Super Bowl XL (that's 40 for the Roman numeral-challenged) will be played in Detroit on Feb. 5, 2006. Those of us who've been alive for all of them might be feeling our age, yet there's something about this sporting event that makes everyone feel young. The quintessential American sports extravaganza not only celebrates the nation's finest pro football teams but also has morphed into an unparalleled commercial and cultural touchstone, with its obsessive celebrity-watching and exorbitantly compelling television advertising. Edited by Ken Leiker and Craig Ellenport, The Super Bowl: An Official Retrospective is a pictorially rich history of the game in all its aspects, featuring an informative running text and six longer essays by men who've won the Big One : Bart Starr, Phil Simms, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady, Doug Williams and Roger Staubach.

The mostly color photos capture the Super Bowl's storied players, coaches and key moments, including a series of stop-action sequential shots of legendary game-winning drives, stalwart goal-line stands and critical individual efforts. Among the big-play heroics portrayed are those of Hall of Famers Joe Montana, John Riggins and John Stallworth, as well as lesser-known players like the 49ers' Dan Bunz, the Rams' Mike Jones and the Steelers' Reggie Harrison, each of whom found a moment in the sun in the biggest game of their lives.

Since the Super Bowl is commonly known for the incredible hype and show-biz pizzazz that accompanies it, this volume also weighs in appropriately with pertinent coverage of thematic special events and the pop stars who have made appearances either singing the National Anthem or as halftime entertainment. A super-cool DVD, In Their Own Words, accompanies the book.

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