Tag Archives: Super Bowl XXXVIII

Looking Back on XXXVIII: Icing for Elway’s Cake

Editor’s Note: With the Super Bowl approaching on February 2, 2014 we here at Triple B dug into the archives to find some observations on the 10th Anniversary of our coverage of Super Bowl XXXVIII played in Houston, TX on February 1, 2004. Today we take a look back at the Hall of Fame announcement that made Broncos quarterback turned executive John Elway a hall of famer.

While there have been many memorable experiences for me this week while covering the events leading up to Super Bowl XXXVIII they all pale in comparison to Saturday’s activities.

After finding a free place to park downtown, in and of itself a victory, I trekked three miles to the George R. Brown Convention Center.

After catching my breath it was time to head to a press conference announcing the latest class of inductees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame which includes Barry Sanders and John Elway; both elected during their first year of eligibility.

Ten years ago I had the opportunity to cover the Super Bowl. With the game approaching once again it is time to take a look back. Photo R. Anderson

Ten years ago I had the opportunity to cover the Super Bowl. With the game approaching once again it is time to take a look back.
Photo R. Anderson

Elway and Sanders are two players who truly exemplify people who can be admired both on and off of the football field.

Although Elway became one of my favorite players to watch, I did not always have such a high opinion of him.

When Elway was first drafted out of Stanford by the Baltimore Colts in 1983 he declared that he would rather play baseball for the New York Yankees than become a member of the Colts in Baltimore.

Instead of ending up with the Colts or the Yankees, Elway became a Denver Bronco and the rest became history leading up to two consecutive Super Bowl Victories before his retirement in 1998.

As it turned out the whole Baltimore Colts organization soon moved into a domed stadium in Indianapolis so Elway would not have played in Baltimore anyway if he had stayed with the Colts.

I have often wondered if playing in a domed stadium as opposed to Mile High Stadium would have changed the way Elway played the game.

I guess that is one of those mysteries that will never be solved.

While Elway slighted my Colts, who in turn slighted Baltimore, I soon discovered that I could not help but root for him to do well.

Even after a trio of Super Bowl appearances where the Broncos would lose big to the NFC powerhouses Elway still kept his composure and kept plugging along.

That patience would pay off late in his career.

While many of the quarterbacks drafted with Elway during the quarterback rich 1983 draft had long since retired, old #7 was still going strong up in Denver.

In fact some might go so far as to say that some of Elway’s best years for late in his career.

In true Hollywood fashion Elway ended up with the last laugh as he guided the Broncos to two straight Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998.

After being crowned Super Bowl MVP in 1998 Elway decided to hang up his golden arm and concentrate on his business interests which include ownership of an Arena Football League team in Denver.

Saturday the final accolade for a great quarterback came one step closer to reality while providing the perfect close to a perfect week.

So As my week of covering Houston’s turn at the Super Bowl buffet comes to an end I am sure I will be left with memories that will last a lifetime.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it is time to go to the Super Bowl but first I need to set my VCR to make sure I don’t miss any of the commercials.

Epilogue: Since this column was first written in 2004 a funny turn of events transpired to make this year’s Super Bowl even more memorable.

John Elway, went on to a management role with the Denver Broncos and two years ago brought in a man named Peyton Manning to be his quarterback. Like Elway, Manning was drafted by the Colts. Unlike Elway, Manning played for the Colts for many years before joining the Broncos and leading them to an AFC Championship which had not been done since Elway’s last season in 1998. While it is unlikely that Peyton Manning will retire like Elway did if the Broncos win Sunday it is clear that the team has returned to the top of the AFC once more.

Copyright 2004 R. Anderson, Reposted 2014

Looking Back on XXXVIII: Snickers Doesn’t Satisfy

Editor’s Note: With the Super Bowl approaching on February 2, 2014 we here at Triple B dug into the archives to find some observations on the 10th Anniversary of our coverage of Super Bowl XXXVIII played in Houston, TX on February 1, 2004. Today we take a look back at how one future Hall of Fame quarterback spent his Super week a decade ago.

In a surprise appearance at Super Bowl media land Wednesday Brett Farve accepted the first annual award for the NFL’s Hungriest Player.

The appearance was a surprise both in that it was not in the media handbook of events, and in the soul-bearing glimpse into the mindset of the recipient.

Ten years ago I had the opportunity to cover the Super Bowl. With the game approaching once again it is time to take a look back. Photo R. Anderson

Ten years ago I had the opportunity to cover the Super Bowl. With the game approaching once again it is time to take a look back.
Photo R. Anderson

While many of the awards this week have been little more than a grip and grin opportunity for companies to plug their products and for athletes to recite the company line about how happy they are to win and/or to be nominated, the Favre press conference offered a look at a truly broken man who seemed to want to be anywhere but on the stage receiving an award from a candy bar maker four days before the Super Bowl.

A casually dressed Favre slowly made his way onto the stage pausing just briefly to accept a football as an award from his candy benefactors before heading to the microphone to tackle questions from reporters.

While Favre tried to be a trooper and grin for the cameras even going so far as to say that he eats a lot of snickers, the mood in the room was soon darkened as questions began to circle around Favre’s performance during the games following his award winning effort and his thoughts about the two teams vying for the big trophy named after the famous coach of his Packers.

When asked who he liked to win the game on Sunday, Favre quipped back by asking “who’s playing?”

While it seemed like a joke at first it was soon clear to all of the reporters in the room that it really did not matter to Favre which teams were in the game since one of the teams was not his Green Bat Packers.

Further going against the company line of the NFL being one big happy family Favre said that he was not going to watch this or any other Super Bowl.

Brett Favre, shown here during an event for Snickers during Super Bowl XXXVIII made some people snicker when it was leaked that the St. Louis Rams were interested in the twice retired quarterback. For the record, Favre said no. Photo R. Anderson

Brett Favre, shown here during an event for Snickers during Super Bowl XXXVIII made some people snicker when it was leaked that the St. Louis Rams were interested in the twice retired quarterback. For the record, Favre said no.
Photo R. Anderson

Favre’s statement produced an angry glare from the NFL PR person standing nearby.

Noticing the glance Favre responded by saying, “I am sure there will be a lot of people watching the game in my place. I will hear who won the game on Monday.”

While Favre’s attitude towards watching the game seemed to go against everything I had seen in previous press conferences during the week it was refreshing to see a player genuinely upset when he comes so close to the ultimate game only to fall short.

While his season ended sooner than he had hoped there was at least one good thing to come out of it according to Favre.

“I was able to watch my oldest daughter play basketball when we got back to Mississippi,” Favre said. “That was the first game I have been able to see all year. Players get upset when the season ends early, but kids don’t care. In some ways it is good to have something else to do.”

Favre’s mood seemed to brighten a bit when he was asked to describe player introductions at the Super Bowl.

“I don’t know how to describe it,” Favre said. “It is something that every kid has dreamt about and when you are there it is just a wonderful feeling.”

A feeling that is probably a little more wonderful if you happen to be snacking on a satisfying candy bar that is packed with peanuts.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am craving a Snickers bar for some reason.

Copyright 2004 R. Anderson, Reposted 2014

Editor’s Note: Next up in the archives we look at how hall of famer John Elway spent his Super Bowl week a decade ago.

Looking Back on XXXVIII: Montana, Marino and Manning

Editor’s Note: With the Super Bowl approaching on February 2, 2014 we here at Triple B dug into the archives to find some observations on the 10th Anniversary of our coverage of Super Bowl XXXVIII played in Houston, TX on February 1, 2004. Today we take a look back at how two current and one future Hall of Fame quarterback spent their Super week a decade ago.

The more NFL I experience this week the more I discover that the Super Bowl is about much more than just the game on Sunday.

There are parties and concerts for the fans and many NFL players past and present are in town participating in a slew of activities.

Ten years ago I had the opportunity to cover the Super Bowl. With the game approaching once again it is time to take a look back. Photo R. Anderson

Ten years ago I had the opportunity to cover the Super Bowl. With the game approaching once again it is time to take a look back.
Photo R. Anderson

There are players visiting sick children in local hospitals, players building homes for Habitat for Humanity and players and their moms shedding light on the plight of hunger in America.

While many of the activities of the week geared towards the media and the fans seem like a good companion to the game, other activities have left me scratching my head in disbelief.

One such event occurred Tuesday during a super cook off event featuring gridiron legends Joe Montana and Dan Marino.

The legendary quarterbacks were teamed with chefs from a major food company to see who could make the best dishes from a cooking pamphlet that conveniently enough is available wherever finer foods are sold.

The first question that crossed my mind when I heard about the event was, “what do these quarterbacks know about food?”

During all of my years of watching Montana and Marino on the field never once did I wonder whether they would be able to whip up a quick meal.

In fact, even though Marino owns a chain of restaurants I always hoped that someone else was in the kitchen preparing the food.

In the end though owning the restaurants may have helped Dolphin Dan as he was crowned champ of the cook-off.

I know the players probably received a nice chunk of money to participate in the event, and there are worse things that I have seen future hall of famers peddle.

Even though there are numerous reality television shows that seek to capitalize on once hot stars that are starting to cool you never think that you will actually come face to face with a former great that is trying to hold on to that last thread of celebrity.

If there is a lesson to be learned from seeing Montana and Marino peddle snack foods it is this, gridiron fame, like all fame is fleeting and even the great giants of the game are sometimes knocked down a few notches after their playing days are done.

Perhaps it is good for fans to see the players in a more humbling light instead of continuing to see them as the exalted giants that they appear to be on the field while they are dissecting defenses and orchestrating two-minute drills.

Peyton Manning spent Super Bowl XXXVIII on a panel with Joe Theismann, Michal Vick, and Daunte Culpepper. This year, as quarterback of the Denver Broncos he will have a much better seat. Photo R. Anderson

Peyton Manning spent Super Bowl XXXVIII on a panel with Joe Theismann, Michal Vick, and Daunte Culpepper. This year, as quarterback of the Denver Broncos he will have a much better seat for the Super Bowl.
Photo R. Anderson

After all, in the game of life the ability to orchestrate a winning meal combination is probably a more worthy skill to possess.

Hopefully today’s press conference with former Washington Redskins greats John Riggins and Joe Theismann presenting the Air and Ground awards with Peyton Manning will leave a better taste in my mouth.

If it does not, at least I can go to my local supermarket and look for the display with Marino and Montana smiling back at me and whip together a little dish to take my mind off of it.

Now if you will excuse me, I am off to see Mike Ditka present an award that is sponsored by an erectile dysfunction medication manufacturer.

Copyright 2004 R. Anderson, Reposted 2014

Editor’s Note: Next up in the archives we look at how future hall of famer Brett Favre spent his Super Bowl week a decade ago.

 

Looking Back on XXXVIII: Have Pass Will Travel

Editor’s Note: With the Super Bowl approaching on February 2, 2014 we here at Triple B dug into the archives to find some observations on the 10th Anniversary of our coverage of Super Bowl XXXVIII played in Houston, TX on February 1, 2004. In this article we covered the joy of obtaining the all-access pass.

I came one step closer to viewing my first Super Bowl in person yesterday when I braved the traffic surrounding the NFL Experience to pick up some media credentials for the upcoming game at Reliant Stadium.

While I assumed that my trek to the George R. Brown Convention Center would be rather uneventful, I soon learned just how wrong I was.

Ten years ago I had the opportunity to cover the Super Bowl. With the game approaching once again it is time to take a look back. Photo R. Anderson

Ten years ago I had the opportunity to cover the Super Bowl. With the game approaching once again it is time to take a look back.
Photo R. Anderson

As I circled the convention center looking for some indication of where I was supposed to go I was reminded of why I dislike driving downtown.

I know a lot of people enjoy the urban setting; however, one way streets and pedestrians jumping out in front of cars at will are really not my idea of a good time.

After stopping and asking three police officers if they knew where I needed to go I finally found one who had the answer.

Of course, I was on the complete opposite side of where I needed to go but at least now I had some direction.

After a few wrong turns and some nasty stares from pedestrians I finally found where I needed to park.

As I exited my car I thought, “If traffic is this snarled a week before the Super Bowl just how bad will it be come game day when the world comes to watch the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots play?”

Once out of the car my next challenge was finding the right door to enter at the convention center.

That proved to be an easy task and I found myself three escalator rides away from the credential station.

Ten years ago this week Houston was decked out for the Super Bowl. Photo R. Anderson

Ten years ago this week Houston was decked out for the Super Bowl.
Photo R. Anderson

Now, as a trained professional journalist I know that getting credentials is just part of the job description and is really nothing out of the ordinary.

I have a collection of credentials from every major sporting event that I have covered during my writing career and I never really got super excited about getting any of these passes.

Still, as the escalator took me closer and closer to the credential station on the third floor I found myself getting more and more excited as it hit me that I was about to receive an all-access pass to the Super Bowl which is something that most every sportswriter dreams of getting.

Once at the credential station I received my pass and a Super Bowl media survival kit complete with all of the baubles you would expect to get for covering the biggest sports spectacle on the planet.

One of the perks of covering the Super Bowl is the super swag. Photo R. Anderson

One of the perks of covering the Super Bowl is the super swag.
Photo R. Anderson

I looked at my NFL super gear and allowed myself the opportunity to do a little happy dance (albeit a professional stoic sportswriter happy dance) and made my way towards the escalator and back out to the maze which is downtown Houston.

Once outside, I quickly collected myself and again acted like the impartial sportswriter that I was trained to be.

Sure, getting a pass to the Super Bowl is cool but there is still a job to do.

Besides, I will have plenty of time to admire the pass after the game when I add it to me credential collection. I hope the other credentials do not get credential envy.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am off to look at a Houston map to find out if there is a secret way to navigate downtown before making my return trip.

Copyright 2004 R. Anderson, Reposted 2014

Editor’s Note: Next up in the archives we take a look at how two current and one future Hall of Fame quarterback spent their Super week .