While reminiscing on my all-time favorite Super Bowls, many great games come to mind. I could talk about any of the three Patriot contests that were won in the final moments by a field goal. There was the game in which the Patriots finally lost the big game against Eli’s Giants in 2008. David Tyree! I still don’t get how you pinned that ball to your helmet! Heck, who didn’t love ‘the greatest show on turf’ with the high flying Rams in 2000? With the Titans’ Kevin Dyson getting tackled at the 1-yard line, the Rams literally won that game by inches.
But after considering all the games that I can remember, from my childhood up until now, I can’t deny it. I’m not here to be non-partisan. I’m pushing all dramatic contests aside and choosing the game that meant the most to me as a football fan. I’m going with my personal favorite: Super Bowl XXIX between the 49ers and Chargers in 1995.
To refresh your memory, that was the game the 49ers broke almost every offensive record in Super Bowl history. Yes, it was also the last time the Niners won a Super Bowl. And yes, I am a 49er fan. This was the game that solidified my fanhood for the rest of my life.
I was 10 years old, and sure, I had watched a couple games here and there. I remember watching some of those Cowboys/Bills Super Bowls. I remember watching Whitney Houston belt that incredibly famous Star Spangled Banner. I still remember asking my choir teacher in elementary school why Whitney’s jaw shook up and down when she sang. She told me I would understand when I got older. I’m 27 and still don’t. But Super Bowl XXIX was the first game I remember watching as I kid where I was simply fixated to the tube.
Little Josh, sitting catatonically just inches from the TV in his over-sized Super Bowl XXIX hat (Yes, I even got the hat with the Super Bowl logo. Mom purchased it for me on QVC) was glued to the TV. I had made the decision to become a Niner fan just a couple of years before this big game, and since I was too little to remember watching Montana, this was the first time I got to see my team in the Super Bowl.
My favorite moment that I will always remember happened just three plays into the game. Which is great, because having A.D.D. as an adult, you can only imagine me as a 10 year old. Steve Young (I got his jersey as a gift from mom via QVC as well) threw a 44-yard bomb to Jerry Rice for the first touchdown of the game. It seemed as if the game had just started, I guess because it did, and the 49ers were already on the board in explosive fashion.
The very next 49er possession and San Francisco would score again on just four plays, marching 79 yards, when Young tossed a 51-yard pass to running back Ricky Watters.
While I honestly don’t ever remember this game being close, I don’t remember San Diego having much offense either. They fought and clawed and got some points on the board, but this game was all San Francisco all the way. The final score: San Francisco 49, San Diego 26. My team was on top of the football world.
The win not only gave San Francisco the honor of being the first team to win five Super Bowls, but it also solidified Steve Young’s career. Young had always been overshadowed by Joe Montana and this was his coming out party.
Young, the game’s MVP, passed for a Super Bowl record six touchdown passes, eclipsing Montana’s record of five. He also was the game’s leading rusher with 49 yards on five carries.
Jerry Rice and Ricky Watters had three touchdowns each, both equaling the record for most touchdowns scored by a player in a Super Bowl.
A couple more fun filled facts about this insane offense packed game: The 75 points put on the scoreboard between both squads set another record, breaking the old mark of 69 between Dallas and Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVII. This game also made it eleven straight for the NFC over the AFC in Super Bowls.
And one last statement I must add. Being in the 4th grade at the time, I also remember being teased from my classmates, being accused of only being a Niner fan because ‘they just won the Super Bowl.’ I can still say to this day that I am not a bandwagoner. If I were, I still wouldn’t be a fan today. But then again, maybe I was getting teased because of the QVC hat. I haven’t worn that hat in years, but now that snap-backs are back in style I think it might be time to bust that puppy out again.
Have fun watching Super Bowl XLVI every one. If history tells us anything, it’s that with these two teams, we are sure to see an amazing game.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS