1) Super Bowl I, The 1st AFL-NFL Championship Game
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The first AFL-NFL Championship Game later become known as the Super Bowl. Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers defeated Hank Stram and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Super Bowl trophy is named after Lombardi and Chiefs owner, Lamar Hunt, coined the term "Super Bowl" after watching his kids play with a "Super Ball."
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The third AFL-NFL Championship Game was the first one to officially use the term "Super Bowl." The Packers won the first two games by a combined score of 68-24 and the NFL was widely regarded as the superior league. NY Jets QB, Joe Namath, guaranteed a win against the 18 point favorites, Baltimore Colts. The Jets won 16-7. The AFL/ AFC went on to win 11 out of the next 13 games.
3) Super Bowl VII, Perfection
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The 1972 Dolphins went undefeated in the regular season and playoffs, but it almost came tumbling down with two mins to go in Super Bowl VII. After being dominated all day, the Redskins scored on an interception from the Dolphins kicker and cut the the lead to 14-7, however, they decided against the onside kick and Miami won the game, finishing the season 17-0.
4) Super Bowl XIII, A new holiday is born
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By Super Bowl XIII, the game had already become the biggest one day sporting event in the country, but many of the previous games were decided by a few two TDs or more. SB XIII marks the beginning of Super Bowl Sunday as an unofficial holiday. The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Dallas Cowboys by a score of 35-31. 14 players from this game are in the pro football HOF as well as the head coaches, Chuck Noll and Tom Laundry.
5) Super Bowl XVI, Half the country watches the Super Bowl
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81,270 people packed into the Silverdome to watch the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals 26-21. This game followed on the footsteps of Dwight Clark’s “The Catch” that beat the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship game and started the 49ers dynasty. This still has the highest TV rating ever for a Superbowl @ 49.1, which means that half of all households in the U.S. were watching this game.
6) Super Bowl XXII, Doug Williams
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At the end of the first quarter, the Denver Broncos had a 10-0 lead over the Washington Redskins and their second string QB, Doug Williams. Suddenly, Williams exploded for four touchdown passes in the second quarter! The Redskins dominated the rest of the way on their way to a 42-10 victory. Williams was named Super Bowl MVP and was the first African American quarterback to not only start in an NFL Championship game, but also lead his team to a victory.
7) Super Bowl XXIII, Joe Montana
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A rematch of Super Bowl XVI, the final drive of this game is the defining moment of the NFL’s greatest player, Joe Montana. Down 16-13 on their own 8 yard line, with 3:10 on the clock, Montana happened to notice comedian, John Candy, along the sideline. “Hey, isn’t that John Candy,” he said. He did this to help keep his teammates calm and collected and it worked. The 49ers drove down the field and Montana hooked up with John Taylor on a 10 yard touchdown pass in the middle of the field. This is highly regarded as one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever.
8) Super Bowl XXV, The Country is at War
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This was the first Super Bowl ever played while the U.S. was at war. Both teams, the Buffalo Bills and the NY Giants both have red, white and blue for their team colors. The game began with one of the most memorable signing performances ever, with Whitney Houston signing the Star-Spangled Banner. It was one of the most exciting games ever played and was decided by only one point as Scott Norwood’s 47 yard field goal attempt sailed less than a yard outside the right goalpost. Giants won 20-19.
9) Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII, Redemption
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From 1982 – 1997, the NFC dominated the AFC in the Super Bowl, winning 15 out of 16, including 13 in a row. Many games, including three the Denver Broncos played in, were not even close. John Elway, who quarterbacked those previous Broncos teams was near the end of his career and was considering retiring. He was one of the greatest 4th quarter QBs in NFL history, but had not won a championship. That all changed on January 25, 1998, when the Broncos beat the defending champs, Green Bay Packers, 31-24. This win ended the NFC’s dominance over the AFC, and propelled Elway into the QB elite. Probably the most famous play of his career came in the third quarter when he scrambled on third down and picked up 8 yards for the first down. He was hit simultanleously by two Packers defenders, causing him to spin in the air. The play is know as the “Helicopter Dive.” The Broncos ended up scoring the go-ahead TD a few plays later.
During the post game trophy presentation, Broncos owner, held up the championship trophy, declaring, “This one’s for John.” Elway followed up his masterful performance by announcing that he would come back for another year, which led to another Super Bowl victory against the Atlanta Falcons, insuring his place as an NFL legend.
10) Super Bowl XLII, The Great Escape
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The New England Patriots having won 3 out of the previous 6 Super Bowls and were the first NFL team to finish the regular season 16-0. On the other side of the ball, the NY Giants had not won a Super Bowl in 17 years, and barely made the playoffs with a 10-6 record. They won three playoff road games to get to the Super Bowl. The Patriots were heavy favorites, with hardly anyone giving the Giants much of a chance, however, these two teams just played each other in the final week of the regular season, in which the Patriots won 38-35. With that game, the Giants were able to find some cracks in the Patriots armor, which came in handy during the Super Bowl. The Giants kept the high powered Patriots offense in check all day and got the ball on their own 17 yard line with only 2:39 left in the game, while down 14-10. They found themselves in a hole on 4th and one, when Brandon Jacobs plowed ahead for 2 yards, picking up the 1st down, and keeping the game alive. Three plays later, on 3rd and five, from their own 44 yard line, Giants QB, Eli Manning was swarmed by the Patriots pass rush. He 1st eluded Adalius Thomas, only to wind up in the hands of Jarvis Green and Richard Seymour. The TV analyst announced that Eli was sacked, however, the play was not over. Suddenly, Manning emerges from what looked like sure disaster and lauches the ball towards WR, David Tyree. Tyree makes a spectacular, leaping, one-handed catch with the ball pressed against his helmet against DB Rodney Harrison, keeping the drive alive. Four plays later, with 35 seconds left, Eli finds Plaxico Burgess in the corner of the endzone for a touchdown, thus completing one the biggest upsets in American sports history.
So there it is, the 10 most important moments in Super Bowl history. Of course, we can get them all in, but we feel that these are the most significant moments that have made the game the way it is today.
Check out the Top 10 NFL Teams that did not make it to the Super Bowl.