Sunday, January 29, 2006

Super Bowl Memories

My favorite Super Bowl is the 1984 game when the Raiders destroyed the Redskins 38-9. It was at the time the largest margin of victory ever. Quite surprising of course given the season and pre-game hype. Washington had a media hype that outdid most teams in history. The "Smurphs" and the "Hogs" and the "Fun Bunch" were nicknames given to various groups of receivers, linemen and showoff celebrants because of their absolute dominance during the year. Joe Theismann, lone running back John Riggins, traditional straight-on kicker Mark Mosely, the largest offensive line ever. Even the fans were showcased in silly costumes wearing funny little pig noses. It was a fair-weather bandwagon ride of the century for any football fan, or not even fan. Heck, I even liked the team.

They were hailed as quite possibly the best team in history. Riggins was sooo good that they needed only one running back. They didn't mind the other team knowing he was the only man who will get the ball because he gained yards, regardless. Nearly a ton of linemen made sure of it. I'll never forget the pre-game analysis by Jimmy the Greek, in his usual checkmark comparisons between the two teams in every category. Washington got the checkmark in every single category... except one: "intangibles." That one went to the Raiders, in token fashion. Well, sometimes intangibles kick some pretty mean duff.

My favorite play was Jack Squirek's interception return of a Theismann screen pass for a TD. It was a play the 'Skins successfully used against the Raiders during the regular season for a huge gain. Well, the Raiders' coordinators guessed right, and deep in their own territory the 'Skins tried it again. It was one of the shortest returns in history, intercepted on about the 1mm line, and a quick step into the end zone. Another great play was Marcus Allen's broken counter direction run for about 75 yards. One completely satisfying aspect to the game was that the band-wagon hype combined with universal hatred of the Silver and Black had every other team's fans cheering for the 'Skins and against the Raiders. It was us against not only the greatest team in history, but the entire world as well.

Man, that one tasted good.


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