Super Bowl ZZZ had great moves, most at halftime Jackson, Cowboys both in sync in their own way

February 01, 1993|By Scott Ostler | Scott Ostler,San Francisco Chronicle

PASADENA, Calif. -- Super Bowl ZZZ, played yesterday, i Pasadena, was God's way of saying to football fans, "Get a life."

What else can you say about Super Sunday, except that it featured a gutsy, clutch, colorful performance.

Yes, it took a lot of courage for Michael Jackson to adjust his underwear in front of 200 million viewers.

Actually, Jackson wasn't grabbing himself during his halftime performance. He was crotch-synching.

Oh, and while we're giving out kudos, the United States of America Cowboys deserve credit, too, for their performance. After a shaky start, they also got themselves adjusted and started hitting the high notes.

The King of Pop dominated the halftime show and the Kings of Snap and Crackle dominated the ballgame portion of our show.

That's nine in a row for the NFC champion at the Super Bowl, three losses in a row for the Biffalo Bulls (they have changed their name and slipped into the federal witness protection program), and astute observers are starting to see a subtle pattern emerging.

Yesterday it was Dallas Cowmen 51, Buffalo Chips 17.

A three-peat dee-feat for the Bills. A hat trick. In bowling, three strikes in a row is a turkey, and the Bills are a well-roasted turkey.

The Bills have a new team motto: "Help, we've fallen and we can't get up."

But let's not get overly negative. The game did feature a great, exciting finish. Unfortunately for a zillion fans and the sponsors who bought TV time after halftime, the finish came late in the first half.

I know this: The American sports fan isn't stupid. If the NFL tries to make next year's Super Bowl that same stupid format, NFC vs. AFC, they won't sell 500 tickets. We're not falling for this trick again, are we?

Especially not if the AFC teams draw straws again and the Bills get the short one again. Sending the Bills to the Super Bowl is like chucking virgins into a volcano. The only suspense is in seeing how they're going to fall.

"This is terrible," said Bills linebacker Shane Conlan, giving a quote that will fit nicely in huge headlines in Buffalo newspapers. "The first time [two Super Bowls ago], we were happy that we just missed it. Last year, things happened. This year, this is embarrassing.

"But we've got a lot of character. We'll be back."

Talk about your ominous threats.

Someone asked Buffalo defensive back James Williams if he could put the whole thing in perspective, which is like asking the captain of the Titanic, "How bad a sinking was it?"

Williams said: "Not really. I'm sorry we embarrassed ourselves, but it wasn't meant to be."

And Frank Reich described it best when he said, "Words can't describe our disappointment."

Speaking for football fans: Ours either.

As for the Cowboys? As Jimmy Johnson said when the Cowboys arrived in town a week ago, "It's a play-zure for us to be here."

The play-zure was all theirs.

Not that it was an easy win for the Cowboys. No sir. Take away those nine Buffalo turnovers and this baby wouldn't have been over until late in the third quarter.

"It was more of a struggle for us offensively that it may have appeared," said game hero Troy Aikman.

Which means that several Cowboys may have actually broken a sweat yesterday.

It's doubtful that Aikman did. Troy isn't exactly an excitable boy. He's certainly one of the few great NFL quarterbacks who spits tobacco while he's in the pocket reading the defense.

And he reads a defense like most guys read a menu.

Hmmm, I think I'll have the tight end over the middle for a first down.

Nate Newton, the Cowboys personable offensive tackle, was asked what impressed him most about Aikman.

"His poise, man," Newton said. "When he done come to the sidelines, he didn't say anything. He just played, man. He don't have to say nothin', just keep playin', man."

Aikman's backup, Steve Beuerlein, said, "He made the big plays. He wasn't forcing anything. I don't think he had even one pass close to being picked off.

"The interesting thing is that he can be so young, and there's never a sense of panic. When you look at Troy, you see he's under control, relaxed."

Of course, it was only the Buffalo Bills.

Not that the 'Boys took the Bills lightly.

"Ever see the Tums commercial, the guy sweatin' while he watches the film?" Newton said, referring to the commercial where the catcher watches films of Rickey Henderson on the basepaths. "That's the way [offensive line coach] Tony Wise had us all week.

"He had us watchin' a lot of film."

The Bills, meanwhile, must have been watching "Gone With the Wind."

Or maybe they were busy reading Sports Illustrated, in which pro grid expert Paul (Dr. Z) Zimmerman was boldly predicting, for the third straight year, a Buffalo win.

By the way, Dr. Z, who is being sued for malpractice, likes the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals, although in a hard-fought seven-game series.

Still, the Super Bowl was thrilling until about 6:30 p.m., when the Bills made the fatal mistake of scoring a touchdown for a 7-0 lead.

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