New Orleans is a fun city, and until the NFL lightens up and lets Las Vegas get a Super Bowl — nope, never happening — then it's probably the best host city for the game.
Well, for the pregame stuff at least. While the Bourbon Street partying has been memorable, most of the Super Bowls have been duds once they've kicked off. Maybe there's a hangover effect from Pat O'Briens, but there really has been only one classic game in New Orleans of the nine that have been held there. (Marshall Faulk doesn't think it was so great though.)
Here's our ranking of the Super Bowls that were played in New Orleans from worst to first. Best enjoyed with a hurricane cocktail and a bowl of gumbo, of course:
9. Dallas 24, Miami 3 in VI
Lance Alworth and Mike Ditka had touchdown catches for Dallas, and Herb Adderley started at cornerback, making this the Super Bowl team that had the most random collection of Hall of Famers that were famous with other teams (a formula the 2000 Redskins unsuccessfully used in an attempt to make the big game). Other than that, this game was forgettable.
8. Dallas 27, Denver 10 in XII
Sorry Dallas. Aside from Butch Johnson's touchdown catch, (which would have been 100 percent overturned today because of the Calvin Johnson Rule, right?), can you recall one highlight from this game?
7. Kansas City 23, Minnesota 7 in IV
Yeah, 65 Toss Power Trap, great. This is as good of a time to any to point out that three New Orleans Super Bowls happened at Tulane Stadium within a six-year stretch. The stadium was condemned in 1975, the same year Super Bowl IX was held there. If it wasn't for Rice Stadium in Houston randomly hosting a Super Bowl in 1974, Tulane Stadium may be the most forgettable of all the Super Bowl venues. With all apologies to Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, of course.
6. Oakland 27, Philadelphia 10 in XV
Linebacker Rod Martin got robbed of a Super Bowl MVP after three interceptions, Kenny King made the biggest offensive play and Jim Plunkett was the winning quarterback. No offense to any of them, but it's not exactly Montana-to-Rice or Michael Strahan or Reggie White finally starring in a NFL title game.
5. Chicago 46, New England 10 in XX
Twenty-seven years later and people are complaining about Walter Payton not getting a touchdown. Imagine if an athlete without the favorable press (Randy Moss maybe?) focused on not scoring in a game that finally got him a long-awaited ring? The Internet would collapse on itself.
4. Pittsburgh 16, Minnesota 6 in IX
Let's just call this a defensive game. There were 26 combined first downs, and just nine by the Vikings. The score was 2-0 at halftime. The historical significance as the first of the Steel Curtain's titles probably bumps it up a bit.
3. San Francisco 55, Denver 10 in XXIV
The fact that this game is third says all you need to know about New Orleans' Super Bowl history. At least this one was memorable for the absolute apex of San Francisco's dynasty under Joe Montana. A perfect performance by a great team.
2. Green Bay 35, New England 21 in XXXI
This wasn't that bad of a game. The Patriots were down 27-21 in the second half before Desmond Howard's 99-yard touchdown on a kickoff return (and the robot dance afterward!). Brett Favre threw two long touchdowns and Reggie White had three sacks, and finally won his championship.
1. New England 20, St. Louis 17 in XXXVI
Everything about this one was classic — a huge underdog with a great game plan, a great finish with both teams scoring in the final minutes, Adam Vinatieri's clutch kick, the big upset starting a NFL dynasty ... even U2's halftime show that stands as the greatest halftime show in the game's history. Let's hope we get a game Sunday that looks more like this one than the other eight in New Orleans.
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