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Super Bowl memories

By Anthony Rhoads

The first Super Bowl I remember watching was Super Bowl XIV when the Pittsburgh Steelers beating the Los Angeles Rams 31-19.

That year, Pittsburgh became the first team to win four Super Bowls and the championship victory solidified the Steelers' position as one of the greatest or maybe even the greatest team of all time. When you look back at the 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers, it's amazing to see all the talent they had n quarterback Terry Bradshaw, running backs Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier, wide receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth, center Mike Webster, defensive linemen ?Mean' Joe Greene and L.C. Greenwood, linebackers Jack Ham and Jack Lambert and defensive backs Mel Blount and Donnie Shell. I know I might be leaving someone off the list but those are the ones that really stand out in my memory.

The greatest Super Bowl: What is the best Super Bowl that I have seen? If I had actually seen it and not just watched the highlights on NFL Films, I might say Super Bowl XIII when Pittsburgh beat Dallas 35-31 but since I am sticking to games that I have actually seen I have to eliminate that choice. I also didn't see Super Bowl XXV when the New York Giants beat the Buffalo Bills 20-19 when Scott Norwood missed a last-second field goal.

I would have to say Super Bowl XXIII was the best I've seen. That was when Joe Montana orchestrated a late-game scoring drive that lifted the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cincinatti Bengals 20-16. The other great Super Bowls would have to be Super Bowl XXXVI (New England 20, St. Louis 17) and Super Bowl XXXV (St. Louis 23, Tennessee 16).

Close but yet so far: When you look at the great coaches of the NFL who never won a Super Bowl, the name that is at the top of my list is George Allen, the quirky, yet legendary head coach of the Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins.

In 12 NFL seasons, Allen never had a losing season but he never coached a team to the championship.

The Redskins came close in 1973 when they played the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VII but lost 14-7.

Other great coaches who never won the big one include Minnesota's Norm Van Brocklin, Buffalo's Marv Levy and Atlanta's Marion Campbell (just kidding on that one). Actually, when it comes to former Falcons' coaches, I think Leeman Bennett was a heckuva coachn the late 1970s-80s and the Falcons made a huge mistake when they got rid of him. Bennett remains the only head coach in Atlanta history to leave with a winning record.

Hometown guys make good: As a native West Virginian and fan of West Virginia Mountaineers football, I always like to see former Mountaineers do well at the next level.

The Super Bowl has featured several guys who played for West Virginia University.

In Super Bowl XVII, Miami's Fulton Walker became the first player in Super Bowl history to return a kick for a touchdown.

Darryl Talley, the former consensus All-American at WVU, was a mainstay at linebacker for the Buffalo Bills' Super Bowl teams in the 1990s.

Perhaps the greatest performance by a former WVU player has to be Jeff Hostetler, who was a long-time back-up quarterback for the New York Giants. In the 1990 season when Phil Simms was injured, Hostetler finally got his chance.

"Hoss' led the Giants to Super Bowl XXV, where they beat Buffalo.

Anthony Rhoads is a sports writer for The Daily and his columns appear on Wednesdays. He can be reached at sports@news-daily.com or arhoads@news-daily.com.