Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Freakin' Weekend (1971)

I love the freakin' weekend.






Of course, the big deal this Jan. 15-17, 1971, weekend is Super Bowl V ...



Sports Illustrated concentrated its preview on "two dissimilar players, Craig Morton, Dallas' cool, quiet quarterback, and Mike Curtis, Baltimore's violent, voluble linebacker." It also included one of these advertising sections that I used to love ...



The Chicago Tribune has spent the week searching out local angles on the big game, such as catching up with former Bears tight end Mike Ditka ...


It also ran this great piece of original art ...



Meanwhile, back home in Hopkinsville, the Kentucky New Era wonders if we may be going overboard with the televised-football craze ...



Not me, though. I'm totally and unapologetically psyched ...



Those two pictures depict the Baltimore offense and Dallas defense (against the backdrop of a Coleco  Command Control electric-football field), and here are the Dallas offense and Baltimore defense ...




And the subs ...




 I'm ready for four beautiful hours of TV, football and commerce ...




112 comments:

  1. If, like me, you feel like an idiot for having missed Andy Griffith and Glen Campbell together on the 1969 Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour Christmas special, tonight 1971 gives you another chance to see these two together. Here they are in the second episode of The New Andy Griffith Show.

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  2. It's so interesting to think about Pete Townshend being on Johnny Carson last night 1971.

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  3. Hoptown 1971 me should really work to become more of a bowling fan, given that Ebonite has been headquartered in Hopkinsville since 1967.

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  4. This week in NFL71, the Green Bay Packers named Dan Devine its new head coach and general manager. Devine, 46, leaves the University of Missouri at the same age that Vince Lombardi joined the Packers 12 years ago.

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  5. Channel 4 at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, 1971, is showing something called "Lombardi," and I wonder if it's this fantastic thing. I'm pretty sure I posted a review of this movie at the HP, but I can't find the old post.

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  6. Namath predicts that the Colts are going to win.

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  7. This is some great poolside furniture in which Curt Gowdy and Joe Namath are lounging. I feel like I'm at a Holiday Inn.

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  8. Dallas's running game is better than Baltimore's, and Baltimore's passing is better than Dallas's, says Namath.

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  9. Namath identifies Dallas's Duane Thomas as one of the league's top young running backs, along with the Giants' Ron Johnson and the Bills' O.J. Simpson.

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  10. Namath is rooting for the Cowboys, incidentally--he has more former University of Alabama teammates on that side than with the Colts.

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  11. Mocking old fashions is so pat and silly, but, seriously, the collar on Curt Gowdy's shirt in this pre-game show demands notice.

    Joe Namath's going to be on Flip Wilson's show next 1971 month.

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  12. Chrysler Plymouth is offering automatic transmission at no extra charge with its new line.

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  13. So, for example, first NBC puts up a picture of Dallas wide receiver Bob Hayes, "the one-time world's fastest human," and then split screens with Hayes on the left and then a picture of Baltimore cornerback Jim Duncan on the right. I love stuff like this. And I was thrilled to have been introduced to Jim Duncan only this past week in my own preparations for Super Bowl V. I had never heard of him, and it's always great to discover NFL players from the '70s I had never heard of.

    But then I read about him at Wikipedia, and it's just an utterly tragic story. Rest in peace, Jim "Butch" Duncan of Lancaster, South Carolina (1946-1972). Here's Ebony's reporting on Duncan's death at the time.

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    1. At the time of the Ebony article, Jim Duncan's mother also had an 18-month-old son named Morrall Unitas. It appears Morrall Unitas Clyburn turned out to be a standout baseball player at Winthrop University in the early 1990s and to have a merry Christmas 2016.

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  14. Cowboys right tackle Rayfield Wright vs. Colts left defensive end Bubba Smith "should be something to watch," Gowdy says.

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  15. For a kid who started collecting Topps cards in 1975 and saw Wright and Dallas guards John Niland and Blaine Nye turn up as All-Pros, it's absolutely mind-blowing to hear Gowdy refer to Cowboys left tackle Ralph Neely as "probably the top performer in the Dallas offensive line." Neely continued playing for the Cowboys through 1977, but Topps quit making cards at all for that dude after 1974! (I know the exclamation point at the end of that sentence looks like a typo to probably anyone reading this comment, but I assure you it was intentional.)

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  16. I'm a big fan of Baltimore left linebacker Ray May.

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  17. But, first, we have a pre-game show on the field in which a marching band arranged themselves in the NFL-shield logo, people lifted big stars with the names of all of the NFL teams (big Orange Bowl ovation for the Dolphins star!) and then giant inflatable Colt and Cowboy figures (wearing Johnny Unitas's and Craig Morton's jersey numbers) unfurled from the field.

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  18. First Super Bowl on artificial turf.

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  19. Jim O'Brien kicks off, and the returner is Calvin Hill.

    Already this game is weird.

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  20. Until I sunk myself into the day-by-day/no-one-knew-what-would-happen-next experience of following NFL69/NFL70, I didn't quite grasp how big a deal Calvin Hill was at this time--even though I knew he had been NFL69 rookie of the year.

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  21. Calvin Hill was huge.

    The great Wikipedia:

    Hill was selected 24th overall in the 1969 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys, becoming the first player from an Ivy League school drafted in the first round. At the time this selection was widely questioned, because teams did not think they could find professional players at elite colleges.[6]

    The Cowboys drafted him as an athlete, so he spent his first few days in training camp as a linebacker and tight end.[7] He got his chance at playing halfback in the second exhibition game, because the team was experiencing problems at running back during that training camp. Don Perkins, the fourth leading rusher in NFL history had just formally announced his retirement, Dan Reeves the starter at halfback was struggling after having off-season knee surgery and his backup Craig Baynham had bruised ribs. Hill never relinquished the way starting job and when the regular season started, even though he was a rookie, he became a dominant player in the league. Through the first nine games of the season, he was the best running back in the NFL with 807 rushing yards. However, he hurt his toe while rushing for a team record 150 yards in a 41-28 victory over the Washington Redskins in the ninth game of the season. The team didn't know the extent of the injury, so he missed the next 2 games. When it was later revealed that it was broken, Hill played the last 2 games with a broken toe that required an injection before every practice and game.

    Hill finished his rookie season with 942 rushing yards (4.6 yard average) and 8 touchdowns. He was also received NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors.[8]

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  22. And, so, now here's Hill fielding Jim O'Brien's opening kickoff of Super Bowl V. He returned four kickoffs as a rookie, but he returned not one during the regular season or playoffs so far in NFL70. Hill returns the kick 14 yards to the Dallas 26. And it's the last kickoff return of Hill's 1969-81 career.

    See? One play in, and Super Bowl V is already weird.

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  23. Ray May and the Colt defense are not holding hands in the huddle.

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  24. Chuck Howley drifts back into coverage on Norm Bulaich, intercepts Johnny Unitas and returns just past midfield. And Joe Namath thought Baltimore was going to have to depend on its passing game.

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  25. Dallas goes backward to its own 33, but Baltimore mishandles the punt. The Cowboys resume possession at the Colt 9 ...

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  26. Mike Clark kicks a short field goal for a 3-0 Dallas lead, and Baltimore punts.

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  27. Walt Garrison barrels up the middle for five and around right end for six, to the Dallas 31. Thomas runs to the 33. Craig Morton fake screens right and then screens left to halfback/coach Dan Reeves, who weaves across and through the Colt defense to the Dallas 47. Then Morton throws to Bob Hayes to the Baltimore 12, and a roughing-the-passer penalty on Fred Miller advances Dallas to the Baltimore 6. "They've really got them confused on defense," Curt Gowdy says.

    The Colts' 6-foot-6 right defensive end, Roy Hilton, bats down a Morton screen to an absolutely wide-open Duane Thomas on first down, and then Jim Duncan comes up from corner to cut down Thomas on a sweep on second. And that's the end of the first quarter.

    "It's been all Dallas," says Gowdy. 3-0, Cowboys, through one ...

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    1. Mike Ditka was quoted as saying this week that Landry adopted Vince Lombardi's "run-to-daylight" running approach this season, in which backs are given the freedom to break off the path of a running play if he sees it is not going to work and can reroute to openings of "daylight" in the defense. (Ditka said that Garrison is particularly adept at this sort of running.)

      To the extent that this was correct about Landry, it's interesting to note that this season he gave his running backs more freedom and, by taking over play-calling and relaying plays with "messenger" tight ends, his quarterback less.

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  28. Gowdy tells us this game is being played in honor of Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) and Brian Piccolo (1943-1970).

    SUPER BOWL
    CANCER FUND
    Box 800
    Grand Central Station
    New York, N.Y. 10017

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  29. "Scientists tell us, through research, we're close to defeating this dread disease ... send your contributions, whatever you can afford ... we owe it to Vince and Brian."

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  30. On the first play of the second quarter, Billy Ray Smith slams Morton to the kelly-green artificial turf, and Morton unloads the ball roughly in the vicinity of Garrison. An official throws a flag, and Kyle Rote predicts it will be the "rarely called" (?) intentional-grounding penalty. "If this is called," says Gowdy, "this is the first one we've seen this year, Kyle" (?!?).

    Indeed, that is the call, and the 15-yard penalty. "That's intentionally ... grounding," reports Gowdy, unsteadily.

    Clark straight-on boots through a 30-yard field goal, and it's 6-0, Cowboys.

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  31. Super Bowl V is starting to remind Curt Gowdy of Super Bowl III, in that everything seems to be going wrong for Baltimore.

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  32. Nothing happening for the Cowboys, and here comes Ron Widby, who's getting a lot of HP play these days.

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  33. Colt David Lee punts, and Cowboy Widby punts. About 10 minutes to go in the half ...

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  34. The first tackle of Charlie Waters's football career came in the College All-Star Game, Gowdy just noted. He was a quarterback at both North Augusta High School in South Carolina and at Clemson. The Cowboys drafted him in the third round as a defensive back, and that's the position he played in the College All-Star Game. Waters moved into the Dallas starting lineup this season when fellow rookie Cliff Harris, who went undrafted out of Ouachita Baptist University, had to leave the team at midseason for military service.

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  35. Jethro Pugh forces Unitas out of the pocket, and Chuck Howley drills the scrambling quarterback in the stomach. The ball goes bounding further downfield, and Pugh races back into the play to recover at the Baltimore 29.

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  36. So far, my co-MVPs are Mike Clark, Ron Widby and Chuck Howley.

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  37. The Bing Crosby National Pro-Am is on later Super Bowl V Sunday on NBC. George Archer beat Jack Nicklaus by one stroke in PGA70.

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  38. Thomas right ... Morton to Reeves left ... Morton to Thomas touchdown ... Mike Clark's kick is good, and the Cowboys, looking dominant, are up 13-6 with about seven minutes to go in the first half.

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  39. Baltimore: three lost fumbles and one pass intercepted thus far.

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  40. In the opening tournament of PGA70 play last weekend, Bob "Tomato Juice Kid" Lunn won the Glen Campbell-Los Angeles Open.

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  41. Unitas play-action interception as he is leveled by George Andrie ... Dallas takes over at its 15.

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  42. It was Mel Renfro on the interception. That guy has been great in the playoffs.

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  43. Roy Hilton beats Ralph Neely on a third-and-long and gets in for a sack of Morton, and here's Earl Morrall on for Unitas, who is having a hard time catching his breath after being clobbered on Baltimore's last possession.

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  44. The Colts take over at their own 48, and Morrall zips a pass through Dallas defenders to Eddie Hinton for a pickup of 26 to the Cowboy 26 ... Renfro breaks up another Morrall try for Hinton inside the Baltimore 10 ... Morrall fires to slanting Roy Jefferson, and Jefferson runs through a couple of tackles to about the Dallas 5; then, Lee Roy Jordan comes flying in with a late hit ... first-and-goal coming up after a few words from TWA (choice of two movies on every flight) ...

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  45. 1:33 to play ... Norm Bulaich stuffed for no gain at the 2 ... stuffed again, no gain ... Kyle Rote thinks Unitas would go to a play-action pass here, but he's unsure what Morrall might call ... back to Bulaich--NO GAIN! ... 21 seconds ... Baltimore timeout ... Morrall heads to the sideline to talk it over with Don McCafferty ...

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  46. Fourth-and-2 ... it appears Baltimore will try for the touchdown ... I guess they don't have much faith in kicker Jim O'Brien ... Morrall play-action ... tight end Tom Mitchell stumbles, and THE BALL FALLS INCOMPLETE! ... Dallas takes over, with the ball coming out to its 20!

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  47. "We've had an excellent first half here," Gowdy says, and we head to intermission with the Cowboys leading, 13-6.

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  48. Oh, my! The halftime marching band is from Southeast Missouri State in Cape Girardeau! What a HUGE day for Channel 6!

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  49. I'll bet the ol' SEMO Marching Eagles aren't going to be doing any of that Stanford foolishness on national television.

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  50. "From coast to coast, the National Football League, like our great nation of 50 states, stands strong and united today!" proclaims the SEMO State College public-address announcer.

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  51. While Heisman-winner Jim Plunkett was engineering a come-from-behind upset of Ohio State in the Rose Bowl back on Jan. 1, 1971, the Stanford marching band came out with a eyebrow-raising performance on NBC that included the drum major appearing in a diaper and the band performing "In the Midnight Hour" after a public-address explanation about the need to be sexually responsible given the world's population boom and limited resources.

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  52. SEMO's band is now arranged in the shape of the continental United States. They are playing "This Is My Country," and the public-address announcer is talking about various natural sites in the areas where NFL teams exist.

    "In the Far West, near the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains, we have the Denver Broncos! And on the West Coast, home of the great movie industry, we have the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland Raiders, the San Diego Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams!"

    And now here, of course, is Anita Bryant. Of course, here's Anita Bryant.

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  53. Harvey Milk was still a Republican in 1971, by the way.

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  54. Say what you want, but there's no denying Anita Bryant brings it both barrels on "Glory, Glory Hallelujah."

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  55. Baltimore fumbles the kickoff to open the second half, and Dallas has the ball at the Colt 30 ...

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  56. Morrall remains at quarterback for Baltimore, as Gowdy says Unitas is doubtful to return. Three runs move Baltimore out to its 14.

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    1. Unitas, incidentally, sprained his shoulder in practice before the AFC championship--the same shoulder that he injured in NFL69.

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    2. Cooper Rollow reported in the Chicago Tribune that one of the media questions that came up for McCafferty in the days before the Super Bowl was whether Unitas or Morrall would start in Super Bowl V.

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  57. And Morrall is on target over the middle to Sam Havrilak, who wriggles out to the Baltimore 40.

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  58. But then the drive stalls, and David Lee punts "to the 1-inch line," Gowdy says. "That's almost like pitching pennies!"

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  59. Our old friend, Ron Widby, punts Baltimore back into its own territory after a futile Cowboy possession.

    It's unlikely Unitas is going to return. He had X-rays done on his ribs at halftime, and they were negative--but he still looks pretty gimpy.

    And just as NBC is reporting that news, Morrall finds fullback Tom Nowatzke in the middle of the field for a big gain to the Dallas 15 or so ...

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  60. Through three quarters ...

    Dallas 13
    Baltimore 6

    The Colts will have a third-and-6 from the Dallas 11 after we're done hearing about Goodyear tires ...

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  61. Tom Matte is hurt, by the way. He has been out most of the season.

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  62. Curt Gowdy reads a PSA for Pakistan flood relief to open the fourth quarter.

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  63. Well.

    On the first play of the fourth quarter, under duress from Andrie, Morrall unloads to the front left corner of the end zone. Either he underthrew or Norm Bulaich surprised him by not breaking to that area or Andrie's hit disturbed the intended flight of the ball or something, but there's no Colt receiver there--only Chuck Howley. Interception.

    The Cowboys take over at their 20 with their 13-6 lead. Gowdy says the lights have been turned on in the Orange Bowl; meanwhile, NBC's video is off.

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  64. Another three-and-out for Craig Morton and the Cowboys, and Morrall and the Colts are back on the go ... first-and-10 at the Dallas 39 after a couple of penalties on the Cowboy secondary ... 10 minutes to play ...

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  65. Tom Nowatzke of La Porte, Indiana, powers to the Cowboy 31 ... Bob Lilly and Larry Cole drag him down from behind ...

    Flea-flicker setup ... Morrall to Sam Havrilak ... Kyle Rote says it appears Havrilak was preparing to throw back to Morrall; instead, he hits Eddie Hinton downfield ... Cornell Green and Mel Renfroe converge on the Colt receiver at the 15; Hinton fumbles, and the ball bounces into and out of the end zone!

    Touchback, Dallas at the 20 ... touchbacks have been a huge part of the Cowboy attack today ...

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  66. This whole sequence reminds Gowdy of the Super Bowl III flea-flicker where John Mackey pitched back to Morrall, who failed to see Jimmy Orr open in the end zone and instead threw for an interception over the middle, and ...

    As Gowdy is explaining all of this, Rick Volk intercepts Morton and returns to the Dallas 2 ... first-and-10, Colts ... this game is crazy ...

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  67. Two Nowatzke runs put Baltimore (finally) in the end zone, and Jim O'Brien's kick locks the score at 13!

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  68. Morton and the Cowboys play around with the ball for a few plays, and Ron Widby comes on to punt ... Cliff Harris downs the ball at the Colt 5 ...

    Third-and-5 coming at the 10 ... draw to Bulaich for no gain ... "David Lee will come on for the most important punt of his career," says Gowdy ... 2-minute warning ...

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  69. "It's a good snap, and he boots a beauty," Gowdy says ... the Cowboy returner fumbles out of bounds at the 50 ...

    Bubba Smith slams Duane Thomas for a loss of one ... holding on Ralph Neely (against Bubba Smith) ... 1:09 to play ... Dallas has second-and-35 ... AND NOW MIKE CURTIS INTERCEPTS MORTON OFF THE HANDS OF DAN REEVES! ...

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    1. Bubba Smith, by the way, seemed to flourish in NFL70 under soft-spoken Coach McCafferty. Smith has been quoted frequently during the season about the former Colt coach, Don Shula, and how he thought he was brilliant but yelled too much.

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  70. First down at the Dallas 29 ... Bulaich for three yards ... "three yards closer for Jim O'Brien," says Gowdy ... 30 seconds ... Bulaich to the 24 ... "down to 15 seconds remaining, O'Brien poised, ready to come on" ... timeout, Baltimore, with 9 seconds ... "this is a youngster, O'Brien, who was a receiver for the University of Cincinnati for Greg Cook ... he's been slightly erratic at times ..."

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    1. I wonder if the Cowboys had timeouts they could've called.

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  71. In four NFL seasons, Jim O'Brien attempted 108 field goals and made 60, 55.6 percent. This try at the end of Super Bowl V was one of the 60.

    "Bob Lilly is so unhappy, he threw his helmet all the way to the 30-yard line," says Gowdy.

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  72. Now Gowdy is recalling Dallas's history of playoff frustrations.

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  73. Dallas receives the kickoff and will have one more play from scrimmage. "Will they try to get the ball to the world's fastest human, Bob Hayes, with his gold-medal speed? Will they try to screen? Will they draw?"

    Morton is intercepted.

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  74. "I'll tell you," Gowdy says. "I've broadcast 25 years of football; I've never had such a season. I had four of the George Blanda games that were decided from 8 seconds down to 3 seconds, and then to be fortunate enough to have this 5-second field goal today. It was a game loaded with thrills, with unusual plays and the injury to Unitas early--just a tremendous championship game."

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  75. Marie Lombardi, widow of the coach, comes on to present the newly named "Vince Lombardi Trophy" to Carroll Rosenbloom.

    "Congratulations. So happy for you," Mrs. Lombardi can barely be heard saying. She's obviously crying, and now Carroll Rosenbloom sounds like he's crying.

    "You know, it's difficult, Kyle, to find words to express how we feel," he says. "There was only one Vince Lombardi; there will never be another. This makes it doubly special."

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  76. More Rosenbloom: "To the people back in Baltimore, I know you're as happy as we are. You've been great fans. Stick with us, and we'll try to make it back."

    And the Colts did make it back to the Super Bowl--in 2006 and from Indianapolis.

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  77. "Earl, may you have 15 more good years in professional football," Rote tells Earl Morrall. He's got one perfect year coming up pretty soon.

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  78. Now sideline-reporter Bill Enis is talking to the Colt wives.

    "I can't tell you how happy I am for Earl Morrall," says Mrs. McCafferty.

    "Your husband had a tremendous game," Enis tells Judy Nowatzke.

    Both Sylvia Mackey and an unnamed woman who identifies herself as "John Mackey's secretary" are on hand.

    Jane Morrall: "You know, I think it's fate. I just can't believe it. It's like the ending to a fairy tale. It's unreal. It's unreal."

    Sandy Logan: "Praise the Lord for that interception!"

    Enis: "As you can tell, a very, very happy group of women here."

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  79. Now Kyle Rote is in the Colts' locker room with Jim O'Brien.

    "It made me cry, and I usually don't cry very much--I'm usually pretty sullen. I can't really describe it. It's the greatest thing in the world that'll probably ever happen to me."

    There was no Mrs. O'Brien for Bill Enis to interview earlier. "Jim, as a single guy, you'll be able to spend your $15,000 in grand fashion," says Rote.

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  80. This season ended Dallas's two-year run of appearances in the NFL Playoff Bowl for third place in the league.

    “Everybody called it the Nothing Bowl and the Losers’ Bowl,” Bob Hayes told Cooper Rollow this week. “I guess it was. I used to enjoy that game because it was kind of like a vacation."

    I, too, miss the Playoff Bowl.

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