Last week in the Super Bowl tourney, it was a battle of two Montanas. The 1984 38-16 victory brought Montana with a chip on his shoulder - "Dan Marino leads the most exciting offense in the league? We'll see about that." Unfortunately, it was pitted against the classic Joe Cool comeback from 1988.
It was close, but Joe Cool was always going to win that one, wasn't he?
As usual, you can vote for your favorite in the poll or jump straight to the comments section. After the jump, though, I'm switching things up. Instead of recapping each game again, we're going to take a look at a few of this week's key matchups.
Montana Vs. Young:
This really is the classic Montana versus Young matchup. Montana's late drive against the Bengals was classic - and I do mean classic - Joe Cool. It was everything everybody loved about Montana, right down to the career-defining moment when, with just minutes left in the game, he pointed into the stands and identified John Candy for the rest of the team. This goes against what is probably the most classic example of Young, as well. Young in 1994 was poetry in motion. When Steve Young talks about the artistry of quarterbacking, he is talking about his performance in this one game. From the opening minute, he single-handedly made the Chargers look like a CFL team. His six touchdown passes turned what is normally one of the most complex team sports in the world into an undeniable one-man show.
The Drama Vs. The Blowout:
Probably self-explanatory: 1988 came down to the wire. The game wasn't decided pretty much right up until the last seconds ran off the clock. 1994 was the opposite. From the opening drive, it was never even close. Do you like biting your nails? Are you a glutton for the punishment of a game that looks all but lost, only to turn around just when your chances are finally running out? Or do you prefer the fireworks? Do you like to step on the throats of your opponents while singing an Irish ballad about how you just beat the crap out of them? The answer to those questions, perhaps, could be the difference in this matchup.
Walsh Vs. Seifert:
To many, I'm sure this isn't even a question. Walsh is the 49ers. He is the West Coast Offense. He is the cerebral general. He is the master drafter. Not to deify the man too much, but, pretty much, He is. But let's give Seifert his credit. It was his drafting that netted Bryant Young, William Floyd, Lee Woodall, Dana Stubblefield, Chris Dalman, Ricky Watters, Merton Hanks, and Eric Davis. Without these players, does 1994 even happen? It's also widely forgotten that Seifert coached 40% of the 49ers Super Bowls and navigated the team successfully through the Montana-to-Young transition. Finally, we should never forget the man's memorable superstitions, which gained such notoriety that the first thing Steve Mariucci did after succeeding Seifert was to stomp on the midfield logo - a symbolic gesture of the changing of the guard. But could it have also been the beginning of a curse that has yet to be broken....?
The Best Defense Is a Good Defense:
Lost in all of the Montana/Young talk is just how good both of these defenses were. Do you think back to Charles Haley, Riki Ellison, Keena Turner, Bill Romanowski, Eric Wright, Don Griffin, Jeff Fuller, and Ronnie Lott and find yourself wiping away driblets of drool from the side of your mouth? Or do you find yourself instead salivating over the simple mention of names like Bryant Young, Dana Stubblefield, Lee Woodall, Gary Plummer, Ken Norton, Jr., Eric Davis, Deion Sanders, Tim McDonald, and Merton Hanks? These were two dominating defenses. Which one wins your heart?
If you can think of any other fun matchups from these two games, feel free to share them!