Superbowl 9: Summary, Statistics, and More
Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3-1) vs. Minnesota Vikings (12-5) January 12, 1975 Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana TV: NBC 3:00 p.m. EST
By Wilson of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Pittsburgh -3/Minnesota +3
The Pittsburgh Steelers were founded by Art Rooney in 1933 as an expansion NFL team. Pittsburgh suffered through years of losing until Rooney hired Chuck Noll as the head coach in 1969. The Steelers soon became a powerhouse in the league after Noll recruited several Pro Bowl caliber players. Superbowl 9 was the first appearance for the Steelers in a superbowl game.
This season was a little bit of a roller coaster for Pittsburgh as they struggled early in the season and had a quarterback change in week five. Terry Bradshaw replaced Joe Gilliam as the starting QB. Bradshaw didnt exactly light up the stats book but he was an effective leader on the field and always managed to get the job done.
The Steelers main offensive attack was on the ground underneath the legs of running back Franco Harris. Harris rushed for 1,006 yards during the regular season leading up to the playoffs and superbowl 9. Also carrying the ball from the backfield were backs Rocky Bleier, Preston Pearson, and Steve Davis who combined to gain over 900 yards for the Steelers cause.
Pittsburgh became well known for their Steel Curtain defense with future Hall of Famers Joe Greene, Jack Hamm, Jack Lambert, and Mel Blount. The Steelers Defense allowed the fewest yards in the league by giving up just 3,074 and only 1,466 yards allowed through the air which was also the fewest in the league.
The Minnesota Vikings came into this season with high hopes of redeeming themselves after a blowout loss in Superbowl 8. The Vikes were led by legendary QB Fran Tarkenton who threw for over 2500 yards and 17 touchdowns during the regular season. Minnesota also favored the running game behind the Vikings RB Chuck Foreman. But the Vikings too had a great defense with the infamous Purple People Eaters led by Alan Page and Carl Eller. The won the NFC Central for the sixth time in the last seven seasons.
This game was a real sleeper as far as scoring points. If you enjoyed a defensive battle then superbowl 9 was the game to watch as both defenses were solid from the opening kickoff. The Steelers held the Vikings to just 20 yards passing and zero yards rushing in the first quarter while the Vikings only allowed 18 yards passing but 61 yards rushing to the Steelers.
Finally, in the second quarter the Steelers managed to put some points on the board albeit just 2 points. Dwight White downed Fran Tarkenton in the end zone after Tarkenton landed on a fumble to prevent the Steelers from scoring a touchdown. It was the lowest scoring half ever completed in a superbowl game as the first half ended with the Steelers on top of the Vikings 2-0!
Pittsburgh added to their huge 2-0 lead with a Franco Harris 9-yard touchdown run and after a Roy Gerela kick it was 9-0 in favor of the boys from steel town.
In the fourth quarter the Vikings finally got on the scoreboard when Terry Brown recovered a blocked punt in the Steelers endzone for a TD, but the point after kick failed leaving the score 9-6 advantage Pittsburgh.
However, on the next drive the Steelers sealed the victory when Bradshaw connected with Larry Brown on a 4-yard TD pass to make the final score 16-6. Not the most exciting superbowl but thats what makes sports so unique; you never know whats going to occur.
Final Score: Pittsburgh 16, Minnesota 6
MVP: Franco Harris (Pittsburgh, running back)
Head Coaches: Chuck Noll (Pittsburgh)Bud Grant (Minnesota)
National Anthem: Grambling State University Band
Halftime Show: Tribute to Duke Ellington with Mercer Ellington and Grambling State University Band
Cost of a 30-Second Commercial: $107,000
Behind the Scenes Story:
The Mary Tyler Moore Show actually used the superbowl game as their plot line the episode the night before the game. In the episode Lou Grant teaches Ted Baxter how to bet on football. The show had Minnesota win the game and Lou Grant told Ted Baxter that he put all of his cash on the Vikings when in fact he put it on the Steelers thus creating the comical conclusion. During the ending credits Mrs. Moore declared that the show was purely fictional and apologized to Steelers fans if they did win the superbowl the following day, but she also said if they do lose,well, you heard it first here.