INDIANAPOLIS -- The 2012 Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and New York Giants is only hours away at this point and fans without a connection to the two teams playing are simply hoping for a memorable game. At least that's the way I'm looking at it without a dog in the fight.
SB Nation attended the NFL Honors show that aired on Saturday night and, thanks to a seat on the XFINITY couch, had a chance to speak with several players and one coach about their most memorable Super Bowls, whether it was one they remembered watching as a fan or one in which they participated. The Santonio Holmes catch in the back of the end zone in Super Bowl XLIII was the most popular response but the hometown Colts fans will enjoy Jeff Saturday's response.
Here's what the players (and coach) said about their best Super Bowl memory:
Ravens C Matt Birk: "Not my favorite but I do distinctly [remember] when the Raiders blew out the Redskins and I was wearing my Joe Theismann jersey. That was 1983, and that crushed me. Just crushed me. The Redskins were my team. Believe it or not, I was a chubby kid growing up and they had the Hogs (Redskins offensive linemen) so I thought this was my team. And then pick-six, Marcus Allen ... it was bad."
Bucs RB LeGarrette Blount: "I would have to say the catch by David Tyree when these guys played a few years back. That was a big time play. That's something I won't ever forget. And the catch by Santonio Holmes against the Cardinals. Those two are unforgettable to me."
49ers LB Patrick Willis: "Probably that game just on that highlight right there against the Cardinals with Santonio Holmes. That was unbelievable."
Colts C Jeff Saturday: "I can say this. When we came home after beating the Bears and did our parade, it doesn't get better than that. We rode through the streets, it's five degrees in Indy, everyone's out there and then we go to the RCA dome and everyone's there. It was insane to see that crowd and to be standing there looking at all of ours fans. It's a humbling feeling to be part of a championship in your city and realize you're just a small part of everything."
Rams RB Steven Jackson: "The Santonio Holmes one in the back of the end zone, that leaning catch. That picture is pretty much iconic in a way. That's a great picture. That game in dramatic fashion with the Cardinals scoring with Larry Fitzgerald and then the Steelers marching down and winning like that. That game was awesome."
Lions coach Jim Schwartz: "I coached in the game in 1999. We were one yard short so that's ... I don't know if that's my best memory. But it's hard to shake that memory. I think proably the best memory I had was ... I started in the NFL in 1993 with Bill Belichick and got to know his dad well and I can't remember which Super Bowl win it was but Bill and his dad Steve both got the Gatorade bath. Just knowing both of those guys, and their life in football, for Steve to see his son win the Super Bowl as a head coach, that's an image that will be in my mind forever."