Malcolm Butler Super Bowl
NFL

The Highs and Lows of the Super Bowl

The week leading up to the Super Bowl is nothing short of a media frenzy. Reporters from across the world converge to ask players and coaches variations of the same questions they’ve been asked throughout the playoffs only to get canned, PR approved responses. To stand out from the crowd, the media resorts to ridiculous interview questions, networks compete to air the hottest takes, and C-list celebrities come out of the woodwork for a piece of the spotlight. While the main event is the biggest spectacle in sports, the opening card is essentially a circus sideshow.

For fans who are fed up with all the Super Bowl Media Week hoopla and can’t wait to, you know, watch some actual football, we have good news: Sling Blue customers now have access via the NFL Network to on-demand highlights from Super Bowls 1-48 (or I-XLVIII) in the “Available Now” section in their guide. That means instead of watching the talking heads bloviate among themselves, you can watch the greatest moments from the greatest games in Super Bowl history.

With highlights from 48 Super Bowl games on-demand, there’s no shortage of great football to watch, but where to start? We conducted a highly informal, completely biased poll among football fans in the office for their favorite Super Bowl moments. Here’s what we came up with:

The Interception
Super Bowl XLIX (2015): New England Patriots vs. Seattle Seahawks

This one was always going to be close. Vegas moved the line to a pick ‘em on the day of the game, the smallest point spread in Super Bowl history. The game saw six ties and lead changes. With Seattle down 4 in the 4th quarter, Russell Wilson threw a pass to Jermaine Kearse, who made an incredible catch to bring the ball to the New England 5 yard line. With 26 seconds left in the game and Seattle on the New England 1 yard line, the Seahawks elected to pass the ball instead of run. The result, a Malcolm Butler interception that sealed the game for the Patriots. Seahawks fans everywhere continue to question the call and lament the fact that Pete Carroll didn’t just FEED THE BEAST!

Wide Right
Super Bowl XXV (1991): New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills

Set against the backdrop of the first Iraq War and featuring Whitney Houston’s perfect rendition of the national anthem, the game was everything a fan could ask for but culminated in heartbreak for Buffalo fans. A nail biter throughout, the game was the only Super Bowl to be decided by a single point. With the clock winding down, Scott Norwood’s 47-yard field goal attempt went wide right leading to the infamous Al Michaels “Wide Right!” call. The game marked the first of four straight Super Bowl losses for the Bills and became a plot point in a decent but uneven late 90’s independent film.

The Helicopter
Super Bowl XXXII (1999): Denver Broncos vs. Green Bay Packers

Let’s face it, with Sling HQ based in Colorado, we have our fair share of Broncos homers in the office so this Super Bowl moment was sure to be high on the list. Still, even objective observers can admit this was a pretty special play. Having suffered three previous Super Bowl losses, a 37-year-old John Elway had time and history working against him. However, this time around Elway had help in the form of all-world running back Terrell Davis who would go on to rush for 157 yards and a Super Bowl record 3 touchdowns. With the score tied late in the third quarter and the end zone in sight, Elway rushed for a 1st down on the Packers 4-yard line, diving to gain the extra yards and taking a shot that sent the QB spinning in the air. The Elway helicopter turned the tables for the Broncos and helped lead the team to its first Super Bowl Championship.

The Game Winning Grab
Super Bowl XLIII (2009): Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals

James Harrison’s Super Bowl record 100-yard interception return for a touchdown helped give the Steelers a 17-7 lead at halftime. Trailing by 13 in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals scored 16 unanswered points to take the lead. With time winding down, the Steelers drove 78-yards down the field to score a game-winning touchdown catch by Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds left in the game. Classic. But another Super Bowl catch topped our list.

The Helmet Catch
Super Bowl XLII (2008): New York Giants vs. New England Patriots

This game was supposed to be a coronation for the 18-0 Patriots against the Giants, a Wild Card team that didn’t play a single home game in the playoffs. The Pats were 12-point favorites going into the game and expected to join the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only teams to complete a perfect season. The Giants kept it close with five leads changes in the game and neither team lead by more than 4 points. In the final minutes of the game, Eli Manning scrambled away from three Pats defenders and heaved up a pass to Tyree, who made a leaping catch and came down with the ball pinned to his helmet. It was an amazing play, compounded by the fact that Tyree had only 4 receptions for 69 yards during the entire 2007 season. The Giants would go on to score a game winning touchdown and the “Helmet Catch” has become one of the most iconic moments in Super Bowl history.

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