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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

July 28, 2009 at 12:16 AM

The Mariners are the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII

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I was searching for a way to put the Mariners’ four-game debacle this homestand into perspective, and it came to me in a flash.

They’ve been outscored 42-10 in these four losses to Cleveland and Toronto. Those numbers rang a bell deep in the recesses of my brain. So I did a little more thinking, and a little more digging.

Sure enough, 42-10 was the precise score by which the Washington Redskins destroyed the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego on Jan. 31, 1988.

I happened to cover that Super Bowl for the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. I recall eating myself sick in the dessert room at the Super Bowl party Friday night, but that’s another story. It was a blowout of massive proportions (the game, that is), best remembered for three things — the outstanding performance of Redskins quarterback Doug Williams, who completed 18-of-29 passes for 340 yards and four touchdowns; the unbelievable running of Washington’s Timmy Smith, who gained a Super Bowl-record 204 yards on 22 carries with two touchdowns; and the ongoing frustration of John Elway, who threw three interceptions and lost a lopsided Super Bowl for the second year in a row.

Four things, if you count the legendarily bad question supposedly asked of Williams that week: “How long have you been a black quarterback?” However, this snopes.com entry tells the real story behind that incident.

Elway and the Broncos had absorbed another whuppin’ the previous year, this one 39-20 by the New York Giants, and they would get annihilated 55-10 by the 49ers two years later.

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I’m not sure how far to carry this analogy (not very far, I suspect), but here’s something. Elway and Denver eventually came back from those lopsided losses to win two Super Bowls. Of course, the first one didn’t come until 1998 — 10 years after that 42-10 thrashing.

Funny the things that come to you after midnight.

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