Super Bowl III: “Broadway” Joe Namath predicts his upstart New York Jets will defeat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. After his prediction proves accurate, Jets assistant defensive coach Fred “Crow” Magnon, under the influence of twelve beers at the victory party, predicts that “the earth will open as the mouth of a crocodile and swallow up the sinners as a child swallows … something. I’m not sure what.”
VII: Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian throws the clumsiest interception, and attempts the weakest tackle, in NFL history. Fans who were in attendance that day later try to make “Do a Yepremian” into way of describing a serious failure but, because the name is a little too hard to say, fail. They then try “Do a Garo” and fail again.
XXI: New York Giants nose tackle Jim Burt introduces the “Gatorade shower,” for his Coach, Bill Parcells, following their team’s victory. This custom inspires the Neil Armstrong Public High School in Kneebend Arkansas the following year to tie down their coach and give him a “spa day” treatment of a Sour Patch Kids scrub, Hershey’s Syrup detangler, and Cheetos-residue exfoliating masque.
XXIII: Trailing 16-13 with 3:10 left against the Bengals, 49ers quarterback Joe Montana relaxes his team in the huddle by pointing out actor John Candy in the stands. Sitting next to Candy, as it happens, is Elizabeth Williams, an understudy in an Off Off Broadway production of Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape” who is so depressed by Montana’s failure to point her out that she quits the theater and goes into real estate.
XXXIII: Winning Bronco quarterback John Elway runs off the field victoriously excaliming “I’m going to Disney World!” to TV cameras. This in turn inspires Columbia psychology Professor Will Denker to finally complete his monograph “Underlying Motivations, Besides the Endorsement Money, for Grown Men Sometimes Believing that Attending a Theme Park for Children Is Appropriate After a Significant Accomplishment.”
XL: During the halftime show, Rolling Stones roadie “Bo” Ridley suffers a liver malfunction and the next day swears off drinking forever.
XLII: The New England Patriots’ quest for the first undefeated season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins is marred when during a high-five exchange, trainer “Bone” Chip McGrath sprains a thumb. Oh, and also, the Patriots lose. (That one was not overlooked.)
XLIV: The Indianapolis Colts square off against the New Orleans Saints. Despite his team’s convincing loss in the AFC Conference title game, blustery New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, in the tradition of Joe Namath, still guarantees that his team will win the game.
Teddy Wayne’s debut novel, “Kapitoil,” will be published by Harper Perennial this April.