I grew up on the Super Bowl. That’s right, true confessions The SportsLifer is also a Super Bowl lifer.
My mind wanders back to those high school daze and Super Bowl I — back when it was called the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game.
I remember watching the game with my father and brother, knowing Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers were the best football team in the world.
While Joe Namath guaranteed victory for the Jets in Super Bowl III, I wagered $5 with my Dad, who took the Colts and gave me 18 points. Jets 16, Colts 7 in the coming-out party for the American Football League.
Several years later, a college student now, I saw Super Bowl VII in a dirty old bar in Worcester, Mass. That was the year of the unbeaten Miami Dolphins. Perfect.
As a sportswriter, I wrote about the Super Bowl in Scene and Heard, my column with the Fitchburg Sentinel and Leominster Enterprise, and later in my TV-Radio sports column at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Those columns may exist in hard copy somewhere, but they never made it on to the information highway.
Later in life, I watched with joy as the Giants won three Super Bowls, twice on the home television, including the unlikeliest of all wins against the unbeaten Patriots.
And I’ll forever recall kneeling at the bedside of a dying man willing Scott Norwood, shown at right, to miss the kick. Wide right, thank you.
Once I even went to a Super Bowl, when the Giants faced the Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Had a fun time, meeting Joe Namath, Dan Rather, Adam Sandler and other celebs. No fun watching the G-Men fall big, 34-7.
During the years I’ve been to countless Super Bowl parties, hosted by both family and friends. I’ve run pools, I’ve won pools, I’ve lost pools. I’ve seen dynasties dominate decades, like the Steelers of the 70s, the 49ers of the 80s, the Cowboys of the 90s and, most recently, the Patriots.
Last year I was at Mickey Mantle’s on Central Park South as IBM hosted a party for industry analysts on the eve of the company’s POWER7 announcement. The Saints made history that day, winning the first Super Bowl for New Orleans.