Goshen News, Goshen, IN

TGN Bloggers

February 2, 2014

It's hard to beat Super Bowl Sunday

Today is one of the great unofficial holidays in America, a day when families and friends gather to share in a single professional football game that has evolved into the annual spectacle known as the Super Bowl. It’s truly one of my favorite days of the year, having displaced my birthday years ago.

I have studied the Super Bowl since I was a kid, soaking in the telecasts and immersing myself in its history. Thanks to hours upon hours of watching NFL Films I know that no Super Bowl has ever gone into overtime. I am also the only person I know who can list from memory the winner, loser and location of every Super Bowl ever played. Today’s game will be No. XLVIII (no self-respecting Super Bowl historian would dare count its games without using Roman numerals). If only I would have applied my powers toward good. If pressed, I bet I could even score around 85 to 90 percent on remembering MVPs as well.

So today, in chilly New Jersey, the Seattle Seahawks will battle the Denver Broncos for the Vince Lombardi trophy. It’s one of the most evenly-matched title games I can remember, a No. 1 defense going up against a No. 1 offense.

I usually formulate a reason to root for one team or another in the Super Bowl, but I am having trouble with this one. My son is a huge Seahawks fan. I don’t know how. The only thing I can think of is when he was born I had a general interest in the Seahawks because I had attended high school with their quarterback. When my son was a baby, I’d often listen to Seahawks games that were picked up here in Goshen on WKAM.

Or maybe he just liked their uniforms. No sense in overthinking it.

I would like to see my son happy, but I’m also a Peyton Manning fan and Manning is the quarterback for the Broncos. Manning will go down in history as perhaps the greatest quarterback in NFL history, and a win today would bolster that argument. Manning is also a great guy who played 13 seasons without missing a start for the Indianapolis Colts, turning that franchise into a winner.

This game is truly a toss-up.

What I do know is my all-time favorite Super Bowl was Super Bowl XX, played on Jan. 26, 1986, just two days before the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Growing up in Goshen I was raised a Bears fan. And there wasn’t a finer time to be a Bears fan than the 1985 season. The Bears were prodigious that year, completing a 15-1 regular season primarily on the legs of the late running back Walter Payton and the shoulders of one of the most intimidating defenses in NFL history.

I was in eighth grade at the time and watched every game on television. My great friend Kris Kurtz and I would turn down the volume on the TV and record our own play-by-play of the games. There is a unique joy in re-listening to biased junior high commentary. I wish I still had those tapes.

The heavily-favored Bears, who hadn’t allowed a point in its two NFC playoff games, fell behind to the Patriots 3-0 in the opening moments of the game. Kris and I sat on the floor with our jaws hanging open. Our anxiety wouldn’t last long as the Bears went on to win 46-10. It was the first, and only Super Bowl title for the Bears. It was also the last time two first-time Super Bowl participants have faced each other.

So, back to today. Seahawks or Broncos? Tough to say. I won’t even bother trying to guess a score. Since the first Super Bowl was played in 1967, there have only been three common scores — 21-17 (Super Bowls X and XLVI), 27-10 (Super Bowls XII and XV) and 27-17 (Super Bowls XVII and XXX). That’s remarkable.

Well, here it goes. My prediction for today. … Overtime.

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Daniel Riordan has been writing for newspapers since he was 16. Previous newspaper stops include Warsaw and Plymouth. He joined The Goshen News in March 2013 and is enjoying getting to know the city. He has up to this point been able to resist any urge to watch cat videos on YouTube.

I am a journalist for The Goshen News in Goshen, Ind. I handle regional news and am the digital content editor.

Shelly Wilfong is the director of the International Baccalaureat Degree program at Goshen High School in Goshen, Ind.

David Vantress is sports editor at The Goshen News. He is a 1994 journalism graduate of San Diego State University. David has opinions and isn't afraid to share them.

Sam Householder is the chief photographer at The Goshen News. He is a 2010 graduate of Ball State University, with a bachelor's degree in photojournalism. He lives in Goshen with his fiancee, Ashley, and their cat, Rascal.

Roger Schneider is city editor for The Goshen News. He enjoys bicycling, fishing and photography.

Scott Weisser is entertainment and emergency services editor for The Goshen News.