Super Bowl Memories – A Tribute To The Buffalo Bills, Who Went To Four Straight Title Games And Managed To Win None Of Them

Super Bowl XXV throwback They played fast and they had fun. But on the biggest stage, they were overmatched, outweighed, outplayed and unable to win. Ladies and gentlemen, your...

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Super Bowl XXV throwback

They played fast and they had fun. But on the biggest stage, they were overmatched, outweighed, outplayed and unable to win. Ladies and gentlemen, your Buffalo Bills.

Four trips to the Super Bowl. One after the next. No titles. And with a team that included Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, and Bruce Smith.

Ok, the first one was a complete heartbreaker. Everyone remembers or has seen the video of Scott Norwood’s 47-yard field goal try slithering just outside the goal post on the second-to-last play of Super Bowl XXV.

In that 20-19 loss to the New York Giants, the Bills matched their up-tempo K-Gun offense against an outstanding defense and an offense constructed around the running game. The Giants won that tactical match and Ottis Anderson was the MVP, though Thomas could have been. Final: Giants 20, Bills 19.

It got progressively worse. And it was very much the same story a year later. A bigger Washington Redskins team bullied the lighter, quicker Bills 37-24. Telling moment: Thomas unable to find his helmet and missing Buffalo’s first offensive snap. Nor was the final score indicative of how lopsided the game was.

The Bills proceeded to reach the next two Super Bowls, with their confidence waning each time. The results proved it. The Dallas Cowboys flattened them in both, 52-17 and then 30-13. In that last one, the Bills played well through the first half but turnovers and the emergence of Dallas’ running game (hi, Emmitt Smith) made the difference.

The Bills were great … but somehow not good enough.

Weird moment: At Super Bowl XXVIII in Atlanta, the 30-13 game, I voted for MVP for the first time, representing USA Today. I was seated next to Paul Zimmerman, the late, great writer for Sports Illustrated.

“Who ya voting for?” Zim asked. I said James Washington. The Cowboys safety had scored on a fumble return to tie the game and intercepted a pass.

“How can you not vote for Emmitt Smith?” Zim replied, enumerating all of the reasons why Smith should win. Took over the game in the second half, etc., etc.

I reiterated my reasons. Tying touchdown, pick, leading tackler. Zim snorted.

I voted for Smith. He won by one vote.

Zim voted for Washington.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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