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1971 - Super Bowl V - Baltimore Colts vs Dallas Cowboys

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Baltimore Colts 16
Dallas Cowboys 13

January 17, 1971

Super Bowl V was at Miami's Orange Bowl. The AFC champion Colts (11-2-1) faced the NFC champion Cowboys (10-4) in the first championship played on artificial turf. NBC's broadcast was watched in an estimated 23,980,000 homes, the largest audience then for a one-day sports event.

The championship was the first after the AFL-NFL Merger. The NFL's Colts, Browns, and Steelers joined the 10 AFL teams to form the AFC. The remaining 13 NFL teams formed the NFC. This realignment had the Colts representing the AFC in V, even though they represented the NFL in III.

Don McCafferty ("Easy Rider") replaced Don Shula as the coach of the Colts, who were still humiliated over their Super Bowl III defeat. Tom Landry led the Cowboys to their first Super Bowl.

The game was comical with errors. Late in the first half, Earl Morrall relieved the injured Johnny Unitas, who threw the Colts' only touchdown pass. It bounced off the fingertips of Colts receiver Eddie Hinton, off Cowboys defensive back Mel Renfro, and settled into the grip of Colts tight end John Mackey, who ran 45 yards to score on a 75-yard play. Dallas stumbled to a 13-6 halftime lead.

In the fourth quarter, two interceptions by safeties Rick Volk and Mike Curtis set up a Baltimore touchdown and a game winning 32-yard field goal in the final seconds by rookie kicker Jim O'Brien.

Super Bowl V is sometimes called the "Blunder Bowl" or the "Stupor Bowl". A record 11 turnovers were committed. The Colts' 7 turnovers are the highest by a champion. Dallas set a record with 10 penalties.

McCafferty became the first rookie coach to win the Super Bowl. Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley, became the first defensive player and the first player from a losing team to be named MVP. Howley refused the award.

Around the World on January 17:

The following notables were born:

  • Kid Rock, American singer  
  • Richard Burns, English rally driver (d. 2005)
  • Youki Kudoh, Japanese actress
  • Sylvie Testud, French actress
  • Paolo Vaccari, Italian rugby player
  • Ann Wolfe, female boxer

Around the NFL in 1971:

  • January 24 - The NFC beat the AFC 27-6 in the first Pro Bowl at Los Angeles.
  • March 25 - The Boston Patriots changed their name to the New England Patriots.
  • April 15 - Daniel F. Reeves, the president and general manager of the Los Angeles Rams, died at 58.
  • August 15 - The Patriots opened Schaefer Stadium.
  • September 19 - The San Francisco played their first game in Candlestick Park.
  • September 26 - The Philadelphia Eagles played their first game in Veterans Stadium.
  • October 24 - The Dallas Cowboys moved from the Cotton Bowl into the new Texas Stadium.
  • December 25 - Miami defeated Kansas City 27-24 in sudden-death overtime in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game. The game lasted 82 minutes, 40 seconds, the longest in history.

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