Weirdest Super Bowls ever, #5: Super Bowl XIV

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 1:23 AM

Forget ranking the greatest Super Bowls of all-time; such a task is made impossible these days. In the ESPN era, thousands of neutral observers must loudly proclaim annually that the most recent Super Bowl was clearly The Greatest Of All-Time; the rest stick with That Time Their Team Won in the no. 1 spot.

(That would therefore make Super Bowl XXXIV’s Greatest Ever – not a bad choice.)

So let’s talk Weirdest Super Bowls of All-Time, a subject yours truly comes back to every few years. With (yet again) no pony in this race and not even the Seahawks, Cardinals or 49ers to root against,  looks forward to the oddity in Super Bowl 50 while looking back at some great WTF games of the past.

For your consideration today, here’s no. 5 on our list of Weirdest Super Bowls – and the sole time the *Los Angeles* Rams made the big game…

5. Super Bowl XIV – Pittsburgh Steelers 31, Los Angeles Rams 19
Well, this *is* an L.A. Rams-centered site, after all. But whoa, Rams fans old enough to remember watching this game live are still trying to figure out what happened.

Sure, the Rams went 9-7 in the regular season and were facing the team of the 70s in Terry Bradshaw’s Steelers – but they entered the Super Bowl on a 6-1 run! They were playing *at home* in the Coliseum! Hell, not only would we be savvier to the hotter postseason team nowadays, but some talking head at ESPN for a 2016 game would surely have dubbed these Rams a Team Of Destiny. Plus, no way would modern-day bookmakers set the Steelers as 10-point favorites.

Through three quarters, the Rams were set to notch the then-second upset in Super Bowl history. The defense had picked off three passes from Bradshaw. Vince Ferragamo, who’d thrown 10 picks against five TDs in his replacement of Pat Haden, was error-free through 45 minutes. In the third quarter, the trickery of a touchdown pass thrown by Lawrence McCutcheon made for probably the best play in any Super Bowl game to that point.

And then, something happened. John Stallworth’s long catch-and-run TD was followed by a seriously ill-advised attempt to run a reverse on the subsequent kickoff. Ferragamo throw the inevitable fatal interception and a handful of plays later, it seemed like the Steelers had led throughout. I still don’t get it.

-- written by Os Davis

Next: At no. 4, an even huger “Team of Destiny” underdog disappears in the second half, with predictably disastrous results…

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