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SB Nation’s 5 favorite Super Bowl memories

From the lights going out in New Orleans to Malcom Butler’s interception, and everything in between.

NFL: Super Bowl XLVII-Baltimore Ravens vs San Francisco 49ers Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Super Bowl has become a global event. Each year millions around the world tune in to watch not just the game, but everything that comes with it: The commercials, the halftime show, the pregame festivities, and even the Puppy Bowl.

As it has become such a phenomenon, it is the perfect event for making memories.

Here are some of our favorite Super Bowl memories.

Super Bowl XXXVI

“Hey everyone. The Patriots won.”

It was the start of 2002, and I was in my third year of law school. The world looked a lot different than it did when that academic year began, with a lot more uncertainty about the future.

But something that my group of friends and I were able to bond over was the NFL playoffs. My housemate was a Baltimore Ravens fan, and we watched together on Wild Card Weekend as the defending Super Bowl Champions got past the Miami Dolphins to set up a Divisional Round game against their bitter rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the following Sunday.

Then came the Saturday night of Divisional Round Week.

We all piled around the television in our neighbors’ townhouse. It was a cold night in Williamsburg, Virginia, which I remember because when things got tense during the New England Patriots game against the Oakland Raiders, I would find myself pacing outside on the patio, with the television in full view through the sliding glass doors.

That’s where I was when the Tuck Rule happened.

Eventually, Adam Vinatieri split the uprights — and the falling snow — in overtime, sending the Patriots to the AFC Championship Game. And as Saturday night pushed into Sunday morning, I kept saying those five words over and over again to anyone who would listen.

“Hey everyone. The Patriots won.”

We all gathered around that same television two weeks later, for Super Bowl XXXVI. I had stepped away from the television for a second, and heard the screaming down the hall as Ty Law returned an interception to give New England a 7-3 lead in the second quarter. But I was glued to the TV the rest of the way.

And yes, I was back on that patio as the legend of Tom Brady was born in the closing seconds.

When Vinatieri converted the game-winning field goal, I bolted upstairs and logged onto my girlfriend’s computer, with the goal of buying as many Patriots Super Bowl Champions hats I could find. Thankfully, she came upstairs a few minutes later to assist, as I had somehow piled 15 St. Louis Rams hats into my cart. We’ll just call that user error. We’ve been married for 18 years now, and as you might imagine, she takes care of most of the online shopping these days too...

Super Bowl swag secured, I made my way back downstairs with those same five words on my lips.

“Hey everyone. The Patriots won.”

I kinda miss that patio.

-Mark Schofield

Super Bowl LII

NFL: Super Bowl LII-Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

I’m a Falcons fan who’s spent the past six years trying to get out from under the crushing humiliation of 28-3. Heading into Super Bowl LII, featuring the Eagles facing the juggernaut Patriots with backup quarterback Nick Foles under center, I was fully expecting yet another Patriots Super Bowl win. New England took a 33-32 lead with over nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski, and based on previous experience, I thought it was a wrap for Philly. But Foles and the Eagles disagreed, and put another touchdown and a field goal on the board to take home the Lombardi with an improbable 41-33 win. It didn’t exactly erase the pain of 28-3, but I am petty enough for it to be my favorite Super Bowl memory of all time.

-Jeanna Kelley

Super Bowl XLVII

For the most part my Super Bowl memories aren’t happy. I could write a lengthy soliloquy about the exquisite pain of seeing the ever-reliable Jon Kasay kick the ball out of bounds and cost my Panthers a win in Super Bowl XXXVI, or watch Cam Newton crumble on football’s brightest stage in Super Bowl 50 — but instead I want to share what it’s like working during the Super Bowl as a writer.

February 3, 2013 was the night I realized I had to write about sports as a career. We had an incredible crew of people at SB, many of whom have moved on to other outlets or careers — but the spirit and energy of us huddling together in a Campfire room (this was pre-Slack), hastily eating a sandwich at my desk during legitimately one of the best games I’ve ever seen between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Then the power went out.

When a moment like that happens, it is anarchy. Nobody knew what was happening. When it became clear this wasn’t something terrible, and instead an unexpected power outage we all jumped in trying to find out anything and everything we could. There were coworkers in the stadium feeding us info. We were back in our offices and home offices writing stories. For 34 minutes we pondered if the game was actually going to be able to finish.

It was anarchy, and it was so much fun. I knew from that moment on that I had to make a career out of writing about sports — and the incredible ending to the game with the 49ers mounting a comeback, then the Ravens answering and winning, it was all incredible.

-James Dator

Super Bowl LI

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry, Jeanna, had to bring it up! I was 16 years old watching the Falcons absolutely crumble under the massive weight of expectations and a 25-point lead, and man it was HILARIOUS. The Falcons came in with the high powered offense, and the Patriots came in with...Tom Brady. This is like an Elden Ring fight where the boss looks overpowered, but you went and did all the other quests and now you’re powerful enough to take down Margit The Fell Omen Dan Quinn’s merry band of Falcons.

Also, an underrated part of this entire game: Julio Jones had the best catch I’ve ever seen.

This is still the best catch I’ve ever seen. In the Super Bowl, biggest moment of the game at the time, almost falls out of bounds...AND STILL GETS BOTH FEET IN.

Too bad it didn’t matter in the end.

—J.P. Acosta

Super Bowl XLVI

Full disclaimer, I was rooting for the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI against the Giants. They ended up losing, and yet this game might still be my favorite memory of the big game.

Why? Let me explain.

I was watching the game with a group of friends in a small town in Austria, and we had everything you’d need for a regular Super Bowl party in the United States. One thing that was lacking, though, was a general understanding of the sport: there were only two of us who really knew the rules, leaving a dozen or so in need of explanations.

And explain we did. We spent virtually all of the game making sure everybody understood what was happening as well as we could. Of course, we were doing it with a slight Patriots bias, which eventually led to the entire group — except one (you know who you are!) — rooting for New England.

Within a couple of hours on this early Monday morning in February 2012, people who previously had no real clue about the game turned into hard-core Patriots fans. Even though we were all left quite disappointed by the end result, the camaraderie and connection we all felt was special. A testament to sports and friendship.

So, that’s why this is my favorite Super Bowl mem … Oh, man. Nah. I can’t do that. It just doesn’t feel right to pick a loss.

So, let’s scrap that one and instead go with:

Super Bowl XLIX

NFL: Super Bowl XLIX-New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Same town. Same people. Different year. Different result. Malcolm Butler picking off Russell Wilson at the 1-yard line. Shock. Horror. Disbelief. Jubilation. All within a few minutes. It was awesome.

— Bernd Buchmasser