February 04, 2016

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 10 comments

Slate ranks every Super Bowl from best to worst.

I'd put XXXII (Elway's first win) higher.

posted by Etrigan at 02:48 PM on February 04

There have been several of these Super Bowl game rankings published in the run up to SB 50. It's like the massive revisiting of the Kennedy assassination in 2013.

I haven't totally agreed with any of the rankings that I've seen. But that's why they do them.

At least this guy admits to not taking himself overly seriously and also freely admits the absence of scientific method. And he says he isn't swayed toward favoring the more recent games, which is usually my main complaint.

At this point, my first instinct is to scroll down to see what the worst game is in the ranking. Then I can get a sense of the author's perspective.

I think my least favorite Super Bowl was the Ravens over the Giants. It seemed to have been played under dim interior lighting. It was grim and joyless. I can't remember any redeeming stories emerging from it. Neither of the opposing coaches ever held a head coaching position again (for better or worse). The league and the game itself just seemed to disappear down a dark hole. I was glad when Monday arrived the next day.

I don't know what my favorite one was. I've watched all of them and I associate where I was and what I was doing with the game itself. I watched SB XII, which is ranked #49 here, in the basement of a raucous college town student bar, and we all hollered for joy when Norris Weese was sent in for Craig Morton. The announcer intoned: "Weese, we are told, makes things happen". To which the room erupted in reply: "make it happen, baby!!!". So I remember that crazed energy more than how bad the game might have been.

I'm just now remembering that there wasn't a woman in that room at any time throughout the game. Just a bunch of young, screaming guys. It may be one of the most urgently male saturated events I've ever taken part in. The local police could have just sealed the building, had food and toilet paper sent in, and then rested assured that if they relaxed their 24 hour street patrols, they could have confidence in the safety of the community at large.

posted by beaverboard at 03:26 PM on February 04

If you ask Gronk on live TV to give you a lap dance, he will.

posted by rcade at 08:52 PM on February 04

The Bills/Giants one stands out for me as it had zero turnovers, it was close the entire time, it had a memorable ending (*sob*), and it had the crazy pre-game hype (coming right after Gulf War I had just started).

I watched it during my first year at university, and everyone was sitting in chairs in the main quad watching it on a big screen TV. Just before they snapped the ball for the final kick, one of my dorm mates (a Giants fan) turned to me (a Bills fan) and said "You know he's going to miss the kick, right?"

I was momentarily stunned, and turned just in time to watch the kick sail wide.

I didn't talk to that guy for the rest of the semester.

posted by grum@work at 09:42 PM on February 04

9: Super Bowl XXXII: Broncos 31, Packers 24. A notable game for many reasons. It was John Elway's first Super Bowl victory after multiple attempts. It featured one of the most brutal hits I've ever seen, on the game's second-to-last play, delivered by the Broncos' Steve Atwater, leveling both Packers receiver Robert Brooks and Atwater's teammate Randy Hilliard. (Atwater and Hilliard both had to leave the game.)

Uh, yeah. It was vicious. That's why they have those rules now. Atwater is out cold before he hits the turf.

posted by grum@work at 09:47 PM on February 04

This story about 1970s Vikings linebacker Fred McNeil is another CTE tragedy, made especially poignant because the brain that was damaged by the game was brilliant enough to make him a partner at a law firm after he retired.

I can remember owning the Vikings/Raiders electric football game and lining up McNeil to put a vibrating slobberknocker on an opponent. It is hard to love this game.

posted by rcade at 12:29 AM on February 05

The worst Super Bowl for me was XLII (the 2008 Patriots loss against Giants) and not just for the very obvious reason that I was a Pats fan.

I live near Boston, but was working in Austin, TX that week. I made the mistake of going to a huge local sports bar, and found myself perhaps the only one rooting for the Patriots. That experience of being in hostile territory, unable to cheer when your team does something well, having to endure the celebrations when the other team succeeds, is truly unpleasant.

When halftime came I saw the writing on the wall: this was not going to end well. I paid my tab, went back to my hotel and finished watching the game. The term "slow-motion train wreck" comes to mind, I couldn't take my eyes away and when the game came to its infamous conclusion I turned off the TV and stared at the wall for an hour or so.

It was the gift that kept on giving, the next day I had to go into the Austin-based company where I was holding my training and all anyone wanted to talk about was the game. Especially when they learned I was from Boston.

Yep, good times.

posted by jeremias at 10:57 AM on February 05

I made the mistake of going to a huge local sports bar, and found myself perhaps the only one rooting for the Patriots. That experience of being in hostile territory, unable to cheer when your team does something well, having to endure the celebrations when the other team succeeds, is truly unpleasant.

When halftime came I saw the writing on the wall: this was not going to end well. I paid my tab, went back to my hotel and finished watching the game.

One day, I went to my university's local sports bar (Don Cherry's) to watch the Buffalo Bills play a wild card game. For some reason, the game was not a sellout Buffalo, so the local broadcast (which included my area) was blacked out. The only way to watch the game was through satellite, hence why I was there.

Buffalo would be considered the "local" team, but as a result of not actually being IN Buffalo, there was a lot of "anti-Bills" sentiment in the area. I was the only person at the bar wearing ANY Bills paraphernalia (my Steve Tasker jersey).

Well, the first half of the game was a nightmare, and they were trailing big coming out of half-time. Everyone around me was giving me the gears about the Bills, and I was NOT having fun. On the opening drive of the second half, the Bills turned it over...AGAIN. Now it was merciless from the "anti-Buffalo" fans. I paid my bill, and went back to my dorm. On the way, I hit the local arcade and killed some time there, then stopped by the computer lab to see if I had any email.

By the time I got back to the dorm, people were coming up to me and saying "Can you believe it?"

I had left the bar just before the beginning of THE GREATEST COMEBACK IN NFL HISTORY.

Thankfully, the local Buffalo station relented and re-aired the entire game at midnight, so I got to stay up and watch how it happened.

From that day forward, I swore I would never, EVER abandon a game in which I had a rooting interest.

posted by grum@work at 11:28 AM on February 05

the brain that was damaged by the game was brilliant enough to make him a partner at a law firm after he retired.

What was going on with those Vikings? Alan Page made it all the way to Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

From that day forward, I swore I would never, EVER abandon a game in which I had a rooting interest.

Ha, I watched that whole thing without much of a rooting interest either way. I thought of it when Carolina got up 31-0 on the Seahawks but still stopped watching (naptime ended).

posted by yerfatma at 12:19 PM on February 05

I think that anyone wearing either a Tasker or Don Beebe Bills jersey ought to be exempt from grief no matter what bar they go to.

posted by beaverboard at 04:32 PM on February 05

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