There’s nothing like a Super Bowl in Miami

I like Miami. You like Miami. Football fans like Miami. Football players like Miami.

The Super Bowl likes Miami. … No, wait, the Super Bowl really likes Miami.

Not only has the mightiest game in creation traveled to these parts more than to any other location, but it has reserved some of its most spectacular drama and glorious highlights for those times when this special slice of Florida played host.

“Miami produces moments, man,” Baltimore Ravens legend and Hall of Famer Ray Lewis told me on Wednesday night. “Miami produces maaaagic.”

Think of a Super Bowl staged in Miami, any of those preceding Sunday’s record-breaking 11th, and chances are there was something that made it genuinely, historically, extraordinarily special.

Joe Namath made a guarantee next to a swimming pool here, then delivered upon it, engineering the New York Jets to the first ever Super Bowl shocker. Joe Montana, seeking levity to ease the nerves of a potential game-winning drive, spotted the actor John Candy in the stands and pointed out the funny man to his disbelieving San Francisco 49ers teammates.

Lynn Swann made a reception improbable enough to be dubbed immaculate and the Pittsburgh Steelers were forever grateful. The first Super Bowl to use Roman numerals (V) was here. Prince sang a sensational version of “Purple Rain” … during a perfectly-timed downpour.

Legacies have been bolstered. Peyton Manning won his first ring here, John Elway a second in the final game of his career. The games never snooze; the storylines are never dull.

It is a point of pride for those who hold this city close to their hearts. Before their appearance on Wednesday night’s The ReUnion, a FOX Sports special dedicated to the glory days of the University of Miami college program featuring a surprise appearance by Jimmy Johnson, Reggie Wayne’s emotional story about his mom, and a little trash talk, Lewis and fellow former Hurricanes Wayne, Reed and Michael Irvin were all adamant that it is no coincidence that Miami Super Bowls tend to be epic.

“The Super Bowl is at its best when it is here,” Dallas Cowboys icon Irvin told me. “It just feels right. It feels like the Super Bowl. It’s great for the fans, with the weather and everything that is here. But it rubs off on the players, too. There’s a unique energy around the place. They should have it here more often — at least once every four years.”

Irvin’s favorite moment from all the Miami Super Bowls was one of the most explosive. In 2007, Devin Hester ran back the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI for a touchdown, a Miami product coming back to his old college city to rip off a mind-boggling start to the big game.

If tradition holds true, there will be something that makes us go “Wow” on Sunday — perhaps many times, the kind of somethings that won’t just be for the moment, but will live on in the folklore of this golden game.

Forget the weather. Whoever prevails when the Kansas City Chiefs and the 49ers collide will be decided by whoever handles the heat of the occasion the best. Fortune — here, at least — favors the bold.

“Something about the city makes you feel like anything is possible,” Super Bowl champion Wayne told me. “It’s a place to be fearless and a place to shine. Combine that with some great football players in the biggest game of their lives and you are going to get something special.”

Fearlessness is a word that springs to mind for Hester’s dynamic sprint and it is certainly an apt description for the infamous, ingenious onside kick that propelled the New Orleans Saints to triumph in 2010, with the havoc of Hurricane Katrina still fresh and raw.

Such plays offer timeless memories. What does this weekend have in store?

Rotative fairness means it has been 10 years since the Super Bowl was last here, tied for the longest gap in the Miami cycle. There are plenty of willing hosts, but Miami will always be a part of the game’s history, and vice versa. It is hard to imagine the powers that be will ever stop coming back here.

It is a great spot for a game, perhaps the best, but it is an even better place to party if you win.

“I guarantee you that there are a lot players going to sleep this week dreaming about what might happen and thinking the same thing,” Lewis added. “They’re thinking that come Monday morning they might wake up a Super Bowl champion, in the best place of all to celebrate it.

“If that was me, I’m staying. Tell the bus to leave without me. There is no better place to win. There is no better place to be.”