With Super Bowl 50 at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, a look at top moments and performances by Bay Area players on the game’s biggest stage.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Yes, a thousand times yes, I realize the Raiders resided in Los Angeles when they won Super Bowl XVIII at Tampa Stadium on Jan. 22, 1984. But if the Lombardi Trophy followed the Silver and Black back to Oakland, so, too, do the memories.
And as such, Marcus Allen running with the night settles in at No. 3 on our list of top Super Bowl moments by a Bay Area team’s players.
Because not only is Allen’s signature 74-yard touchdown run the most iconic in franchise history, many see it as the same in the history of the Super Bowl.
“To make a run like that, in a game like that, at a time like that, it was just, it was pure magic,” Allen told NFL Network. “It was beautiful.”
It was a play called “17 Bob Trey O” and it was supposed to simply be a power run to the left, with right guard Mickey Marvin pulling to clear space for Allen.
“Yeah, I called it but Marcus made it work,” quarterback Jim Plunkett told me with a laugh three decades later. “It was one of our steady plays: When in doubt, call Bob Trey O. It was always solidly blocked where you shouldn’t lose any yards on it. But their safety messed it up.”
With 17 seconds remaining in the third quarter and the Raiders already leading defending champion Washington, 28-9, Allen took the play too wide, where Ken Coffey was closing in.
Allen stopped on a dime, spun to his left and reversed field. A hole opened on the right side, where Plunkett was trying to lead the way and Allen followed suit, with a diving Coffey aiming for the ball and Allen’s waist. But Allen accelerated through the hole, running by defensive end Todd Liebenstein and linebacker Rich Milot.
“After I made that turn, everything slowed down,” Allen said in a radio interview the week of Super Bowl XLVIII. “I remember Neal Olkewicz just grasping (near midfeld). I could almost see the anxiety on their faces and the tension as I was running by. And then about 20 yards from the goal line, everything came back to normal speed.”
Allen pulled up as he neared the left pylon for the longest run in Super Bowl history. He would be named the game’s MVP with a record 191 rushing yards, on 20 carries, and two touchdowns and two catches for 18 yards. He also was on the receiving end of some Cold War gallows humor from President Ronald Reagan after the Raiders’ 38-9 victory.
“I have already had a call from Moscow,” Reagan told Raiders coach Tom Flores in a postgame congratulatory phone call. “They think that Marcus Allen is a new secret weapon and they insist that we dismantle him.”