The Super Bowl is the biggest event in football every year. With Super Bowl LVI on the horizon, the festivities will originate from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Yes, after a nearly 30-year gap between the last time the Super Bowl took place in LA, the Big Game has returned to the City of Angels.
In the Super Bowl’s long and illustrious lineage, there have been a total of eight games (not counting Super Bowl LVI) in the Los Angeles area. Two of these games were played at Los Angeles Memorial Stadium and three games were played at the Rose Bowl. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look back at all of the Super Bowls that have taken place in LA.
Super Bowl I
1967, the first time for the Super Bowl. Named the AFL-NFL World Championship, the game featured the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. 61,946 fans attended the game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The World Championship featured two Hall of Fame coaches in Vince Lombardi and Hank Stram, and featured Hall of Fame QBs Bart Starr and Len Dawson. The halftime score was 14-10 and after a 50-yard interception, the Packers scored three second-half touchdowns to win 35-10.
Super Bowl VII
Super Bowl VII will mainly be remembered with the pursuit of perfection by the Miami Dolphins. On January 14, 1973, in front of 90,182 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where tickets were $15 to get in, the Miami Dolphins took on the Washington Commanders (then Redskins).
This game was not eventful until the fourth quarter when Garo Yepremian decided to try to pass the ball after a blocked field goal attempt. Due to that mishap, Yepremian swatted the ball to Washington’s Mike Bass who ran the ball back 49 yards for a touchdown. Luckily, the Dolphins’ defense kept things in order to seal the victory 14-7 and gave the NFL their first and only perfect season.
ALSO READ: Top 5 Super Bowl One-Hit Wonders
Super Bowl XI
Four years later, the Super Bowl took place at the Rose Bowl and it featured the Oakland Raiders and the Minnesota Vikings. The Raiders went through three straight defeats in the AFC Championship Game before they made it to this game. With 103,438 fans in attendance for the first Super Bowl at the Rose Bowl, the Raiders finally got over the hump.
Oakland overcame early struggles including a missed field goal and a blocked punt, when Phil Villapiano forced a fumble at the 2-yard line in the second quarter, the game turned a corner. Oakland’s title win was sealed when cornerback “Old Man” Willie Brown intercepted a pass from Minnesota quarterback Fran Tarkenton and scored a 75-yard touchdown. After a 32-14 victory by the Raiders, a few players accidentally dropped coach John Madden as they carried him off the field.
Super Bowl XIV
In 1980, the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the hometown Los Angeles Rams in front of a record crowd in Pasadena. Even though the Rams were playing close to their hometown, the Steelers felt like their fanbase was alive and present at the game. At Super Bowl XIV, the Steelers were competing in their fourth Super Bowl in six years and the experience went to their advantage.
Thanks to two big fourth-quarter catchers from Hall of Fame receiver John Stallworth, a 73-yard touchdown and a 45-yard reception to set up a Franco Harris game-sealing score, the Steelers defeated the Rams 31-19. With this victory, the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first team in NFL history at the time to win four Super Bowls and it created the foundation for the Steelers to have a worldwide fan base. The Steelers’ success in the 1970s into the 1980s made Pittsburgh the epicenter of what championship professional teams look like.
Super Bowl XVII
Before the second-largest crowd in Super Bowl history, the Washington Commanders (then Redskins) took on the Miami Dolphins in a rematch from Super Bowl VII. Tickets between the 30-yard were in the range of $350 to $500 with Leslie Easterbrook singing the national anthem and with players not recalling seeing many celebrities at the game.
During this game, one play stands out in franchise lore for Washington. With 10:01 remaining in the game, running back John Riggins ran for a 43-yard touchdown run with the help of the offensive line, “The Hogs”, which took care of the front line and linebackers. Washington would win the game 27-17 and receive a phone call from then-president Ronald Reagan. Riggins would quote saying “At least for tonight Ron’s the president, but I’m the king”.
Super Bowl XXI
Super Bowl XXI, the one that had that true Hollywood feeling. The New York Giants took on the Denver Broncos in a matchup that would see either team win their first NFL championship at the time. The contest featured the legendary Giants defense vs John Elway and a Broncos team coming off “The Drive” to win the AFC Championship.
Giants coach Bill Parcells felt so confident in quarterback Phil Simms and the team’s preparation that he canceled the practice before the game and moved the team to a Red Roof Inn the night beforehand. Parcells was right as Simms set three records during the game, throwing for 268 yards and 3 touchdowns. After being down 10-9, the Giants scored 30 unanswered points to win 39-20 and obtain their first NFL title in team history.
Super Bowl XXVII
In the history books, this Super Bowl was known as the beginning of the Dallas Cowboys dominance during the 90s. Owner Jerry Jones, who was born not too far from Los Angeles, had his culmination on this day. After buying the Cowboys in 1989 and acquiring the team and Texas Stadium for $140 million, Jones drafted players like Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin.
Led by 273 yards by Aikman and nine turnovers by Dallas defense, the Cowboys won their first title in the 90s against the Buffalo Bills 52-17. The feeling that coach Jimmy Johnson had when he won his first NFL title since taking the job from Miami (FL). The fleeting image was Johnson screaming “How Bout Them Cowboys” to his players and the cheers that came with it.
Please be sure to check out the OTH Football Podcast on Spotify and Youtube!
main image credit