Wait, What... Don't Tell Me! I Messed Up Again!

Somehow a week ago on January 15, I messed up, by writing about Super Bowl XIII as being played on January 15, when even in the graphic I had the correct date of January 21, 1979.  The list I was looking at had the calendar year, not the season, so when I saw '1978' I should have realized it was the '1977' season's Super Bowl that was played on that day.

So, nonetheless, since the On This Day... for January 21st Super Bowl has already been added to the database, we shall today cover the Super Bowl from the day that we missed, Super Bowl XII.


Super Bowl XII
by Rob Holecko

America's Team the Dallas Cowboys captured their second Vince Lombardi trophy on January 15, 1978 when they defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII 27 to 10.  The summary from Wikipedia:

Super Bowl XII was an American football game played on January 15, 1978 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion following the 1977 regular season. It was the first Super Bowl played inside a domed stadium.

The National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys (15-2) defeated the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos (14-3), 27–10. The Cowboys defensive team dominated most of the game, forcing 8 turnovers and allowing only 8 pass completions by the Broncos for just 61 yards.

For the first and only time, two players won Super Bowl MVP honors: defensive tackle Randy White and defensive end Harvey Martin. For White, the honor was won on his 25th birthday. This was also the first time that a defensive lineman was named as the Super Bowl MVP.
We are proud to add this game to our database, and you can see it along with other Super Bowls that have been added on our new Super Bowl page.



Visit us tomorrow here at the Gridiron Uniform Database Blog where we'll preview the AFC and NFC Championships and also take a look back at a couple great Super Bowls from the 1980s played on January 22.

Super Bowl XIX


Super Bowl XIX
by Rob Holecko

Twenty-seven years ago today, on January 20, 1985, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX 38 to 16.  It was Joe Montana and the 49ers' second Super Bowl in four years, and it was a very memorable game.  It was played in Stanford, California, the closest a team has ever come to playing a Super Bowl in it's home stadium.  It was the first Super Bowl televised by ABC.  President Ronald Reagan, on the day of the inauguration of his second term in office, conducted the coin flip from the Oval Office.

As for the game itself, from Wikipedia:
Instead of the predicted shootout between Dan Marino and Joe Montana, the game was mostly one-sided. The 49ers defense only allowed 25 rushing yards and 16 Dolphins points. San Francisco also intercepted Marino 2 times and sacked him 4 times. The Dolphins set a Super Bowl record for least rush attempts in a game (9).

But in the opening minutes of the game, it seemed that the game would live up to the hype. On the opening kickoff, 49ers rookie kick returner Derrick Harmon caught the ball too close to the sidelines and stepped out of bounds at the San Francisco 6-yard line. The 49ers managed to advance to the 41-yard line but were forced to punt, and Dolphins defensive back Fulton Walker returned the punt 9 yards to the Miami 36-yard line. Then on their first play of the drive, Marino completed a 25-yard pass to Tony Nathan. Five plays later, Miami reached the San Francisco 23-yard line. But on third down, 49ers cornerback Eric Wright tackled wide receiver Mark Clayton 2 yards shy of the first down. Miami had to settle for a 37-yard field goal from Uwe von Schamann.

The Dolphins' 3-0 lead did not last long, as the 49ers stormed down the field on their next possession. San Francisco drove 78 yards in 8 plays, culminating in a 33-yard touchdown pass from Montana to reserve running back Carl Monroe to give them a 7-3 lead. But Miami retook the lead on their ensuing drive. After a 5-yard rush by Nathan, the Dolphins went into a no-huddle offense, preventing the 49ers from making substitutions and keeping their run defense on the field. Marino completed five consecutive passes, hitting Clayton for 18 yards, Mark Duper for 11, Clayton again for 13, and tight end Dan Johnson for 21. On the next play, Marino finished the drive by hitting Johnson for a 2-yard touchdown pass, giving the Dolphins a 10-7 lead with 45 seconds left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the 49ers began to take control of the game. Bill Walsh switched to a 4-1-6 (or dime defense) to slow down Miami's passing attack, with Keena Turner as the sole linebacker. Miami tried to run against the 4-1-6 alignment, to no avail. Safety Dwight Hicks broke up two consecutive Marino passes, and the Dolphins were forced to punt from their own 10-yard line. Then after taking the ball at the Miami 47-yard line, Montana scrambled for a 19-yard run, and then completed a 16-yard pass to wide receiver Dwight Clark to reach the 12-yard line. From there, Wendell Tyler rushed for 4 yards, and then Montana threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Roger Craig, giving the 49ers a 14-10 lead.

Miami then had to punt again on their ensuing possession, and San Francisco defensive back Dana McLemore returned the ball 28 yards to the 49ers' 45-yard line. After advancing 15 yards with 2 running plays, Montana completed a pair of passes to tight end Russ Francis to move the ball 29 yards to the Miami 11-yard line. Craig ran for 5 yards on the next play, and then Montana ran the final 6 yards to the end zone for a touchdown, making the score 21-10. After the ensuing kickoff, Miami again was forced to punt after 3 plays, and McLemore returned Reggie Roby's 39-yard punt 10 yards to the 49ers' 48-yard line. Montana was sacked for a 5-yard loss by Doug Betters on the first play of the ensuing drive, but he struck back with a 20-yard completion to Craig and a 7-yard run over the next two plays. On the next play, wide receiver Freddie Solomon caught a pass from Montana, took one step, and then lost the ball due to a hit from safety Lyle Blackwood. Blackwood quickly recovered the ball and took off for the 49ers end zone, but field judge Bob Lewis blew the play dead, ruling that Solomon's fumble was an incomplete pass. Bill Quinby, the side judge, who was nearest to the play, did not make any call. Five plays later, Craig finished the nine play, 52-yard drive with his second touchdown on a 2-yard run, increasing the 49ers lead to 28-10.

With about two minutes left in the half, the Dolphins finally managed to get a good drive going on their next possession. Marino completed 7 out of 9 passes, the last one being a 30-yard pass to tight end Joe Rose, to reach the 49ers 12-yard line. But San Francisco's defense tightened up on the next 3 plays, forcing 2 incompletions and a completed pass for no gain, and Miami was forced to settle for Von Schamann's second field goal of the game to cut their deficit to 28-13 with 12 seconds left in the half. Then Miami caught a break as the 49ers botched the ensuing kickoff. San Francisco lineman Guy McIntyre received Van Schamann's short kick and was about to down the ball, but then changed his mind at the last second and decided to return it. This turned out to be a big mistake. McIntyre lost a fumble while being leveled by rookie Joe Carter, and Jim Jensen recovered the ball for Miami at the 49ers 12-yard line. After that, Von Schamann kicked his third field goal on the last play of the half, cutting the score to 28-16. "I can laugh about the play now, but it wasn't funny at the time," McIntyre said after the game. "My first instinct when I got the ball was to fall down. Then I heard everyone yelling, 'Get up! Get up!' So I got up, and here comes someone sneaking underneath me, and he hit the ball."

But any thoughts of a Miami comeback ended early in the third quarter. On the first play second half, 49ers defensive end Dwaine Board tackled Nathan for a 1-yard loss. Then after Marino threw an incompletion, Board sacked him for a 9-yard loss on third down. For the fourth time in the game, Roby had to punt, and again McLemore gave the 49ers good field position with an 8-yard return to San Francisco's 47-yard line. The 49ers then drove 43 yards and scored on kicker Ray Wersching's 27 yard field goal. On the Dolphins' ensuing drive, they were forced to punt again after Marino was sacked twice (once by defensive lineman Manu Tuiasosopo and once by Board). Starting their own 30-yard line after a 5-yard return by McLemore, Montana completed a 40-yard pass to Tyler, followed up with a 14-yard completion to Francis. Three plays later, Craig scored his third touchdown on a 16-yard reception to make the score 38-16. The score proved to be the last one from either team, as the defenses of both teams took over for the rest of the game - especially the 49ers' defense, who intercepted Marino twice.

Overall, San Francisco gained a Super Bowl record 537 yards, breaking the Oakland Raiders record of 429 yards in Super Bowl XI, while limiting Miami to 314, with just 25 rushing yards. San Francisco's 38 points also tied a Super Bowl record set by the Raiders in Super Bowl XVIII.

The 49ers' 288 offensive yards in the first half also tied the Raiders in Super Bowl XI for the most offensive yards in a half during a Super Bowl.

Marino finished the game with 29 out of 50 pass completions for 318 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. Clayton was the top receiver of the game, with 6 receptions for 92 yards. Walker returned 4 kickoffs for 93 yards and gained 15 yards on 2 punt returns. Nathan was the Dolphins leading rusher with 18 yards, while also catching 10 passes for 83 yards.  Craig had 58 rushing yards, 77 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns. He was the first player ever to score 3 touchdowns in a Super Bowl, and his 2 touchdown catches also tied a Super Bowl record. Tyler led San Francisco in rushing with 65 yards, and also caught 4 passes for 70 yards. Clark caught 6 passes for 77 yards. Board recorded 2 sacks. McLemore recorded 51 punt return yards, the second most in Super Bowl history.
We are proud to add this game to the Gridiron Uniform Database.  Also today we are launching a new page today, the index of Super Bowl Matchup graphics.  As we add Super Bowl matchups to the website today, you'll find all of them here, you'll see a new link on the front page.  We'd like to thank Mark Young, who a few months ago designed our new banner graphics, for putting together the roman numeral graphics on this page.

Also on this day, five years previous to Super Bowl XIX, the Rams and the Cowboys met in Super Bowl XIV.  This was the game that saw the Steelers put the cherry on the top of their 1970s dynasty, winning their fourth Super Bowl in six years.

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Another On This Day... that we'd like to mention.  Yesterday was January 19, and while there has never been a Super Bowl on January 19, we would like to recognize a particularly memorable game from nine years ago.  As a Buccaneer fan, while I realize that the Super Bowl victory over the Raiders is definitely the crowning achievement of our franchise, it was Ronde Barber's interception return of a Donovan McNabb pass for a touchdown that clinched the NFC Championship against the Eagles, that was the moment from that season that was most memorable.  After having lost at Philadelphia in the playoffs the past two seasons, after having never won a game below forty degrees, to go into Philadelphia and win that game to go to the Super Bowl, was really the best moment ever for the Bucs in their 35 years of existence.


 

The Stupor Bowl


The Stupor Bowl
by Rob Holecko

Yesterday we told you about America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys, and how their dynasty began with a Super Bowl VI win over the Dolphins.  Well, they made it to the Super Bowl the year before that as well, losing to the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V, forty-one years ago today.

Super Bowl V was the first Super Bowl played after the completion of the AFL-NFL Merger. As per the merger agreement, all 26 AFL and NFL teams were divided into 2 conferences with 13 teams in each of them. The NFL's Colts, the Cleveland Browns, and the Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to join the 10 AFL teams to form the AFC. The remaining 13 NFL teams formed the NFC. This explains why the Colts represented the NFL in Super Bowl III, but not the NFC for Super Bowl V.

Super Bowl V was a sloppy, poorly executed display of football.   The game is sometimes called the "Blunder Bowl" or the "Stupor Bowl" because it was filled with poor play, penalties, turnovers, and officiating miscues. The two teams committed a Super Bowl record 11 combined turnovers in the game, and the Colts' 7 turnovers are currently the most ever committed by a winning team in a Super Bowl. Dallas also set a Super Bowl record with 10 penalties, costing them 133 yards. Bubba Smith refused to wear his Super Bowl V ring because of the "sloppy" play.

It was finally settled with five seconds left when Colts rookie kicker Jim O'Brien kicked a 32-yard field goal. In order to win the game, Baltimore had to overcome a 13–6 deficit at the half, losing their starting quarterback in the second quarter.

It is also the only Super Bowl in which the Most Valuable Player Award was given to a member of the losing team: Cowboys Linebacker Chuck Howley, who intercepted two passes. Sacks and tackles were not yet recorded. It was the first time a QB didn't win the award. Howley refused to accept the award because it was meaningless to him after his team lost.

Even though it is one of the least memorable Super Bowls, in fact it is possibly the Millard Fillmore of Super Bowls, we are still proud to add it to our database of matchups.



America's Team


America's Team
by Rob Holecko

 
Forty years ago today, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI at Tulane Stadium in  New Orleans.  After coming up short in NFL Championships to the Green Bay Packers and losing a sloppy Super Bowl V to the Colts the year before, the Cowboys finally got a championship for the man in the fedora, Tom Landry.  They would add another six years later against the Broncos, and while they would possibly be remembered as the foil of the team of the 70s, the Steelers, losing twice to them in Super Bowls, the 70s Cowboys, America's Team could make an argument for being the team of that decade as well.  They appeared in one more Super Bowl than Pittsburgh, and while (2-3) is worse than (4-0), their period of excellence lasted from 1966 through 1981, much longer than the Steelers.  The 1981 NFC Championship was that team's swan song, as they would fall into mediocrity in the mid-1980s, before Jerry Jones would buy the team, hire Jimmy Johnson and build a new, 1990s dynasty.

Super Bowl VI would be the last game the Dolphins would lose before going undefeated the following year and winning the next two Super Bowls.


We are proud to add Super Bowl VI to our database of game matchups included here at the Gridiron Uniform Database.
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The last time the Ravens won a home
playoff game, a 2000 Wild Card
game against the Broncos, they
went on to win Super Bowl XXXV.
Yesterday, the New York Giants went into Lambeau Field and defeated the #1 seed 15-1 Green Bay Packers, setting up a 1990 NFC Championship Game rematch, one previewed by bigbluelarry a few days ago.  The Giants outplayed the Packers in every phase of the game, and even overcame a few bad calls that went in the Packers favor.  They are hot right now, similar to 2007, when they upset the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.  But they will face a strong 49er team that also played a great game Saturday beating the Saints.  It should be a great game Sunday.

In the AFC, the Ravens won their first home playoff game in eleven years, defeating the Texans and will face the Patriots next Sunday in the AFC Championship.  The Ravens will face a tough task against a Patriots team that, despite a below-league-average-defense, appears to be hitting on all cylinders.

Will Super Bowl XLVI be a Super Bowl XLII rematch?  Or how about "The Harbaugh Bowl"?  Or maybe a Super Bowl XXXV rematch between the Ravens and Giants.  Or how about Tom Brady going for his fourth Super Bowl to tie Bradshaw and Montana against Montana's team, the 49ers.

Any of the four combinations that could reach the Super Bowl look to be an exciting matchup, by after watching that game yesterday, I'd have to say the Giants are the hottest team right now, and as of now, I pick it's going to be the Giants over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.  Later this week Bill and Tim will be bringing you their picks as well.

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Speaking of past great NFC Championships, yesterday was the 17th anniversary of the 1994 NFC Championship.  This was the third straight NFC Title game featuring these two teams.  It was also the first NFC Championship on FOX.

1994 was the NFL's 75th anniversary season, and many teams wore throwback uniforms during the year, the 49ers and Cowboys in this game included.  The Cowboys were two-time defending Super Bowl champions, but this time the 49ers got the best of them and defeated Dallas 38-28, and went on to the Super Bowl and defeated the Chargers, and Steve Young finally got the monkey of the back.
 
This game was requested by Villaroman Santos, and we are proud to add it to our database as well.  If you would like to request any game to be added, be feel free to email us.

The First World Championship Game: AFL vs NFL


The First World Championship Game
by Rob Holecko

When the NFL Champion Green Bay Packers and the AFL Champion Kansas City Chiefs met 45 years ago today in the first game that would grow to be annual spectacle that we now know of as the Super Bowl, it was little more than an afterthought.  The Packers had just wrapped up their 10th NFL Championship against the Dallas Cowboys and were heavily favored to beat the underdog Chiefs.  The AFL Champion Chiefs were hoping to show that an AFL team deserved to be on the same field as the NFL Champion.

The Packers dominated the Chiefs and won 35 to 10.  They would win the following Super Bowl as well, but the AFL's Jets and these very Chiefs would Super Bowls III and IV, and the merger became complete with the former AFL teams gaining full acceptance as equal and full competition for their more established NFL counterparts.

For more in-depth information on this game, you can read the Wikipedia entry on it here.



Also January 15 is the anniversary of one of the best Super Bowls ever played, the 1978 season's Super Bowl XIII.  The Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys met for the second time in four Super Bowls, and both teams were in their third Super Bowl in the past five years.  The game went back and forth, a key drop by Cowboys TE Jackie Smith in the end zone was the difference in a 35-31 Steeler victory.

We are proud to add these two games, the first ever "Super Bowl" and one of the most exciting Super Bowls, to our collection of matchups in the Gridiron Uniform Database.  We plan on rolling out a new feature in the coming days showcasing all of the Super Bowl matchups, so stay tuned for that.

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Also, we are closing in on 100,000 visitors (not unique visitors -- I know it's many of the same visitors who keep coming back, but still) -- thank you for the continued interest in our site.  Speaking of which, we wouldn't have been able to do this without Uni Watch, and this morning I clicked my shortcut to uni-watch.com, and this came up:




I don't know if I'm just navigating wrong or something happened to their site.  I hope they didn't get hacked or anything.  Maybe some right-wing nut job just is having some fun, who knows?  Anyway, if anyone knows anything, or they get it fixed, let us know in the comments.  (This just in, Uni Watch's front page is back up.)

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Steve Young threw six touchdowns
in Super Bowl XXIX, a mark that
Tom Brady tied yesterday
Of the two games yesterday, the only real question was would the Saints come out in white-over-black or white-over-gold.  Tim Brulia & I guessed the white-gold, while Bill Schaefer went with white-black.  They did go with white-gold, but it wasn't enough to defeat the 49ers, who prevailed on a play eerily similar to "The Catch II", the 1998 playoff game against the Packers which featured Terrell Owens catching a touchdown down the middle of the field between defenders and coming off the field in tears, hugging coach Steve Mariucci.  Yesterday Vernon Davis caught a touchdown down the middle of the field between defenders and came off the field in tears, hugging coach Jim Harbaugh.

In the other came, Tebow-mania finally came to an end as the Patriots routed the Broncos.  Tom Brady tied Steve Young and Daryl Lamonica's postseason record of six touchdown passes in a game.

Enjoy the Texans-Ravens and Giants-Packers games today! These both should be pretty predictable matchups, the Texans always go white-over-navy wearing white on the road, and the Ravens, considering it's a day game, we expect will be in purple-over-white, as Tim said, "BAL likely in Purple/white, but I'd be thrilled if 'the team I love to hate' went purple/black."  (Added: This just in, Ravens are in purple/black -- see picture to the right -- so I guess we can color Tim thrilled!)
  
The Giants and Packers should, of course, have no uniform surprises, either, as they re-stage the 2007 NFC Championship Game today. Unfortunately for the Giants, they won't be able to count on Brett Favre throwing a critical late-game interception this time.  If the Giants should pull off the upset, we'll be looking at re-match of the 1990 Giants-Niners NFC Championship that bigbluelarry told us about earlier in the week.  Otherwise we'll see another classic Niners-Packers playoff game.

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