History belongs to the winners, and that’s as true in the Super Bowl as it is anywhere else. The only thing worse than getting all the way to the biggest game in you will ever play is to get to that game, do a bunch of amazing things, and lose anyway. Even when you win the Super Bowl, there are times when your accomplishments are overshadowed by the exploits of others.
So, to remedy that phenomenon to a point, here are the 10 most impactful, yet forgotten, plays in Super Bowl annals.
10. Pittsburgh’s onside kick in Super Bowl XXX
Saints head coach Sean Payton was rightly praised for the gutsy decision to try an onside kick at the start of the second half of Super Bowl XLIV. New Orleans recovered the kick, went on a touchdown drive that put them up 13-10, and wound up with the franchise’s only Lombardi Trophy in a 31-17 win over the Colts.
But did you know that the Steelers tried a similar strategy in their 27-17 Super Bowl XXX loss to the Cowboys? With 11:48 left in the game, Norm Johnson kicked a 48-yard field goal, putting the score at 20-10, Dallas. On the ensuing kickoff, Pittsburgh surprised Dallas with an onside kick, which was recovered by defensive back Deon Figures. The Steelers then went on a 52-yard touchdown drive that made it 27-10. Unfortunately for the Steelers, the Cowboys scored a touchdown on their next drive, and Pittsburgh quarterback Neil O’Donnell threw four straight incompletions to end his team’s next drive—and the game.