Saturday, February 6

Super Bowl Countdown #9: Super Bowl XXVIII

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.

The final edition of the quadruplicate of fail for the Bills. Aside from their Super Bowl against the Giants 3 years prior the Bills losses were all by double-digits. In this Super Bowl the Bills came out with purpose and stormed to a lead at halftime, but once again they got in their own way and made critical mistakes. Emmitt Smith was the star of the show, piling up the yards and putting Buffalo away in the second half. The Aftermath of Atlanta after the break.

Dallas Cowboys 30, Buffalo Bills 13

Semi-Lame Nickname: "We're Back America; Deal with It!"

Historical Significance- 4.5: This marked the first and only time in Super Bowl history the game was a rematch of the previous year. The Bills had to deal with a lot of media and fan scrutiny leading up to the game. People were eager to get on the Bill's case about their previous losing efforts. On the other side, the Cowboys were basking in the afterglow of their title the year before but the rumblings between Jerr-uh and Jimmy Johnson had begun to make their way into the public. This would be the final game JJ would coach for the Cowboys.

Game Enjoyment By the Fans- 3.5: The game started off with the feeling that Buffalo might have a chance in this one. However, the Cowboys scored 24 unanswered points and the Bills never held the lead once they gave it up in the 2nd half.

High Profile Element-5: By the time this game took place, everyone knew the cast of players that were involved. Jim Kelly had been successfully running the "K-Gun" offense for years. Kelly joined a lot of prestigious company for starting 4 Super Bowls but he is the only one to start 4 of them consecutively. The defense was still the team's weakness as it ranked 28th in the league in yardage. Despite that it still had players like Bruce Smith, Darryl Talley and Cornelius Bennett.

The Cowboys had the same attack it had been using with the strong running game of Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin as the leading receiver. The offensive line led the way with Erik Williams, Nate Newton and the like. Russell Maryland was the anchor on defense.

You cannot stop Jim Lampley's early 90s hair, you can only hope it does not swallow you whole.

Venue/Atmosphere- 4: This was the first Super Bowl played in Georgia so the the Georgia carpet was rolled out in the pregame ceremonies with Charlie Daniels and Kriss Kross(how timeless!). Natalie Cole sang the anthem. The halftime was certain to dismiss all redneck stereotypes of the south by having country music stars Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, and Wynonna Judd. Despite all this, it should be noted that the Georgia Dome is a great venue in Atlanta where the Peach Bowl and SEC Championship has been held recently.

Personal Enjoyment- 4: The game provided a real rooting interest for me in football when I was a young man of 13. I wanted to see the Bills win one finally. I had, as had everyone, watched them fall short the years prior but as in life, sometimes the deserving and suffering are not given what they have been waiting for.

Cleet's Rating Index: 21

Where I Was: I know I have given props to my Dad earlier in the countdown, but I have to say early on he realized that I had more of an attachment to sports than he ever did. By this time he would roll out the BBQ and wings to celebrate the big game, I always appreciated that.

What Happened in the World: Nine days before the game Lorena Bobbitt was found not guilty for reasons of insanity for chopping off her husbands ding dong. I don't remember all the facts of the case but how do you argue a woman is not insane for chopping off a dude's manhood? Ouch babe.

Record of Note: The biggest record that cannot be ignored, Buffalo was the first team to lose four straight Super Bowls. Even though that is a record someone would never want top repeat, it probably will never be duplicated. As Bill Kent Hull said after the game, "In the immediate future we'll be thought of as losers, But one day down the road, when I'm no longer playing, they'll say, 'Wow, they won four straight AFC championships. They must have been good.'"

Game MVP: Emmitt Smith had 132 yards with 2 TDs on the ground.

LVP: Thurman Thomas. He said it himself after the game, "Dallas didn't wear us down in the second half, I fumbled. I cost us the game." Thomas fumbled in the 3rd quarter :45 seconds in and it was returned by James Washington for a TD. It was Thomas' 2nd fumble of the game which resulted in 10 Dallas points and the Bills would not score again.

Most Memorable Play:
The drive after Thomas fumbled return for the Cowboys, Smith carried the ball 7 of 8 plays and capped it off with a 15 yard TD run that put Dallas up 20-13 and they would not look back.

NFL Fallout: The Bills have never been the same since this loss. Kelly and the entire cast from their Super Bowl run would soon fade away and it has led to the Bills not making a playoff appearance this current entire decade. They have not put their faith in....Chan Gailey. All Bills fans have now are the memories of the Super Bowl runs that never came to fruition. For the Cowboys they never had Johnson coaching for them again but Jerr-uh was able to sign some key free agents and have Switzer guide them to another title a couple years later.

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