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How Bout Those Bills Benchers? WHOOOOOO-HOOOO!!!! -- History of the Super Bowl Part 23
I was far too old to believe, but I did anyway.
I believed in the Buffalo Bills.
I believe today...that the fans of Buffalo have the proper imagination to truly deserve and enjoy a world championship.
Not many cities can take this honor.
I've never been to Buffalo, but I can tell you...the day the Sabres or Bills win the title, I will be happier then all of them.
They will savor a title for the rest of their lives.
In New York, there might as well be a hit Broadway show.
In LA, pleasure comes first and foremost.
In Chicago, business trumps pleasure.
And in Philly, when there's no sports on...the fans all like to watch real badly made movies. Why? Because the humor and entertainment...is in the incompetence.
It's fun for the fans of Philadelphia and Atlanta to imagine someone who screws up BADLY in front of MILLIONS.
A and B.
Well in Buffalo, every waking office would have reminders of every single player.
They are more aware of the story of the Superbowl even then myself.
And we will continue with part of what they know, as we continue to bring you the history of the Superbowl through the eyes of a Bills/Bears/Jets/Dolphins fan and Redskins sort-of fan.
To understand what I felt about these four teams in the days when football was the measuring stick of man and I COULD ACTUALLY CATCH AND RUN THANK GOD...I refer you to the film "Riding in Cars With Boys" with Drew Barrymore.
Sometimes...says the late Brittany Murphy...you have to be numb to how you much you feel about something sometimes. Because if you really thought about it it would kill you.
This is what I felt about the Buffalo Bills of Kelly and Bruce Smith and Thurmanator.
Nobody in the world believed in them but me...and the city of Buffalo.
The Bears are a continuous fascination because it's the only city that proves that one owner can fuck a whole world.
You wonder how you could have a Michael Jordan scenario with football and baseball where it's one dude who plays great and the whole team wins.
In football and baseball this doesn't happen.
You can be Keith freaking Hernandez. You will get 2 World Series rings and that is ALL my friend.
But at the same time that one player can't poison an entire football or baseball team, one owner sure can.
The 1992 NFL season featured the beginning of alot of stuff that stood for a long long time.
The first season when you see all Bill Walsh's protegees as head coaches.
The first season you see Bill Cowher.
Cowher's interesting because Cowher illustrates the difference between the AFC and NFC.
What do you notice about Bill Cowher?
Think back to 1992 when he became coach.
Think of all the other coaches in the league at this time.
Now fast forward to 2006.
How many are still there?
That is...outside of Bill Cowher?
For the AFC didn't like to fire people.
They were hippies and Black Panthers.
They believed in communal families.
Granted, ones where nobody fucking ever did the dishes.
For the AFC had people up and down who always liked to cut corners.
Fundamentals were fucking boring.
It took coaches coming in who were psycho like Don Shula and Chuck Noll in fact to bring out those fundamentals in the form of punishments for skipping practice and tardiness.
Joe Clark had to properly turn an AFC into a champion.
In the NFC, it took an alien named Jim McMahon to teach a bunch of fundamentally sound boobs how to dance.
Yet here's the problem.
The NFC, for all its' blandness and business bullshit, had equally blunt businesspeople at the top.
To say "do the dishes".
Or in this case...you're fired.
For Bill Cowher's owner Art Rooney HATES firing people, as do ALL AFC managers.
AFC managers, remember, are only a shred of creativity away from moving those teams to paradise to start the vacations they've been on for forty years.
Firing people means bad feelings.
Beforehand and afterwards.
Lamar Hunt was cool, and didn't like to fire people.
All his friends were cool, and when they set up their own teams, they too...didn't like to fire people.
And like the NFC would braintype other potential hirees, checking for willingness to fire people, the AFC would braintype people for upper management who too were like THEM!!! DIDN'T like to fire people!
Shula, Cowher, Levy, Reeves, Wyche, Coughlin, Dungy, Bellichek, they have to retire before they go.
Which brings me to my next point.
When the NFC gets dominant, and I mean fucking MEAN, is this era in time, the post Bill Walsh era, when all these freedom loving AFC-trained NFC coaches go and kick ass like Jon Gruden and Steve Mariucci and Mike Shanahan in Denver.
And so Dallas breaks the mold in order to grab a Superbowl trophy before the first Walsh protegee does.
The 1992 season would see the emergence of...well...authoritarianism.
The Dallas Cowboys would actually break the mold of Walsh and get a coach who was every bit as business-first as the front office.
Unlike San Fran where DeBartalo's a fucking shark but Walsh is a painter, in Dallas, Jerry Jones was a shark...and so was Jimmy Johnson.
Johnson was the coach at the University of Miami during the mid 80s. His program is proud, strong, cool as HELL.
Johnson would deliberately expose his players to the worst things written or said about them.
He didn't give no damn about your feelings. This was hardly Alfred from Dark Knight.
He manufactured wins, and cut people like Charles Manson.
Johnson was a scary little man, and he did it with a bunch of Allen Iversons.
The way major colleges felt about Iverson after the fight in the bowling alley when he was in high school...is the same way they felt about those Miami players in the 80s.
It rubbed off into the 90s until allegations up the ass made the program do an about-face.
Jimmy Johnson would leave Miami to go to Dallas and didn't give a DAMN.
It was business.
Jerry Jones starts things off by FIRING FRIGGIN TOM LANDRY!!!!!!!
Then Johnson trades Hershel Walker for 8 draft picks, as we all know.
He picks up a slew of guys who would become the core of what would become the team of the 90s.
The 90s Cowboys first landed on the launching pad of stardom when they went into Chicago in the 91 playoffs with Steve Buerlein and did a good job.
Well this year, Troy Aikman was healthy.
Aikman is an interesting story...for about two seconds.
Lets discuss those two seconds.
Aikman at this time had appeared to be sport's Dave Mustaine.
Dave Mustaine is the leader of an 80s "heavy metal" band called Megadeth.
But Dave Mustaine is famous for being the guy who Metallica let go shortly after their 1984 debut album "Kill Them All".
Metallica would go on to be the biggest band of its' musical genre until the mid 90s when success from the Black Album led to them getting poon for the first time.
In anticipation of their second dates, they took showers and cut their hair.
And pussed out their music.
Well Dave Mustaine got to miss out on all this, and Megadeth was hardly a substitute.
Troy Aikman was the starting quarterback for the 1985 Oklahoma Sooners
He would get injured, and his replacement would take them to the national title.
And so AIkman would have to go somewhere else, now that the quarterback position was on lock down.
Aikman went to UCLA.
Aikman was selected 1st overall in 1989.
Even with Smith and Irvin and Maryland and Brock Marion, the Dallas Cowboys would go 1-15.
But four years later they were one of the NFL's best.
The Eagles had grown a secondary to help out Reggie White and Seth Joyner. It was led by a guy who still plays with them today -- Brian Dawkins.
Dawkins could HIT.
And yet, the Cowboys would out-do them.
In the divisional playoffs they won 20-6, and then would go on to play San Francisco in the mud.
One of the players who had left San Francisco for Dallas was psycho ass defensive lineman and pass rusher Charles Haley.
Haley would be the headliner in this game on defense.
Dallas would shut down Steve Young's trick ass.
Ricky Watters couldn't do shit.
Jerry Rice was hammered over the middle by a crazy ass Ken Norton Jr.
Emmitt Smith did everything.
San Francisco was done.
Dallas was advancing to the Superbowl for the first time since Jackie Smith.
The Bears by the way would go 5-11. They had a 20-0 lead in the fourth quarter of a game in the Metrodome against the Vikings, and lost 21-20 because of the momentum created off Mike Ditka flipping out in Jim Harbaugh's face for an audible leading directly to an interception return for a touchdown.
Meanwhile in the AFC, the Bills had spent the season avoiding as many questions as they had to answer.
Miami had become their big contender, as Marco Coleman was 1992's best defender.
Miami's secondary was young and VERY VERY GOOD.
Add to that, Warren Moon was trying to avenge the Denver game.
And so the Bills go into the regular season finale 11-4.
The game is in Houston and the Oilers have to win in order to make the playoffs.
They injure Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and just about crack Bruce Smith.
They win 35-3, making it in.
This would set up a wildcard game the next week in Buffalo where the Bills have to start Frank Reich, Kenneth Davis, and have Bruce Smith out there with cracked ribs.
The first half of this game was pure art.
Warren Moon would stake his claim to the AFC title with long bombs, brilliant decisions, runs, holy damn.
He would complete something like 19 of 21 passes for 4 touchdowns and 308 yards.
If I'm off, it's at least a fact that he would only miss 2 passes.
And so here the Bills are at halftime down 28-3.
Then the second half, with lights in Rich Stadium breaking and nobody feeling like repairing them with this kind of debacle to provide light for...Reich gets picked off by Bubba McDowell who runs THAT shit in for a touchdown!
35-3 Houston AGAIN!!!!!
Now it gets fun.
Frank Reich to Kenneth Davis who runs around everyone and he's in...35-10.
Frank Reich fake, and he throws downfield to Beebe wide open he's got it at the ten at the five he's in...35-17.
Then CARLTON BAILEY INTERCEPTS IT!!!
And so Reich back to pass...he finds Andre REED TOUCHDOWN!!!! 35-24.
Then Reed again...TOUCHDOWN!!! 35-31.
And one last...TOUCHDOWN ANDRE REED!!! 38-35.
LOOK AT RICH STADIUM!!!!
Well the fact was that the Bills simply switched to the same Cover 2 defense that annoyed Elway and Shroeder.
See...it's the offense's job to make the defense wonder what it's going to call.
Once Levy had the Bills linebackers covering recievers AND pass rushing rather then just stopping the runners...the Houston offense was now trying to figure out what in the world the DEFENSE was going to call!
The Oilers tie it up with an Al Ddl Greco field goal, and win the toss to recieve in overtime.
But Nate Odomes intercepts it.
Steve Christie the new Buffalo kicker MAKES IT!!! THE BILLS HAVE WON IT!!! THE BILLS HAVE WON IT!!! WHAT A COMEBACK BY THE BILLS!!!
So the Bills move on, as the quest to three-peat in the AFC stays alive.
They go to Pittsburgh and beat them 20-3.
Then they go to Miami where the Dolphins had just finished killing San Diego 31-0.
Inside the NFL would make the mistake of showing Dolphins fans and players like Coleman taunting and challenging the Bills.
"COME ON BILLS I'LL TAKE YOU MYSELF!" yells this little kid in a Dolphins jersey. "YOU WIMPS!!!"
The Dolphins hosted the AFC Championship game.
Buffalo won 29-10 off Thurman Thomas's monster day and a LOT OF DOLPHIN FUMBLES.
The Bills, amazingly, were heading back to the Superbowl.
Better yet, there wouldn't be any 49ers to have to deal with.
Who the hell knew who these Cowboys were?
Sure enough, Superbowl XXVII in Pasadena would begin bright and sunny at 3:22 P.M. Pacific time.
The Bills would block a punt.
The Cowboys had this really crappy kicker named Lin Elliott.
He would get cut in favor of Detroit kicker Eddie Murray the following season after missing a 30 yard field goal in a game they lost 13-10, and then when Murray retired, they'd get Chris Bonial who I don't think has EVER missed.
But back to the Superbowl.
The Cowboys look flustered as the Bills take this blocked punt and set up shop, do a drive, and bust Thomas in within about six or seven long, frustrating plays.
From this point on, the Cowboys can't be stopped.
Harper. Oh that's good. Dunk the ball into the goalpost.
Last year, on top of intercepting Kelly, the Redskins had knocked him unconscious.
This time, the Cowboys would intercept him...and then make him sprain his knee.
In both cases of course, Kelly would be out of the game for good.
Reich comes back in.
It was 28-10 at the half Dallas.
Now the third quarter looks promising.
Buffalo keeps Dallas from doing anything. They only put up one score.
There's a comeback a-startin! PWWWWW.
Don Beebe catches a long touchdown the Cowboys didn't even feel like defending to make it 35-17 after three.
The Cowboys then get the ball back on fumbles and score two more touchdowns.
They were all ready to make the score 59-17 off another fumble, but Don Beebe caught Leon Lett before he entered the endzone because he started his touchdown dance too early.
That's nothing, wait til I tell you about what he does in a Thanksgiving Day game on national television against Miami ten months later.
So the Cowboys win the Super Bowl, and Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones would be butt buddies.
Tools in arms.
The Dallas Cowboys were world champions again with the first notoriously loud mouth team...to be about as endearing as my ass nuggets.
to be continued...