The “I’m going to Disney World!” and “I’m going to Disneyland!” slogan was first used on this day 32 years ago (January 25, 1987) after the New York Giants defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI (39-20).
On this episode of Return to the ’80s, Robert and Paul welcome Ty Ray, from the Beats and Eats podcast, to the show. The guys Return to 1981, and count down the year’s top songs, movies, and television shows. Also, find out what the biggest selling toys were in 1981, and reminisce on the big news stories of the year.
As this current decade comes to a close, come join us to Return to the greatest decade ever, and check out the awesome year of 1981!
Oakland Raiders beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 – January 25, 1981 at the Louisiana Superdome
Boston Celtics beat the Houston Rockets 4-2
New York Islanders defeat the Minnesota North Stars 4-1
LA Dodgers beat the New York Yankees 4-1
January 20 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days freed
March 6 Walter Cronkite signs off of CBS Evening News
March 30 Reagan Assassination attempt
April 18 The Longest Game – Pawtucket Red Sox tie Rochester Red Wings 2-2 in 32 innings (game resumed 23rd June)
May 11 Cats premieres in London
May 13 Assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II
Jun 2 Barbara Walters asks Katharine Hepburn what kind of tree she would be
Jun 5 AIDS Epidemic officially begins when US Centers for Disease Control reports on pneumonia affecting five homosexual men in Los Angeles
Jun 12 Baseball players begin a 50 day strike, their 3rd strike
July 29 Royal Wedding
Aug 1 MTV premieres at 12:01 AM
Aug 3 13,000 Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) begin their strike; US President Ronald Reagan offers an ultimatum to workers: ‘if they do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated’
Sep 12 “The Smurfs” animated cartoon series by Hanna-Barbera first broadcasts in North America
Sep 25 Sandra Day O’Connor sworn in as 1st female supreme court justice
Dec 11 Muhammad Ali’s 61st & last fight, losing to Trevor Berbick
Dec 28 1st American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr is born in Norfolk, Virginia
It’s time for another 80s League event! This month, the 80s League, which consists of 80s Reboot Overdrive, Rediscover the ’80s, Weegiemidget, and Killer Kitsch. As part of this crossover event, Return to the ’80s is dedicating a full episode on the topic instead of only a segment. Joining Robert and Paul is Marissa, a true lover of the greatest decade ever!
Not only do we talk about our celebrity crushes, but we talk about our real life crushes. We also have our regular segments of Play This, Not That, Remember That Song, and ’80s Trivia.
Also, I should mention that as I am fairly new at podcasting, I am still working out some of the technical kinks. So I apologize for some of the minor sound issues that occur this episode. Future episodes should be much better. I hope it’s not distracting. We had a lot of fun recording this, and I think you will have fun listening. And feel free to join in on the conversation by emailing us at email@example.com, and tell us about your 80s crushes, or love story.
– Welcome Marissa to the show
– New Def Leppard DVD/CD called And There Will Be a Next Time (unless it’s in Providence, apparently)
– New Night Ranger album – March 24 – Don’t Let Up
– Two Super Bowl Commercials with ‘80s music ties:
Wendy’s – “Cold as Ice”
Kia – Holding Out for a Hero
– Mary Tyler Moore
– John Wetton
– Richard Hatch
– Sorry Al Jarreau. First, Paul didn’t know he died. Then our tribute to him somehow turns into a retrospective look at the career of Curtis “Booger” Armstrong.
Play This, Not That – Air Supply
Instead of playing “Lost in Love”
Play “I Can Wait Forever”
Remember That Song
You play tricks on my mind, you’re everywhere, but you’re so hard to find
You’re not warm, you’re sentimental
“Urgent” by Foreigner
New Song: I know what you’re thinking / Cause I’ve been there myself / I’ve been kicked so many times / I don’t know nothing else / Still I noticed your urgency / I recognized the flair / That you got from chasing all those East coast dares
What screen siren appeared in Stripes, Blade Runner, No Way Out and Wall Street?
Answer: Sean Young
Winner: Jim Vilk
New Question: What brokerage firm’s name, when mentioned in TV ads, silenced entire rooms of people?
– Listener Feedback
– Personal Stories
Marissa’s numerous crushes and obsession with swimmers
Robert meets his future wife in high school on a bus to a football game
Paul tells the story of his high school girlfriend and their serendipitous meeting 28 years later
– The gang talk about their celebrity crushes
Rick Springfield (Marissa)
Olivia Newton-John (Robert)
Catherine Bach (Paul)
John Taylor (Marissa)
Elisabeth Shue (Robert)
Erin Gray (Paul)
Richard Gere (Marissa)
Susanna Hoffs (Robert)
Alyssa Milano (Paul)
Mickey Rourke (Marissa)
Christie Brinkley (Robert)
Debbie Gibson (Paul)
According to SBNation.com, Madonna will perform during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on February 5. The site lists the acts from the past 10 years:
2002 – U2
2003 – Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting
2004 – Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake
2005 – Paul McCartney
2006 – The Rolling Stones
2007 – Prince
2008 – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
2009 – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
2010 – The Who
2011 – The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, and Slash
So, in the past decade, there has been at least one artist performing during Halftime that had released at least one album during the ’80s.
This isn’t the first time Madonna’s been approached about performing at the Super Bowl. In 1998, it was heavily rumored that Madonna would perform at Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami, only to have the plans fall apart before a deal could be reached. Likewise, Madonna was reportedly to headline the halftime show for Super Bowl XXXV, two years later, but backed out at the last minute.
So, is this a good idea? Does being a mother now make her more responsible? Or will she continue to be controversial, and have a freaky scary “wardrobe malfunction”? The world may soon find out.
Question: On The Golden Girls, what fictional Minnesota town was Betty White’s character from?
Last Question: What was the catchphrase in Bo Jackson’s Nike ads?
Answer: Bo Knows
Bo Jackson, the first athlete in the modern era to play professional baseball and football in the same year, was the spokesman for Nike’s cross-training shoes. The campaign ran in 1989 and 1990.
Coincidentally, the first time the commercial aired was during the commercial break immediately following Jackson’s lead-off home run in the 1989 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Bo Jackson won the Heisman Trophy in 1985. He was drafted first overall in the 1986 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But, Tampa Bay gave Jackson an ultimatum to choose wither baseball or football. So, he decided to play baseball for the defending champion Kansas City Royals.
Since he did not sign with a team, he was eligible for the next football draft. he Los Angeles Raiders selected Jackson in the 7th round with the 183rd overall pick. Raiders owner Al Davis supported Jackson and his baseball career and got Jackson to sign a contract by offering him a salary that was comparable to a full-time starting running back but allowing Jackson to join the Raiders only after the baseball season ended.
He was very successful in both sports, until he had a hip injury in 1990. This ended his football career, and he needed to have hip replacement surgery. Jackson was able to return to the Chicago White Sox in 1993, and in his first at-bat, against the New York Yankees, he homered on his first swing.
For the 1994 season, he was signed as a free agent by the California Angels for one final season, where he hit another 13 home runs in 201 at bats, before retiring during the strike.
January 22, 1989
Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida
San Francisco 49ers 20
Cincinnati Bengals 16
This was the second Super Bowl meeting for these two teams in the ’80s. And this may have been the best Super Bowl of the ’80s. The game is remembered for the 49ers’ fourth-quarter game-winning drive. This was the final NFL game coached by the 49ers’ Bill Walsh as well as the final Super Bowl that Pete Rozelle presided over as NFL Commissioner.
For the 49ers, it was their first Super Bowl appearance since they defeated the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX. They had made the playoffs in the three seasons between Super Bowl XIX and Super Bowl XXIII, but were eliminated each time in the first round, primarily because of the poor performances by their offensive stars in those games; quarterback Joe Montana, receiver Jerry Rice and running back Roger Craig all failed to produce a single touchdown.
In the 1988 season, San Francisco won the NFC West with a 10-6 regular season record, but it was a long uphill battle. The team had a quarterback controversy with Montana and Steve Young each starting at quarterback during the season. But after a 6-5 start, Montana led the 49ers to win 4 of their final 5 regular season games.
The Bengals were also a team on the rebound. During the 1987 strike-shortened season, quarterback Boomer Esiason and head coach Sam Wyche had openly feuded, and the team finished with a miserable 4-11 record. A lot of Bengals fans would have been happy to see them both leave the team, but they worked out their differences in the off-season and Esiason ended up having the best season of his career en route to Super Bowl XXIII. During the regular season, he threw for 3,572 yards and 28 touchdown passes with only 14 interceptions, while also rushing for 248 yards and a touchdown on 43 carries. Esiason’s performance made him the top rated quarterback in the league with a 97.4 passer rating and earned him the NFL Most Valuable Player Award. The Bengals also had rookie phenom – fullback Ickey Woods was their top rusher with 1,066 yards and 15 touchdowns, while also catching 21 passes for 199 yards and gaining a lot of media attention with his “Ickey Shuffle”, a dance routine he did in the end zone to celebrate his touchdowns.
The Bengals went on to defeat the Seattle Seahawks, 21-13, and the Buffalo Bills, 21-10, in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Bill Walsh guided the 49ers to their crushing playoff wins over the Minnesota Vikings, 34-9, and the Chicago Bears, 28-3. With the win over the Bears, the 49ers became the first road team to win an NFC Championship Game since the 1979 season.
Prior to the game, Coca-Cola distributed 3-D glasses at retailers for viewers to use. At the onset of the halftime show, primary sponsor Diet Coke aired the first commercial in 3-D (Coca-Cola had originally planned to use the 3-D Diet Coke commercial as part of the 1987-1988, aired in 3-D season finale of Moonlighting, but withdrew plans due to the 1988 Writers Guild of America Strike).
This game also marked the debut of the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter. The first winner of the annual survey was an ad from American Express starring Saturday Night Live stars Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz, who went to the game with different credit cards – Carvey with AmEx rival Visa, Lovitz with American Express.
After both teams traded punts, San Francisco scored first on a 41-yard field goal from kicker Mike Cofer.
The next score didn’t come until there was 1:15 left in the half. The Bengals got a 34-yard field goal by Jim Breech. The two teams went into their locker rooms tied 3 – 3, the first halftime tie in Super Bowl history, and the lowest halftime score since the Pittsburgh Steelers took a 2 – 0 halftime lead over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IX.
On the opening drive of the second half, the Bengals got another field goal, making the score 6-3. But San Francisco was able to tie the game, 6-6, with another field goal themselves. With less than a minute left in the third quarter, it appeared that this would become the first Super Bowl ever to go 3 quarters without either team scoring a touchdown. But on the ensuing kickoff, Bengals kick returner Stanford Jennings returned the ball 93 yards for a touchdown to give the Bengals a 13 – 6 lead.
But the 49ers immediately responded with a touchdown of their own, on an 85-yard, 4-play drive, capped by a Joe Montana 14-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Rice. The game was tied, 13 – 13.
The Bengals got a 40-yard field goal, giving them a 16-13 lead with 3:20 left in the game. The 49ers returned the ensuing kickoff to their own 15-yard line with 3:10 on the clock, but an illegal block penalty on the play pushed the ball back half the distance to the goal line to the 8.
Montana then led an 11-play, 92-yard drive to score the winning touchdown. Assuming that the Bengals would expect him to throw the ball near the sidelines (to enable the receivers to step out of bounds to immediately stop the clock), Montana first threw a pair of completions in the middle of the field, one to Craig and one to tight end John Frank. His next pass went 7 yards to Rice, which was then followed up by a pair of runs by Craig to reach their own 35-yard line. Montana then completed a 17-yard pass to Rice to advance the team to the Bengals 48-yard line, and followed it up with a 13-yard completion to Craig to move them to the 35-yard line.
But on the next play, Montana threw his first incomplete pass of the drive. After that, Cross committed an illegal man downfield penalty, which at the time was a 10-yard foul, moving the ball back to the 45-yard line and bringing up second down and 20 to go with just 1:15 left in the game. But Montana overcame the situation on the next play with a 27-yard completion to Rice, who caught the ball at the 33, evaded 3 Bengal defenders, and ran to the 18-yard line before Horton managed to tackle him to prevent a touchdown. An 8-yard pass to Craig then advanced San Francisco to the 10-yard line. Then with 39 seconds left in the game, Montana finished the drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Taylor, giving the 49ers the lead for good. Finally, San Francisco’s defense sealed the victory after Esiason’s pass to Collinsworth was broken up as time expired.
This was the Doug Williams Super Bowl, and the second Super Bowl in a row that the Denver Broncos took a beating.
The Redskins set the following Super Bowl records in the victory:
* Total offensive yards (602)
* Total offensive rushing yards (280)
* Most touchdowns scored in a Super Bowl game (6)
* Total offensive yards in a quarter (356)
* Most points in a quarter and in a half (35)
* Most touchdowns in a quarter (5)
* The largest deficit that a team has overcome to win a Super Bowl (10 points)
Both teams combined to set the following records:
* Total combined offensive yards (929)
Redskins quarterback Doug Williams was named the Super Bowl MVP, completing 18 of 29 passes for a Super Bowl record 340 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception. Williams became the first player in Super Bowl history to pass for four touchdowns in a single quarter, and throw four in a half. Williams was also the first African-American quarterback to win the Super Bowl.
The Broncos routed the Houston Oilers in the Divisional round of the playoffs, 34–10. Denver then won the AFC Championship Game in an exciting game over the AFC Central champion Cleveland Browns 38-33 for the second consecutive year. The game featured the play that became known as The Fumble resulting more bad luck in Cleveland professional sports lore: Denver defensive back and former Tampa Bay Buc Jeremiah Castille stripped the football from Browns running back Ernest Byner and recovered the ensuing fumble as Byner was rushing in for the potential tying touchdown, securing the Broncos’ win.
Meanwhile, the Redskins had narrow wins in the playoffs. First, they won at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears, 21–17. The Redskins won a defensive battle against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game, 17-10.
The game started out very well for Denver. After forcing Washington to go 3 and out, the Broncos’ scored on their first play from scrimmage, when quarterback John Elway threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to wide open receiver Ricky Nattiel, giving Denver a quick 7–0 lead after just 1:57 had elapsed in the game. It was the earliest touchdown any team had ever scored in Super Bowl history.
The Broncos quickly forced Washington to punt, and put together another drive. After getting to the 6-yard line, they were forced to get a field goal, and went up 10-0.
On the Redskins’ first play of the second quarter, receiver Ricky Sanders got behind defensive back Mark Haynes (who tried to jam him at the line of scrimmage), caught a pass from Williams, and took it 80 yards for a touchdown. After forcing the Broncos to punt on their next possession, Washington advanced to the Denver 27-yard line. Facing third down and 1, with Denver’s defense expecting a running play, Washington decided to pass and receiver Gary Clark made a diving catch in the end zone for a touchdown to give Washington a 14–10 lead.
After the ensuing kickoff Denver drove to the Washington 26-yard line, aided by running back Sammy Winder’s 27-yard reception and Elway’s 21-yard run. After Elway threw an incomplete pass on third down, however, Karlis missed a 43-yard field goal attempt. On the first play of the Redskins’ ensuing drive, Williams threw a 16-yard completion to Clark. Then on the next play, running back Timmy Smith, a rookie in his first NFL start, took off for a 58-yard touchdown run, making the score 21–10.
The Redskins increased their lead to 28–10 on their next possession with a 50-yard touchdown pass from Williams to Sanders, making him the first player in Super Bowl history to catch 2 touchdowns in a single quarter. Four plays after the ensuing kickoff, Washington defensive back Barry Wilburn intercepted a pass from Elway on the Redskin 21 yard-line, and once again the Redskins stormed down the field to score. First, Timmy Smith broke loose for a 43-yard run, then Williams completed a pair of passes to Sanders to reach the Denver 7-yard line. Two plays later, Williams threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Clint Didier to make the score 35–10. On Denver’s next drive, Elway completed 3 consecutive passes for 40 total yards to advance to the Redskins 36-yard line. However, Washington rookie defensive back Brian Davis intercepted Elway’s next pass at the 21-yard line with 7 seconds left in the half.
By the end of the game, Elway was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, and Washington scored another touchdown, a 4-yard run by Smith in the fourth quarter, to bring the game to its final score of 42–10.
The Wonder Years premiered on ABC at the conclusion of this Super Bowl. This was only the second successful series to debut following the Super Bowl (The A-Team, which premiered following Super Bowl XVII, was the other).
This Super Bowl introduced a couple of traditions. When the Giants had secured their victory, they dumped a Gatorade cooler on head coach Bill Parcells. While the Giants had done this all season, a national audience was now able to witness it. Over the years, almost every team has done this at the end of a big game since then.
The other tradition was that Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms was the first athlete to appear in a “I’m going to Disney World!” television ad. Ever since then, the Super Bowl MVP would be shown saying “I’m going to Disney World!” or “I’m going to Disneyland!”
Simms finished the game with 22 of 25 passes completed for 268 yards and three touchdowns. Simms also had 25 rushing yards on 3 carries. His 22 out of 25 (88%) completion percentage not only set a Super Bowl record, but also an NFL postseason record for 21 years.
The Giants advanced to their first Super Bowl in team history, and were playing for their first league championship since they lost to the Chicago Bears in the 1963 NFL Championship Game.
Elway’s ability to improvise on the fly, in part, helped Denver to make it through the playoffs, narrowly defeating the New England Patriots, 22–17, and the Cleveland Browns, 23–20, in the AFC Championship Game. The AFC Championship Game against the Browns was particular significant because Elway displayed why many NFL experts thought Super Bowl XXI would be the first of many Super Bowls for him. In what became known as The Drive, the Broncos started from their own 2-yard line, trailing 20-13, with 5:32 left to play. But in 15 plays, Elway led Denver 98 yards for a game-tying touchdown pass with 39 seconds left. The Broncos then won in overtime after Elway’s led them 60 yards in 9 plays to set up kicker Rich Karlis’ game winning field goal.
Meanwhile, the Giants went on to only allow a combined total of 3 points in their playoff victories over the San Francisco 49ers, 49-3, and the Washington Redskins, 17-0, respectively. Such a dominating performance by the Giants’ defense gave the team a lot of confidence going into the Super Bowl match-up versus the Broncos.
Denver started off the Super Bowl pretty good by getting a field goal on their opening drive. But the Giants came right back and took the lead 7-3 on a 9-play, 78-yard drive, capped by a Phil Simms 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zeke Mowatt.
Denver kick returner Ken Bell gave his team great field position by returning the ensuing kickoff 28 yards to the Broncos 42-yard line. Then, Elway completed 3 consecutive passes: a 14-yard completion to running back Sammy Winder, an 11-yard completion to tight end Orson Mobley, and a 9-yard screen pass to Winder. On Winder’s play, the Giants were flagged for two 15-yard penalties. The first was a personal foul called on Harry Carson, who was penalized for hitting Winder out of bounds. The second penalty was an unsportsmanlike conduct foul on Lawrence Taylor, who picked up the first penalty marker and threw it. The penalties moved the ball to the Giants’ six-yard line, and three plays later Elway scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to give the Broncos a 10–7 lead.
With 2:46 left to go in the second quarter, Giants defensive end George Martin sacked Elway in the end zone for a safety, cutting Denver’s lead to 10-9. The safety was immediately preceded by the first use of instant replay in a Super Bowl game. Elway appeared to complete a pass to tight end Clarence Kay for a 25-yard gain. The play was originally ruled a completion, but the call was changed on the field to an incomplete pass. After conferring the play was reviewed by the replay officials, and director of officiating Art McNally ruled that Kay did not catch the ball.
In the second half, the Giants dominated the Broncos, outscoring them 30-10 with four touchdowns and a field goal on their first five possessions.
On the opening drive of the second half, Simms threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Mark Bavaro to give the Giants a 16-10 lead. After the Broncos were forced to punt, the Giants got a 21-yard field goal by Raul Allegre.
After another Bronco punt, and Giant drive, Joe Morris scored a 1-yard touchdown run to make the score 26-10.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, John Elway threw an interception. The Giants were able to drive and got a 6-yard touchdown pass when Simms threw a pass that bounced off Bavaro’s fingertips, but fell right into the arms of Phil McConkey. The Giants lead was now 33-10.
The Broncos finally managed to get a good drive going on their next possession, advancing the ball 74 yards in 13 plays and scoring on Karlis’s 28-yard field goal, cutting their deficit to 33-13. But the Giants recovered Denver’s ensuing onside kick attempt and stormed right back for another touchdown. On the drive, Rouson ran for 18 yards and then Simms ran for a 22-yard gain. Running back Ottis Anderson finished the drive off with a 2-yard touchdown run to make the score 39-13 after Allegre’s extra point attempt failed.
Denver later managed to cut their deficit to 39-20 with Elway’s 47-yard touchdown pass to Vance Johnson (the 100th TD in Super Bowl history), but by then there was only a little more than two minutes left in the game.
As the final seconds of the game ticked away Harry Carson, continuing the recent trend started by the Giants, gave head coach Bill Parcells a Gatorade shower, going as far as to take off his jersey and pads and sneak behind Parcells with a Rose Bowl security team shirt on.
The New England Patriots were a Cinderella team during the 1985 season. They began the season losing 3 of their first 5 games, but won 6 consecutive games to finish with an 11-5 record. Even though they finished with a good record, the Patriots came in third place in the AFC East behind the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets. However, they were able to get into the playoffs as the second Wild Card team.
The Patriots shocked everybody in the playoffs this year by choking against the New York Jets. However, the 1985 team shocked everybody by going on an incredible run – with all their playoff games on the road. They started this playoff run against the…
New York Jets
December 28, 1985
New England Patriots 26
New York Jets 14
In the NFL’s first ever playoff game at Giants Stadium, the Patriots dominated the Jets by forcing 4 turnovers and 5 sacks. New England jumped to 3-0 lead in the first quarter after Tony Franklin made a 33-yard field goal. Then after New York scored on quarterback Ken O’Brien’s 11-yard touchdown pass to running back Johnny Hector, Franklin kicked his second field goal for 41 yards. Late in the second quarter, safety Fred Marion intercepted a pass from O’Brien to set up Tony Eason’s 36-yard touchdown pass to Stanley Morgan, giving New England a 13-7 halftime lead. In the third period, Franklin made a 20-yard field goal to give the Patriots a 16-7 lead and on the ensuing kickoff, Hector was stripped of the ball by LB Johnny Rembert, who then picked up the fumble and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown, which gave the Patriots a commanding 23-7 lead, but the Jets cut the lead to 23-14 late in the 3rd quarter when Pat Ryan, in at QB for the injured Ken O’Brien, threw a 12 yard TD pass to Mickey Shuler. Late in the 4th quarter, Franklin later made his fourth field goal of the game, a 26-yarder, to close out the scoring.
The Patriots then went out to Los Angeles to take on the…
Los Angeles Raiders
January 5, 1986
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
New England Patriots 27
Los Angeles Raiders 20
New England running back Craig James rushed for 104 yards, caught 3 passes for 48 yards and scored a touchdown while the Patriots converted 6 Raiders turnovers into 17 points. In the first quarter, a fumble by Raiders punt returner Fulton Walker set up Patriots tight end Lin Dawson’s 13-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Tony Eason. Los Angeles then scored 17 unanswered points: a 29-field goal by Chris Bahr, a 16-yard touchdown reception by Jessie Hester, and Marcus Allen’s 11-yard rushing touchdown. New England then scored with James’ 2-yard run, and later tied the game, 17-17, after Ronnie Lippett’s interception set up Tony Franklin’s 45-yard field goal. But Bahr kicked a 32-yard field goal with 6 second left in the half to give the Raiders a 20-17 lead. In the third period, Franklin made a 32-yard field goal to tie the game. On the ensuing kickoff, Sam Seale fumbled and Jim Bowman recovered the loose ball in the end zone for the game-clinching touchdown.
New England Patriot fans were extremely excited. We were not used to going this far into the playoffs. Hell, we were lucky to even see a playoff team. And here are the Patriots, going to the AFC Championship game, on the way to “Squish the Fish”, as they took on their dreaded rivals the…
January 12, 1986
Miami Orange Bowl
New England Patriots 31
Miami Dolphins 14
This win against Miami had been especially surprising, not only because Miami was the only team to beat the Chicago Bears in the season, but also because New England had not won in the Orange Bowl (Miami’s then-home field) since 1966, the Dolphins’ first season (then in the AFL). The Patriots had lost to Miami there 18 consecutive times, including a 30-27 loss in their 15th game of the season. And this was not the Miami team of recent years. This was the Dan Marino-led Miami team. But, somebody forgot to tell the Patriots that they were supposed to lose. And somebody forgot to tell the Miami offense that they had a game to play. The Patriots converted 6 Dolphins turnovers into 24 points.
On Miami’s first offensive play, running back Tony Nathan fumbled, and Patriots defensive end Garin Veris recovered the ball to set up Tony Franklin’s 23-yard field goal. The Dolphins then marched on an 80-yard drive to score on quarterback Dan Marino’s 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dan Johnson. But New England responded on a 66-yard possession to score on quarterback Tony Eason’s 4-yard touchdown to Tony Collins. A fumble by Dwight Stephenson then led to Eason’s 1-yard touchdown to Derrick Ramsey to give the Patriots a 17-7 lead. Just before halftime Miami missed the chance to cut the deficit down to 3 points when tight end Dan Johnson dropped a pass from Marino in the end zone on a 1st and 10 from the Patriots’ 16. As the next two plays fell short of a first down, Miami settled for a field goal from the Patriots’ 14 yards, but Fuad Reveiz’ kick sailed wide to the right after a badly taken snap. Miami’s Lorenzo Hampton then lost a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half, and Eason converted the turnover into a 2-yard touchdown pass to running back Robert Weathers. The Dolphins finally scored again in the final period with Nathan’s 10-yard touchdown reception to cut the deficit to 24-14, but New England’s Mosi Tatupu later recorded a 1-yard touchdown to close out the scoring. Patriots running back Craig James was their main contributor on offense, rushing for a career postseason high 105 yards of the Patriots 255 total rushing yards in a game played in a steady rain.
This brought the Patriots to their first ever Super Bowl…
This Super Bowl was hyped as the battle between two great quarterbacks, Miami’s Dan Marino and San Francisco’s Joe Montana – and indeed this was the first Super Bowl ever in which the starting quarterbacks of each team both threw for over 300 yards. In addition, the two teams combined total of 851 offensive yards was a Super Bowl record (later broken in Super Bowl XXII & Super Bowl XXXVIII). But the 49ers would end up taking the game in dominating fashion. It would be Marino’s only trip to the Super Bowl during his 17 year career.
Montana, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, completed 24 of 35 passes for a Super Bowl record 331 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 5 rushes for 59 yards and 1 rushing touchdown. His 59 rushing yards were the most rushing yards ever gained by a quarterback in the Super Bowl at that time.
Going into the game the two teams had combine for 33 wins – a Super Bowl record.
This Super Bowl was unique in that it fell on the same day that Ronald Reagan was inaugurated for a second term as President of the United States. Because January 20 fell on a Sunday, Reagan was sworn in privately and the public ceremony took place the following day.
The 49ers advanced to their second Super Bowl in team history after becoming the first team ever to win 15 regular season games since the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978.
As the Dolphins advanced to the Super Bowl for the fifth time in franchise history, much of the media focus was on Miami’s young quarterback Dan Marino. In just his second year in the league, he broke nearly every NFL single season passing record. Marino set a record for the most completions in a season (362) and became the first quarterback ever to throw for over 5,000 yards, reaching a total of 5,084. He set the record for the most games throwing for at least 300 passing yards (9) and the most games with 400 yards (4). Marino’s 48 touchdown passes broke the previous record of 36, which was held by both George Blanda for the Houston Oilers in 1961 and Y.A. Tittle for the New York Giants in 1963. And he played the most games with at least 4 or more touchdown passes (6) and the most consecutive games with at least 4 touchdown passes (4).
The Dolphins gained 405 yards of total offense in their 31-10 playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks, and over 500 yards as they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 45-28, in the AFC Championship Game. In the victory over the Steelers, Marino completed 21 of 32 passes for 421 yards and 4 touchdowns, with 1 interception.
Meanwhile, the 49ers’ underrated defense allowed the team to blitz through the playoffs. Although Montana threw a combined total of 5 interceptions in their 2 games, they only gave up a combined total of 10 points and zero touchdowns in their victories over the New York Giants, 21-10, and the Chicago Bears, 23-0.
At 33-3, the combined records for the two teams coming into the game were and still are the best in Super Bowl history. The 49ers were 17-1 and the Dolphins 16-2 including their playoff games.
On Miami’s first drive, they got a 37-yard field goal from Uwe von Schamann. But, the 3-0 lead did not last long. San Francisco drove 78 yards in 8 plays, culminating in a 33-yard touchdown pass from Montana to reserve running back Carl Monroe to give them a 7-3 lead. It looked like the game was living up to its hype when Miami retook the lead on the next drive. Marino completed five consecutive passes, hitting Mark Clayton for 18 yards, Mark Duper for 11, Clayton again for 13, and tight end Dan Johnson for 21. On the next play, Marino finished the drive by hitting Johnson for a 2-yard touchdown pass, giving the Dolphins a 10-7 lead with 45 seconds left in the first quarter.
Then San Francisco took over the game. The defense shut Miami down. In the second quarter, the 49ers drove, and Joe Montana threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Roger Craig, giving the 49ers a 14-10 lead. Miami had to punt when they got the ball back. Montana completed a pair of passes to tight end Russ Francis to move the ball 29 yards to the Miami 11-yard line. Craig ran for 5 yards on the next play, and then Montana ran the final 6 yards to the end zone for a touchdown, making the score 21-10. Then, San Francisco struck again scoring on a Roger Craig 2 yard run to make the score 28-10.
With 12 seconds left in the half, Miami got another field goal making the score 28-13. Then Miami caught a break as the 49ers botched the ensuing kickoff. San Francisco lineman Guy McIntyre received Van Schamann’s short kick and was about to down the ball, but then changed his mind at the last second and decided to return it. This turned out to be a big mistake. McIntyre lost a fumble while being leveled by rookie Joe Carter, and Jim Jensen recovered the ball for Miami at the 49ers 12-yard line. After that, Von Schamann kicked his third field goal on the last play of the half, cutting the score to 28-16.
On their first drive of the second half, San Francisco got a 27 yard field goal from kicker Ray Wersching making the score 31-16. On the Dolphins’ ensuing drive, they were forced to punt again after Marino was sacked twice. Starting their own 30-yard line after a 5-yard return by McLemore, Montana completed a 40-yard pass to Tyler, followed up with a 14-yard completion to Francis. Three plays later, Craig scored his third touchdown on a 16-yard reception to make the score 38-16. The score proved to be the last one from either team, as the defenses of both teams took over for the rest of the game – especially the 49ers’ defense, who intercepted Marino twice.