Last year I did this with baseball. I thought about the first thing that popped into my mind when I heard a team. Not always the best player or something, sometimes an event, a play. Whatever.
The greatest football team of all time. So many great memories. My favorite moment had to be the catch by Santonio Holmes in Super Bowl XLIII. I will never forget the way my heart stopped beating for a few seconds and then the insanity that erupted in the bar afterwards. Another close behind moment for me was the Ben tackle against Indianapolis. I was working at Quaker Steak ‘n Lube at the time and the entire place stopped when Bettis fumbled and held it’s collective breath. Damn, I could probably do a whole post just about the Steelers.
This one is pretty easy: Ray Lewis. Love him or hate him, he has been the heart and soul of that team forever. He was drafted by them in 1996, the year they had moved to Baltimore. Yes, there was the murder trial and people will argue for years about his involvement. Steelers fans love to point that out about the man, but I am sure if he was a member of the Black & Gold, they would have forgiven him and defended him. Lewis does seem like a pretty good guy when you hear about his charity work (although all players have such work) and I remember watching him do some work in Africa and thought he was a good guy. Also, his commercials with Paul Rudd are funny.
Hahahahahahahaha…seriously, is there anything even worth remembering about them? They suck. They always suck. I think Tim Couch is the first player that I usually think of when I hear the Browns. Since they have had such a good track record of drafting quarterbacks.
The Ickey Shuffle. I hated this as a kid.
New England Patriots
Tom Brady. I hate the guy, but there is no denying he is a great quarterback. I always think about Super Bowl XXXVI, where the Patriots, led by backup QB Tom Brady squared off against the Rams, who everyone considered to be the heavy favorite, and almost on track to building a dynasty. I remember my mom and step-dad were downstairs rooting for the Patriots and my brother and I were upstairs rooting for the Rams. That is something I will never forget.
New York Jets
I swear that the Steelers sacked Vinny Testaverde like 23 times during a game one time. I remember watching the game and thinking that it was hilarious watching Vinny get crushed so many times. Or maybe I made this whole thing up. Does anyone else remember this game?
Dan Marino. I would have argued that he was the greatest quarterback of all-time at one point in my life. I used to argue up and down that his stats were better and that it was not his fault he never had a complete team around him to win a Super Bowl. I had hoped that around the time of his retirement that he might actually come play for the Steelers in order to win a Super Bowl.
The poor Bills. They were a great team in the 1980s. Seriously, people like to make the jokes about how they lost four Super Bowls, but you have to be pretty damn good to make it to four Super Bowls.
I remember as a kid them beating the Steelers a few times and I remember my family making a trip up to Buffalo to see the Steelers/Bills play.
There are plenty of things to remember about the Raiders. I remember being at the Dark Horse in State College and seeing them just destroy the Steelers 30-17 (a week after the Patriots also beat them). The score looks closer than it was, Rich Gannon picked the defense apart.
This one is a little different for me. Most people would probably say John Elway and while he was by far their greatest player of all-time (go ahead, someone argue that point), I will always remember Terrell Davis. Mainly because my brother liked him (the Broncos are his favorite team). I remember my brother using the Broncos on NFL Gameday ’99 (I think this was the game) and TD would just juke his way up the field and score every time. I hate playing against my brother. I saw Davis last year at the NFL Hall of Fame, but was not able to get a picture.
Kansas City Chiefs
My high-school friend, also named Josh, was a Kansas City Chiefs fan. I remember his game vividly. Stupid Marcus Allen with a halfback pass to win the game. I remember Josh bragging about it during chemistry the next day (he was my lab partner). I think we may have even been working on a lab report during the game, calling each other to check answers and talk smack about the game. Those were the days before cellphones. Such an odd time.
San Diego Chargers
This one is a little bit sad, but Junior Seau. He was such a beast back in the day.
Peyton Manning. I know, I know, he plays for the Broncos now, but seriously, the dude was the best quarterback in the league for how many years while a Colt. He led them to the playoffs like 1200 times and then when he gets hurt, they became the worst team in the league.
I used to defend David Carr all the time. I thought he was a decent quarterback, who had absolutely no protection. I will also never forget the absolute shock when the Texans decided to draft Mario Williams over Reggie Bush.
I have no real opinions about the Titans. There was that Super Bowl thing where they got stopped by the Ravens, but I did not see that game (I think I was working). Hell, I only ever remember it when I watch Cast Away.
I was going to mention this with the Texans, but realized that the Titans used to be the Oilers. And I do have something I want to mention. The game back in 1992 when Woodson came flying in on a cornerback blitz and absolutely crushed Warren Moon. I think Moon left the game. I remember thinking that there was no way a person could survive that hit. Luckily Moon did survive.
I remember them being a good rival with the Steelers. They were in the AFC Central at first, but when the league went to four divisions, they got bumped to the south and pretty much ended the rivalry.
They beat up the Steelers pretty badly in 2001 during the first game of the season. Everyone at the bar I worked at kept saying how terrible the Steelers were and that they would be shitty all year. The Steelers finished 13-3 that season and almost went to the Super Bowl.
Stay tuned for part two or the NFC edition, however you want to label it.