The ‘Living Legend’ tops the list

Life is really just a series of moments. The same can be said for sports since for many, sport is life and life is sport.
And there is no stage bigger to obtain that “moment” than the one set up for this Sunday at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., which shall be the biggest one-day sporting event of the year.
But can this Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles bring about a moment that can match some of the best of all time?
To judge, you will have to become familiar with some of the best every witnessed.
10. The longest yard
Not only did the Chicago Bears humiliate the Patriots in Super Bowl XX by a score of 46-10, Chicago piled it on by allowing their 310-pound defensive tackle in William Perry, affectionately known as “The Refrigerator,” to score on a one-yard touchdown plunge, which was followed by the most off-balanced celebration ever.
(Note: Head coach Mike Ditka angered many Chicagoans by giving the ball to Perry when Walter Payton, arguably the best running back ever, sat on the sidelines and wouldn’t reach the end zone that day in his only Super Bowl appearance of his career).
9. That’ll teach you a lesson
Though victory already was well out of reach for the Buffalo Bills against the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII, Buffalo receiver Don Beebe did save his team from further embarrassment when he chased down Dallas left tackle Leon Lett from behind and knocked the ball loose to get a touchback—just as Lett was showboating his way into the end zone after a fumble recovery.
Final score: Cowboys 52—Bills 17, but score one for players nicknamed Charlie Hustle.
8. What was he thinking?
Garo Yepremian (recognize that name?) With the Miami Dolphins about to put the finishing touches on a perfect season with a victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII, the Miami kicker lined up for a 42-yard field goal.
The kick was blocked, and then Yepremian picked up the football and proceeded to throw the worst pass in football history. The ball slipped out of the kicker’s hand and then he knocked the ball up into the air.
Redskins’ safety Mike Bass plucked the ball out of the air and returned it for a touchdown.
What saved Yepremian from not being hunted down by every gambler in the world was the Dolphins winning 14-7.
7. Swann’s song
It was spectacular, wasn’t it, when Lynn Swann of the Pittsburgh Steelers raised himself like an angel against the Cowboys in Super Bowl X. He bobbled, juggled, lost, and then found the ball for a timely 53-yard gain that helped the Steelers rally to win 21-17.
6. Wide right! Wide right! It went wide right!
Unfortunately, one person’s moment also may be his undoing. The lowly Buffalo Bills are the only team—and probably will remain so—to lose four-consecutive Super Bowls.
They would have had a different legacy, though, if kicker Scott Norwood had converted on a 47-yard field goal as time expired in Super Bowl XXV against the New York Giants.
Instead, Norwood’s kick sailed wide right, preserving a Giants’ 20-18 win and starting Buffalo’s run of futility.
5. Finally, a kicker delivers . . . a victory
Seven seconds left. Score at 17-17. New England versus the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. Adam Vinatieri lines up for a 48-yard field goal as time expires and coolly converts to give New England their first title in its 42-year history.
4. Ah, the Denver Broncos (Homer Simpson)
After three failed Super Bowl appearances in his career, John Elway of the Denver Broncos faced a third-and-six at Green Bay’s 12-yard line. Elway sprinted from the pocket and leaped for the first-down marker, where he was met by two Packers defenders and sent helicoptering in the air.
A 37-year-old body should not be subjected to that sort of stress, but he got the first down and inspired the Broncos to a 31-24 win.
3. Oh, so close
Every yard can make a difference in a game and there’s no better proof of that than Super Bowl XXXIV between the Tennessee Titans and the St. Louis Rams.
When Rams linebacker Mike Jones stopped Titans’ receiver Kevin Dyson one yard short of the end zone to not only prevent a Tennessee win, he provided the most dramatic finish in the history of the game.
2. Put up or shut up
The New York Jets’ 16-7 stunner over the Indianapolis Colts not only shocked the football world in Super Bowl III, it redefined it and laid the groundwork for the NFL-AFL merger.
Joe Namath’s “We will win the Super Bowl” set the groundwork for the biggest upset in football history, and there is none more a memorable moment than “Broadway Joe” jogging off the field with his right index finger raised in the air—except for. . . .
1. The Living Legend
Joe Montana +Four Super Bowl rings=Best quarterback of all time.
And the master did his best work at the end of Super Bowl XXII when he hit John Taylor with a 10-yard TD pass with 39 seconds left to lift the San Francisco 49ers to a 20-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals (later changed to the Bunguls by Chris Berman).
That pass capped off a remarkable 97-yard drive in 2:36.

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