Monday, February 04, 2008

More Super Bowl notes

An observation and a question.

First: the team trailing at halftime in the Super Bowl is 8-32 (twice teams reached halftime tied); the Giants are 3-1 in Super Bowls but have trailed at the half every time.  That means other than the Giants, teams trailing at the half are 5-31.  The only Giant team that lost a Super Bowl when trailing at the half trailed 10-0 at the break -- no team has won a Super Bowl after getting shut out in the first half.

Second: the question I have is simple -- how can ANYONE ever rattle off a short list of the greatest quarterbacks ever without mentioning Joe Montana?  Throughout the past week, the question the pundit class kept asking was where did Brady rank alongside Marino, Elway, Favre, Bradshaw and . . . and . . . far too few mentions of Montana.  Giants fans remember Montana all too well because he befuddled good Giants defenses in the 1981 and 1984 playoffs, and the Giants exacted revenge in 1985 and '86.  We remember the seemingly unstoppable Montana from 1989, when the 49ers beat a good Giants team 34-24 and later romped their way through the playoffs by ridiculous scores (41-13, 30-3, 55-10).  And we relish how the Giants ultimately shocked the 49ers by ending their dynasty in 1990 by beating Montana and the two-time defending champs 15-13 in Candlestick Park.  

Montana won four Super Bowls -- a feat only Bradshaw has also accomplished.   Montana was THE key player for the 49ers in all four -- he won THREE MVP awards (Bradshaw had two) and could easily have won four (his 357 yards passing in SB XXIII was a record, but Jerry Rice won the award).  He may not have had the howitzer arm like Marino, nor the triumphant exit of Elway (retiring as a two-time defending champ), but he was the leader of the best team of the 1980s -- one that won more titles before Jerry Rice arrived (two) than the 1970s Steelers did without Harris, Stallworth or Swann (zero).

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