Super Bowl VIII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Minnesota Vikings and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Miami Dolphins to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1973 season. The Dolphins defeated the Vikings by the score of 24–7 to win their second consecutive Super Bowl, the first team to do so since the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowls I and II, and the first AFL/AFC team to do so.
The game was played on January 13, 1974 at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas. This was the first time the Super Bowl venue was not home to that of an NFL franchise. This was also the first Super Bowl not to be held in either the Los Angeles, Miami or New Orleans areas. It was also the last Super Bowl, and penultimate game overall (the 1974 Pro Bowl in Kansas City played the next week was the last) to feature goal posts at the front of the end zone (they were moved to the endline, in the back of the endzone, the next season).
This was the Dolphins' third consecutive Super Bowl appearance. They posted a 12–2 record during the regular season, then defeated the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders in the playoffs. The Vikings were making their second Super Bowl appearance after also finishing the regular season with a 12–2 record, and posting postseason victories over the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys.
Super Bowl VIII was largely dominated by the Dolphins, who scored 24 unanswered points during the first three quarters, including two touchdowns on their first two drives. Minnesota's best chance to threaten Miami occurred with less than a minute left in the first half, but Vikings running back Oscar Reed fumbled the ball away at the Dolphins' 6-yard line, and his team was unable to overcome Miami's lead in the second half. The Dolphins' Larry Csonka became the first running back to be named Super Bowl MVP; both his 145 rushing yards and his 33 carries were Super Bowl records.
|Super Bowl VIII|
|Date||January 13, 1974|
|Stadium||Rice Stadium, Houston, Texas|
|MVP||Larry Csonka, fullback|
|Favorite||Dolphins by 6.5|
|Current/Future Hall of Famers|
|Vikings: Jim Finks (general manager), Bud Grant (coach), Carl Eller, Paul Krause, Alan Page, Fran Tarkenton, Mick Tingelhoff, Ron Yary|
Dolphins: Don Shula (coach), Nick Buoniconti, Larry Csonka, Bob Griese, Jim Langer, Larry Little, Paul Warfield
|National anthem||Charley Pride|
|Coin toss||Ben Dreith|
|Halftime show||The University of Texas Longhorn Band, The Westchester Wranglerettes|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Ray Scott, Pat Summerall and Bart Starr|
|Nielsen ratings||41.6 |
(est. 51.7 million viewers)
|Cost of 30-second commercial||$103,000|
The NFL awarded Super Bowl VIII to Houston on March 21, 1972 at the owners' meetings held in Honolulu.
Although the Dolphins were unable to match their 17–0 perfect season of 1972, many sports writers, fans and Dolphins players themselves felt that the 1973 team was better. While the 1972 team faced no competition that possessed a record better than 8–6 in the regular season, the 1973 team played a much tougher schedule that included games against the Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys (all playoff teams), plus two games against a resurgent Buffalo Bills squad that featured 2,000-yard rusher O.J. Simpson. Despite this, the Dolphins finished the 1973 season giving up fewer points (150) than in 1972, and recorded a 12–2 record, including an opening-game victory over the San Francisco 49ers that tied an NFL record with 18 consecutive wins. The Dolphins' winning streak ended in Week 2 with a 12–7 loss to the Raiders in Berkeley, California.
Just like the two previous seasons, Miami's offense relied primarily on its rushing attack. Fullback Larry Csonka recorded his third consecutive 1,000-rushing-yard season (1,003 yards), while running back Mercury Morris rushed for 954 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. Running back Jim Kiick was also a key contributor, rushing for 257 yards and catching 27 passes for 208 yards. Quarterback Bob Griese, the AFC's second-leading passer, completed only 116 passes for 1,422 yards, but threw more than twice as many touchdown passes (17) as interceptions (8), and earned an 84.3 passer rating. He became the first quarterback to start three Super Bowls and is joined by Jim Kelly as the only quarterbacks to start at least three consecutive Super Bowls. Wide receiver Paul Warfield remained the main deep threat on the team, catching 29 passes for 514 yards and 11 touchdowns. The offensive line was strong, once again led by center Jim Langer and right guard Larry Little. Griese, Csonka, Warfield, Langer, Nick Buoniconti and Little would all eventually be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Miami's "No Name Defense" continued to dominate their opponents. Future Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti recovered three fumbles and returned one for a touchdown. Safety Dick Anderson led the team with eight interceptions, which he returned for 163 yards and two touchdowns. And safety Jake Scott, the previous season's Super Bowl MVP, had four interceptions and 71 return yards. The Dolphins were still using their "53" defense devised at the beginning of the 1971 season, in which Bob Matheson (#53) would be brought in as a fourth linebacker in a 3–4 defense, with Manny Fernandez at nose tackle. Matheson could either rush the passer or drop back into coverage.
The Vikings also finished the regular season with a 12–2 record, winning their first nine games before a 20-14 loss on Monday Night Football to the Atlanta Falcons. The Vikings' other loss was a 27-0 shutout in Week 12 to the eventual AFC Central Division Champion Cincinnati Bengals, whom the Dolphins defeated in the AFC divisional playoffs.
Minnesota's offense was led by 13-year veteran quarterback Fran Tarkenton. During the regular season, Tarkenton completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 2,113 yards, 15 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He also rushed for 202 yards and another touchdown. The team's primary deep threat was Pro Bowl wide receiver John Gilliam, who caught 42 passes for 907 yards, an average of 21.6 yards per catch, and scored eight touchdowns. Tight end Stu Voigt was also a key element of the passing game, with 23 receptions for 318 yards and two touchdowns.
The Vikings' main rushing weapon was NFL Rookie of the Year running back Chuck Foreman, who rushed for 801 yards, caught 37 passes for 362 yards and scored six touchdowns. The Vikings had four other significant running backs – Dave Osborn, Bill Brown, Oscar Reed and Ed Marinaro – who combined for 1,469 rushing/receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. The Vikings' offensive line was also very talented, led by right tackle Ron Yary and six-time Pro Bowl center Mick Tingelhoff.
The Minnesota defense was again anchored by a defensive line nicknamed the "Purple People Eaters", consisting of defensive tackles Gary Larsen and Alan Page, and defensive ends Jim Marshall and Carl Eller. Behind them, cornerback Bobby Bryant (seven interceptions, 105 return yards, one touchdown) and safety Paul Krause (four interceptions) led the defensive secondary.
The Vikings earned their second appearance in the Super Bowl after defeating the wild card Washington Redskins, 27–20, and the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys, 27–10, in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Dolphins defeated the AFC Central champion Cincinnati Bengals 34–16 in the divisional round, and the AFC West Champion Oakland Raiders, 27–10 for the AFC Championship. The Dolphins were the first team to appear in three consecutive Super Bowls. Just as in the regular season, Miami relied primarily on their run game in the playoffs, racking up 241 rushing yards against Cincinnati and 266 vs the Raiders. The ground game was particularly crucial against Oakland, as it enabled them to win despite completing just 3 of 6 passes for 34 yards in the game.
This was the first Super Bowl in which a former AFL franchise was the favorite. The 1970 AFC champion Baltimore Colts had been the favorite in Super Bowl V, but they were an original NFL franchise prior the 1970 merger.
This was also the first Super Bowl played in a stadium that was not the current home to an NFL or AFL team, as no team had called Rice Stadium home since the Houston Oilers moved into the Astrodome in 1968. It was also the first Super Bowl game played on the then-popular AstroTurf artificial playing surface. (Super Bowl V and Super Bowl VI were played on Poly-Turf, another brand of artificial turf.)
The Vikings complained about their practice facilities at Houston ISD's Delmar Stadium, a 20-minute bus ride from their hotel. They said the locker room was cramped, uncarpeted, had no lockers and that most of the shower heads didn't work. The practice field had no blocking sleds. "I don't think our players have seen anything like this since junior high school", said Vikings head coach Bud Grant. The Dolphins, meanwhile, trained at the Oilers' facility, since they were an AFC team like Miami.
There were reports of dissension among the Dolphins arising from owner Joe Robbie's decision to allow married players to bring their wives at the club's expense. The single players were reportedly angry that they couldn't bring their girlfriends, mothers or sisters.
Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page and Dolphins left guard Bob Kuechenberg were former teammates at the University of Notre Dame. Kuechenberg, who would be blocking Page in the game, had sustained a broken arm in a game against the Colts and wore a cast while playing in the Super Bowl. Paul Warfield entered the game with a well-publicized hamstring injury to his left leg.
On television before the game, New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath said, "If Miami gets the kickoff and scores on the opening drive, the game is over.". Indeed, the Dolphins became the first team to score a touchdown after receiving the game's opening kickoff.
The Dolphins, who were designated as the home team, were obligated by a now-defunct policy to wear their aqua jerseys despite having normally worn white jerseys for home games (though Miami wore aqua for its final two regular-season home games vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions). Also, the Dolphins wore two slightly different helmet decals; some had the decal that the team would adopt in 1974 (with the mascot dolphin leaping through the sun), while others had the 1969–1973 decal (with the mascot dolphin halfway through the sun).
This was the only Super Bowl in which the game ball had stripes. Until the late 1970s, the NFL permitted striped footballs for night games, indoor games and other special situations.
Head linesman Leo Miles was the first African-American to officiate in a Super Bowl.
The game was televised in the United States by CBS with play-by-play announcer Ray Scott and color commentators Pat Summerall and Bart Starr. This was Scott's final telecast for CBS. Midway through the following season Summerall would take Scott's place as the network's lead play-by-play announcer, holding that position through 1993, when CBS lost rights to the NFC television package to Fox.
The pre-game party was held on the floor of the Astrodome the night before the game. It was attended by the players, the coaches, media, and celebrities. Entertainment was provided by The La France Sisters and Charlie Pride.
The Dolphins' game plan on offense was to use misdirection, negative-influence traps, and cross-blocking to exploit the Minnesota defense's excellent pursuit. (The Kansas City Chiefs had used similar tactics against the same Vikings defensive line in Super Bowl IV). Wrote Jim Langer, "All this was successful right away. We kept ripping huge holes into their defense and Csonka kept picking up good yardage, especially to the right. We'd hear Alan [Page] cussing because those negative-influence plays were just driving him nuts. He didn't know what the hell to do." On defense, the Dolphins' goal was to neutralize Chuck Foreman by using cat-quick Manny Fernandez at nose tackle and to make passing difficult for Tarkenton by knocking down his receivers and double-teaming John Gilliam. They were also depending on defensive ends Bill Stanfill and Vern Den Herder to contain Tarkenton's scrambling. Coach Don Shula wrote, "In the case of Tarkenton we wanted to hem him in. In the case of Page, Eller and company, we wanted to try to turn their aggressiveness to our advantage. We decided to emphasize negative influence by misdirection and cross blocking, trying to make the Vikings Front Four commit to the influence of the play and then actually running it elsewhere. The Vikings responded as we anticipated. Then later in the game we found that the Vikings started hesitating, reducing their charge. When they did that, we beat them with straight blocking."
As they had the two previous Super Bowls, the Dolphins won the coin toss and elected to receive. The Dolphins dominated the Vikings right from the beginning, scoring touchdowns on two 10-play drives in the first quarter. Said Jim Langer, "It was obvious from the beginning that our offense could overpower their defense." First, Dolphins defensive back Jake Scott gave his team good field position by returning the opening kickoff 31 yards to the Miami 38-yard line. Then Mercury Morris ran right for four yards, Larry Csonka crashed through the middle for two, and quarterback Bob Griese completed a 13-yard pass to tight end Jim Mandich to advance the ball to the Vikings 43-yard line. Csonka then ran on second down for 16 yards, then Griese completed a six-yard pass to receiver Marlin Briscoe to the 21-yard line. Three more running plays, two by Csonka and one by Morris moved the ball to the Vikings 5-yard line. Csonka then finished the drive with a five-yard touchdown run.
Then after forcing Minnesota to punt after three plays, the Dolphins went 56 yards in 10 plays (aided with three runs by Csonka for eight, 12, and eight yards, and Griese's 13-yard pass to Briscoe) to score on running back Jim Kiick's one-yard run (his only touchdown of the season) to give them a 14–0 lead.
By the time the first quarter ended, Miami had run 20 plays for 118 yards and eight first downs, and scored touchdowns on their first two possessions, with Csonka carrying eight times for 64 yards and Griese completing all four of his passes for 40 yards. Meanwhile, the Miami defense held the Minnesota offense to only 25 yards, six plays from scrimmage, and one first down. The Vikings advanced only as far as their own 27-yard line. The Dolphins set the record which still stands for the largest Super Bowl lead (14 points) at the end of the first quarter. It has since been tied by the Oakland Raiders against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV (led 14-0) and the Green Bay Packers against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV (led 14-0).
The situation never got much better for the Vikings the rest of the game. After each team traded punts early in the second period, Miami mounted a seven-play drive starting from their own 35-yard line, culminating in a 28-yard field goal from kicker Garo Yepremian to make the score 17–0 midway through the second quarter. On the first play of the drive, Minnesota was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct on linebacker Wally Hilgenberg. On the previous series, Hilgenberg had thrown an elbow through Csonka's facemask, cutting Csonka above the eye, but had not been penalized. Later in the drive, Mercury Morris ran for 10 yards on a 3rd down play from the Minnesota 40-yard line to allow Miami to get into field goal range.
The Vikings then had their best opportunity to score in the first half on their ensuing drive. Starting at their own 20-yard line, Minnesota marched to the Miami 15-yard line in nine plays, aided by Fran Tarkenton's completions of 17 and 14 yards to tight end Stu Voigt and wide receiver John Gilliam's 30-yard reception. Tarkenton's eight-yard run on first down then advanced the ball to the 7-yard line. But on the next two plays, Vikings running back Oscar Reed gained only one yard on two rushes, bringing up a fourth-down-and-one with less than a minute left in the half. Instead of kicking a field goal, Minnesota attempted to convert the fourth down with another running play by Reed. However, Reed lost the ball while being tackled by linebacker Nick Buoniconti, and Scott recovered the fumble. About the decision to run with Reed on three straight plays, Grant defended the decision since the Vikes twice had converted in the NFC title game against Dallas. "If it's less than a yard, we go for it", he said. "We feel we have the plays to make it." The Dolphins, however, made the stop where the Cowboys had not.
Jim Langer wrote that at halftime, "We definitely knew that this game was over."
Gilliam returned the second half kickoff 65 yards, but a clipping penalty on the play moved the ball all the way back to the Minnesota 11-yard line. Two plays later, Tarkenton was sacked for a six-yard loss by defensive tackle Manny Fernandez on third down, forcing Minnesota to punt from their own 7-yard line. Scott then returned the punt 12 yards to the Minnesota 43-yard line.
Miami then marched 43 yards in eight plays to score on Csonka's two-yard touchdown run through Hilgenberg to increase their lead to 24–0 with almost nine minutes left in the third quarter. The key play was Griese's third-and-five, 27-yard pass to wide receiver Paul Warfield to the Minnesota 11-yard line. It was Griese's last pass of the game, his only pass of the second half and just the seventh overall, and only Warfield's second, and last, catch of the game. (Because of his hamstring injury, Warfield had earlier been limping through primarily decoy routes.) The Vikings might have had the drive held to a field goal attempt when Morris lost 8 yards on a third-and-4 play from the Minnesota 5, but Hilgenberg was called for holding, giving Miami an automatic first down at the 8. From there, Csonka carried twice to a score. On the scoring play, Griese forgot the snap count at the line of scrimmage. He asked Csonka, who said "two." Kiick said, "No, it's one." Griese chose to believe Csonka, which was a mistake; it was "one." Griese bobbled the ball slightly, but still managed to get it to Csonka.
After an exchange of punts, Minnesota got the ball back at their 43-yard line after Larry Seiple's kick went just 24 yards.
The Vikings then mounted a 10-play, 57-yard drive, with Tarkenton completing 5 passes for 43 yards, including a 15-yarder to Voigt on 3rd-and-8, and taking the ball into the end zone himself six plays into the 4th quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run.
Minnesota recovered the ensuing onside kick, but an offsides penalty on the Vikings nullified the play, and they subsequently kicked deep. Miami went three-and-out, but Seiple boomed a 57-yard punt and Minnesota got the ball back at its own 3-yard line. Eight plays later, the Vikings reached the Miami 32-yard line. After two incomplete passes, Tarkenton's pass intended for wide receiver Jim Lash was intercepted by Dolphins cornerback Curtis Johnson at the goal line. Miami got the ball back at their 10-yard line with 6:24 left in the game, and Csonka and Kiick were the ball carriers on all 12 remaining plays. The Dolphins picked up 2 first downs by rush and 2 by penalty on Minnesota in running out the clock. With less than four minutes to play, a frustrated Alan Page was called for a personal foul for a late hit on Griese, and then two plays later both Page and Kuechenberg were given offsetting personal fouls after getting in a scuffle with each other.
Wrote Jim Langer, "We just hit the Vikings defense so hard and so fast that they didn't know what hit them. Alan Page later said he knew we would dominate them after only the first couple of plays."
Griese finished the game with just six out of seven pass completions for 73 yards. Miami's seven pass attempts were the fewest ever thrown by a team in the Super Bowl. The Dolphins rushed for 196 yards, did not have any turnovers, and were not penalized in the first 52 minutes. Tarkenton set what was then a Super Bowl record for completions, 18 out of 28 for 182 yards, with one interception, and rushed for 17 yards and a touchdown. Reed was the leading rusher for the Vikings, but with just 32 yards. Tight end Stu Voigt was the top receiver of the game with three catches for 46 yards. The Vikings' lethargic performance was very similar to their performance in their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV.
|Minnesota Vikings||Miami Dolphins|
|First downs rushing||5||13|
|First downs passing||8||4|
|First downs penalty||1||4|
|Third down efficiency||8/15||4/11|
|Fourth down efficiency||0/1||1/1|
|Net yards rushing||72||196|
|Yards per rush||3.0||3.7|
|Passing – Completions/attempts||18/28||6/7|
|Times sacked-total yards||2–16||1–10|
|Net yards passing||166||63|
|Total net yards||238||259|
|Punt returns-total yards||0–0||3–20|
|Kickoff returns-total yards||4–69||2–47|
|Interceptions-total return yards||0–0||1–10|
|Time of possession||26:15||33:45|
1Completions/attempts 2Carries 3Long gain 4Receptions 5Times targeted
The following records were set or tied in Super Bowl VIII, according to the official NFL.com boxscore and the ProFootball reference.com game summary. Some records have to meet NFL minimum number of attempts to be recognized. The minimums are shown (in parenthesis).
|Player Records Set in Super Bowl VIII |
|Most completions, game||18||Fran Tarkenton|
|Most yards, game||145 yds||Larry Csonka|
|Most yards, career||297 yds|
|Most attempts, game||33|
|Most attempts, career||57|
|Highest average gain, career (20 attempts)||5.2 yards (297–57)|
|Combined yardage records †|
|Most Attempts, career||60||Larry Csonka|
|Most yards gained, career||314|
|Most fumbles, career||2||Jake Scott(Mia)|
|Most fumbles recovered, game||2|
|Most fumbles recovered, career||2|
|Most punt return yards gained, career||45 yds||Jake Scott|
|Most punts, career||15||Larry Seiple(Mia)|
|Most touchdowns, game||2||Larry Csonka|
|Most rushing touchdowns, game||2|
|Most touchdowns, career||2||Larry Csonka|
|Most rushing touchdowns, career||2|
|Most fumbles, game||1||Fran Tarkenton|
|Most punt returns, career||6||Jake Scott|
|Team Records |
|Most Super Bowl appearances||3||Dolphins|
|Most consecutive Super Bowl appearances||3|
|Most Super Bowl losses||2||Vikings|
|Most points scored, first half||17 pts||Dolphins|
|Most points, first quarter||14 pts|
|Largest lead, end of first quarter||14 pts|
|Largest halftime margin||17 pts|
|Largest lead, end of 3rd quarter||24 pts|
|Most rushing attempts||53||Dolphins|
|Fewest passing attempts||7||Dolphins|
|Fewest passes completed||6|
|Fewest yards passing (net)||63 yds|
|Most passes completed||18||Vikings|
|Fewest first downs passing||4||Dolphins|
|Fewest punt returns, game||0||Vikings|
|Most Super Bowl victories||2||Dolphins|
|Most consecutive Super Bowl victories||2|
|Most points scored in
any quarter of play
|14 pts (1st)|
|Most rushing touchdowns||3|
|Most first downs, penalty||4|
|Fewest turnovers, game||0|
|Fewest punts, game||3|
|Fewest points, first half||0 pts||Vikings|
|Fewest passing touchdowns||0||Vikings |
Turnovers are defined as the number of times losing the ball on interceptions and fumbles.
|Records, both team totals |
|Points, Both Teams|
|Most points, first quarter||14 pts||14||0|
|Field Goals, Both Teams|
|Fewest field goals attempted||1||1||0|
|Rushing, Both Teams|
|Most rushing attempts||77||53||24|
|Most rushing touchdowns||4||3||1|
|Passing, Both Teams|
|Fewest passing attempts||35||7||28|
|Records tied, both team totals|
|Fewest times intercepted||1||0||1|
|Fewest passing touchdowns||0||0||0|
|Most first downs rushing||18||13||5|
|Most first downs, penalty||5||4||1|
|Fewest interceptions by||1||0||1|
In the Dolphins' locker room after the game, Csonka was asked about his battered face. Without naming Hilgenberg, he said, "It was a cheap shot, but an honest cheap shot. He came right at me and threw an elbow right through my mask. I could see the game meant something to him."
With their 32–2 record over two years, the still-young Dolphins appeared to have established a dynasty. In 1974, however, their offense was hurt by injuries to Csonka and the offensive line, and the defense was hurt by the departure of defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger who became the New York Giants head coach. The Dolphins finished 11–3 but lost a dramatic playoff game ("The Sea of Hands") to the Oakland Raiders. In 1975 Csonka, Kiick, and Warfield left to join the World Football League. The Dolphins would not win another playoff game until 1982, and they have not won a Super Bowl since. They would appear in but lose two more, XVII and XIX.
As of July 1, 2018, this is the earliest Super Bowl from which both head coaches are still living. Don Shula and Bud Grant are the only living coaches from any of the first ten Super Bowls.
Jim Langer ended his career with the Vikings in 1981, allowing him to play for the franchise closest to his native South Dakota. Langer lost his starting center job in 1980 to Dwight Stephenson, who like Langer is a member of the Hall of Fame.
|Carroll Dale||WR||Paul Warfield‡|
|Grady Alderman||LT||Wayne Moore|
|Ed White||LG||Bob Kuechenberg|
|Mick Tingelhoff‡||C||Jim Langer‡|
|Frank Gallagher||RG||Larry Little‡|
|Ron Yary‡||RT||Norm Evans|
|Stu Voigt||TE||Jim Mandich|
|John Gilliam||WR||Marlin Briscoe|
|Fran Tarkenton‡||QB||Bob Griese‡|
|Chuck Foreman||RB||Mercury Morris|
|Oscar Reed||RB||Larry Csonka‡|
|Carl Eller‡||LE||Vern Den Herder|
|Gary Larsen||LT||Manny Fernandez|
|Alan Page‡||RT||Bob Heinz|
|Jim Marshall||RE||Bill Stanfill|
|Roy Winston||LLB||Doug Swift|
|Jeff Siemon||MLB||Nick Buoniconti‡|
|Wally Hilgenberg||RLB||Mike Kolen|
|Nate Wright||LCB||Lloyd Mumphord|
|Bobby Bryant||RCB||Curtis Johnson|
|Jeff Wright||LS||Dick Anderson|
|Paul Krause‡||RS||Jake Scott|
Note: A seven-official system was not used until the 1978 season.
Leo Miles was the first African-American to officiate in a Super Bowl.
The 1973 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 4th season in the National Football League, the 11th as the Kansas City Chiefs, and the 14th overall. they finished with a 7–5–2 record and missed the playoffs for the 2nd straight year.
The defense kept the club in contention thanks to a nucleus that still included the bulk of the squad's Super Bowl IV starters. Quarterback Mike Livingston started in a 23–13 Opening Day loss against the Los Angeles Rams on September 16, but Len Dawson returned to rally the club for three consecutive wins to get the club off to a 3–1 start for a third consecutive year. The aging Len Dawson made his final start of the year in a 23–14 loss at Buffalo on October 29 and was replaced for the remainder of the year by Livingston, beginning a string of three straight seasons in which both players split time at the position.Livingston led the club to another three straight wins, putting the team in first place in mid-November with a 6–3–1 record. A 1–2–1 ledger over the season’s final month ended the club’s post-season aspirations as the team finished the year in a second-place tie with Denver at 7–5–2. Len Dawson became the second Chiefs player in as many years to win the NFL Man of the Year Award. Following Super Bowl VIII, The AFC-NFC Pro Bowl was held at Arrowhead Stadium on January 20 with the AFC claiming a 15–13 win thanks to five field goals from Miami placekicker Garo Yepremian.1973 Minnesota Vikings season
The 1973 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 13th in the National Football League. With a 12–2 record, the Vikings regained the NFC Central title after having gone 7–7 the previous year. They started the season 9–0 and looked a threat to the previous year's Dolphins' record of a perfect season before losing to the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals in their next three games. Their narrow 10–9 win over the Los Angeles Rams constituted the last time until 1997 that the last two unbeaten NFL teams played each other.The Vikings defeated the Washington Redskins 27–20 in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at home and went on to upset the Dallas Cowboys 27–10 in Irving, Texas to win the NFC Championship, before losing 24–7 to the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VIII at Rice Stadium in Houston.1973 NFL season
The 1973 NFL season was the 54th regular season of the National Football League. The season was highlighted by O.J. Simpson becoming the first player to rush for 2,000 yards in one season.
The season ended with Super Bowl VIII when the Miami Dolphins repeated as league champions by defeating the Minnesota Vikings 24–7 at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Pro Bowl took place on January 20, 1974, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri; the AFC beat the NFC 15–13.1973–74 NFL playoffs
The National Football League playoffs for the 1973 season began on December 22, 1973. The postseason tournament concluded with the Miami Dolphins defeating the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII, 24–7, on January 13, 1974, at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Like the previous NFL seasons, the home teams in the playoffs were decided based on a yearly divisional rotation, excluding the wild card teams who would always play on the road.Andy Musser
Andrew J. Musser, Jr. (December 28, 1937 – January 22, 2012) was an American sportscaster. He is best known for his time as a play-by-play announcer for Philadelphia Phillies baseball from 1976 to 2001.Born in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania, he grew up in nearby Harrisburg. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Syracuse University in 1959.He was part of a team, with Richie Ashburn and Harry Kalas, which broadcast Phillies games on both radio and television for 21 consecutive seasons from 1976 to 1997. He retired after the 2001 season.
Musser worked for WCAU radio and television in Philadelphia from 1965 to 1971. During this time, he served as the radio play-by-play announcer for the Eagles football as well as 76ers and Villanova Wildcats basketball. One of the youngest lead broadcasters in the National Football League at the time, he covered the Eagles games with Charlie Gauer for four years until the station lost the broadcast rights to WIP in 1969. Musser also called various events for CBS Radio, including Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl VIII.
Musser was the lead voice for Chicago Bulls telecasts on WSNS from 1973 through 1976, pairing with Dick Gonski in the first two seasons and Lorn Brown in the third. Musser would call New York Knicks games with Cal Ramsey on WOR-TV (away) and Manhattan Cable Television (home) for the next four seasons from 1976 to 1980. He handled all the matches in the first three years, but only the home ones in the fourth.Musser was married for 50 years to Eun Joo. They had two children, Allan and Luanne, and four grandchildren. Musser died on January 22, 2012.The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia  inducted Musser into their Hall of Fame in 2011.Bob Lurtsema
Robert Ross Lurtsema (born March 29, 1942) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League for the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, and Seattle Seahawks. He played in two Super Bowls with Vikings (Super Bowl VIII in 1974 and Super Bowl IX in 1975). Lurtsema played college football at Western Michigan University.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Lurtsema could often be seen in TCF Bank (TCF Savings and Loan) TV commercials. He formerly owned Benchwarmer Bob's Sports Cafe, with two locations in the Twin Cities. He pitched for a season with the Minnesota Norseman semi-pro softball team. He was also seen playing the part of a blatantly biased referee in the American Wrestling Association during its last year, most famously in a match between The Trooper and Mike Enos. His character states he is in the Trooper's corner and repeatedly helps the trooper during the match, and the bias is discussed by the announcers after the match. At one of the final AWA shows, AWA Twin Wars '90 on May 5, 1990, Lurtsema teamed with Brad Rheingans and the Trooper and defeated Tully Blanchard and the Destruction Crew.Bob Windsor
Robert Edward Windsor (born December 19, 1942 in Washington, D.C.) is a former tight end in the National Football League.
Windsor played a total of nine seasons in the NFL, five with the San Francisco 49ers and four with the New England Patriots. He had two productive seasons as a starter with the 49ers in 1969 and 1970, starting all 14 games both seasons and recording 49 receptions (career high) and 597 yards in 1969 and 31 and 363 in 1970. With the Patriots, he became a starter in 1972, started all 14 games and had 33 receptions for 383 yards.Windsor is best known for a winning touchdown play while with the Patriots that he made in a regular season game in 1974 against the Minnesota Vikings. Both teams had 5-1 records going into the game. The Vikings had been to Super Bowl VIII the season before, while the upstart Patriots were coming off seven consecutive losing seasons and off to their best start since 1966. The Patriots won the game 17-14, and Windsor scored the winning touchdown with no time left on the clock by taking a short pass from Jim Plunkett and breaking several tackles before dragging a tackler into the Vikings end zone who had a hold of his left leg. Windsor severely injured his left knee on the play and was out for the season. He never was the same player after that and played only one more season with the Patriots before retiring.Dick Jorgensen
Richard M. "Dick" Jorgensen (April 12, 1934 – October 10, 1990) was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) for 22 years, through the 1989 season, the last 19 years as a referee.Jorgensen's officiating career was highlighted by being selected to referee Super Bowl XXIV in January 1990. He was an alternate official for Super Bowl VIII in 1974 and Super Bowl XV in 1981.Doug Kingsriter
Douglas James Kingsriter (born January 29, 1950) is a former American football tight end. He played three seasons for the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL from 1973 to 1975. He finished his NFL career with 7 receptions for 116 yards in 28 games. He played in Super Bowl VIII and Super Bowl IX for the Vikings In Super Bowl VIII he caught one pass for seven yards and also made a key block on Fran Tarkenton's run for the Vikings' only touchdown.He played college football for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. He was named to the College Football All-America Team by the Associated Press in 1971. He was drafted by the Vikings in the 6th round of the 1973 NFL draft.After football, Kingsriter went into the real estate business and later into publishing books and musicals for children. He also worked for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation.Henry Stuckey
Henry Stuckey (born July 24, 1950) is a former American football defensive back. He played two seasons with the New York Giants (1975–1976), after three seasons with the Miami Dolphins (1972–1974), where he was part of the team that won Super Bowl VIII. An eighth-round selection in the 1972 NFL Draft, he did not play his first year with the Dolphins, but then had to replace an injured Lloyd Mumphord in 1973.Jim Lash
James Verle Lash (born November 12, 1951) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League in the 1970s and played on three Super Bowl teams. He attended Garfield High School in Akron, Ohio, the same high school that fellow NFL wide receiver Steve Craig attended. His five-year pro-career was spent with the Minnesota Vikings in which he helped lead to Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl XI all coming up a bit short against the dynasty teams of the Miami Dolphins, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders.List of Super Bowl halftime shows
Halftime shows are a tradition during American football games at all levels of competition. Entertainment during the Super Bowl, the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), represents a fundamental link to pop culture, which helps broaden the television audience and nationwide interest. As the Super Bowl itself is typically the most-watched event on television in the United States annually, the halftime show has been equally-viewed in recent years: the halftime show of Super Bowl XLIX featuring Katy Perry was viewed by 118.5 million, as part of an overall telecast that peaked at 120.3 million at its conclusion—the most-watched television broadcast in U.S. history. The NFL announced that the Super Bowl LI halftime show, with Lady Gaga was the "most-watched musical event of all-time," citing a figure of 150 million viewers based on the television audience, as well as unique viewership of video postings of the halftime show on the league's platforms, and social media interactions (a metric that was never calculated prior to 2017). The show was seen by 117.5 million television viewers, making it the second-highest-rated halftime show on network broadcast.Prior to the early 1990s, the halftime show was based around a theme, and featured university marching bands (the Grambling State University Marching Band has performed at the most Super Bowl halftime shows, featuring in six shows including at least one per decade from the 1960s to the 1990s), drill teams, and other performance ensembles such as Up with People. Beginning in 1991, the halftime show began to feature pop music acts such as New Kids on the Block and Gloria Estefan. In an effort to boost the prominence of the halftime show to increase viewer interest, Super Bowl XXVII featured a headlining performance by Michael Jackson. After Super Bowl XXXVIII, whose halftime show featured an incident where Justin Timberlake exposed one of Janet Jackson's breasts, the halftime show began to feature classic rock acts until the return of headlining pop musicians in 2011.Miami Dolphins Honor Roll
The Miami Dolphins Honor Roll is a ring around the second tier at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, which honors former players, coaches, contributors, and officials who have made significant contributions to the Miami Dolphins franchise.
The Miami Dolphins Honor Roll was started on September 16, 1990 with its first inductee being the owner/founder of the Miami Dolphins: Joe Robbie, who died one year prior to his induction.
Since then, 23 players, and two coaches have been inducted into the honor roll, along with a special induction to honor the 1972 Undefeated Team, which was inducted in 1992 at the 20th anniversary. Inductions included a special "four individual" induction in 1990 to honor the first four Miami Dolphins Hall of Famers of Csonka, Langer, Griese, and Warfield.
There have also been special "dual" inductions: In 2003, the "Marks Brothers" of WRs Mark Clayton and Mark Duper were inducted. In 2008, a special "dual" induction honored two members of the famed "Killer B's" defense with DT Bob Baumhower and DE Doug Betters. In 2010, a "dual" induction of two defensive stars on Miami's 1972 undefeated team - S Jake Scott and DE Bill Stanfill - were inducted. In 2012, a special "dual" induction of two all-time Dolphin fan-favorites, defensive stars from the mid-late 1990s/early 2000s - LB Zach Thomas and DE Jason Taylor - were also inducted.
In 1992 at the 20th anniversary, Miami's "1972 Undefeated Team" was enshrined into the Honor Roll. At the 40th anniversary, which enshrined former defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger into the Honor Roll, his name went on the Honor Roll where the "1972 Undefeated Team" inductee previously and originally was enshrined, and an updated "1972 Perfect Season Team 17-0" inductee was put into one corner of Hard Rock Stadium with special placards of Super Bowl VII and Super Bowl VIII included next to it on each side.
Miami Dolphins Honor Roll inductees are chosen by current members of the honor roll as well as current franchise officials.Oscar Reed
Oscar Reed (born March 24, 1944) is a former professional American football player who played running back for eight seasons for the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons. He started Super Bowl VIII for the Vikings and also played in Super Bowl IV and Super Bowl IX.Paul Warfield
Paul Dryden Warfield (born November 28, 1942) is a former professional American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL) from 1964 to 1977 for the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins, except for a year in the World Football League (WFL) with the Memphis Southmen. He was known for his speed, fluid moves, grace, and jumping ability. A consistent big-play threat throughout his career, his 20.1 average yards per reception is the highest in NFL history among players with at least 300 receptions.
As a star halfback in college for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team, Warfield was twice named to the All-Big Ten Conference team. He was drafted in the first round of the 1964 NFL Draft by the Browns and converted into a wide receiver. After three Pro Bowl appearances with the Browns, he was traded to the Dolphins, with whom he made another five Pro Bowl appearances. He then spent one season in the WFL with the Southmen before returning to the Browns for his final two seasons of play.
Warfield played in seven championship games in his professional career—four NFL Championship Games with the Browns and three Super Bowls with the Dolphins—and earned victories in the 1964 NFL Championship Game, Super Bowl VII, and Super Bowl VIII. After his playing career, he served as a scout and adviser for the Browns for several years. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983, and is a member of the Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor and the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll.Rice Stadium (Rice University)
Rice Stadium is an American football stadium located on the Rice University campus in Houston, Texas. It has been the home of the Rice Owls football team since its completion in 1950 and hosted Super Bowl VIII in 1974.
Architecturally, Rice Stadium is an example of modern architecture, with simple lines and an unadorned, functional design. The lower seating bowl is located below the surrounding ground level. Built solely for football, the stadium has excellent sightlines from almost every seat. To achieve this, the running track was eliminated so that spectators were closer to the action and each side of the upper decks was brought in at a concave angle to provide better sightlines. It is still recognized in many circles as the best stadium in Texas for watching a football game. Entrances and aisles were strategically placed so that the entire stadium could be emptied of spectators in nine minutes.In 2006, Rice University upgraded the facility by switching from AstroTurf to FieldTurf and adding a modern scoreboard above the north concourse. Seating in the upper deck is in poor condition, which led the university to move home games for which large crowds were expected to nearby NRG Stadium.
High school football games, especially neutral-site playoff games, are frequently played at Rice Stadium. It can also be used as a concert venue.Roy Winston
Roy Charles (Moonie) Winston (born September 15, 1940) is a former professional American football player. He played 15 seasons as a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Minnesota Vikings.
Roy Winston graduated from Louisiana State University, where he was a standout offensive guard and linebacker in the 10–7 LSU victory over arch-rival Ole Miss in 1961. Following the season he was named a unanimous All-American as LSU finished as Southeastern Conference co-champions with Alabama. LSU finished the regular season 9-1 and ranked fourth in the polls, then defeated Colorado 25-7 in the Orange Bowl.
He was drafted in the fourth round of the 1962 NFL Draft by the Vikings, for whom he played until he retired after the 1976 season. During that time, he was one of 11 players to play in all four of the Vikings Super Bowl appearances (Super Bowl IV, Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl XI). Winston started the first three Viking Super Bowls at left (strong side) linebacker; by time the Vikings reached Super Bowl XI, he was a reserve, replaced in the starting lineup by Matt Blair. Winston's counterpart at right (weak side) linebacker, Wally Hilgenberg, also played in all four Viking Super Bowls, as did fellow defenders Carl Eller, Alan Page, Jim Marshall and Paul Krause.
Winston delivered one of the most devastating tackles ever filmed. In a game against the Miami Dolphins in 1972, fullback Larry Csonka circled out into the flat to catch a pass. Just as he caught the pass, Winston hit him from behind with such force that the 240-pound Csonka was nearly cut in half. The tackle was so grotesque it was shown on The Tonight Show. Csonka dropped the ball and rolled on the field in agony. He thought his back was broken and literally crawled off the field (he was not seriously injured, however). After their respective retirements from the NFL, Winston and Csonka remained close friends. Csonka invited Winston to be his guest when Csonka was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.In 1976, Winston was inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame; in 1991, into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches.Stan Javie
Stanley "Stan" Javie (December 7, 1919 – December 30, 2002) was an American football official in the National Football League (NFL) for 30 years until the conclusion of the 1980 NFL season. Working as a back judge, Javie was assigned four Super Bowls; Super Bowl II, Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl X, and Super Bowl XIV; one of the first officials to reach such an achievement. Javie was also notable for being one of the few officials to wear eyeglasses/sunglasses on the playing field during a game. Javie wore the number 29 for the majority of his career. For the 1979 and 1980 NFL seasons, Javie wore the number 6.
He graduated from St. John's High School, Philadelphia and later coached three sports at that school for several years. In addition, Javie was a basketball coach at Malvern Preparatory School, while serving as a football and basketball official. Stan Javie was inducted the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame on June 23, 2011, in Troy, Michigan.Wally Hilgenberg
Walter Hilgenberg (September 19, 1942 – September 23, 2008) was a professional American football player.
Hilgenberg was born in Marshalltown, Iowa. His family moved to Wilton (then known as Wilton Junction) where he grew up and graduated from Wilton High School.
He attended the University of Iowa, where he starred on both sides of the line of scrimmage, as a linebacker and as a guard. He played 16 seasons in the National Football League, with the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.
In 1964, he was drafted in the fourth round by the Lions. In 1968, he was traded from the Lions to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was waived before ever playing a game in Pittsburgh. After being waived by the Steelers, Hilgenberg was picked up off waivers by the Vikings, for whom he played until he retired after the 1979 season. During that time, he was one of 11 players to play in all four of the Vikings' Super Bowl appearances (Super Bowl IV, Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl XI).Hilgenberg's daughter Kristi was Miss Minnesota Teen USA 1998.Hilgenberg's grandson, Luke, was a linebacker for the Iowa Hawkeyes.Hilgenberg died on September 23, 2008, after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease for several years.
After his death, brain dissection found advanced CTE which mimics many ALS symptoms.
Miami Dolphins Super Bowl VIII champions
|Division championships (13)|
|Conference championships (5)|
|League championships (2)|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
Championship seasons in bold
|Division championships (20)|
|Conference championships (4)|
|League championships (1)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold
National Football League Championship Games (1933–present)
|NFL Championship Game|
|AFL Championship Game|
|AFL-NFL World Championship Games |
1 – From 1966 to 1969, the first four Super Bowls were "World Championship" games played between two independent professional football leagues, AFL and NFL, and when the league merged in 1970 the Super Bowl became the NFL Championship Game.
2 – Dates in the list denote the season, not the calendar year in which the championship game was played. For instance, Super Bowl XLI was played in 2007, but was the championship for the 2006 season.
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