The League

David Aldridge
Sports Reporter

David Aldridge

A nationally recognized sports journalist.

Great Ending Only


Super 43 had a great ending. But there were too many penalties, both individually (11 for Arizona, one short of the record 12 for one team, set by Dallas in Super 12 and Carolina in Super 38) and collectively (Arizona and Pittsburgh's 18 combined were two short of the record 20 committed by Dallas and Denver in Super 12 and Carolina and New England in Super 38) for this to be considered a well-played gem, much less the best ever.

This was more in line with the fantastic-finish kind of Supers we've seen from 38 (the Patriots' last-second victory over Carolina, 32-29, on Adam Vinitieri's field goal) , 34 (the Rams' 23-16 heart-stopper over the Titans, when Mike Jones stopped Kevin Dyson at the 1-yard-line as time expired) and 32 (the Broncos' 31-24 win over the Packers). All of these games picked up steam late in the third or in the fourth to overcome what had been, until then, fairly pedestrian Supers. That was the M.O. of Super 43 as well.

Last year's Super 42 is the best. The Patriots' back story (an undefeated season on the line, the penalties from their illegal taping of the Jets) plus the Giants' incredible 83-yard touchdown drive in the final minutes -- including David Tyree's best-ever catch -- made for the most compelling and dramatic of all the Supers.

And Super 43 doesn't compare, quality-wise, with Super 25 (the Giants' Wide Right 20-19 win over the Bills) or Super 23 (with Joe Montana's "John Candy" game-winning drive over Cincinnati, 20-16).

My personal favorite was Super 13, with the Steelers holding on for a 35-31 win over the Cowboys. Best NFL Films recap, with Facenda at his best ("the locals say John Stallworth is like a combination of sipping whiskey and white lightning -- smooth, with a strong finishing kick." Do they even write like that anymore?). I watched the game on a big screen at the Gateway Tour Center in SW, with other fans, at a party hosted by WMAL's Ken Beatrice. One of his small "thank-yous" to all the people who listened and called into his show. I was 13. Life was good.

By David Aldridge  |  February 2, 2009; 9:51 AM ET  | Category:  Arizona Cardinals , David Aldridge , Pittsburgh Steelers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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