For a cold-weather Super Bowl, the verdict is still out. The debate will rage until January, 2014, when weathermen in the New York/New Jersey area will experience the most pressure-packed predictions of their careers, and Mother Nature will take center stage.
Tampa Bay’s eggs are now in 2015’s basket.
Of the 44 NFL Championship games played, Miami (10) and New Orleans (9) have hosted the most. Southern California has claimed ten: Two in Los Angeles, three in San Diego and five at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Sites in Texas, Arizona and Michigan, among others, have hosted 11. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has hosted four.
Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer believes the city has a good chance of winning the vote for the next Super Bowl location. Despite the economic and entertainment issues to consider, Tampa Bay is quietly rich in Super Bowl history when it comes to the game itself.
Super Bowl MVP and Hall of Famer Marcus Allen rushed for 191 yards on 20 carries, including a 74-yard scamper that stood as the longest run from scrimmage until Willie Parker’s 75-yard touchdown run in Super Bowl XL.
Super Bowl XXV, January 27, 1991: New York Giants, 20, Buffalo Bills, 19.
In the first of Buffalo’s four consecutive championship game losses, Super Bowl XXV was the first in history in which neither team committed a turnover. Buffalo’s Thurman Thomas rushed for 135 yards, the most for a Super Bowl team in a losing effort, and it was just the second time two players rushed for over 100 yards in a Super Bowl.
With eight seconds left in the game, Buffalo’s Scott Norwood lined-up for a 47-yard field goal to give the Bills a 22-20 lead. The kick had the distance, but sailed wide right, and the Giants preserved the only one-point win in Super Bowl History. The game is still referred to as "Wide Right" to this day.
Super Bowl XXXV, January 28, 2001: Baltimore Ravens, 34, New York Giants, 7.
Already down 17-0, Giants kickoff returner Ron Dixon took a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, giving the Giants new life, for a moment. Seconds later, Baltimore’s Jermaine Lewis took the Giants' kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown, and a 24-7 lead. In a 36-second span, the two teams scored three touchdowns and recorded the first back-to-back kickoff returns for touchdowns in Super Bowl history.
Super Bowl XLIII, February 1, 2009: Pittsburgh Steelers, 27, Arizona Cardinals, 23.
Immediately dubbed one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played, Super Bowl XLIII was both dramatic and historic.
With 18 seconds left in the first half and trailing 10-7, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner dropped back to pass from Pittsburgh's one-yard line, poised to take the lead going into the half. However, linebacker and Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison stepped in front of the pass and took it 100 yards the other way for a game-changing score as time ran out. So, instead of heading into the second half with the lead, or at worst a tie, the Cardinals suddenly found themselves down by ten at the half. The 100-yard interception return is the longest play in Super Bowl history.
But the Cardinals would fight back. After a Steelers safety brought the Cardinals within four with the ball, Warner hit Larry Fitzgerald on a 64-yard touchdown pass that looked to be the game-winner. However, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led his team on a quick drive down to the six-yard-line on the following possession.
Having already dropped a pass in the end zone that would have given the Steelers the lead, wide receiver Santonio Holmes sprinted toward the corner of the end zone. Roethlisberger squeezed a pass between triple-coverage, and Holmes reeled it in, barely tapping his toes on the end zone turf. The booth confirmed the touchdown, and with 35 seconds left, the Steelers took a 27-23 lead that they would not give back.
Roethlisberger, who became the youngest player to win a Super Bowl at age 23 in Super Bowl XL, had led the Steelers to an unprecedented sixth Super Bowl title, their second in four years.
Up next for the Super Bowl:
2011 - Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
2012 - Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
2013 - Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
2014 - Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Tampa Bay, who finished as the runner-up in what was reportedly a close vote for the 2014 location, should have the inside track at landing the big game in 2015 or subsequent years ahead of Miami, who, by that time, will be tied with New Orleans for the most championship games ever hosted.