Rocky Bleier

Robert Patrick "Rocky" Bleier (ˈblaɪər, BLAI-yer, born March 5, 1946) is an American former professional American football player. He was a National Football League (NFL) halfback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1968 and from 1971 to 1980.[1]

Rocky Bleier
refer to caption
Bleier (left) in 2009, showing his Super Bowl rings, which are being worn by U.S. Army Captain Larsen
No. 20, 26
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:March 5, 1946 (age 73)
Appleton, Wisconsin
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:Appleton (WI) Xavier
College:Notre Dame
NFL Draft:1968 / Round: 16 / Pick: 417
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing Yards:3,865
Total Touchdowns:23
Rushing Attempts:980
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR
Rocky Bleier
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army seal United States Army
Years of service1968–1969
RankSpecialist 4 Specialist 4
Unit196th Light Infantry Brigade patch Company C, 4th Battalion (Light), 31st Infantry Regiment, 196th Light Infantry Brigade 23rd Infantry Division
Battles/warsVietnam War
AwardsBronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Combat Infantryman Badge
Other workauthor, actor, motivational speaker

Origin of nickname

Nicknamed "Rocky" as a baby, Bleier said, "As the first born of the family, my dad was proud, as all parents are. And the guys would come into the bar and say 'Bob, how's that new kid of yours?' And my dad would go, 'Aw, you should see him, guys, looks like a little rock sitting in that crib. He's got all these muscles.' So they'd come back in the bar and they'd say, 'Hey Bob, how's that little rock of yours?' So after that, that's how I got it. It stuck."[2]

Early years

Born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, Bleier was the oldest of four children of Bob and Ellen Bleier,[3] who ran a tavern - Bleier's Bar - while the family of six lived above it.[4] He had a paper route as a youth,[5] and graduated from Xavier High School in 1964, where he starred in football and basketball. In football, Bleier was a three-time all-state selection as running back,[6] and won all-conference honors at both linebacker and defensive back. He was a team captain in football, basketball, and track.[7]

Bleier played college football at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and graduated in 1968 with a degree in business management. During his junior season in 1966, the Fighting Irish won the national championship and he was a team captain as a senior in 1967.[7] He was selected in the 16th round of the 1968 NFL/AFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, 417th overall.

Military service


After his rookie season with the Steelers, Bleier was drafted into the U.S. Army on December 4, 1968, during the Vietnam War.[8] He volunteered for duty in South Vietnam and shipped out for Vietnam in May 1969 assigned to Company C, 4th Battalion (Light), 31st Infantry 196th Light Infantry Brigade and assigned as a squad grenadier operating a 40mm M79 grenade launcher. On August 20, while on patrol in Hiep Duc, Bleier was wounded in the left thigh by an enemy rifle bullet when his platoon was ambushed in a rice paddy. While he was down, an enemy grenade landed nearby after bouncing off a fellow soldier, sending shrapnel into his lower right leg.[9] He lost part of his right foot in the blast as well.[10][11] He was later awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. His rank was Specialist 4.

While he was recovering in a hospital in Tokyo, doctors told him that he could not play football again. Soon after, he received a postcard from Steelers owner Art Rooney which read "Rock - the team's not doing well. We need you. Art Rooney". Bleier later said, "When you have somebody take the time and interest to send you a postcard, something that they didn't have to do, you have a special place for those kinds of people". After several surgeries, he was discharged from the military on August 20, 1969, and began informal workouts with Steeler teammates.[12][13][14]

NFL career

Bleier rejoined the Steelers in camp in 1970. Upon his return, he couldn't walk without being in pain, and weighed only 180 pounds (82 kg). He was put on injured reserve for the season, but returned in 1971 and played on special teams.[14] He spent several seasons trying to get increased playing time, and was waived on two occasions. But Bleier never gave up, and said that he worked hard so that "some time in the future you didn't have to ask yourself 'what if?'". An offseason training regimen brought Bleier back to 212 lb (96 kg) in the summer of 1974, and he earned a spot in the Steelers' starting lineup.

Since Preston Pearson was wearing number 26 (the number Bleier wore his rookie season before he went to Vietnam), Bleier switched to number 20 when he returned to the team. After Pearson was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in 1975, Bleier kept the number 20, with which he had become associated.

Rocky Bleier Pentagon
Bleier's military service is commemorated in the Pentagon's Wounded Warrior corridor

In addition to being a great lead blocker, Bleier was the second of the Steelers' rushing weapons (Franco Harris was the primary back), but was effective nonetheless at both blocking and rushing. In 1976, both Harris and Bleier rushed for over 1,000 yards, making this the second NFL team to accomplish this feat, after Mercury Morris and Larry Csonka of the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Bleier played in the first four Steeler Super Bowl victories, and caught the touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw that gave Pittsburgh a lead it would never surrender in Super Bowl XIII. He also recovered Dallas's onside kick in the closing seconds, sealing the Steelers' victory.

Bleier retired after the 1980 season with 3,865 rushing yards, 136 receptions for 1,294 yards, and 25 touchdowns. At the time of his retirement, he was the Steelers' fourth all-time leading rusher.

Off the field

Bleier signs an autograph at the North Dakota National Guard's 2009 Safety Conference in Bismarck.

Bleier wrote a book of his struggle to recover from his war wounds called Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story, and it was made into a television movie in 1980, with Robert Urich starring as Bleier, Richard Herd as Steelers coach Chuck Noll, Art Carney as team owner Art Rooney, and many of Bleier's teammates (including Matt Bahr and "Mean Joe" Greene) as themselves.[15] Bleier is featured in the 2014 feature documentary "Project 22", which chronicles the cross-country motorcycle journey of two young veterans exploring alternative treatments for PTSD and TBI.[16]

Bleier has four children. He has two children from his marriage with Aleta Giacobine Whitaker, from whom he was divorced in October 1996.[17][18][19] He also has two adopted children with his second wife, Jan Gyurina.[1] As of 2011, he lived in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.[8]

Bleier has become an author and speaker on retirement and financial management. He has authored the book Don't fumble your retirement[20] and is the co-host of a weekly radio show The Rock on Retirement on Pittsburgh radio station 104.7 FM WPGB.[21] He runs Bleier Zagula Financial with his business partner Matt Zagula.[22]


The football stadium at Xavier High School was renamed Rocky Bleier Field on the Knights of Columbus Sports Complex[23] on October 12, 2007.[2] Bleier tossed the coin to start the high school football game that day. He had spoken earlier in the day to students at an assembly. The entire student body wore T-shirts with his number 23, the only number retired in the school's history. On the following day, the third day of a three-day event, mayor Tim Hanna unveiled a street named in his honor. The former Oneida Court was renamed Rocky Bleier Run.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Biography for Rocky Bleier". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c Mike, Woods (October 13, 2007). "Xavier teaches importance of history with Rocky Bleier". The Post Crescent.
  3. ^ "Bleier to hang 'em up? His mom hopes yea". Gadsden Times. Alabama. Associated Press. January 16, 1980. p. 18.
  4. ^ Telander, Rick (August 11, 1986). "Local boy makes good". Sports Illustrated. p. 62.
  5. ^ O'Brien, Jim (December 19, 1980). "Bleier delivers in any weather". Pittsburgh Press. p. B-14.
  6. ^ "Bleier, Appleton Xavier star, top back for second year". Milwaukee Journal. December 3, 1963. p. 19, part 2.
  7. ^ a b "Captaincy is a habit with Irish star". Milwaukee Journal. September 8, 1967. p. 20.
  8. ^ a b Hansen, Eric (2005). Notre Dame: Where Have You Gone?. Champaign, IL: Sports Publishing LLC. p. 7. ISBN 1-58261-151-3. Retrieved April 7, 2010.
  9. ^ "Bleier wounded in Vietnam". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. August 29, 1969. p. 16.
  10. ^ Bleier, Rocky; O'Neil, Terry (June 9, 1975). "June 9, 1975". Sports Illustrated. p. 76.
  11. ^ Interview with Rocky Bleier on Fox Sports April 30, 1975 --
  12. ^ Donovan, Dan (July 26, 1970). "Bleier runs long road". Pittsburgh Press. p. 7, section 4.
  13. ^ "Bleier not asking for any favors". Lewiston Daily Sun. Maine. Associated Press. August 3, 1970. p. 12.
  14. ^ a b Bechtel, Sam (July 25, 1973). "They got a piece of the Rock...but not enough". Beaver County Times. Pennsylvania. p. D-1.
  15. ^ "Fighting Back (1980) (TV)". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Walsh, Lawrence (January 3, 1997). "Divorce leads Bleier to sell 4 Super Bowl rings in bankruptcy". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. A-1.
  18. ^ Pitz, Marylynne (January 8, 1997). "Bleier lists debt figures to explain bankruptcy". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. C-1.
  19. ^ Robinson, Alan (January 24, 1997). "Bleier: From bars to Super Bowls to bankruptcy". Daily Gazette. Schenectady, New York. Associated Press. p. 18, Super Bowl XXXI.
  20. ^ Bleier, Rocky (2011). Don't Fumble Your Retirement. Charleston, SC: Advantage. ISBN 978-1-59932-290-2.
  21. ^ {}
  22. ^ "Rocky Bleier and Son, Adri Bleier, Form Bleier Zagula Financial to Help Safeguard Pittsburgh Area Retirees". Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  23. ^

External links

1974 Oakland Raiders season

The 1974 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 15th season in Oakland and fifth in the National Football League. The team would post a superb 12–2 record; the campaign's two losses would be by a total of four points. The Raiders' record (the team's best since 1969) would ensure their fourth AFC West title in five years.

For the second straight campaign, the Raiders exacted revenge upon the team that had eliminated them in the prior year's playoffs. This time, Oakland toppled the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Miami Dolphins, by a score of 28–26, in the playoffs' Divisional round. Quarterback Kenny Stabler threw a last-minute winning touchdown pass to running back Clarence Davis in what has come to be known as the "Sea of Hands" game.

For the second straight season, however, the Raiders lost in the AFC Championship Game. They were upset, 24–13, by the eventual champion Pittsburgh Steelers. While the Raiders led 10–3 at the end of the third quarter, a defensive meltdown would allow the Steelers to score 21 points in the final frame.

The 2006 edition of Pro Football Prospectus listed the 1974 Raiders as one of their "Heartbreak Seasons", in which teams "dominated the entire regular season only to falter in the playoffs, unable to close the deal." Pro Football Prospectus states, The John Madden Raiders were a consistently good regular season team, but the playoffs were a different story. The 1972 season came to an end with the painful Immaculate Reception game. The 1973 Raiders ended Miami's 18-game winning streak during the regular season but lost to the Dolphins in the AFC Championship game. In 1974, the Raiders seemed to finally have all the pieces."

Despite the disappointment at the end of the 1974 season, Pro Football Prospectus continues, "[t]he Raiders persevered, keeping the team's core together the next several seasons. In 1975, they again fell to the Steelers in the AFC title game, but caught a break in the 1976 AFC Championship, when they cruised to a 24–7 victory over Pittsburgh, who were without running backs Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier. Finally, in the Super Bowl, they did not waste their opportunity, crushing the Vikings 32–14 behind Ken Stabler and Clarence Davis."

"The Autumn Wind", a poem written by former NFL Films President and co-founder Steve Sabol, became the unofficial team anthem of the Raiders, and was first used for the team's official team yearbook film in 1974. It was narrated by John Facenda, and dubbed "The Battle Hymn of the Raider Nation".

1976 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the team's 44th in the National Football League. The Steelers started the season looking to become the first team in the Super Bowl era to win three-straight league championships (and first since the 1929–1931 and 1965–1967 Green Bay Packers). However, many thought that would be in doubt after the team started 1–4 and saw quarterback Terry Bradshaw injured in the week 5 loss to the Cleveland Browns after a vicious sack by Joe "Turkey" Jones that has since become immortalized in NFL Films as part of the Browns-Steelers rivalry.

1978 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 46th season in the National Football League (NFL). The season concluded with the team winning Super Bowl XIII to become the first franchise in the NFL to win three Super Bowl titles. The championship run was led by quarterback Terry Bradshaw and the team's vaunted Steel Curtain defense. Bradshaw put together the best year of his career to that point, becoming only the second Steeler to win the NFL MVP award. Ten Steelers players were named to the Pro Bowl team, and four were judged as first-team All-Pros by the AP. Head coach Chuck Noll returned for his tenth season—moving him ahead of Walt Kiesling as the longest tenured head coach in the team's history to that point.The Steelers entered the season as defending champions of the AFC Central Division, coming off a 9–5 record in 1977. Despite winning their division, the previous season was a difficult one for the team (both on and off the field) which culminated in a division round playoff loss to the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve.

The team began the 1978 season with seven straight victories, before losing to the Houston Oilers in prime time on Monday Night Football. They finished the season with a league-best 14–2 record, including a 5-game winning streak to close the season. This record assured them they would play at home throughout the 1978 playoffs. It was also the best record compiled in the team's history (since surpassed only by a 15–1 mark in 2004).The 1978 Steelers team was rated the thirty-fifth best team in the history of the NFL (to September 2015) by FiveThirtyEight, a polling aggregation and statistical service. The rating is based upon FiveThirtyEight's proprietary Elo rating system algorithm. Only two Steelers teams were rated higher: the 1975 team at twelfth and the 2005 team one slot ahead of the 1978 team at thirty-fourth.

1979 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 47th season in the National Football League. The Steelers successfully defend their Super Bowl Championship from the previous year as they achieved a 12–4 record and went on to defeat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV. The Steelers started out to a 4-0 record. Adding to the previous season, the Steelers had won 12 in a row. They finished the regular season at 12-4. In six of those games the opponents were held to a touchdown or less. In the playoffs Pittsburgh defeated Miami, 34-14 and then for the second consecutive season beat Houston 27-13, in the AFC championship game. Finally defeating the Los Angeles Rams 31-19 in Super Bowl XIV.

With the win, and the Pittsburgh Pirates win in the 1979 World Series, Pittsburgh would be the last city to claim Super Bowl and World Series wins in the same year until 1986 when the New York Mets won the World Series in 7 games over the Boston Red Sox, and the New York Giants won Super Bowl XXI 39–20 over the Denver Broncos.


Bleier may refer to:

Richard Bleier, major league baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees

Rocky Bleier, former National Football League halfback

Kimberly Anne Bleier, the 1983 Miss United States International

"Bleie" is the Norwegian word for diaper, and becomes "bleier" in pluralSee also: Bleiler

Fighting Back

Fighting Back may refer to:

Fighting Back (Cloven Hoof album), 1986

Fighting Back (Battlezone album), 1986

Fighting Back (1948 film), directed by Malcolm St. Clair

Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story, a 1980 made-for-television movie

Fighting Back (1982 American film)

Fighting Back (1982 Australian film)

George S. Halas Courage Award

The Pro Football Writers Association George S. Halas Courage Award is given to a NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity to succeed.

The award is named for Halas, a charter member (1963) of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who was associated with the Chicago Bears and NFL from their inception in 1920 until his death in 1983 as an owner, manager, player and promoter.

Halas represented the Bears, then known as the Decatur Staleys, at the Sept. 17, 1920 organizational meeting of the American Football Association in Canton, Ohio. One year later, the AFA became known as the National Football League.

Halas’ teams won six NFL titles in his 40 seasons as the Bears’ coach. His 318 regular-season wins and 324 total victories were long-standing NFL records until broken by Don Shula in 1993.In May 1970, the Halas Award went to Gale Sayers for his comeback from knee surgery to lead the NFL in rushing in 1969. In New York, at the Pro Football Writers Association banquet, Gale Sayers gave an emotional speech that was memorialized in the film Brian's Song. Said Sayers, "You flatter me by giving me this award, but I’ll tell you here and now that I accept it for Brian Piccolo. Brian Piccolo is the man of courage who should receive the George S. Halas Award. I accept it tonight, but I’ll present it to Brian tomorrow. I love Brian Piccolo. And I’d like all of you to love him, too. And tonight, when you hit your knees, ask God to love him, too."Other notable winners of the PFWA Halas Award include Joe Namath, Steeler running back Rocky Bleier, Hall of Fame cornerback Jimmy Johnson, New York Giant cancer survivor Karl Nelson, Hall of Famers Dan Hampton and Joe Montana, Denver Broncos guard Mark Schlereth, former N.Y. Giant Kerry Collins, San Francisco 49ers Garrison Hearst and Bryant Young, Carolina coach and former linebacker Sam Mills, Dolphins running back Robert Edwards, Carolina linebacker Mark Fields, Indianapolis Colt Head Coach Tony Dungy, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft (first NFL owner and first Patriot to receive one), and former Saints safety and ALS patients' advocate, Steve Gleason.

Gerry Mullins

Gerry Mullins (born August 14, 1949) is a retired American football player.

Jon Kolb

Jon Kolb (born August 30, 1947) is a former American football player with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he played as offensive lineman for 13 seasons. He was also an occasional strongman competitor in some of the early World's Strongest Man contests.

List of NFL 1,000-yard rushing duos

In American football, running (also referred to as rushing) is, along with passing, one of the two main methods of advancing the ball down the field. A running play generally occurs when the quarterback hands or tosses the ball backwards to the running back, but other players, such as the quarterback, can run with the ball. In the National Football League (NFL), there have been six pairs of teammates that have each recorded 1,000 rushing yards in the same season. Five of these duos consisted of running backs, and a sixth consisted of a running back and a quarterback.

The first 1,000-yard duo consisted of fullback Larry Csonka and halfback Mercury Morris. Csonka and Morris accomplished the feat as members of the Miami Dolphins during their 1972 season, when the team finished undefeated and won the Super Bowl. Morris finished with an even 1,000 yards; he had initially been credited with only 991 yards after the end of the regular season, due to a statistician's error that incorrectly removed nine yards from his total. The second 1,000-yard tandem occurred four years later in 1976, when fullback Franco Harris and halfback Rocky Bleier both surpassed 1,000 yards playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fullback Kevin Mack and halfback Earnest Byner became the third 1,000-yard duo, accomplishing the feat during the 1985 Cleveland Browns season.In 2006, halfback Warrick Dunn and quarterback Michael Vick became the fourth duo with 1,000 rushing yards in the same season, and the first NFC team with such a duo. Vick also became the first quarterback to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season, while Dunn's 1,140 yards are the most by any player in a 1,000-yard duo. Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward of the New York Giants were the fifth duo to accomplish the feat, doing so in 2008. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart of the Carolina Panthers are the most recent players to have accomplished the feat, having done so in 2009. In addition to being the sixth 1,000-yard backfield tandem, the two are also the only 1,100-yard rushing duo.The 1978 Chicago Bears came the closest to having a 1000 yard duo without succeeding, when Walter Payton finished with 1,305 yards but Roland Harper fell 8 yards short of 1,000 with 992. That would have made them the first NFC team with a 1,000 yard rushing duo. The 1973 Cincinnati Bengals came almost as close without having even one 1,000 yard rusher, with Essex Johnson finishing with 997 yards and Boobie Clark finishing with 988 yards.

Rick Moser

Richard Avery Moser (born December 18, 1956) is an American actor and a former football running back who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL. He attended Scarsdale High School and the University of Rhode Island.

Rocky (nickname)

Rocky is the nickname of the following people:

Rocky Agusta (born 1950), Italian race car driver

Rocky Anderson (born 1951), former mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah

Rocky Belk (1960–2010), American football player

Rocky Bleier (born 1946), former American football player

Rocky Bridges (born 1927), former Major League Baseball player and minor league manager

Rocky Colavito (born 1933), former Major League Baseball player

Roy L. Dennis (1961–1978), American boy afflicted with an extremely rare bone disorder whose life was portrayed in the film Mask

Ford Garrison (1915–2001), Major League Baseball player and coach

Rocky Gray (born 1974), drummer of the band Evanescence

Bob Johnson (infielder) (born 1936), former Major League Baseball player

Rocky Juarez (born 1980), Mexican-American boxer

Rocky Lockridge (born 1959), former professional boxer

Rocky Marciano (1923-1969), American heavyweight boxing champion

Rocky Nelson (1924–2006), Major League Baseball player

Bobby Rhawn (1919–1984), Major League Baseball player

David Rocastle (1967–2001), English footballer

Nelson Rockefeller (1908–1979), American businessman, philanthropist, public servant and politician, former Vice President of the United States and Governor of New York

Mike Rockenfeller (born 1983), German race car driver

Saimoni Rokini (born 1972), Fijian rugby union footballer

Rocky Sekorski (born 1957), American heavyweight boxer

John Stone (baseball) (1905–1955), Major League Baseball player

Tom Stone (wrestler), a professional wrestling jobber

Rocky Thompson (golfer) (born 1939), American golfer

Derek Turner (born 1932), English former rugby player

Humbert Roque Versace (1937–1965), US Army officer awarded the Medal of Honor

Frank C. Whitmore (1887–1947), American chemist

Rocky Wirtz (born 1952), principal owner and chairman of the National Hockey League's Chicago Blackhawks

Super Bowl IX

Super Bowl IX was an American football game played between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Minnesota Vikings to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1974 season. The game was played on January 12, 1975, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Steelers defeated the Vikings by the score of 16–6 to win their first Super Bowl championship.This game matched two of the NFL's best defenses and two future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Led by quarterback Terry Bradshaw and the Steel Curtain defense, the Steelers advanced to their first Super Bowl after posting a 10–3–1 regular season record and playoff victories over the Buffalo Bills and the Oakland Raiders. The Vikings were led by quarterback Fran Tarkenton and the Purple People Eaters defense; they advanced to their second consecutive Super Bowl and third overall after finishing the regular season with a 10–4 record and defeating the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs.

The first half of Super Bowl IX was a defensive struggle, with the lone score being the first safety in Super Bowl history when Tarkenton was downed in his own end zone. The Steelers then recovered a fumble on the second half kickoff, and scored on fullback Franco Harris's 9-yard run. The Vikings cut the score, 9–6, early in the fourth quarter by recovering a blocked punt in Pittsburgh's end zone for a touchdown, but the Steelers then drove 66 yards on their ensuing possession to score on Larry Brown's 4-yard touchdown reception to put the game out of reach.

In total, the Steelers limited the Vikings to Super Bowl record lows of nine first downs, 119 total offensive yards, 17 rushing yards, and no offensive scores (Minnesota's only score came on a blocked punt, and they did not even score on the extra point attempt). The Steelers accomplished this despite losing starting linebackers Andy Russell and Jack Lambert, who were injured and replaced by Ed Bradley and Loren Toews for most of the second half. On the other hand, Pittsburgh had 333 yards of total offense. Harris, who ran for a Super Bowl record 158 yards (more than the entire Minnesota offense) and a touchdown, was named the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player.

Super Bowl XIII

Super Bowl XIII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1978 season. The Steelers defeated the Cowboys by the score of 35–31. The game was played on January 21, 1979, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, the fifth and last time that the Super Bowl was played in that stadium.

This was the first Super Bowl that featured a rematch of a previous one (the Steelers had previously beaten the Cowboys, 21–17, in Super Bowl X), and both teams were attempting to be the first club to ever win a third Super Bowl. Dallas was also the defending Super Bowl XII champion, and finished the 1978 regular season with a 12–4 record, and posted playoff victories over the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams. Pittsburgh entered the game after posting a 14–2 regular season record and playoff wins over the Denver Broncos and the Houston Oilers.

Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who was named Super Bowl MVP, completed 17 out of 30 passes for Super Bowl records of 318 passing yards and 4 touchdown passes. Bradshaw eclipsed Bart Starr's Super Bowl record for passing yards in the first half with 253 yards in the air as the Steelers led 21–14 at intermission. His 75-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter also tied Johnny Unitas in Super Bowl V for the longest pass in a Super Bowl. The Cowboys were able to stay close, only trailing 21–17 at the end of the third quarter, but Pittsburgh scored two touchdowns in a span of 19 seconds in the fourth period. Dallas also could not overcome turnovers, drops, and a controversial penalty during the second half. The Cowboys were eventually able to score two touchdowns in the final minutes of the game, but still ended up being the first defending champion to lose in the Super Bowl and the first losing Super Bowl team to score 30 points or more.

Super Bowl XIV

Super Bowl XIV was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Los Angeles Rams and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1979 season. The Steelers defeated the Rams by the score of 31–19, becoming the first team to win four Super Bowls. The game was played on January 20, 1980, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and was attended by a Super Bowl record 103,985 spectators. This also became the first Super Bowl where the game was coincidentally played in the home market of one of the participants, as Pasadena is about 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Downtown Los Angeles. It was the last time the Rams made the Super Bowl while based in Los Angeles until LIII in 2018.

The Rams became the first team to reach the Super Bowl after posting nine wins or fewer during the regular season since the NFL season expanded to 16 games in 1978. Their 9–7 regular season record was followed by postseason wins over the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Steelers were the defending Super Bowl XIII champions, and finished the 1979 regular season with a 12–4 record, and posted playoff victories over the Miami Dolphins and the Houston Oilers.

Super Bowl XIV was a close game during the first three quarters. The Rams led 13–10 at halftime before Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw connected with wide receiver Lynn Swann on a 47-yard touchdown pass. Los Angeles regained the lead on a halfback option play with running back Lawrence McCutcheon's 24-yard touchdown pass to Ron Smith. But Pittsburgh controlled the fourth quarter, scoring 14 unanswered points with Bradshaw's 73-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver John Stallworth, and running back Franco Harris' 1-yard touchdown run. Despite throwing three interceptions, Bradshaw was named Super Bowl MVP by completing 14 of 21 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns.

Terry Hanratty

Terrence Hugh Hanratty (born January 19, 1948) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League during the 1960s and 1970s. He earned two Super Bowl rings as the backup quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Terry's son Conor also plays football for Notre Dame as an offensive guard.

Xavier High School (Appleton, Wisconsin)

Xavier High School is a private Catholic secondary school in Appleton, Wisconsin, in the Diocese of Green Bay. It was opened in 1959 by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (Christian Brothers) and the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity (Manitowoc Franciscans). The school was named in honor of St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of the Green Bay Diocese.

Special Teams

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