In honor of Super Bowl Sunday, The Campus Socialite has compiled a collection of the most memorable photos from the big game since it’s inception in 1967.
Super Bowl V: Before there was the Idiot Kicker, the Colts had “Lassie” – shaggy-haired Jim O’Brien, who helped them overcome five fumbles and climb out of a 13-6 fourth quarter hole against Dallas. The stage was set when linebacker Mike Curtis picked off a Craig Morton pass and returned it to the Cowboy 28 with under a minute to play. O’Brien’s 32-yarder sealed the deal with five seconds to spare.
Super Bowl X: This leaping, juggling, acrobatic, 53-yard catch in the second quarter captured the essence of Lynn Swann that day. Playing with the after-effects of a concussion, Swann set a Super Bowl record of 161 yards on four receptions. His 64-yard TD in the fourth quarter sealed Pittsburgh’s 21-17 win, but the image of him tumbling over Cowboy CB Mark Washington is the enduring moment.
Super Bowl XVII: Game MVP John Riggins was a Mack truck, hauling the pigskin 38 times for a then-Super Bowl record 166 yards as the Redskins came from behind to beat Miami 27-17. Trailing 17-13 with 10:01 left in the fourth quarter, Riggins took a handoff at the Miami 43, looked left, ran over cornerback Don McNeal and was gone down the sideline. The Redskins never looked back.
Super Bowl XVIII: The game had long been decided, but running back Marcus Allen supplied the exclamation point late in the third period. Taking a handoff, Allen ran left, reversed, cut up the middle and dashed 74 yards to put the Raiders up 35-9. “It was the greatest run I have ever had on this level,” said the game MVP, who finished with 191 yards. “You always dream of something like this happening.”
Super Bowl XXIII: They didn’t call him Joe Cool for nothing. Trailing the Bengals 16-13 and backed up on their own eight with 3:20 left, the 49ers looked to QB Joe Montana in the huddle. “Hey, isn’t that John Candy over there?” he asked. So began the 11-play, 92-yard drive. The capper: Montana’s 10-yard scoring strike to wideout John Taylor with 34 seconds to go.
Super Bowl XXV: Trailing 20-19 with 2:16 to play in a gut-grinding game, the Bills drove from their own 10 to the Giants’ 29. Quarterback Jim Kelly spiked the ball with eight seconds left, and both teams prayed as Scott Norwood attempted the game-winning 47-yard field goal. The result: wide right. “I hit it solid, but I guess I tried to kick it too hard,” he later said.
Super Bowl XXXI: The Packers led 28-21, but the Patriots were threatening late in the third quarter when Desmond Howard broke New England’s heart. Fielding a kickoff at his own 1, Howard took refuge behind a perfect wedge. A block laid kicker Adam Vinatieri low, the field opened and Howard exploded. His 99-yard return sealed Green Bay’s first Super Bowl win in 29 years and made him the first special teamer to win MVP honors.
Super Bowl XXXII: On his fourth try, Bronco QB John Elway finally won the big one with an assist from game MVP Terrell Davis (157 yards rushing; Super Bowl-record three TDs). Elway threw for only 123 yards in the 31-24 upset of Green Bay, but scored on third-and-goal in the second quarter and led a 13-play, 92-yard drive in the third. The lasting memory: Elway dashing for a first down on third-and-six from the Packer 12, being hit by tacklers, and whirling in the air.
Super Bowl XXXIV: The Titans roared out of a 16-0 hole to tie the game in the fourth quarter. After the Rams took a 23-16 lead with 1:54 left, Titans QB Steve McNair completed nine passes in a row. Six seconds left. McNair to Kevin Dyson at the Rams’ three. The end zone awaits, but linebacker Mike Jones brings Dyson down on the 1 as time expires, preserving the Rams’ first Super Bowl title.
Super Bowl XXXVI: The Rams out-gained the Patriots 427-267 in total yards, but it all came down to 17-17 with 1:30 left. With no timeouts left, Tom Brady used his uncanny precision passing to drive the Pats to the Rams’ 30, where he spiked the ball with seven seconds to go. Adam Vinatieri then coolly nailed a 48-yarder to give New England its first Super Bowl title. It was the first time the big game was won on the final play.
Super Bowl XLII: The 2008 championship game was a defensive struggle through three quarters, with the teams combining for only 10 points. But the drama began to build in the fourth quarter when it was apparent that New York might actually deny New England a place in history. The Patriots were seeking to become the first 19-0 team, but a New York pass rush sacked Tom Brady five times and harassed him countless others. David Tyree’s 32-yard reception with a minute to play – after an improbable third-down escape of a sack by Eli Manning – set up Manning’s winning 13-yard score to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds to play. Tyree’s helmet catch is arguably the most memorable play in Super Bowl history.
Super Bowl XLIII: This one had it all: great players, great plays and so much drama that you thought twice before running to the bathroom. Steelers linebacker James Harrison punctuated his Defensive Player of the Year season by returning an interception 100 yards for a TD to end the first half in an eventual 27-23 Pittsburgh victory that secured their sixth ring in team history.