Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Game 24: Grover Cleveland vs. Super Bowl XXIV

Here is what America lives for: the comeback. As the 22nd President, Grover Cleveland lost America Bowl Game 22, leaving the presidents with a narrow two-point lead at halftime. Now, here he was back in the saddle and gunning for revenge -- as 24th President. Yes, Cleveland was the only U.S. President ever, in any weight class, to regain the title. He was 22nd President from 1885 to 1889, then got robbed in 1888 -- he received the most votes for 23rd President but lost by electoral vote to Benjamin Harrison. Now look who's back.

Super Bowl 24 returned deep experience, too. Joe Montana, quarterback for the 49ers, was 3-0 in Super Bowls already. Broncos QB John Elway was 0-3. By the time these two men were done, no quarterback had started more Super Bowl games. But could Elway come back from defeat and achieve vindication? Could Cleveland?

For Elway, well, apparently not. SB XXIV was the crushing slaughter that prior Broncos Super Bowls foretold, and one of the least competitive Super Bowls ever. The Broncos entered the game with the NFL's best defense, but they couldn't prevent the 49ers from scoring two touchdowns in each quarter (that's eight total), smashing all kinds of records en route to a 55-10 Bronco-bashing. Montana equaled Terry Bradshaw with a 4-0 lifetime Super Bowl tally. He became the first three-time Super Bowl MVP and set a new record with 5 TD passes before he was lifted from the game for 49ers backup Steve Young (who years later would break that record). Elway would need to wait for his day.

Here was Cleveland's chance for redemption, matched against a lousy game. Could he do it? His second term began in 1893 with a stock market panic. Soon banks and railroads were closing and jobs were being lost. Cleveland thought it would help to repeal the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, taming inflation. In foreign policy, he stood his ground, forcing Britain to accept arbitration over some disputed territory in Venezuela. Cleveland didn't make much history in his return to the big stage. But in the end he was more presidential than this Super Bowl was Super. Score a close one for the Presidents.

Score after this game: Presidents 13, Super Bowls 11.

Go to next match.


Blogger Tad Richards said...

This is great, but you can't actually access all of them. You need a better index.

January 19, 2010 4:59 PM  
Blogger don said...

HI -- you can click on December archives or January archives to see them all!

January 19, 2010 5:32 PM  
Blogger Wade said...

This is freaking brilliant. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's really stupid, but it's brilliant.

January 20, 2010 8:55 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

John Elway was 0-2 going into Super Bowl XXIV, with losses to the Giants and Redskins in SBs XXI and XXII respectively. The Broncos as a team were 0-3 prior to XXIV, but Elway wasn't on the team for their lose to the Cowboys in SB XXII

January 26, 2010 11:14 PM  

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