Soaring Moments In SI Super Bowl-eseS

Sports Illustrated put all their Super Bowl coverage ever in one place. This is good for you, if you are Ernie Accorsi, or something. Otherwise? You get 44 years' worth of melodrama, dated references and similes.

There is some great writing in the SI annals, even in the Super Bowl stories. This is not that writing.

Once he split town, however, Gruden turned his back like the Bachelor walking away from discarded contestants after a rose ceremony.

Let me tell you something about this guy, this guy, JESSE PALMER!

It looked like a Japanese bus tour as the Raiders hoisted their cameras in the air to capture the moment forever.

And so Al Davis went with his gut and called the War Relocation Authority.

[Bill Parcells'] joke landed like Ted Danson's blackface gag at the Friars Club a few years back.

Or, uh, like that joke landed.

The French Quarter began to fill up Thursday night, and the whole thing was like one gigantic cocktail party with the edible world of Jacques Cousteau on a plate.

[Harvey] Martin, who devoured Denver Tackle Andy Maurer like so much barbecued shrimp, said, "He stopped me short in the first half, but I gave him some different looks and went inside on him a lot. Orange Crush is soda water, baby. You drink it. It don't win football games."

Harvey "Too Mean" Martin is the only deceased Super Bowl MVP. It was probably not the shrimp.

"When he walked on the field today, I saw a bunch of security guards move over to check him out," cracked Larry Izzo, the Patriots' special teams captain. "I told him he looked like John Walker, like he was ready to go fight for the Taliban."

Larry Izzo, consummate Patriot.

Thanks to Gruden's knowledge of his former team and the tactics of his old friend Monte Kiffin, Dungy's longtime defensive coordinator who stayed on in Tampa, the Bucs' defenders were all over the Raiders like the tattoos that cover many of Oakland's fans.

They had no sideline signal system, no semaphore wigwags that look like the Coast Guard trying to rescue a foundering tanker.

If you can tell me what a semaphore wigwag is, you win a photo of Gary Smith (if you can find a photo of Gary Smith).

The 49ers' dynasty inspired many of its own soaring similes:

[Steve Young] was brilliant afield, and then he, too, cried when it was all over, pent-up emotion gushing from him like water from a sponge.

Or something else gushing from something else.

Young was given an intravenous saline solution for dehydration, and he lay on his bed, like an ailing head of state, receiving well-wishers into the wee hours.

Probably a Mormon thing.

On one of the rare occasions when Denver came with an all-out blitz, the Niners' front wall cut the rushers down like a firing squad.

Rice, who finished with seven receptions for 148 yards, and Taylor, who had three catches for 49 yards, including a 35-yard score, flitted through the Denver zone like hummingbirds.

And there's this, too:

Meanwhile, Broncos defensive coordinator Greg Robinson rattled the normally unflappable Favre, throwing blitzes at him like right-wingers flinging sex rumors at President Clinton.

Now we know the first ever recipient of cock shots, likely printed on dot-matrix. Greg Robinson — prescient flinger of blitzes and sex rumors.