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Scoring the Super Bowl

NFL Films' music may be stirring, but these songs tell the real story of the big games

1980:Pittsburgh 31, L.A. Rams 19

Story:Louisiana-bred Bradshaw has another big game as the Steelers punk the Rams.

Song:"Louisiana Man," by Doug Kershaw

1981:Oakland 27, Philadelphia 10

Story:Raider QB Jim Plunkett shreds the Eagles' defense for three TDs.

Song:"Jim Dandy," by Black Oak Arkansas. Or LaVern Baker, depending on your taste.

1982:San Francisco 26, Cincinnati 21

Story:Kicker Ray Wersching ties the Bowl record for field goals in this unmemorable game.

Song:Ummmm, we'll go with, ahem, "Wersching Well," by Terence Trent D'Arby.

1983:Washington 27, Miami 17

Story:Diesel-powered Redskin fullback John Riggins breaks the Bowl rushing record with 166 yards.

Song:"Big Bad John," by Jimmy Dean

1984:L.A. Raiders 38, Washington 9

Story:Marcus Allen runs hog-wild, shattering Riggins's record with 191 rushing yards and two TDs.

Song:It's a bit of an anachronism, but we're going with "Straight Outta Compton," since Allen went to school near there and Raiders gear was de rigueur for a generation of L.A. gangstas.

1985:San Francisco 38, Miami 16

Story:Joe Montana slings for 331 yards and three TDs, besting Dan Marino in his only Super Bowl appearance.

Song: This battle of two immortal QBs is neatly summed up by Tom Petty's "Two Gunslingers."

1986:Chicago 46, New England 10

Story:Buddy Ryan's revolutionary 46 defense absolutely waxes the Patriots in one of the least competitive Super Bowls of all time.

Song:What else but "Super Bowl Shuffle"? Who could forget these lines? "You're lookin' at the Fridge / I'm the rookie / I may be large, but I'm no dumb cookie." Or how about these? "I'm the punky QB, known as McMahon / When I hit the turf, I've got no plan." (Evidently, the same could be said for when he hit the studio.) And of course, "I didn't come here lookin' for trouble / I just came to do the Super Bowl shuffle."

1987:New York Giants 39, Denver 20

Story:Phil Simms throws three TDs, one to Zeke Mowatt, who later became infamous as a member of the New England Patriots. Mowatt was accused by reporter Lisa Olson of wagging his penis at her and asking if she wanted his patriot missile. Dennis Miller later made a crack about Patriots owner/Remington razor honcho Victor Kiam -- whose response to the Olson affair was to brand her "a classic bitch" -- by saying, "I've seen Zeke Mowatt's penis, and I liked it so much I bought the company."

Song:"Rocket Man," by Elton John

1988:Washington 42, Denver 10

Story:Doug Williams becomes the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

Song:"Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)," by James Brown

1989:San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16

Story:Jerry Rice goes wild -- 11 catches for 204 yards and a TD -- as the Niners triumph.

Song:"Simply the Best," by Tina Turner. Rice might be the greatest football player of all time.

1990:San Francisco 55, Denver 10

Story:Joe Montana throws five TDs in this ass-whuppin'.

Song:"Killer Joe," by Quincy Jones

1991:New York Giants 20, Buffalo 19

Story:The Bills' best shot for a ring ends when Scott Norwood's last-second field goal sails wide right.

Song:"Ain't That a Kick in the Head," by Dean Martin. Or maybe Bobby Bare's "Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through the Goal Posts of Life)."

1992:Washington 37, Buffalo 24

Story:Jim Kelly throws four picks in Buffalo's second superflop.

Song:"Right Place, Wrong Time," by Dr. John. It's easy to imagine Kelly singing, "I threw a good pass / but it was to the wrong guy."

1993: Dallas 52, Buffalo 17

Story:Nine Buffalo turnovers result in 35 Cowboy points as the Bills get hammered again. Should have been 42 points off turnovers, but lunkheaded Cowboy defender Leon Lett started celebrating his touchdown before he made it to the end zone.

Song:"Lonesome Loser," by the Little River Band

1994:Dallas 30, Buffalo 13

Story:Another year, another ritual Buffalo slaughter.

Song:"Just Once," by James Ingram. That's the ballad with lines like "I gave my best, but I guess my best wasn't good enough," and these, which seem as though they were written by Buffalo coach Marv Levy: "I gave my all / But I think my all may have been too much/ 'Cause Lord knows we're not getting anywhere / It seems we're always blowin' / Whatever we've got goin' / And it seems at times with all we've got / We haven't got a prayer."

1995: San Francisco 49, San Diego 26

Story:Steve Young throws a record six TDs as the Niners continue the string of NFC romps.

Song:"Forever Young," by Alphaville

1996: Dallas 27, Pittsburgh 17

Story:Dallas's only post-Jimmy Johnson Super Bowl appearance.

Song:"Dallas," by Jimmie Dale Gilmore. If there was ever a rich man who believed his own lies, it was Jerry Jones. After firing Jimmy Johnson, Jones won this one with Barry Switzer, thus leading him to think he could win with a bunch of yes-men coaches. Subsequent events proved him wrong.

1997:Green Bay 35, New England 21

Story:The Packers' Desmond Howard breaks open a close game with his 99-yard kickoff-return TD.

Song:"Return of the Mack," by Mark Morrison

1998: Denver 31, Green Bay 24

Story:Terrell Davis runs roughshod over the Packers. The AFC wins for the first time since 1984.

Song:"At Last," by Etta James

1999: Denver 34, Atlanta 19

Story:Golden boy John Elway shines in his last game. Falcon safety Eugene Robinson is busted the night before the game soliciting a blow job from an undercover cop.

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