Okay! So this is the “style” I’ve decided to go with for Historical Comics. I might change the color outline if the gold gives me some trouble but if you want to know when it’s a historical comic, it’ll be called a Lateral. Aka the fancy football version of the term “throwback”. Get it? Goes well with checkdowns. If you see the lateral, you know it is a golden oldie.

I also want to thank everyone for the suggestions on last week’s first go. More than I expected and lots of them will likely make an appearance this summer. I’d wager at least one per week will be likely. Probably several weeks with more. We are gonna get nostalgic this offseason to help deal with the fact that our current world is a hellhole.

I think there’s a pretty good case to be made that Devin Hester’s Super Bowl XLI kickoff return is the greatest play in super bowl history by the losing team. In fact, I think the return might actually be the biggest cultural impact of that game as a whole. If you aren’t a Colts fan, when you think about the Bears/Colts super bowl, what comes to mind first? I can’t remember practically anything else from that game. I think Reggie Wayne got a TD? Sexy Rexy didn’t look all that ready for the big time? All of my memories of that game are abstract at best…except that opening. That one is a play for the ages, and it is kind of a shame we can’t talk about it without the unfortunate caveat that the Bears ended up losing in a mostly boring game.

Oh and I guess that was the Prince halftime show game, and the first African American head coach SB win game, both important trivia answers. But the game itself was pretty meh outside the return. It was one of those plays you secretly hope would happen but would never dare believe would actually happen. When that kick went up and we all saw Hester catch it, every single one of us (except people rooting for the Colts) was thinking “Man wouldn’t it be awesome if Hester ran this back?” And then…he did. And by god did it fucking rule. As unmemorable as the rest of the game was, it was still worth it for that runback. If you re-watch the play, right before the kick is caught Phil Simms espouses “Well it might actually be a good thing for the Colts to lose the coin flip and not have the ball first” and then he is immediately proven wrong in timeless fashion.

As a thought experiment, what are the other greatest plays in SB history by the loser? As already stated, I don’t think any play has actually defined the game the way the Hester return did, as most greatest loser plays go down as tragically forgotten whereas nobody can forget the return. Off the top of my head, here are the best loser plays:

-The Julio catch
-The Jermaine Kearse catch
-The Larry Fitzgerald go-ahead TD
-Don Beebe chasing down Leon Lett after a fumble recovery to save the touchdown. Maybe the most heroic loser play, as it happened late and there was no hope for the Bills by then.