Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Super Bowl IV Review

Its hard to believe that its been four months since the latest blog entry but this one reviews the broadcast of Super Bowl IV covered by CBS on January 11, 1970.

First of all it was interesting to hear the late great Jack Buck (play-by-play) teamed with future great Pat Summerall (analyst) for this game. Buck and Summerall were a broadcasting team on CBS in the late 1960's. The Buck/Summerall pairing reminded me a lot of FOX current No.1 broadcast team Joe Buck and Troy Aikman and made me think that if Summerall could make the transition to play-by-play why not Aikman?

Summerall and Aikman have low-key, no frill personalities and at times the Buck/Aikman team can be dull since both men sound alike the way Jack Buck and Summerall did. Of course it was CBS policy in the 1960's and 1970's that the play-by-play man was a professional announcer while the analyst was a former athlete.

This changed in 1974 when Summerall was teamed with another former player Tom Brookshier. This team lasted until 1981 when CBS broke them up and paired Summerall with former Oakland Raiders Head Coach John Madden and Brookshier was promoted to play-by-play.

Summerall would go to work two more Super Bowls as an analyst for CBS working with another late great announcer (Ray Scott) in Super Bowls VI and VIII.

As for the game itself, it was easy watching and easy listening. The Kansas City Chiefs took a 16-0 lead in the first half while the Minnesota Vikings tried to make a game ot it with a touchdown in the third quarter but the Chiefs sealed the game on a Len Dawson to Otis Taylor touchdown pass late in the third. The Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp tried but was harried by the KC pass rush and threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter.

This game is not very memorable except for the fact that it was the final game played before the NFL and AFL became one league and for the NFL Films version of it with a miked up Hank Stram saying "65 Toss Power Trap" or "matriculate the ball down the field."

Kansas City's 23-7 win was the high point for Hank Stram's coaching career with is very underrated in today's press. Stram was the first head coach for the Dallas Texans/ Chiefs franchise and was the closest thing the AFL had that could be compared to the NFL's Vince Lombardi.
The Chiefs had the best winning percentage in the AFL and the most titles with three (1962, 1966, 1969). They even faced Lombardi's Packers in Super Bowl I only to be dismissed, 35-10, in what was a close first half. Stram would leave the Chiefs after 1974.

The other team in this game, the Minnesota Vikings, made its first Super Bowl appearance but it would preview the fortunes of the franchise for the 1970's. The Vikings would go on to dominate the NFC Central the next decade winning 8 division titles and would make three more Super Bowl appearances only to lose them all in convincing fashion.

Ah, yes how I can I forget the Super Bowl commercials. First of all there werent that many, maybe 20 during the entire broadcast. You might ask how that can be? Easy answer. Most commercial breaks contained only one commercial and they were each about a minute long. The ads were mostly car, beer and insurance but the big difference between the ads from 1970 and todays are that the ones from 1970 dont insult you're intelligence and were not loud, violent or obnoxious.

If you get a chance, go to youtube and watch Super Bowl IV, it is not a great game but it is very easy on the ears.

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