More Trivialities About Super Bowl V
This post is part of the 50 Seasons in 50 Weeks Series.
The Cowboys most certainly looked like a cursed team when Dallas lost Super Bowl V. Five consecutive years in the playoffs, with five consecutive years of heartbreaking losses.
Cowboys fans can watch the thrill of the team’s five Super Bowl wins and relive the agony of two of the losses. However, as far as I know, the entire replay of the broadcast of Super Bowl V is not available anywhere. I know that the second quarter is available in bootleg copies, but the rest is apparently lost. The clip that appeared in yesterday’s post is the only other part of the game I’ve ever seen or heard about.
The lack of a game tape is rather surprising, given the number of best game cameras that were positioned in the Orange Bowl. According to an article posted a week before the Super Bowl, producer Lou Kusserow positioned 11 cameras for the game, which was far more than an ordinary game at the time. Cameras were isolated on running backs, receivers, quarterbacks, and certain defensive players.
Apparently, NBC did not bother to record any of these camera shots to tape, meaning that we are left with the NFL Films’ version of Jim O’Brien leaping like a goon towards the Colts’ sideline.
NBC touted the Super Bowl as the “most thoroughly covered football game” up to that time. There were a number of specials about the game, featuring interviews with Tom Landry, Baltimore coach Don McCafferty, and many of the key players. A local show hosted by former radio announcer Verne Lundquist was entitled “Eleven Years to Super Sunday.” It was a 30-minute show that featured a series of interviews.
TV repair shops in Dallas reported a huge surge in business during the week before the Super Bowl, but owners were not sure they would be able to repair all of the sets before the game. That meant, according to a Dallas Morning News, that owners would be forced to listen to the game on the radio, since no ordinary household had two television sets in 1971.
[I wasn’t alive just yet, but I know we didn’t have two television sets until about 1978. Not sure what the TV-per-household ratio in Dallas was then, though.]
As it turns out, the game set a record with a 39.9 Nielson rating, breaking the record set durign the fourth game of the 1963 World Series between the Yankees and Dodgers.
The Coverage After the Loss
A survey of headlines after Dallas lost Super Bowl V tell a big part of the story:
Blooper Bowl a Lesson in Futility
Landry: “We Beat Ourselves”
No Cowboy Moon Over Miami
Howley Answered Critics
Regarding Howley, he remains the only player in Super Bowl history to win an MVP as the member of the losing team. He received a car given by Sport Magazine. Howley earned the award by intercepting two passes and helping to force a fumble.
The Referees’ Biggest Blown Call
Dallas led Baltimore 13-6 at the half. Dallas kicked off to Baltimore to open the second half, but Baltimore’s Jim Duncan fumbled the ball. Richmond Flowers recovered for Dallas, setting up a drive. The Cowboys moved into position to score, but on a first-and-goal play from the 1, Duane Thomas fumbled.
The replays clearly show that Dallas center Dave Manders picked up the ball, but Balitmore’s Billy Ray Smith was screaming to referees that the Colts had recovered. The referees gave Baltimore the ball on a call that had a huge impact on the game.
Balitmore defensive tackle Bubba Smith (later of Police Academy fame) told a reporter in Beaumont several weeks later that the referees had blown the call. No kidding.
Smith retired after the game and moved to Plano. He would not admit that the referees had blown the call, but he acknowledged that he may have helped make up the referees minds. He summed up Super Bowl V with:
You can cut it 500 different ways, but when you look at it 10 years from now it will still say Baltimore 16, Dallas 13.
And the same is still true 38 years after the game. Dammit.