After two weeks of hype, the day is finally upon us. It’s time for Super Bowl XLXXIXCV, or whatever the correct Roman numeral is for this one. They can play them until the end of time–and I’m sure that they will–but for me, and maybe some others in my age group, the Super Bowl conjures up images of two teams–the Cowboys and the Steelers.
Theirs was the first time I ever really watched a Super Bowl, back in Super Bowl X. Just a single letter was needed-how refreshing! I think there was some red, white, and blue insignia on the player’s uniforms in that game, since America’s bicentennial was coming up later in the year.
It was a sunny day, as I remember, and the teams were a study in contrasts. The Cowboys and Roger Staubach wore white, both literally and figuratively. They were the self-professed “America’s Team,” while their opponents, the Pittsburgh Steelers of Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw, wore black. They had the Steel Curtain and the Terrible Towel and better running backs and receivers than the Cowboys did. It’s no surprise that they won that game, really.
It was the second Super Bowl win in a row for the Steelers, and they had knocked off Miami as the power of the AFC. The Oakland Raiders were still somewhat in that mix, but the Steelers were the ones on top.
Then, three years later in 1979, the two teams met again in Super Bowl XIII (that’s thirteen. I want to just use that term, but the search engines won’t pick up on it, most likely, so XIII it is). A Super rematch–the first one ever–pitted the Steel Curtain against America’s Team. It was an exciting game once again, and the Steelers again came out on top, with some help from a dropped touchdown pass by Cowboy’s tight end Jackie Smith. If he makes the catch, maybe there’s a different result than the one there was. And I’m sure he gets reminded of it about this time every year, too.
So there will be two teams playing in this year’s Super Bowl, and it will be another rematch of two teams and their star quarterbacks. Perhaps a generation of kids will grow up equating the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots and the New York Giants, in the way that I do with the Cowboys and the Steelers. May the game live up to all the hype surrounding it. Whether it does or it doesn’t, spring training is still just around the corner.