Super Bowl 2011: My life with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers
Super Bowl teams provide a baby boomer with a look back at how his experiences have intersected, however briefly, with them over the years. The Steelers and Packers will meet Sunday in Super Bowl XLV.
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After decades of futility, Bradshaw and the vaunted Steel Curtain defense managed to win the franchise’s first playoff game in 1972 and won their first Super Bowl, with a 16-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, two seasons later.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures On to the Super Bowl
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I watched that one on TV, but had the good fortune as a sportswriter for The Christian Science Monitor, to be assigned to cover Super Bowl XIII, maybe the most exciting in the game’s first 30 years. It pitted the Steelers against the other team vying for preeminence in the ‘70s, the Dallas Cowboys. Pittsburgh was built to appeal to the blue-collar crowd, Dallas to football progressives in a gleaming Texas boomtown.
The Super Bowl was played in the aging Orange Bowl, with the clouds clearing, as if on cue, after a torrential pregame downpour. During a first half played in brilliant sunshine and a second half after nightfall, the two teams traded scores, with Pittsburgh’s Lynn Swann hauling in what proved to be the winning touchdown pass from Bradshaw midway through the fourth quarter. Final score: Steelers 35, Cowboys 31.
As you might imagine, I’ve kept my press pass for that storied Steelers’ game.
As for the Packers, I still keep the audiotape of Packer quarterback Bart Starr that I recorded during a 1997 media teleconference to mark the 30th anniversary of the coldest NFL game in history, the famous “Ice Bowl.” With the temperature 13 below zero and the wind chill -48, Starr tucked himself in behind guard Jerry Kramer on a sneak with 13 seconds left that gave Green Bay a 21-17 victory over Dallas in the NFL championship game.
The game, of course, was in Green Bay, but I saw it on TV in an El Segundo, Calif., motel room, where I joined hundreds of other Indiana University students on the school’s first and only trip to the Rose Bowl. That, however, is a story for another day.