As Miami Gets Ready To Host Super Bowl LIV, We Peer Into The Murky Past And Remember Super Bowl XIII

Looking back at Super Bowl XIII The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs will get a working vacation in South Florida beginning next week. They will be in...

(Photo Source: miamiandbeaches.com)

Looking back at Super Bowl XIII

The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs will get a working vacation in South Florida beginning next week. They will be in town for Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, and they will spend the days before Feb. 2 trying to have some fun without getting into trouble.

Super Bowl week in Miami sends me back in time to Super Bowl XIII, the first I would ever cover (30 more followed) as a reporter.

The differences between then and now can barely be counted.

Asking price for a ticket to SB LIV right now? Somewhere north of $5,800. Face price of admission 41 years ago? $30. Price on game day from a scalper? $40 (a friend of mine bought one and sat two rows in front of me – more about that in a minute).

The venue now is the stadium built privately by former Miami Dolphins owner Joe Robbie. It cost $115 million. Current owner Stephen Ross put $400 million into renovations to make the place suitable for the NFL’s demanding taste in Super Bowl host sites.

The Orange Bowl was the stadium for Super Bowl XIII between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys. Yours truly had a seat in the auxiliary press section (nosebleed part of the stadium, nowhere near the press box). Fan seating, which included my friend, was just in front of us. We just hoped it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t.

The players in the game were legends or legends in the making. Roger Staubach. Terry Bradshaw. Lynn Swann. Franco Harris. John Stallworth. Tony Dorsett. Randy White. Joe Greene. A pair of Jacks (Ham and Lambert). Ed “Too Tall” Jones.

And, yes, Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson. I stood near his interview station during the week as the Cowboys linebacker said Bradshaw was too dumb to spell Cat if you spotted him the C and the A.
No, social media did not exist. Nor did cell phones. Yes, this was a big story.

Yes, we used typewriters and carbon paper to create stories for our newspapers. Remember typewriters? Remember carbon paper? Remember newspapers?

The Steelers won 35-31 despite two late touchdown passes by Staubach. It could have been three. Jackie Smith dropped the last one and showed nothing but class in the locker room afterward, explaining what happened to every and any reporter who stopped by to ask or to console him.

Bradshaw’s revenge? Four touchdown passes and the MVP trophy.

Good times (well, not for Smith or Henderson).

I’ll share more memories of the Super Bowl as we edge closer to Feb. 2.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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