The League

Dave Goldberg
Sports Reporter

Dave Goldberg

Covered the NFL for the AP for 25 years and now is a senior NFL writer for

History matters


Most significant Super Bowl ever? This one?

Why do we have to try that title out every year? There remains only one Super Bowl that was truly significant: Super Bowl III, when the New York Jets established that the AFL, which had merged into the NFL, was on a par with the older league. You can argue that the second most significant was Super Bowl IV, when Kansas City proved the Jets' win wasn't a fluke by dominating Minnesota.

But of course these days we all follow the mindset of the network that calls itself "The Worldwide Leader in Sports'' in deeming anything that happened before... let's say 1999... as historically irrelevant.

This one was historic in the sense that a historically downtrodden team -- with only a half-dozen winning seasons in 43 years -- won for the first time and represented a city that only four-and-a-half years ago was under water. Good for the Saints. Good for Sean Payton and Drew Brees. They are fitting champions after a game that in a decade or so will remembered a little less than the two title games that proceeded it.

For those with short memories...

Last year the Pittsburgh Steelers won with 35 seconds left, ruining the chances of a team whose history is infinitely worse than the Saints' because it's longer. And it's been located in three places: Chicago, where it won its last title in 1947; St. Louis and now Arizona. In the 61 seasons between that title and its trip to Tampa last season, the Cardinals had won one playoff game.

In 2008, the champions were the New York Giants. No, they don't have a downtrodden history. More like a pretty distinguished one. They won a bunch of NFL titles; lost "the greatest game every played;'' have been regular playoff participants, especially for the last 25 years or so; and their 17-14 win over New England was their third Super Bowl victory since 1987. But they upset a team seeking to make history by finishing 19-0 and, in the process, embarrassed the coach in the hoodie, Bill Belichick, whose reputation as one of the NFL's least liked men had been enhanced that year by his spying escapade.

So two years ago, it might have been called the most significant Super Bowl ever. But back to the top. Congratulations to New Orleans. Congratulations to the Saints. Congratulations to the Who 'Dat people. (I hate "nation'' in sports context.) Significance? Congratulations to Joe Namath, Matt Snell and the 1969 Jets.

By Dave Goldberg  |  February 10, 2010; 12:16 PM ET  | Category:  New Orleans Saints , New York Jets , Super Bowl Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Best,greatest, or most significant ever?

I have watched every game and can remember very few in detail.

Staubach against that balding QB..Bradshaw....wonder what happened to him?

The Raiders .

I remember those.

Dallas against San Francisco.
But it seems I remember some playoff games even more.

Possibly because there was nothing to hold back..everyting was put on the line.

that seemed the way NO played this game..they put everything on the saw that with the offside kick.

Now, if that had failed..that could have been bad.

Yes, I will remember this game.

Thanks for the memories Drew and Payton. And Bret.

Posted by: travisg2 | February 11, 2010 10:33 AM

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