Author Bob McGinn says the objective of this book is to fill in the blanks of what really happened on the field of every Super Bowl and what were the factors in the victory of each championship team. He draws on a wealth of interviews with the principals, while tapping into his own rich reservoir of reporting knowledge gained as a Green Bay Packers beat writer since the late 1970s. Rather than a picture book or one that gets fixated on all the sideshow aspects of the Super Bowl, McGinn is unusually committed to making sense of what happened on the field. To do so he reviewed tape of every game and then used it to ask penetrating questions to analyze the outcomes.
Here, looking at one game in an excerpt from The Ultimate Super Bowl Book:
“Super Bowl XXXVIII
New England Patriots 32, Carolina Panthers 29
Feb. 1, 2004
"In the frantic fourth quarter, when the teams went back and forth to score on six of seven possessions, the only misfire came when [New England’s Tom] Brady, in the red zone of all places, was guilty of a bad read and suffered an interception that could well have snuffed out his team’s chances.
“In Brady’s moment of failure, however, as he left the field after his horrendous throw was picked off in the end zone just when the Patriots were in position to deliver the dagger, [Coach Bill] Belichick saw something in his quarterback that he will always remember.
“ ‘Watch that play and watch Brady coming off the field,’ Belichick said a few years later. ‘It’s one of the most determined looks of a champion that you’d ever want to see. I’ll never forget it. No, he doesn’t have his head down. Yes, he’s made a mistake. But he’s not down, and neither is anybody else. This is what a champion looks like right here at his worst moment, an interception, in the Super Bowl.'”