Finally, it is upon us.
Around6:30 P.M. Sundaynight, Super Bowl XLIX will kick off and the largest television audience in North America in 2015 will watch. Some for the game, some for the commercials, some for the halftime show.
What they will see is the culmination of two weeks of breathless–and, honestly, remarkably stupid–discussion of Deflategate contested at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Az.
And what a show it portends to be. Both the American Football Champion New England Patriots and the National Football Conference Champion Seattle Seahawks are loaded with star power. Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll. Tom Brady and Russell Wilson. Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman. Rob Gronkowski. Kam Chancellor. Julian Edelman. Marshawn Lynch.
But will the game live up to the hype? That’s the question that is still to be determined. In the meantime, here is a look at Metro’s list of the Top 10 Super Bowls:
1: Super Bowl III
The game that made the Super Bowl into THE GAME. The American Football League champion New York Jets were 18-point underdogs to the National Football League champion Baltimore Colts. And with good reason. The Colts were 13-1-0 and had scored 402 points while limiting opponents to 10 points per game. But the Jets racked up 337 yards on 74 plays while picking off Colts quarterbacks Earl Morrall and Johnny Unitas four times.
2: Super Bowl XXIII
Among the best-played Super Bowls is remembered for Joe Montana connecting with John Taylor on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 34 seconds left to give the 49ers their third Super Bowl win of the 1980s.
3: Super Bowl XXV
Widely labeled the most patriotic Super Bowl due to the game coinciding with the first Gulf War. The ground-and-pound Giants essentially kept the ball away from the run-and-shoot Bills, totaling 386 yards on 73 plays. Still Buffalo had a shot to win the game but Scott Norwood missed a 47-yard field goal and Bill Parcells had his second Super Bowl championship.
4: Super Bowl XXXII
A heavyweight title fight in which the Broncos and Packers traded scores throughout. The reigning, defending champion Packers reign ended when Broncos linebacker swatted Brett Favre’s pass attempt to Mark Chmura down. Terrell Davis’ three touchdown runs set a Super Bowl record, and John Elway won his first title.
5: Super Bowl XXXIV
The saying is winners make history. In the case of Super Bowl XXXIV, though, the lasting memory is of Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kevin Dyson stretching the football towards the end zone futilely while wrapped in the grasp of St. Louis Rams linebacker Mike Jones at the one-yard line.
6: Super Bowl XLII
It wasn’t supposed to be a game. Rather, it was supposed to be a coronation. Here were the undefeated New England Patriots, who had steamrolled competition on their way to Super Bowl XLII taking on a 10-6 New York Giants squad. One issue: The Giants didn’t buy into the narrative. The game is best remembered for David Tyree’s helmet catch, and a defense that sacked Tom Brady five times.
7: Super Bowl XLVII
For 30:11 spanning the first, second and third quarters, the Harbaugh Brothers Super Bowl was a Baltimorean rout that would rival the best of Edgar Allan Poe for frightfulness. But a bizarre twist that would make Poe proud–in this case, a power outage–held up the game for a half hour, and the 49ers benefitted greatly, as they outscored the Ravens 25-6. But it wasn’t enough and the Ravens celebrated the franchise’s second Super Bowl title.
8: Super Bowl XLIII
Much like Super Bowl XLVII, this game improved as it went on. Trailing 20-7 entering the fourth quarter, Arizona scored 16 points in a span of four minutes and fifty-six seconds to take a 23-20 lead. Still, the game will be remembered for Ben Roethlisberger hooking up with Santonio Holmes on a back shoulder fade in the back corner of the end zone with 35 seconds.
9: TIE: Super Bowls X and XIII
THE rivalry of the 1970s was Steelers-Cowboys. Pittsburgh appeared in and won four Super Bowls in a decade populated by eight-tracks and platform shoes. Two of those wins came at the expense of the Cowboys, who appeared in five Super Bowls in the decade.
10: Super Bowl XLVI
Exactly five years after their first Super Bowl meeting, the Patriots and Giants lined up on major professional sports biggest stage. And for the second time in five years, it was the Giants who left victorious. Eli Manning completed 30-of-40 passes for 296 yards, one touchdown as he claimed his second Super Bowl MVP award.
You can follow NHL writer Denis Gorman on Twitter at @DenisGorman