MASSIVE UPGRADE! The famous "flea-flicker" overtime game! Pittsburgh wins this hard-hitting defensive battle on a play dubbed "High School Right" (officially named "fake 84 reverse-gadget pass").
On the play, Bradshaw hands off to Bleier, who hands off to Swann, who pitches the ball back to Bradshaw, who throws a bomb to a wide-open Bennie Cunningham for the game-winning TD. While this play is a highlight reel favorite and one of the most famous plays in Steeler history, there are plenty of other memorable moments in this classic.
Jack Lambert is ferocious, capping an afternoon of excellence by making the biggest defensive play
of the game when he DESTROYS Mike Pruitt for a loss in the final seconds of regulation, knocking Cleveland out of FG range. L.C. Greenwood, Donnie Shell and Dwight White also shine on a day in which Pittsburgh's defense, emulating Lambert's "kill 'em all" attitude, is flagged for 4 personal fouls.
Offensively, Swann is the man, snagging 6 catches in a game where the rest of the offense does little. At 39:45, Swannie receives one of the most vicious shots you will ever see in this game. Had this happened in the modern era, it would've resulted in flags, fines and a suspension.
While breaking toward the sideline, Swann reaches out to snare a pass when suddenly --- BAM!!! Ron Bolton leaves his feet and CREAMS Swann with a shoulder to the head at full speed. Swann's entire body snaps backward, his feet fly up in the air and he hits the ground with a sickening thud. NBC announcer Dick Enberg gasps in horror and the crowd let's out a collective "Ooohhh!" but Swannie simply adjusts his face mask, bounces up & returns the the huddle, a testiment to his toughness.
Chuck Noll is full of surprises in this game. Roy Gerela recovers his own perfectly executed (and totally surprising) onside kick in the 4th quarter, and even though the drive ends without points, the Steelers soon get the ball back and Gerela connects on a 36-yd FG to tie the game.
Even the final play of regulation is crazy when Tony Dungy picks off Sipe's Hail Mary in the end zone and nearly weaves his way coast-to-coast with no time on the clock. In overtime, the infamous "Three Rivers Jinx" finally rears its head to preserve the win for Pittsburgh.
On the overtime kickoff, Larry Anderson stumbles, falls on one knee (but is not touched by a Brown), gets back up and fumbles the ball. The Browns recover and the Cleveland offense trots on the field, but the officials incorrectly rule Anderson is down by contact and the Steelers retain possession. Bradshaw hits Cunningham on "High School Right" a few plays later and the rest is history.
"Lambert didn't see me coming until the last instant. He tried to square up but couldn't, and I drilled him -- just floored him. The play went for a score, and he got up cussing and yelling with the wildest eyes I've ever seen!" More...
I was a failed Steeler draft choice as a tight end coming out of Nebraska in
1978 (7th round, selected 187th overall), but during my brief stint with the team, I experienced a couple of memorable Jack Lambert moments first hand that I thought your readers would enjoy.
Lambert was as intimidating in camp as he was in games... maybe even more so. Nobody
messed with Jack. NOBODY. His respect was solid within the team. He was his own man and was not
into political correctness in the slightest because I believe his heart was
pure and he was comfortable within himself. At our first team lunch with the
vets in camp, we had to stand up and introduce ourselves -- rookies and star veterans alike -- and tell what school we played for. When it came his turn, Jack stood up on
his chair and shouted like a Marine drill sergeant, "I'm Jack Lambert,
I'm from Grambling and if you don't like it, you can kiss my
skinny white a$$!" He sat back down without even a trace of a smile and the
place just went nuts, howling and laughing. Grambling is, of course, a predominantly "black"
state university in Louisiana...
Given enough time, nearly any discussion of the Steelers will eventually turn to the greatest "what if" in the annals of Pittsburgh sports: What if the Steelers had drafted Dan Marino? Oddly enough, this subject came up during a conversation about the 1990 Steelers' 35-0 victory over the Browns. One thing led to another, and... well, Marino, of course. :)
"In my hypothetical, the Steelers draft Dan Marino in the 1983 NFL Draft and the Steelers go to the Super Bowl at least four, maybe five times between 1983 through 1999." ~ Matthew Simon
Seems legit. Personally, I think Marino would've been good for one, maybe two more Lombardi's in Pittsburgh. What are your thoughts?
While I was glad to see the Steelers do the right thing this week by standing respectfully during the National Anthem, the Ravens chose to disgrace themselves by taking a knee for a phony "prayer" prior to the Anthem, for which they were lustily booed by their home crowd. Meanwhile, players on other NFL teams continue to disrespect the flag.
Roger Goodell could easily put an end to this nonsense. But presumably for the sake of political correctness...
Our first prayer is that Ryan Shazier makes a full recovery that allows him to lead a normal, full and happy life; that he'll be able to walk and run and play with his children. Thankfully, he continues to improve and appears to be on that path, although playing football again may or may not be in his future. Spinal stabilization surgery means he won't return to football this season, but it doesn't necessarily rule out football in his future. We continue to pray for Ryan, his family and his continued improvement.
A Life Truly Well Lived
Comments by dbsfgyd1
"He was the first Steeler I met. It was the spring of 1964. The local YMCA had a 'Night With the Steelers' son and dads program. I became a fan during the 1963 season..."
Random pic of Jack Lambert kicking @$$... just because.
Watch 70's Steelers Games on MP4 Go ahead, get stuck in the '70s! We've been converting our extensive library of classic Steelers games (as they were originally broadcast by the networks) from VHS to digital. Now you can relive these fantastic gridiron battles right here! Games that are ready to watch will have a green light next to them on the list. If you don't see a green light, the game isn't there yet (but wil be coming soon). More...Fan Message Board Let your voice be heard on our fan message board! Connect with other fans, share your thoughts on the Steelers or weigh in on about just about any other topic you find of interest. More...
Former Raider cheap-shot artist George Atkinson is full of $#!t about many things, most of all when it comes to Lynn Swann's toughness. This clip is from the '78 Flea Flicker game in which Swann takes one of the most brutal shots you will ever see. Had this happened in the modern era, it would've resulted in flags, fines and a likely suspension. But Swann simply bounces up, adjusts his facemask and trots back to the huddle. Not only does Swann not miss a single play, he continues to go fearlessly across the middle for the rest of the afternoon, making 5 of his game-leading 6 catches AFTER the hit, all of them in traffic.
Terry Bradshaw is perhaps best known for his great performances in big games. But Bradshaw was also arguably the best bad weather QB in NFL history. In harsh weather conditions where opposing QB couldn't seem to keep their footing, get a grip on the ball or throw on target, Terry was somehow able to drop dimes 50 yards downfield for touchdowns, throw perfect spirals and perform as if it was 65 and sunny.
Simply put, Bradshaw was a bad@$$. Enjoy this video with clips from several bad weather games from the 1970's (including two AFC Championships) and judge for yourself.
An entertaining look (and listen) from Bill Cowher's second season as head coach. During Pittsburgh's 1993 drubbing of the previously undefeated Saints, ESPN mic'd up Bill Cowher for their semi-regular "Sound Tracks" feature. What ensues is a great window into the psyche of the young coach, giving us a glimpse of the passion, intensity and one-on-one communication style that made Cowher's players love, respect and relate to him so well.
Enjoy the video, and then take a look at Bill Cowher's remarkable 1992 debut season.
Update: Think history can't repeat itself? The original Three Rivers Jinx was 16 games. Cleveland's current losing streak at Hines Field? 16 games. :)
Webster's Dictionary defines the verb "to hex" as "to affect if by an evil spell." In the NFL, hex is defined as "that which happened to the Cleveland Browns whenever they played in Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium." From the facility's opening in 1970 through 1985, the Browns made 16 trips to Pittsburgh... and came home losers 16 times. This great "Distant Replay" clip from 1995 details the Three Rivers Jinx and features interviews with past coaches and players.
Nine of the sixteen original "jinx" games are available to watch on this site. Click below to watch a game:
2004 was a truly SPECIAL season for the Steelers, despite not hoisting a Lombardi at the end. It remains one of my favorite seasons of all time, and other than 1976, the 2004 squad was perhaps the best Steeler team to not win a Super Bowl. It was an incredibly fun year. And central to that fun was the birth of the Ben Roethlisberger era.
Ben elevated the team from the moment he stepped on the field. By his 3rd start, he was taking over games. He very quickly distinguished himself as the best player on offense, and his insertion into the starting lineup almost instantly transformed that team from talented underachiever to heavyweight contender. The young QB wasn't perfect... but he had "Hall of Fame" written all over him right from the start. And the Steelers immediately began winning games with Ben that they would've lost without him.
Throughout his career, it's never been about what Ben has done "statistically." He's never been a particularly coveted fantasy football player, even in the midst of 5000-yard seasons. That's because fantasy football is 100% stats-based, and stats aren't what make Ben great. It's about what he does in BIG moments, clutch plays that "only" Ben Roethlisberger makes, that winning edge that he brought to the team from the moment he stepped on the field. Ben is largely defined by intangibles. But first and foremost, it's about WINNING. And he's been winning since the start.
This video features highlights from every regular season start of Ben Roethlisberger's amazing "Rookie of the Year" season in 2004. It's a long video (16-1/2 minutes), but I've watched it multiple times and it makes me smile every time.
Enjoy the video, and then go take a look at the remarkable 2004 season for a deeper look at one of the great teams in Pittsburgh Steelers history.
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