NBC’s Super Bowl history

Something to mull over while awaiting the opening kickoff today … from the NBC NFL archives, so if there are any mistakes, it’s on them (and me, for not correcting it)

Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa will mark the 16th broadcast by NBC, equaling CBS for the most Super Bowls broadcast by any network. Here’s a look at all the Super Bowls that NBC has covered over the years:

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Super Bowl I
Jan. 15, 1967
Green Bay (NFL) 35
Kansas City (AFL) 10

Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles
Curt Gowdy, Paul Christman, Charlie Jones

NBC and CBS both broadcast the first Super Bowl ever played as the NFL’s Packers defeated the AFL champion Chiefs behind the passing of Bart Starr, the receiving of Max McGee, and a key interception by all-pro safety Willie Wood. Green Bay broke open the game with three second-half touchdowns, the first of which was set up by Wood’s 50-yard return of an interception. McGee, filling in for ailing Boyd Dowler after having caught only four passes all season, caught seven from Starr for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Elijah Pitts ran for two other scores.

NBC producer Ted Nathanson arranged to have as big a TV set as could be found mounted in the mobile production truck. He trained a camera on the screen, occasionally zooming in and beaming that tighter shot over the air. The confused CBS crew apparently couldn’t figure out how NBC managed to get its “exclusives.”

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Super Bowl III
Jan. 12, 1969
NY Jets (AFL) 16
Baltimore (NFL) 7

Orange Bowl
Miami, FL
Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis, Kyle Rote

Jets quarterback Joe Namath “guaranteed” victory before the game, then went out and led the AFL to its first Super Bowl victory over a Baltimore team that had lost only once in 16 games all season. Namath, chosen the outstanding player, completed 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards and directed a steady attack that dominated the NFL champions after the Jets’ defense had intercepted Colts quarterback Earl Morrall three times in the first half. Johnny Unitas, who had missed most of the season with a sore elbow, came off the bench and led Baltimore to its only touchdown late in the fourth quarter after New York led 16-0.

Gowdy on Super Bowl III: “That game will always stand out as the most memorable event in my broadcast career.”

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Super Bowl V
Jan. 17, 1971
Baltimore (AFC) 16
Dallas (NFC) 13

Orange Bowl
Miami, FL
Curt Gowdy, Kyle Rote

A 32-yard field goal by rookie kicker Jim O’Brien brought the Baltimore Colts a victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the final five seconds of Super Bowl V. The game between the champions of the AFC and NFC was played on artificial turf for the first time. Dallas led 13-6 at the half but interceptions by Rick Volk and Mike Curtis set up a Baltimore touchdown and O’Brien’s decisive kick in the fourth period. Earl Morrall relieved an injured Johnny Unitas late in the first half, although Unitas completed the Colts’ only scoring pass. It caromed off receiver Eddie Hinton’s fingertips, off Dallas defensive back Mel Renfro, and finally settled into the grasp of John Mackey, who went 45 yards to score on a 75-yard play. Dallas’ Chuck Howley, who picked off two passes, became the first defensive player and the first player from a losing team to be named MVP.

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Super Bowl VII
Jan. 14, 1973
Miami (AFC) 14
Washington (NFC) 7

Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles
Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis

The Dolphins completed a perfect 17-0 season. Their defense permitted the Redskins to cross midfield only once and their offense turned good field position into two touchdowns. On its third possession, Miami opened its first scoring drive from the Dolphins’ 37 yard line. A Bob Griese to 28-yard touchdown pass to Howard Twilley gave Miami a lead it would never relinquish. Washington’s only touchdown came with 2:07 left in the game and resulted from a misplayed field-goal attempt and fumble by Garo Yepremian, with the Redskins’ Mike Bass picking the ball out of the air and running 49 yards for the score. Dolphins safety Jake Scott, who had two interceptions, including one in the end zone to kill a Redskins’ drive, was voted the game’s most valuable player.

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Super Bowl IX
Jan. 12, 1975
Pittsburgh (AFC) 16
Minnesota (NFC) 6

Tulane Stadium
New Orleans, LA
Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis

AFC champion Pittsburgh, in its initial Super Bowl appearance, and NFC champion Minnesota, making a third bid for its first Super Bowl title, struggled through a first half in which the only score was produced by the Steelers’ defense when Dwight White downed Vikings’ quarterback Fran Tarkenton in the end zone for a safety. The Steelers forced another break and took advantage on the second-half kickoff when Minnesota’s Bill Brown fumbled and Marv Kellum recovered for Pittsburgh on the Vikings’ 30. Franco Harris’ 9-yard touchdown run gave Pittsburgh a 9-0 lead. Pittsburgh’s defense permitted Minnesota only 119 yards total offense, including a Super Bowl low of 17 rushing yards. The Steelers, meanwhile, gained 333 yards, including Harris’s record 158 yards on 34 carries.

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Super Bowl XI
Jan. 9, 1977
Oakland (AFC) 32
Minnesota (NFC) 14

Rose Bowl
Pasadena
Curt Gowdy, Don Meredith

The Raiders won their first NFL championship before a record Super Bowl crowd, plus the largest television audience ever to watch a sporting event – 81 million. The Raiders gained a record-breaking 429 yards, including running back Clarence Davis’ 137 rushing yards. Wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff made four key receptions, which earned him the game’s most valuable player trophy. Oakland scored on three successive possessions in the second quarter to build a 16-0 halftime lead. Two fourth-quarter interceptions clinched the title for the Raiders. One set up Pete Banaszak’s second touchdown run, the other resulted in cornerback Willie Brown’s Super Bowl-record 75-yard interception return. John Madden, at age 40, became the youngest head coach ot win a Super Bowl ring.

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Super Bowl XIII
Jan. 21, 1979
Pittsburgh (AFC) 35
Dallas (NFC) 31

Orange Bowl
Miami, FL
Curt Gowdy, John Brodie, Merlin Olsen

Terry Bradshaw passed for a record four touchdowns to lead the Steelers to victory. The Steelers became the first team to win three Super Bowls. Bradshaw, voted the game’s most valuable player, completed 17 of 30 passes for 318 yards, a personal high. Four of those passes went for touchdowns – two to John Stallworth and the third, with 26 seconds remaining in the second period, to Rocky Bleier for a 21-14 halftime lead. In the second half, Bradshaw fired his fourth touchdown pass, an 18-yard pass to Lynn Swann to boost the Steelers’ lead to 35-17 with 6:51 to play. The Cowboys refused to let the Steelers run away with the contest. Staubach connected with Billy Joe DuPree on a 7-yard scoring pass with 2:23 left. Then the Cowboys recovered an onside kick and Staubach took them in for another score, passing four yards to Butch Johnson with 22 seconds remaining. Bleier recovered another onside kick to seal the victory for the Steelers.

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Super Bowl XV
Jan. 25, 1981
Oakland (AFC) 27
Philadelphia (NFC) 10

Louisiana Superdome
New Orleans, LA
Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen

Jim Plunkett passed for three touchdowns, including an 80-yard strike to Kenny King, as the Raiders became the first Wild Card team to win the Super Bowl. Plunkett’s touchdown bomb to King – the longest play in Super Bowl history – gave Oakland a decisive 14-0 lead with nine seconds left in the first period. Linebacker Rod Martin had set up Oakland’s first touchdown, a 2-yard reception by Cliff Branch, with a 17-yard interception return to the Eagles’ 30-yard line. The Eagles never recovered from that early deficit, managing only Tony Franklin’s field goal (30 yards) and an 8-yard touchdown pass from Ron Jaworski to Keith Krepfle. Plunkett, who became a starter in the sixth game of the season, completed 13 of 21 for 261 yards and was named the game’s most valuable player. Martin finished the game with 3 interceptions, a Super Bowl record.

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Super Bowl XVII
Jan. 30, 1983
Washington (NFC) 27
Miami (AFC) 10

Rose Bowl
Pasadena
Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen

Fullback John Riggins ran for a Super Bowl-record 166 yards on 38 carries to spark Washington to a 27-17 victory over AFC champion Miami. The win marked Washington’s first NFL title since 1942, and was only the second time in Super Bowl history NFL/NFC teams scored consecutive victories (Green Bay did it in Super Bowls I and II and San Francisco won Super Bowl XVI). The Redskins, under second-year head coach Joe Gibbs, used a balanced offense that accounted for 400 total yards (a Super Bowl-record 276 yards rushing and 124 passing), second in Super Bowl history to 429 yards by Oakland in Super Bowl XI. Riggins, who was voted the game’s most valuable player, gave Washington its first lead of the game with 10:01 left when he ran 43 yards off left tackle for a touchdown in a fourth-and-1 situation. Wide receiver Charlie Brown caught a 6-yard scoring pass from Joe Theismann with 1:55 left to complete the scoring.

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Super Bowl XX
Jan. 26, 1986
Chicago (NFC) 46
New England (AFC) 10

Louisiana Superdome
New Orleans, LA
Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen, Bob Griese

The NFC champion Chicago Bears, seeking their first NFL title since 1963, scored a Super Bowl-record 46 points in downing AFC champion New England. The previous record for most points in a Super Bowl was 38, shared by San Francisco in XIX and the Los Angeles Raiders in XVIII. The Bears’ league-leading defense tied the Super Bowl record for sacks (7) and limited the Patriots to a record-low seven rushing yards. New England took the quickest lead in Super Bowl history when Tony Franklin kicked a 36-yard field goal with 1:19 elapsed in the first period. However, the Bears rebounded for a 23-3 first-half lead, while building a yardage advantage of 236 total yards to New England’s minus 19. The Bears completed their scoring via a 28-yard interception return by reserve cornerback Reggie Phillips, a 1-yard run by defensive tackle/fullback William Perry, and a safety. Bears defensive end Richard Dent became the fourth defender to be named the game’s most valuable player after contributing 1 sacks. The Bears’ victory margin of 36 points was the largest in Super Bowl history. Chicago coach Mike Ditka became the second man (Tom Flores of Raiders was the other) to win a Super Bowl ring as a player and as a coach.

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Super Bowl XXIII
Jan. 22, 1989
San Francisco (NFC) 20
Cincinnati (AFC) 16

Joe Robbie Stadium
Miami, FL
Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen

NFC champion San Francisco captured its third Super Bowl of the 1980s and became the first NFC team to win three Super Bowls. Even though San Francisco held an advantage in total net yards (453 to 229), the 49ers found themselves trailing the Bengals late in the game. With the score 13-13, Cincinnati took a 16-13 lead on Jim Breech’s 40-yard field goal with 3:20 remaining. The 49ers started their winning drive at their 8-yard line. Over the next 11 plays, San Francisco covered 92 yards with the decisive score coming on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Joe Montana to wide receiver John Taylor with 34 seconds remaining. Jerry Rice was named the game’s most valuable player after compiling 11 catches for a Super Bowl-record 215 yards. Montana completed 23 of 36 passes for a Super Bowl-record 357 yards and two touchdowns. NBC’s Cris Collinsworth three receptions for 40 yards.

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Super Bowl XXVII
Jan. 21, 1993
Dallas (NFC) 52
Buffalo (AFC) 17

Rose Bowl
Pasadena
Dick Enberg, Bob Trumpy

Troy Aikman passed for four touchdowns, Emmitt Smith rushed for 108 yards, and the Cowboys converted nine turnovers into 35 points while coasting to the victory. Dallas’s win was its third in its record sixth Super Bowl appearance; the Bills became the first team to drop three in succession. Buffalo led 7-0 until the first two of its record number of turnovers helped the Cowboys take the lead for good late in the opening quarter.Aikman, the game’s most valuable player, completed 22 of 30 passes for 273 yards.
The victory was the ninth in succession for the NFC over the AFC.

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Super Bowl XXVIII
Jan. 30, 1994
Dallas (NFC) 30
Buffalo (AFC) 13

Georgia Dome
Atlanta, GA
Dick Enberg, Bob Trumpy

Emmitt Smith rushed for 132 yards and two second-half touchdowns to power the Cowboys to their second consecutive NFL title. By winning, Dallas joined San Francisco and Pittsburgh as the only franchises with four Super Bowl victories. The Bills, meanwhile, extended a dubious string by losing in the Super Bowl for the fourth consecutive year. To win, the Cowboys had to rally from a 13-6 halftime deficit. Buffalo had forged its lead on Thurman Thomas’s 4-yard touchdown run and a pair of field goals by Steve Christie, including a 54-yard kick, the longest in Super Bowl history. But just 55 seconds into the second half, Thomas was stripped of the ball by Dallas defensive tackle Leon Lett and safety James Washington recovered and weaved his way 46 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 13-13. Then Smith, the game’s MVP, took over. He had 30 carries in all, with 19 of his attempts and 92 yards coming after intermission. Dallas, the first team in NFL history to begin the regular season 0-2 and go on to win the Super Bowl, also became the fifth to win back-to-back titles, following Green Bay, Miami, Pittsburgh (the Steelers did it twice), and San Francisco. Buffalo became the third team, along with Minnesota and Denver, to lose four Super Bowls. The Cowboys’ victory was the 10th in succession for the NFC over the AFC.

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Super Bowl XXIX
Jan. 28, 1995
Dallas (NFC) 27
Pittsburgh (AFC) 17

Sun Devil Stadium
Tempe, AZ
Dick Enberg, Paul Maguire, Phil Simms

Cornerback Larry Brown’s two interceptions led to 14 second-half points and helped lift the Cowboys to their third Super Bowl victory in the last four seasons and their record-tying fifth title overall. Brown’s interceptions foiled the comeback efforts of the Steelers, and earned him the game’s MVP. Dallas scored on each of its first three possessions, taking a 13-0 lead. Pittsburgh ralled and trailed only 20-17 with 4:15 remaining. But on second down, Brown struck again, intercepting O’Donnell’s pass at the 39 and returning it 33 yards to the six leading to an Emmitt Smith game-clinching touchdown. Pittsburgh limited the Cowboys’ powerful running game to only 56 yards and enjoyed a whopping 201-61 advantage in total yards in the second half, but could not overcome the three interceptions.The Cowboys’ victory was the 12th in a row for NFC teams over AFC teams in the Super Bowl.

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Super Bowl XXXII
Jan. 25, 1998
Denver (AFC) 31
Green Bay (NFC) 24

Qualcomm Stadium
San Diego
Dick Enberg, Paul Maguire, Phil Simms

In the last NFL broadcast on NBC prior to its return to the NFL in 2006, Terrell Davis rushed for 157 yards and a Super Bowl-record three touchdowns to lead the Broncos to their first NFL championship and break the NFC’s streak of Super Bowl victories at 13. With 3:27 left and the score tied 24-24, Davis rushed for two yards, but Darrius Holland’s 15-yard facemask penalty moved the ball to the Packers’ 32. John Elway threw a 23-yard pass to Howard Griffith two plays later, and after a holding penalty, Davis rushed 17 yards to the Packers’ 1 with 1:47 left. After a timeout, Davis waltzed into the end zone to give Denver a 31-24 lead with 1:45 remaining. The Packers advanced to the Broncos’ 35 with 1:04 left but turned the ball over on downs. Elway was 12 of 22 for 123 yards, with an interception. Brett Favre was 25 of 42 for 256 yards and a touchdown, with one interception. Davis was named the game’s MVP.

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