The 1980s and ’90s were an era of Super Bowl routs. You can count the compelling games on one hand. Whether it was the Buffalo Bill’s four-peat of futility, the reaming of the Denver Broncos, or the one-off pratfalls of the Chargers and Falcons, it was an era of lopsided spectacles. I watched them all.
Super Bowl XXII — San Diego
Redskins vs Broncos
I watched the game at my Aunt Ellie’s and Uncle Herb’s in downtown Brooklyn, USA. My friend Jeff and I volunteered to bring over food from the 2nd Ave Deli in the East Village. We didn’t count on the fact that every Jew in New York had that same idea, and we ended up missing practically the entire 1st quarter. By the time we arrived Denver was ahead 10-0 and had concluded the scoring portion of their afternoon. Before we had finished our corned beef sandwiches, Doug Williams had thrown four 2nd quarter touchdown passes and the game was, at least for this blog’s purposes, over.
Super Bowl XXIII – Miami
49ers vs Bengals
A rematch of Super Bowl XVI. This time I was couch-side for the action. Once again Jeff and I found ourselves at Ellie and Herb’s, this time joined by cousin Alan. This was one of the few good games of this era, capped off by a late 49ers drive to give them the victory. After the game the normally mild-mannered Herb lost his temper. All day long he had been doing the slow-burn because Alan, upon arriving, had taken his shoes off, and Herb hated feet. When Herb’s repeated attempts to get Alan’s attention failed, he finally lost it, exploding in a rage of invectives — an eventful end to an action-packed day.
Super Bowl XXIV — New Orleans
49ers vs Broncos
The first of many Super Bowls I would watch at Jeff’s house in the Bronx. I had a gig in Connecticut so Jeff taped the game. Somehow I made it back to Jeff’s without having discovered the score. What followed was a good old-fashioned blood-letting. 52-17 Niners.
Super Bowl XXV — Tampa
Giants (!) vs Bills
Jeff scored tickets to this game, but I had a gig at a restaurant called Camelback and Central on the East side, with the singer, Richard Lanham, and was unable to go. Thank god there was a TV there and I was able to see most of the action, most notably the Giant’s clock-eating 3rd quarter drive, the Bill’s 4th quarter scoring drive, and the subsequent Scotty Norwood missed field goal. 20-19 Jints!
Super Bowl XXVI — Minneapolis
Redskins vs Bills
Don’t be fooled by the final score, which was 37-24 Redskins. This game was 24-0 at the half and going nowhere fast. I’ll give you $100.00 if you can name the Redskins quarterback. Time’s up! Mark Rypien. The game was so forgettable I don’t even remember where I was.
Superbowl XXVII — Pasadena
Cowboys vs Bills
The Cowboys had become good again but more importantly for them, they played the Bills. I watched the game in my Long Island City apartment (I was living in Queens by then) with my wife, Debra. Final score: 52-17. Ouch.
Super Bowl XVVIII — Atlanta
Cowboys vs Bills
I went to Fort Lauderdale, Florida with my wife to visit my in-laws. My parents flew in from Las Vegas to join us. My brother, who was living in Orlando at that time, drove down to Ft Lauderdale to complete the family affair. I watched the game mostly with my Dad and brother. I say ‘mostly’ because midway through the 1st quarter my father in law sat down, watched one series of plays, and declared that Dallas would win the game. He then left the room and we didn’t see him until dinner later that evening. It turned out he was right. 30-13 Boys.
Super Bowl XXIX — Miami
49ers vs Chargers
How ironic that with all of the supposedly great Chargers teams of recent history, their one actual Super Bowl team was a forgettable squad quaterbacked by, of all people, Stan Humphries. Stan who?! I had a gig at Trumpets in Montclair New Jersey and missed most of the game. Good thing, too. The 49ers romped. What’s that I hear? The 49ers just scored again!
Super Bowl XXX — Tempe
Cowboys vs Steelers
Not a bad game compared to the array of clunkers that preceded it. Final score 27-17 Dallas. I watched the game at my LIC pad with my wife, one year old son, Jake, and cousin Alan who had free reign to take his shoes off.
Super Bowl XXXI — New Orleans
Packers vs Patriots
I watched the game with Alan’s poker cronies at the apartment of Dan Afariat (The Afarianator) on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. At halftime a poker game broke out. I drank too much beer, and all I recall is losing a large amount of money. This was my pre anger management days and I ended up screaming at poor Alan.
Super Bowl XXXII — San Diego
Broncos vs Packers
Viva Las Vegas! I was visiting my parents in Vegas and watched the game with my Dad. The Broncos finally won one.
Super Bowl XXXIII — Miami
Broncos vs Falcons
DRG. That stands for Don’t Remember Game. This was Elway’s swan song. He was da winnah.
To be continued…