Super Bowl XLV.

After today, I will have lived through 35 of the 45 Super Bowls played. Looking back, is the Super Bowl really that big a deal? Sure it's the culmination of the NFL season and I'm sure I'd be much more interested if the Eagles were playing today, but when I think of Super Bowls past, not much comes to mind. Here's a rundown of what I actually remember...

Super Bowl XII - 1988 - Redskins vs. Broncos

I don't remember who won. In fact, I had to look online to find out who even played that year. What I do know is that the roads were icy as my mom and I came home from a Super Bowl party at church. Hitting a slick spot on a back road, our GMC Jimmy wound up stuck in the ditch. As anyone living in a small town would do, we walked to the closest house where the family of one of my classmates lived and my mom called a family friend with a tractor and chain. We were out and headed home within the half-hour.

Super Bowl XXXIX - 2005 - Patriots vs. Eagles

Disappointment. Being a huge Chicago Cubs fan, I know the meaning of this word better than most other sports fans. With limited success from the Cubs in my lifetime, I was excited when my favorite football team made it to the big game. I wasn't surprised when they lost to the superior Patriots and went home as football's #2 team.

Super Bowl XLII - 2008 - Giants vs. Patriots
The one thing in sports that I like just as much as seeing my team succeed is watching the failure of a team I hate. Super Bowl XLII was a perfect example of this. The Patriots entered the Super Bowl with a perfect record through the entire season and playoffs up to that point only to be shocked by Eli Manning and the Giants. Sweet.

But the big one -- the obvious one -- for a kid from Illinois...

Super Bowl XX - 1986 - Bears vs. Patriots

First off, let me say that I'm not a Bears fan. In fact, I've come to dislike the Bears more and more each year that I watch football. But back in 1986 when I was ten, all I knew was that the team from my home state was the Super Bowl favorite. Every kid wanted to be as fast as Walter Payton and as cool as Jim McMahon. There was no question that at the possible opportunity, I would pick up a copy of the Super Bowl Shuffle.

I knew (and, of course, still know) all of the words and spent my share of time lip syncing the song in front of my bedroom mirror. Sometimes I was Sweetness (because I like to dance) and other times I was the Punky QB (because I ain't got no plan).

Having collected baseball cards for five or six years by this time, I also picked up the the Topps Football Sticker Yearbook for 1986. I'd like to think it was because I was taking more of an interest in football to balance out my baseball obsession -- but really I bought it simply because it looked like the cover of my Super Bowl Shuffle record.

The back cover shows a team photo of the champs...

...while the first page inside features some basics about the game. As you can tell from the missing sticker, my dedication to this album was pretty minimal.

And I can't bring up the Super Bowl Shuffle without mentioning two things. First, the LA Raider's copycat attempt that came the following year (Good work, Howie.)...

...and for those of you who remember the hype surrounding the Super Bowl Shuffle, maybe you even had the record or tape yourself, the Onion wrote an article a few years back that you'll certainly appreciate...'85 Chicago Bears Return To Studio.

Enjoy the game today, folks...

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