Volume 93, Issue 16

Friday, September 24, 1999


Western poised to battle York

Rugby to train with other fall sports

Falcons and Jets, better luck next year

Millenium moment

The history of a really wicket game

Millenium moment

Before the Super Bowl was a silly over-hyped game, before it became a television event, there was Super Bowl III.

January 12, 1969 marked a major turning point in the game of football and was one of the most exciting games in football history. This Super Bowl took place in a time when the American Football League and the National Football League were separate, competing leagues.

The Super Bowl was basically a championship game between the two leagues. Super Bowls I and II resembled what they are now – blowouts. In the two games, the NFL trounced the AFL by a total score of 68-24.

Going into Super Bowl III, it was the AFL's New York Jets versus the NFL's Baltimore Colts. Most people were predicting another blow out. Many writers predicted Baltimore would win by a margin of 38 points.

The Colts had the guns to back up this prediction. They finished the regular season with a record of 13-1 with three shutouts. During the NFL championships the team shutout the Cleveland Browns 34-0. This, combined with the fact the Colts were lead by NFL most valuable player Earl Morrall, who threw a league high 26 touchdowns, made them formidable opponents.

The Jets, however, weren't defenseless. Led by legendary quarterback Joe Namath and receiver George Sauer, the team still had a chance of overcoming their rivals. But as the game drew nearer, pressure began to build on Namath and the long shot chance they had at winning. Namath caved in with anger and muttered his famous guarantee – "we're going to win the game. I guarantee it."

Although many players on the Jets were upset, the team still managed to pull together. The guarantee helped make the match up a major event – 75,377 people attended and 15 million people watched it on television.

True to his word, Namath stepped up his game and the Jets began their march to the championship. It would take Baltimore 55 minutes before they got on the scoreboard, but by that time it was too late. The Jets were already too far ahead, eventually winning the game 16-7.

Super Bowl III drew an unheard of amount of attention and raised the game to much more than just a game, it was a media event. It would be from this day that the Super Bowl would rise to the gigantic proportions it has today.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999