts: 7

4. Super Bowl XXXII – Elway Gets Pummeled, First Down

If you’ve never seen a man turn into a helicopter, we highly suggest you watch footage of John Elway getting taken out by two Packer defenders in the third quarter of Super Bowl XXXII. Denver was six away from a first down on the third. Elway broke through from the pocket and did a flying leap for the first-down marker. He was then rudely interrupted. But it didn’t stop him from celebrating his victory. The moment turned the tide, rallying the Broncos to victory.

Broncos: 31
Packers: 24

5. Super Bowl VII – Yepremian Tries His Hand at Passing

It’s always fun seeing someone do something outside of their job description… and failing miserably. That’s what Miami kicker Garo Yepremian did after failing to get a 42-yard field goal past the defensive line. He picked up the ball and tried to be quarterback for a day. The ball slipped out of his hand in one of the worst displays of football handling since back in pee wee league. Redskins safety Mike Bass grabbed it – running it in for a touchdown. It wasn’t enough to break Miami’s lead, but it was probably enough to break Yepremian’s ego.

Dolphins: 14
Redskins: 7

6. Super Bowl X – Lynn Swann’s 53-Yard Catch

A great throw needs a great catch to complete it, and the greatest catch we’ve ever seen in a Super Bowl was pulled off by Pittsburgh receiver Lynn Swann in Super Bowl X. He barely had a handle on it at first, even falling over Cowboy Mark Washington, but he got control of it by the end. The catch netted Pittsburgh a 53-yard gain and paved the path for a 21-17 win over the Cowboys.

Steelers: 21
Cowboys: 17

7. Super Bowl XXIII – Montana’s 10-Yard Pass to Taylor

Joe Montana’s passes are lean and mean. A man on a mission, he scored two epic plays in Super Bowl XXIII. You might remember his 10-yard bullet straight to John Taylor with 39 seconds left. But many forget it was preceded by a 97-yard drive. Joe Montana isn’t screwing around, and Cincinnati learned that the hard way.

49ers: 20
Bengals: 16

8. Super Bowl XX – The Fridge Gets a Touchdown

In a moment ripped from an inspirational movie, William “The Refrigerator” Perry scored a touchdown on a 1-yard dive in Super Bowl XX. The Fridge was a defensive tackle, which makes the moment that much sweeter. It’d of been a cherry on top if the Bears weren’t already punishing the Patriots, but we can’t really fault them for playing some damn fine football.

Bears: 46
Patriots: 10

9. Super Bowl XXV – Norwood’s Kick is Wide

Poor Buffalo. They could taste the win and lost it in a fleeting moment when kicker Scott Norwood missed a 47-yard field goal as time expired. That was the first loss in what would be four consecutive Super Bowl losses. It’s like Norwood’s kick floated right because it was being carried by angels who really liked the Giants – and then they stuck around for the next couple of years to make sure they got the message.

Giants: 20
Bills: 19

10. Super Bowl XXVII – Beebe Knocks the Ball out of Lett’s Hand

Making a touchdown in the Super Bowl is the crowning moment of every footballers career. But the moment to celebrate that is not before you cross into the end zone. That’s what Dallas defensive tackle Leon Lett did as he was dancing his way with the ball in hand after a fumble return. Buffalo receiver Don Beebe apparently didn’t like that very much and went after Lett with zero impunity. Beebe batted that sucker right out of Lett’s hands for a touchback and taught him a valuable lesson: you haven’t won ‘til you’ve won.

Cowboys: 52
Bills: 17

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Watch more episodes of gym rat comedy The Jim

Chris Littler lives in Hollywood. He has a degree in Dramatic Writing from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, one of the most prestigious writing programs in America, which he totally plans to hang on the wall when he has a Study. Chris currently covers video games at UGO.com when he’s not performing improv at iO, and is currently writing a one-hour TV pilot with his friend Wes. Like everyone else you know, he has an album available to purchase on iTunes and has lots of things to say on his blog: chrislittler[dot]com.

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Must Reads 9/16/2014