One Great Season
The sad thing about the most overpromoted sports event on the planet is that on the rare occasion that the Super Bowl produces a good game, it still doesn't live up to the 336 hours (that's two weeks, Rain Man) of non-stop hype.
But on the majority of the previous 44 occasions in which the AFC and NFC champions have met for all the marbles, the season finale is a boring blowout memorable only for the commercials or the grand you pocketed from the lucky squares pool you won at your buddy's kegger.
And those funny little 49ers from San Francisco are partly to blame. They've won five Super Bowls, and in three of them they were so superior to their opponents that they won by an average of 30 points.
But there are many things in life worse than being part of a blowout Super Bowl when a global audience is watching. Well, at least one thing: Being the losing team.
Herewith, the five worst Super Bowl games in NFL history:
- Super Bowl XXVII: Dallas 52, Buffalo 17 — It's one thing to lose a Super Bowl in a shameful blowout, but the Bills' entire Super Bowl history is an embarrassment. They owned the AFC for four straight years, but then laid eggs in the finale all four times. And this was the worst of the four straight losses, which to this day remains the second-largest margin of defeat in Super Bowl history. The next football team to turn the ball over nine times and win a game on any level will be the first.
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- Super Bowl XX: Chicago 46, New England 10 — In addition to their catchy music video, the Bears were famous for Buddy Ryan's 46 defense. But it was the offense that put up 46 points and helped the storied franchise to its only Super Bowl win. Not to discount the defense's doings; the Bears recorded seven sacks and held New England to 123 total yards. It was a thorough — and largely boring — ass-whipping of a Super Bowl.
- Super Bowl XXXVII: Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21 — It's a shame when a highly anticipated matchup fails to deliver despite neat storylines and a top defense going up against a top offense. The Buccaneers intercepted Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon five times, returning three of them for touchdowns. The Raiders still haven't recovered from being so thoroughly embarrassed in what was called "The Gruden Bowl."
MORE SUPER BOWL COVERAGE
+ LIST: The 5 Best Games In Super Bowl History
+ SURVEY: What Do You Love About The Super Bowl?
+ GUEST COLUMN: 7 Things We Hate About The Super Bowl
+ LIST: Super Bowl MVPs
+ LIST: Super Bowl Winners
- Super Bowl XXXV: Baltimore 34, New York Giants 7 — Trent Dilfer vs. Kerry Collins? Brian Billick vs. Jim Fassel? Other than Ray Lewis, this Super Bowl that capped the 2000 NFL season lacked the star power that other big games the last 20 years have enjoyed. Typically the Super Bowl is loaded with future Hall of Famers; this one was just a yawner. Baltimore and its dominant defense forced five turnovers and cruised to the easy but ugly victory.
- Super Bowl XXIV: San Francisco 55, Denver 10 — The Niners posted Super Bowl records for most points scored and largest margin of victory. Joe Montana threw five touchdown passes, three to Jerry Rice. With the blowout, San Francisco closed the 1980s with a convincing argument that its decade was just as much of a dynasty as the Steelers of the 70s.
+ Super Bowl XXII: Washington 42, Denver 10
+ Super Bowl XXXIII: Denver 34, Atlanta 19
+ Super Bowl XVIII: Los Angeles Raiders 38, Washington 9