During the two weeks preceding the Super Bowl, I will be counting down the best Super Bowls I have witnessed in my lifetime, starting in 1988. I created a ranking system and will go game by game reliving each edition until the top Super Bowl is listed.
This was the first Super Bowl I remember watching with a vested interest in football. I was young, and truly did not appreciate the true impact of what Doug Williams accomplished, but years later I have grown in appreciation while most people forget. SOMETIMES YOU FORGET RUSH LIMBAUGH! Over a decade before Oxycodone-mouth said the media wanted a black quarterback to succeed, a black quarterback led his team to a Super Bowl title. The labor dispute of the season did not take away from what Williams and the Redskins did that night. The Jackhammer of Jack Murphy after the break.
Washington Redskins 42, Denver Broncos 10
Semi-Lame Nickname: "First African-American to.."
Historical Significance- 4.5: Not all the focus was on Williams and race. The Broncos were the favored team and many expected Elway to get his ring after being denied by the Giants the previous this year. Joe Gibbs was attempting to win the second Super Bowl during his tenure.
Game Enjoyment by the Fans- 3.5: The Game ended up being a blowout, but 2nd quarter was entertaining unless you were a Denver fan. Washington erupted for 35 points to take a 35-10 lead into halftime. Only 7 2nd half points would be scored so the game fizzled out.
High Profile Element- 4: Williams was not even the starter in 1987. Jay Schroeder suffered a separated shoulder early in the season and was replaced by Williams. Although Schroeder tried to come back Gibbs felt Williams was the better choice. The Redskins also had injuries at the RB position. Former Heisman trophy winner and leading rusher George Rogers was too injured to make a major contribution so rookie Timmy Smith stepped in.
Venue/Atmosphere- 3.5: As mentioned earlier in the countdown, we are all aware of the greatness of San Diego and how fortunate all the San Diegoans...San Diegoites...San Diegans are to live there. This was the first Super Bowl to have the MNF crew I grew up with (Michaels, Gifford, Dierdorf) call the game. A tribute to Bob Hope headlined the pre-game festivities and the halftime show had Chubby Checker, the Rockettes, and 88 grand pianos which sounds more like a dream I once had then a halftime show.
Personal Enjoyment- 3: Like I said I was a little too young to fully appreciate the entirety of the game, but one of the best things my Dad every did for me was buy me a subscription to Sports Illustrated and help me read through it. That doesn't really relate to this game, but I remember getting my issue with Doug Williams on the front, thanks Dad.
Cleet's Rating Index: 19
Where I Was: As I mentioned I was in first grade. I had moved to Charlotte just 6 months earlier. I cried on my first day of first grade, lame I know. I remember a kid in our class was a huge Redskins fan so he made a big deal of the game. Wasn't first grade awesome? It was the last grade I had story time in; when you would move to the reading carpet and the teacher would read "The Boxcar Children" or something like that to you. At least for me, from 2nd grade on there was still a reading carpet but you had to do the reading yourself.
What Happened in the World: Six days before the game, Dan Rather and George H.W. Bush had a heated interview over Bush's role in the Iran-Contra scandal. Immediately makes me think of that Phil Hartman SNL skit where he plays Reagan and is nice and kind with the girl scouts but turns into a hardass when they leave the room.
Record of Note: Timmy Smith rushed for 204 yards which still stands today. No one has come close since.
Game MVP: Doug Williams tied a Super Bowl record with 4 TDs, all of them in the same quarter. He had a nasty tackle early on in the game and his knee twisted. Schroeder came in and promptly got sacked. Williams came back for his record setting 2nd quarter, and finished the game in spite of his knee swelling.
LVP: Every ignorant ass moron that ever said a black player could not lead a team to a championship. Suck on it.
Most Memorable Play: The moment when Williams was announced as the MVP and his teammates surrounded him on the field as seen in the video below:
NFL Fallout: The Broncos were denied their 3rd chance at a Super Bowl, and the 49ers would make it 4 losses a few years later. Joe Gibbs had another Super Bowl waiting with another QB.