(CBS Local)- Super Bowl week is officially upon us and the countdown to kickoff in Tampa, Florida between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs has begun. Though the game will almost surely have a different feel than in year’s past due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the end, memories will be made.
We all have our favorites. Whether it’s a spectacular play like Santonio Holmes’ “Toe Drag Swag” catch or the David Tyree “Helmet Catch.” Or, it’s a memory of watching our team win with family and friends. The Super Bowl lends itself to memories and moments football fans don’t easily forget.
With that in mind, we reached out to analysts, announcers and reporters from the NFL on CBS family to hear what their favorite memories from the big game are. For some, it was moments on the field before playing or coaching in the game. For others, it was reminiscing on moments within broadcasts they were doing. And still others recalled their favorite moments from before they were involved in the game professionally, looking at it through the eyes of a fan.
Below you’ll find the full collection of memories as new ones prepare to be added this Sunday on CBS.
Tracy Wolfson- Lead NFL on CBS Reporter
Peyton Manning Rides Off Into The Sunset With SB 50 Win
My favorite Super Bowl memory would have to be Super Bowl 50 Peyton Manning’s final game. I had known Peyton since
my SEC days and then really got a chance to know him covering so many of his games with the Broncos. He was always one of my favorite players to be around and to have the opportunity to work his final game and interview him on the field for the final time will always be a special memory for me.
Evan Washburn- Reporter, NFL on CBS
Super Bowl 50, First Super Bowl broadcast
My top Super Bowl memory at this point has to be Super Bowl 50. It was my first as a game broadcaster and having watched the game for as long as I can remember, it was a dream come true to be a part of the game in that capacity.
What sticks with me 5 years later is that moment as kickoff occurs and the flash bulbs are all going off simultaneously. Rarely do your expectations meet reality, but that was the case in Santa Clara February 7 2016. I should also mention, this was coming off the most impressive rendition of the National Anthem I have ever heard by Lady Gaga, which I can still picture and hear so vividly.
Spero Dedes- NFL on CBS Announcer
New York Giants Beat Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV, Scott Norwood’s “Wide Right”
My buddies and I had gathered at my friend’s house around the corner in Paramus, NJ. We were all die-hard Giants fans, living and dying on every play. I remember all of us at the end of the game, as Scott Norwood was lining up for the FG, getting down on our knees in the middle of the living room in front of the TV. I couldn’t watch. I just kept my head down waiting for everyone’s reaction. When I heard the shrieks of euphoria we all ran outside into the cold night screaming in delirium. One of the great memories of my childhood.
Tom McCarthy- NFL on CBS Announcer
Super Bowl XXV “Wide Right”
Super Bowl 25. Giants and Bills. I grew up in a Jets and Giants household and they were all in for the Giants. But my wife’s family was way over the top Giants fans and as Scott Norwood was ready to line up, five people in their house got on their knees and held hands like the Giants did and let out the loudest of screams when he missed and there were hugs everywhere. It was a long time coming for the Giants. It was an amazing sight!
Boomer Esiason- The NFL Today analyst
Tom Brady’s First Super Bowl, SB XXXVI
When I think back to Super Bowls past, I think back to Tom Brady’s first Super Bowl. I was calling the game on Westwood One radio. As he came onto the field at the end of the game there were some who thought the Patriots should just kneel on the ball and take the game into overtime. I was the analyst and I told my partner Howard David, ‘If you told Bill Belichick he was going to have the chance to beat the Greatest Show on Turf with one series that ended the game, he would go for it.’ And that is exactly what Tom Brady and Bill Belichick did. Adam Vinatieri kicked the Super Bowl-winning field goal on the last play of the game. It actually gave me shivers to be a part of that as a broadcaster. It is one of the greatest Super Bowl memories I will ever have as an analyst calling that game.
Jay Feely- NFL on CBS Analyst
Super Bowl XLIX, Patriots stop Seahawks On Malcolm Butler’s INT
My favorite Super Bowl memory was hosting a party at my house for the Patriots-Seahawks game in Super Bowl XLIX. I was so bummed for Tom Brady and the Patriots throughout the 2nd half as they were losing, I was certainly a bad host right up to the point that Russell Wilson threw the interception. We all jumped out of our seats and then I quickly got in my car to drive to the Patriots hotel for the celebratory party!
Charles Davis- NFL on CBS Analyst
Malcom Butler’s Pick And Patriots 28-3 Comeback Against Falcons
I’ve been fortunate enough in recent years to be a part of the Super Bowl announce team for the International Broadcast for NFL Films (this year will be my 8th straight game), and no matter how many others that I will be lucky enough to do, how do I top being in person for:
- Malcolm Butler’s incredible interception to preserve victory for the Patriots over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX
- The Patriots beyond amazing comeback win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
Neither of those things should have happened, both did. And, I was able to see them live, and be a “participant” as a broadcaster and analyst.
Jonathan Jones- Senior NFL Reporter, CBS Sports
Patriots Super Bowl LI comeback
Without a doubt, my greatest Super Bowl memory is from one of the best Super Bowls ever. The Patriots’ comeback in Super Bowl LI against the Falcons stands out not just because I was there covering it, but because of how the comeback happened. Up 28-3 in the third quarter, the Falcons had it.
I was still convinced when they led by 16 with less than 10 minutes to play. I had been covering the Falcons for the entire postseason and felt I knew that team pretty well. Understanding football and the clock, I was confident Atlanta’s offense would control the ball long enough to where New England wouldn’t have a chance to score twice and get two 2-point conversions.
Seeing it happen in person, in real time, was stunning, and I look back on the game still wondering how exactly it happened. I was fortunate enough to cover the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, even as I couldn’t believe what was happening in front of me.
Andrew Catalon- NFL on CBS Announcer
Super Bowl LII Giants stun Patriots 17-14
Two days before Super Bowl XLII between the Giants and Patriots I was hosting a radio talk show. At the end of the show my grandmother called in to talk about her beloved Giants. The Patriots were the favorites and many thought it would be high scoring game. My grandma went on the radio and predicted a Giants win in a low-scoring game.
Final score: Giants 17, Patriots 14. My grandma has since passed away but I still have the audio recording of her call so I can listen to her voice and hear her remarkable prediction.
Greg Gumbel- NFL on CBS Announcer
The “Helmet Catch” David Tyree against Patriots in Super Bowl XLII
I have always felt the best, most meaningful moments in big events like the Super Bowl are the ones that come when and from whom you least expect them.
By that definition, give me David Tyree’s catch for the NY Giants vs the Patriots in Super Bowl 42. He had not had much of a regular season (just four catches for 35 yards), still had a TD catch earlier in the game and then a drive-saving catch at the end to set up a Super Bowl victory over a previously undefeated team.
Phil Simms- The NFL Today analyst
Super Bowl XXI, Giants beat Broncos 39-20, Simms wins MVP with best passer rating in Super Bowl history (150.2)
My favorite Super Bowl moment was when we were standing in the tunnel waiting to be introduced as a team to run onto the field for Super Bowl XXI. I was standing there looking out at the field and the fans in the stands thinking, ‘Wow, this moment is as good in real life as it was in my dream.’ I can remember it like it was yesterday.
My teammates were all around. We were excited and nervous. Some of them were getting emotional because this was the dream come true. We all dreamed of this moment as kids but you never know if it’s ever going to come true, but it did. And it lived up to everything we ever dreamed of. It was a great moment for all of us.
Bill Cowher- The NFL Today analyst, Super Bowl XL Champion
The run leading up to and winning Super Bowl XL
I got to the Super Bowl in my fourth year and we lost. I was very young at the time, 38-years-old. I thought, ‘this was really cool.’ I was on the field during pregame warmups listening to the music playing and thinking, ‘Here I am, a little kid from Crafton, Pa., and I am at the Super Bowl.’ But then you don’t realize how hard it is to get back.
When I got the chance to go back 10 years later, I had a greater appreciation for the game. Having been there before we did a few things differently than we did the first time. And this time we were able to win it. The feeling is overwhelming.
It’s such a long journey to get there. It was my 14th year and I just thought about all the people that helped me along the way: my parents, my wife, Marty Schottenheimer. I just started giving great thanks and was very humbled by the blessings of the people around me.
It was a great journey that year, particularly because we had to win our last four games to make it into the playoffs. We were a 6-seed and no 6-seed had ever gone to the Super Bowl, let alone win it. In Week 12 we had hit the depths. We were 7-5, lost three in a row, and had to win our last four to get in. That eight-game stretch was just so memorable. The journey we took to get there winning eight straight games, culminating with the win in the Super Bowl. It was a very special team, a very special journey and a very special way to end the season.
James Brown – Anchor of CBS’ pregame show, The NFL Today
Super Bowl XLI, Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith make history
My Super Bowl memory is from Super Bowl XLI when Chicago played Indianapolis and my two good friends, Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy, were the opposing coaches. It was the first time an African American coached a team in the Super Bowl,
and obviously would be the first time an African American coach was going to win the Super Bowl and make history.
In his pregame talk to his team, Tony told them to expect a “storm” during the game – not weather (though it did rain heavily throughout the game) – but a play or series of plays from the opponent. He warned them so his Colts would be prepared to “weather the storm.”
Tony got a little too pumped up on that himself and actually created the storm when he changed his mind about trying to avoid kicking the ball to the dangerous Devin Hester. He decided they were going to go right at the rookie phenom with a penchant for running back kickoffs. Opening kick-off goes to Hester, and he promptly returned it 92 yards for the score. Every player on the Colts looked at Dungy like, ‘you gotta be kidding me.’ The first play of the game. It only took 14 seconds and his team was down 7-0.
But, his team did weather the storm and won 29-17. And Tony Dungy went on to become the first African American head coach to win a Super Bowl.
Amy Trask- NFL analyst, CBS Sports/Former Oakland Raiders CEO
Raiders Advance To Super Bowl XXXVI, Fall to Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With 3:29 seconds remaining in the AFC Championship Game, Zack Crocket scored. It was at that precise moment that I
was knew we were going to the Super Bowl. We were the home team for that Championship Game and as I write these words, my memories of how our fans reacted to that touchdown and to our victory flood over me and I am covered in goose bumps and have a lump in my throat. The thrill of victory.
The very next week (there was no week off between the Championship Game and the Super Bowl that season), we lost to Tampa Bay. That night, after I handled all of my post game responsibilities, I put my head on my husband’s shoulder and I cried myself to sleep in the clothes I had worn to the game. The agony of defeat.
I will forever remember both.
Sherree Burress- Reporter, NFL on CBS
Super Bowl XLV, Packers Top Steelers
Growing up my dad and his side of the family are all Steelers fans. When I was in second grade the Packers played the Steelers and that’s when I became a Green Bay fan. So Super Bowl XLV felt very full circle for me. I was in college at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. You couldn’t turn on a popular radio station without hearing Lil Wayne’s original “Green and Yellow” hype song.
The state of Wisconsin was abuzz with Aaron Rodgers leading the Packers to the Super Bowl in 2010. Every spot in Madison was packed to the gills that Sunday. A friend from high school, also a Packers fan, wanted to be in the state of Wisconsin for the game so he drove up from Illinois to watch with my friends and I.
We got to our spot many hours before the game, starting to indulge on cheese curds dipped in ranch with a standard Wisconsin drink to wash it all down. Once we hit kick off, the game felt like a blur but what I vividly remember is so many of the Packer stars getting injured. Donald Driver got hurt. A wincing Charles Woodson in a sling. But seeing Rodgers lifting the Lombardi Trophy and the falling confetti was all worth the stress. As Greg Jennings said “it’s a great day to be great!”
Steve Beuerlein- Host, CBS Sports Network’s NFL Monday QB, Super Bowl XXVII winner
My memory comes from Super Bowl XXVII. I played for the Cowboys. Got to hold for field goals and a ton of extra points!!
Also got to close out the game at QB because we won the game so handily. (52-17)
But, the big memory was the celebration in the locker room after we won. The realization that we were all part of something that big and that special was overwhelming and very surreal. That was the Cowboys first Super Bowl win in the 90’s so very few guys had ever experienced that before. To reach that pinnacle was truly an unforgettable Super Bowl experience and memory!
Melanie Collins- Reporter, NFL on CBS
Eagles win first Super Bowl 41-33 over Patriots in Super Bowl LII
My favorite Super Bowl memory comes from Super Bowl LII. As a lifelong Eagles fan from a Philadelphia sports family, I never thought I’d see the day the Birds hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. The last time the Eagles were in the Super Bowl in 2005, they lost on my birthday to Tom Brady and the Patriots, so it made it that much more special that it was a rematch with New England. Twelve years later, I watched the Eagles defeat the Patriots with Nick Foles at the helm, running the infamous “Philly Special” trick play. I’ll never forget FaceTiming my Dad and brothers at the final buzzer. Happy tears were shed!
Adam Schein- That Other Pregame Show Host
Super Bowl XXXII John Elway’s “Helicopter”
My favorite Super Bowl memory was the John Elway helicopter. I was mesmerized by Elway’s unreal skill, and there was serious doubt if he would ever win the big one after listing 3. Enter Mike Shanahan and Terrell Davis. Elway is an all timer. He deserved this. That Super Bowl was arguably the most underrated ever. Epic game against Packers. “This one for John” will be entrenched forever.