So many moments of greatness in NFL history, and it should be no surprise that many of them happened during the Super Bowl. Here is our list of 5 of the greatest. Click on each one for the link to the video.
- One Finger Pointed Toward the Sky, Super Bowl III. It is the iconic visual of Joe Namath leaving the field after his 17-point underdog New York Jets made good on his guarantee to beat the Baltimore Colts. To the masses Namath’s guarantee was pure ego from a flashy playboy quarterback who hadn’t won anything. The common thinking was that teams from Namath’s league, the AFL, were the jayvee to the varsity squads of the NFL. But Namath’s guarantee wasn’t some audacious act of bravado. Broadway Joe had watched the film. He knew the Jets were faster and better than the Colts. For him, saying so was just being honest and making good on saying so changed the game.
- Catch 42, Super Bowl XLII. This is the single greatest play in Super Bowl history. Down 14-10 against the undefeated New England Patriots, Eli Manning and the New York Giants faced a 3rd and 5 with a little more than a minute to go in the game. The played should’ve ended up in a 4th and 10 for the G-Men, but Manning escaped from Patriot defenders who had handfuls of his jersey. He stepped backed and hurled the ball downfield to David Tyree, who fought off Patriots enforcer Rodney Harrison and made the 32-yard catch with the ball pinned to his helmet. Not a bad play for a special teams player who caught four passes that year and a quarterback whose leadership and toughness were publically questioned by his general manager and a former teammate during the season. Four plays later the Giants scored to win the game 17-14.
- Montana’s Eye Candy, Super Bowl XXIII. Down three points with a little more than three minutes to go Joe Montana stood in the huddle with his team 92 yards from the end zone. What’s on the quarterback’s mind? “Isn’t that John Candy?” he asked one of his linemen after spotting the actor. That moment typifies Joe Cool – the man who won four Super Bowls and three Super Bowl MVPs. A few minutes after asking about Candy, Montana threw the game-winning touchdown pass to John Taylor… See, everything was under control, nothing to do here folks but chat, you know, talk about people at the game.
- Graceful Swann, Super Bowl X. Grace and athleticism converged on the big stage in the form of Lynn Swann’s leaping, bobbling 53-yard catch against the Dallas Cowboys. What makes this even more special is that Swann could have missed the Super Bowl after he spent days in the hospital because he suffered a concussion in the AFC title game against the Raiders. The 53-yard catch came in 2nd quarter of Swann’s 4-catch, 161-yard, one-touchdown MVP performance.
- Strolling Off the Field, Super Bowl XXXVI. Tom Brady was really just Drew Bledsoe’s backup at this point. He was a second-year, sixth round pick who no one expected to pull off a victory against two-time MVP Kurt Warner and “The Greatest Show on Turf” a.k.a. the St. Louis Rams. But with no timeouts, the ball on their own 17-yard-line and 81 seconds left, Brady and the Patriots went for the win rather than playing for overtime. The unknown, unheralded QB was cold blooded as he drove his team into field goal range. With seven seconds left, he spiked the ball and calmly strolled off the field, letting Adam Vinatieri finish the job in a 20-17 New England win.