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1980 ‐ Super Bowl XIV ‐ Pittsburgh Steelers vs Los Angeles Rams

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Pittsburgh Steelers 31
Los Angeles Rams 19

January 20, 1980

Super Bowl XIV was at the Rose Bowl before a record crowd of 103,985. The AFC champion Steelers (15-4) faced the NFC champion Rams (11-8), the first championship with two pre-expansion era teams. It was also the first time a team with nine wins or less reached the Super Bowl. The game was viewed in a record 35,330,000 homes.

Pittsburgh’s fans were noted for their “Terrible Towel” tradition of bringing yellow and black towels and waving them above their heads. The Rose Bowl was colored with towels.

The Steelers went up early 3-0. Los Angeles drove for a touchdown to lead 7-3. Pittsburgh then went on a nine play drive. Franco Harris capped it with a one-yard rush to put Pittsburgh ahead 10-7. The Rams kicked two more field goals to lead 13-10 at halftime.

Early in the second half, Pittsburgh scored on a 47-yard pass to Lynn Swann to lead 17-13. The Rams then marched down the field in four plays. Running back Lawrence McCutcheon threw a 24-yard half back option to receiver Ron Smith in the end zone. The Rams went ahead, but missed the extra point attempt, leaving the score 19-17.

Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Terry Bradshaw hit John Stallworth for a 73-yard bomb. Pittsburgh went back ahead 24-19.

The Rams took possession on their 16-yard line. They advanced to the Steelers 32, but an interception ended their drive with five minutes remaining.

Bradshaw connected with Stallworth on a 45-yard pass. A questionable pass interference call gave the Steelers the ball on the Rams 1, and the Steelers sealed the victory with a touchdown.

The Steelers became the first team to win four Super Bowls. Bradshaw was Super Bowl XIV’s MVP with 14 of 21 passes completed for 309 yards and two touchdowns. Stallworth contributed with 3 catches for 121 yards. Larry Anderson gave the Steelers excellent field position with five kickoff returns for a record 162 yards.

Around the World on January 20:

The following notables were born:

  • Philippe Cousteau, Jr., French oceanographer; grandson of Jacques Cousteau
  • Brigitte Olivier, Belgian judoka

Around the NFL in 1980:

  • January 27 – The AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, won 37-27 by the NFC, was at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, the first time the game was played in a non-NFL city.
  • March 10 – The Raiders joined the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission’s antitrust suit against the NFL for blocking the Raiders’ move from Oakland to Los Angeles.
  • September 7 – The 1980 season opened with new rules forbidding strikes to the head, neck, and face. CBS Radio began a four-year contract for radio broadcasting NFL games that it won with a record $12 million bid. The Rams began playing in Anaheim Stadium.
  • December – NFL regular-season attendance of 13.4 million set a record for the third straight year. 1980 TV ratings were the second-best in NFL history, behind only the 1976 season ratings.
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