The Super Bowl’s Greatest Hits

Joe Namath, Marcus Allen, and Terrell Davis reflect on their historic Big Game moments.

Joe Namath, Marcus Allen, and Terrell Davis reflect on their historic Big Game moments.

The Point: Joe Namath

Broadway Joe kicked the Baltimore Colts in the balls–then he gave ’em the finger.

Photo by AP Photo

As he ran off the field, the Super Bowl III MVP lifted his right hand and extended his index fin­ger. Instantly Namath invented the universal symbol for “We’re number one.” Jealous?

“Heck, no, I didn’t plan that. Just like I never planned the guarantee. It just happened. I was at the podium of the Miami Touchdown Club, and this guy yelled out, ‘Hey, Namath! We’re going to kick your you-know-what!’ So I got angry. ‘Hey, buddy!’ I said. ‘I got news for you: We’re going to win that game. I guarantee it.’ I’d never said anything like that in my life.

I didn’t even think about it again until practice, when Coach [Weeb] Ewbank started yelling, ‘What the hell have you done? Now they’re all fired up.’ But I knew that if the Colts needed that to get fired up, they were in trouble.

A few days later in a bar, Colts kicker Lou Michaels was running his mouth about how they were going to beat us. So I said, ‘What the heck do you know? You’re just a kicker.’ But Lou was a 250-pound kicker–de­fensive end, so when he jumped up, I sat down.

It was the same thing with that ‘We’re number one’ thing. It just happened. We’d just won the game, and as I was running off the field I saw these New York guys going nuts in the stands. So I looked up at ’em and wanted them to know, ‘You’re darn right we’re number one! We’re Super Bowl champs!’?”

The Run: Marcus Allen

Super Bowl XVIII’s MVP ran into the record books.

Photo by Corbis

Late in the third quarter, Allen turned a 10-yard loss into a 74-yard run—still the longest rushing TD in Super Bowl history.

“The run? Honestly? It was magic. Surreal. Metaphysical. Nothing that could run, block, or tackle could stop me that day. That play was a 17 bob trey 0. I bounced outside, but suddenly the safety was coming at me like a torpedo. I remember he almost got the ball out, so I did like any great back would do: I ran for my fucking life. I put the brakes on, made a U-turn, and cut it back all the way to the left. Cliff Branch gave me a block, then it was just a matter of running into the end zone. No big deal.”

The No-Look: Terrell Davis

Super Bowl XXXII’s MVP beat the Packers with his eyes closed.

Photo by Getty Images

His three touchdowns took Denver to its first Super Bowl victory, but a migraine made him a legend. At the start of the second quarter, TD went blind from the pain. But minutes later he strapped on his helmet and ran back onto the field. 

“I was so amped I forgot to take my migraine medication. Normally I’d take it 10 minutes before pregame warmups. But I forgot, and when I remembered it was 10 minutes before kickoff. It takes a while for the stuff to kick in, so if you don’t take it before you start running around, it’s not going to work.

As soon as the migraine hit, I walked over to Coach Shanahan and said, ‘I can’t see a thing.’ But he called a play late in the second quarter that wouldn’t have had any credibility if I wasn’t out there. It was a routine play, but now everything looked like it was through a kaleidoscope. I remember praying John Elway wouldn’t audible at the line and give me the ball.”

The rest is history. Davis’ decoy worked, and Elway ran into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. Davis then used halftime to recover and run all over the Green Bay Packers while saving Elway’s career from the crapper.

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