Can you name the teams and MVPs of Super Bowls past?
Well, I tried. Why not? After all, Eric Neel asked a similar question in a column last week - he was, in fact, grading the games but asked in passing about Super Bowl 26 (that's XXVI to the purists). He wrote: "OK, three questions: 1. Who played in this game? 2. Who won and by what score? 3. How do you spell the last name of the game MVP?"
Instantly I thought: Washington 37, Buffalo 21; Mark Rypien, QB, Washington Redskins. He threw for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns. Then I kept reading: "If you're not from either team's home city, and you can answer the first question without looking it up, your family and friends are likely planning an intervention... If you can answer the second question without looking it up, your family and friends talk about you in the past tense, sharing stories with each other about what a cute little boy you once were, how bright and full of promise... If you can answer the third question cold ... you don't have any family or friends."
For the record, I was a bit off. Buffalo had an extra FG (WSH 37, BUF 24). Rypien's stats? 18-33, 292 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT. (I had forgotten the turnover.)
Hello, my name is Nightfly, and I'm a stat freak.
But there's hope. Here's my guesses for the first 20 SBs - like Sports Guy, I didn't cheat:
1. Packers 35, Chiefs 10; Bart Starr, GB
2. Packers 33, Raiders 14; Starr again.
3. Jets 16, Colts 7; Broadway Joe Namath, NY, and the most famous index finger before purple came into fashion.
4. Chiefs 23, Vikings 7; Len Dawson, KC. First of four SB losses for Minnesota.
5. Colts 16, Cowboys 13; Chuck Howley, Dallas - the only MVP from the losing team.
6. Cowboys 21, Dolphins 3; here it begins to get hazy. Bob Lilly? (He had that huge sack of Griese - loss of 29 yards.)
7. Dolphins 14, Redskins 7; Larry Czonka, Miami (?). This was the 17-0 year.
8. Miami beats Minnesota - score? MVP? I'll take the zero.
9. Steelers 16, Vikings 6. Again, no clue for MVP.
10. Steelers 21, Cowboys 17. Lynn Swann is MVP for those circus catches.
11. Raiders beat the Vikings. I believe that Fred Biletnikoff is MVP.
12. Cowboys beat the Broncos, as Craig Morton throws as many INTs as completions (4).
13. Steelers 31, Rams 19. Terry Bradshaw, Pitt.
14. Steelers 35, Cowboys 31. Bradshaw again? More famous for Jackie Smith's dropped pass in the end zone.
15. Raiders 20, Eagles 7.
16. 49ers 26, Bengals 21. The first Supe I can begin to remember. Joe Montana is MVP.
17. Raiders 38, Redskins 9. Marcus Allen is MVP after astonishing 76-yard TD run.
18. Redskins 27, Dolphins 16. They get back. John Riggins is MVP. A huge run of his own, on fourth down and short, 43 yards for the score.
19. 49ers beat Dolphins - Montana bests Marino (who never returns).
20. Of course - Da Bears 46, Patriots 10. Probably Jim McMahon was MVP.
So how'd I do? Assigning ten points for each year - 3 for each team's score (the hard part!), 1 for each team, 2 for the MVP - here's the scoop:
Years 1-5 - a perfect 50. I do need intervention.
Years 6-10 - the first cracks. SB 6 was Dallas 24, Miami 3, and Staubach was MVP. MVP of 7 was Jake Scott; Czonka was MVP of 8. (Drat.) 9 and 10? Only missed the MVP of 9 (Franco Harris - should have guessed.) 33 of 50.
Years 11-15 - !$%^#*$&(! I SWAPPED 13 AND 14! Everything right, just in the wrong order. Do I get half-credit, or just credit for the winning teams and MVPs? I have to vote number one. Believe me, it hurts just to get 10 instead of 20 on that. 18 of 50 overall; I did badly on the scores.
Years 16-20 - would you believe I did it AGAIN? Yup - 17, and 18. I should have remembered (A) that Miami had a gap between their Super Bowl years and (B) I remembered the 26-21 game because I was a year older. DUH. (On the bright side, Simmons also made the same mistake.) Also, I was 1 point off on the Washington-Miami score: 27-17. So, again, half-credit, which this time means only half of 17. I'm rounding up, so there. Include the perfecto for SB 16 and the near-miss for 20 (Richard Dent, not McMahon, duh) and I'm 29-50.
Grand total is 130 out of 200. Scoring the way Sports Guy did his column, it's a wash- 18 to 18 on winners. He out MVP'd me 14-10, but I got more final scores (10-7). I would have gained on him if we got all the years in the correct order: 13-7 in final scores and we each gain two MVPs. Scoring Simmons the way I scored myself, he tallies 127. (He got the same 9 I did for the 17/18 goof, and 5 bonus points for remembering the split-MVP in Super Bowl 12 - and naming both. That's coming up big in big situations.) But no, I don't want his job; he's superb - just one a lot like it, if you please.