Monday, February 1

Super Bowl Countdown #17: Super Bowl XXIX

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.

Oh the days of blowout Super Bowls. The Super Bowl for the thumb for San Francisco and their last moment of supreme glory in the NFL. The Chargers came in as slight underdogs at 18.5 points. Turns out the oddsmakers were not even prepared for the cavalcade of offense the Niners would unleash in the Miami Molestation.

San Francisco 49ers 49, San Diego Chargers 26

Semi-Lame Nickname: "The California Bowl" This was the first Super Bowl that featured two teams that play in the same state. No, the Bills and Giants do not count because the Giants play in the swamps of New Jersey.

Historical Significance- 4: Aside from the two teams being from California, they had little else in common. San Fran had constant expectations and were seeking their record 5th title, while San Diego was a surprise team and not given much of a chance.

Game Enjoyment by the Fans- 3.5: Some predicted that this could be the lowest rated Super Bowl ever, but it beat out Super Bowl 26 in viewers and ratings. While the game was a blowout, it was an offensive show put on by the 49ers that featured terrific offensive precision.

High Profile Element- 3.5: Steve Young had emerged from the shadow of Joe Montana and was the NFL MVP that season while breaking Montana's record for passer rating. Up until this game Young was labeled as the QB who "could not win the big one". Basically he was the 1990s Peyton Manning. The 49ers had lost the NFC Championship game to the Cowboys in back to back years but they returned in 1994 with free agents like Richard Dent, Ken Norton, Gary Plummer, and Primetime himself. The increase of their defense and the swagger of Deion Sanders gave the Niners the extra push they needed and perhaps Jimmy Johnson being absent helped. Once again the Niners were balanced on offense with the classic bookend WRs Taylor and Rice and running game led by Ricky Watters. Rookie William Floyd (before he dusted up the Comedy Clubs in Charlotte) proved valuable at FB and Young himself could run extremely well.

The Chargers were led by Bobby Ross (FALL ON IT) at coach and Stan Humphries at QB. Humphries was the backup to Mark Rypien and the Super Bowl 26 champion Redskins. The running game was the engine that made the team go, led by big Natrone Means and his FB Ronnie Harmon. Leslie O'Neal, Chris Mims, and Junior Seau led the defense, with Rodney Harrison a young rookie in the backfield.

Venue/Atmosphere- 2: This was the 7th Super Bowl in Miami and while I will always be down for South Florida, the atmosphere created around this game was borderline disgusting. The game was called by the old MNF crew of Michaels, Deirdorf, and Gifford. No problem there. Leslie Visser became the first woman to work the sidelines in the Super Bowl. Also good. The National Anthem was sung by...Kathy Lee Gifford, gahhhh. Hank Williams Jr. performed his Monday Night Football theme song in the pregame, meh.

Nothing topped the abysmal Halftime Show, "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye". Was this the start of the horrid ABC/Disney cross promotion with sports? I don't know but this act was deplorable. We get this quote from the game's Wikipedia page:

"The show ended with everybody singing 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight', the song featured in Disney's (which later acquired ABC) 1994 film The Lion King."

Shame on you ABC, shame on you Disney. This sort of thing might be more common nowadays, but doing it in the early stages does not make you any less right.

Personal Enjoyment- 3.5: I honestly did not mind the game even though it was never close. Even though I was a Montana guy, it was nice to see Young get his title and Rice knife through the defense.

Cleet's Rating Index: 16.5

Where I Was: As a young man approaching the end of middle school, it was a time of transition. I was becoming a man, and like fuzzy bunny:

Simpsons - Sex Education Fuzzy Bunny Style - View more free videos

What Happened In The World: Two days after the game Bill Clinton invoked emergency powers to extend a $20 Billion loan to Mexico. I wonder how many drugs that would buy?

Record of Note: The Chargers became the first team to convert a 2-point conversion in the Super Bowl

Game MVP: Young was the obvious choice. He had 6 TDs, 325 yards passing and led all rushers with 49 yards.

LVP: Chargers secondary. No cover, no tackling.

Most Memorable Play: After the game was secure, Young proclaimed the figurative simian off his lumbar region. (3:00 in the video)

NFL Fallout: Even though Young never got back to the Super Bowl, he had more impressive seasons before being concussed out of the league. George Seifert became one of the few coaches to win multiple Super Bowls but many detract from his efforts as merely following in Bill Walsh's wake and his poor regime in Carolina as coach and GM. The Chargers flamed out after reaching the big game and that led them to the number 2 pick in 1998, where they picked Ryan Leaf, and I'm sure Charger fans don't want to talk about it, alright.

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