Following an owner’s meeting that was held in New York on June 14, 1977, Super Bowl XIII was awarded to Miami.

Super Bowl XIII was played between the AFC’s Pittsburgh Steelers and NFC’s Dallas Cowboys to decide which team would be crowned champions of the 1978 football season.

In what is commonly regarded as the most exciting Super Bowl in history both because of the excitement on the field and the fact that it put two dynasties head to head, the Steelers eventually emerged triumphant with a score of 35-31.

Terry Bradshaw’s accurate arm allowed him to complete 17 of 30 passes during the game, leading to a record number of touchdowns (4) and the Steeler’s victory. Thanks to Bradshaw’s performance, the Steelers became the first team in history to win three Super Bowls.

Notable for:

  • During the 1978-1979 season, the NFL had added two additional games to the regular season, from 14 to 16. As such, the playoffs had also increased from an eight-team contest to 10, adding an additional two playoff games.
  • The game resulted in what became known as “Black Sunday” on the betting scene. At the opening, the Steelers had been the favorite to win with a point spread of -3.5 points. However, the sports books adjusted in response to bets on the Steelers, adjusting the swing to Pittsburgh -4.5 before Dallas backers put their money on the Cowboys. At the start of the game, it had settled at Pittsburg -4. The 35-31 score led to Las Vegas sports books losing a huge amount of money on the game.

The Cowboys opened the game looking very much like Super Bowl XIII was to be theirs. However, a fumble on a razzle-dazzle play appeared to very much change their luck. Within six plays, Stallworth had put the Steelers in the lead by 7-0. However, Harvey Martin later forced Bradshaw to Fumble, and within three plays Staubach had executed a pass to Tony Hill, who evened the score to 7-7.

Early in the second quarter, Dallas edged ahead when Bradshaw fumbled, leaving Mike Hegman to pick up the ball and progress 37 yards to score. Within two minutes, John Stallworth scored a 75-yard touchdown. Shortly before the end of the second quarter, the Steelers had edged ahead following a Bradshaw to Bleier pass.

In the third quarter, the Cowboys progressed into Steeler territory. However, a dropped pass in the end zone entailed that they had to settle for three points.

In the final quarter, the Steelers increased their lead to four points. However, following a pass interference call against Benny Barnes, they found themselves deep in Dallas territory. Franco Harris progressed 22 yards to score. Following a fumbled Randy White kick, Bradshaw executed a pass to Swan, who extended the score to 35-17 with six minutes left on the clock. Although the Cowboys rallied in an exciting finish that saw two touchdowns in the last two minutes, the Broncos held on to the lead and secured the Super Bowl victory.

The MVP award was given to Bradshaw, who completed 17 of 30 passes covering 318 yards. Of the 17 successful passes, four went for touchdowns.

Final Score: Pittsburg Steelers (AFC) – 35 Vs. Dallas Cowboys (NFC) – 31
Date: January 21, 1979
Stadium: Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
MVP: Terry Bradshaw, Quarterback
Favorite: Steelers by 3.5
Referee: Pat Haggerty

National anthem: The Colgate Thirteen
Coin toss: George Halas
Halftime show: Bob Jani presents “Carnival: A Salute to the Caribbean”