Look out for the `Snoozer Bowl'

Article excerpt

WHETHER a bad rap or not, the National Football League has been stung this season by criticism that its games have become boring, with too many field goals, not enough offense, and a sense that there is far too much attrition and too little excellence and variety. These impressions might all be washed away with a scintillating Super Bowl, but after last weekend's conference championship games, no one is holding his breath.

The reason: Dallas and Buffalo will be reunited this Sunday in a Super Bowl rematch for which few yearned. Last January, the Cowboys dismantled the Bills, 52-17, and the rosters will be basically the same this time in Atlanta.

A place in the history books is already guaranteed, since this will mark the first time the same two teams have squared off in the championship game since the NFL agreed to include the old American Football League in its original Super Bowl, which was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game in 1967.

Observers know the sad facts - that the game is too often a Super Bore and that Buffalo has lost the last three Super Bowls. But maybe this year's one-sided conference games (Dallas over San Francisco, 38-21, in the National Conference and Buffalo over Kansas City, 30-13, in the American) mean that the real excitement is still to come. Rafer Johnson's special moment

Rafer Johnson shared an especially poignant story about the power of sports upon accepting this year's Theodore Roosevelt Award, which the National Collegiate Athletic Association presents annually as its top lifetime achievement honor. Johnson, the 1960 Olympic decathlon champion, related his experience as a volunteer with the Special Olympics, which provides athletic opportunities for individuals considered mentally retarded. …