There have not been many Super Bowls to be hotly contested for a second time. The last one was the Dallas Cowboys versus the Buffalo Bills in 1994, won by Dallas 30-13.
The Bills were seeking revenge, but they didn’t get it as the Cowboys rolled over them in another lopsided big win. It was basically a repeat of the previous year, 1993, that the Cowboys won, 52-17.
Unfortunately, both Super Bowls were not close and provided very little drama.
The Bills-Cowboys Super Bowls were the only ones to have been a do-over from the year before.
There have been few Super Bowl re-matches. Besides Buffalo versus Dallas in Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII, there really was only one other re-match that mattered, Dallas vs. Pittsburgh in 1979 in Super Bowl XIII.
Though this game was not a repeat of the previous year’s Super Bowl, it was still a rematch. Pittsburgh got the best of Dallas three years earlier in Super Bowl X, 21-17.
In 1979, both teams returned with many of their biggest contributors from years gone by. For the Steelers, there was Mean Joe Greene, Rocky Bleier, Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, and Terry Bradshaw; for the Cowboys, there was Roger Staubach, Randy White, Ed Too Tall Jones and Drew Pearson, just to name a few. Both head coaches, Chuck Noll and Tom Landry, were already icons of their time.
In another tight one, the Steelers nicked the Cowboys by four points again, 35-31. The game is most remembered for Hall Of Famer tight-end Jackie Smith’s touchdown drop in the endzone that could have tied the game and may have sent it to overtime (Smith was used as only a blocking tight end in his last season and didn’t catch any passes).
Dallas and Pittsburgh played one other time, 17 years later and Dallas finally got its revenge. The Triplets, Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin, along with the rest of the Cowboys and head coach Barry Switzer tried to make-up for the Super Bowl losses and were able to put away the Steelers, 27-17.
The potential Giants versus Patriots rematch of 2012 would also bring back familiar names, starting with Tom Brady and Eli Manning. The Giants still have their duo of running backs and a few other players from the lines (defensive and offensive), as do the Patriots, but this would only be called a rematch because of the starting quarterbacks, head coaches, and what the Giants were able to do to the Patriots the first go-round, by taking away their undefeated season.
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They did it in dramatic fashion with the famous play in which Manning avoided the sack and threw downfield to wide receiver David Tyree, who caught a first down on the go-ahead last drive by clasping the ball to his helmet while being defended in the most difficult of circumstances.
There have been other repeat Super Bowls, such as Miami versus Washington and San Francisco versus Cincinnati, but neither were played in years where the teams would have had players competing from both of their Super Bowl appearances.
Though both teams still have hurdles to clear this weekend, many people have a Patriots-Giants rematch already in the backs of their minds, with questions abounding.
Firstly, will it happen? Then, what will be the revenge factor for the Patriots?
Will the Giants be able to overcome the odds again and turn away the great head coach Bill Belichick as he tries to motivate and steer his team to overcome what happened four years ago?
Can this game be as memorable as the last one?
Seems unlikely, unless there’s overtime. In 45 games, no Super Bowl has experienced overtime.
Overtime is overdue.
Prediction (if it happens): Giants 34-Patriots 31.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com