Let’s deconstruct the myth — Lynn Swann’s downfield juggling catch in this game wasn’t the be-all, end-all of the Steelers’ second Super Bowl win, even though it seems to be the singular moment that helped burnish his ultimately successful Hall of Fame candidacy.
This film doesn’t linger on the catch; it shows it from a few angles, says it set up a field goal, and moves forward with the narrative. It tells the game as it was … one that saw a peculiar but noble brand of honor from Jack Lambert, who tossed Cowboys safety Cliff Harris to the turf like a chew toy after the Dallas defender mockingly patted meek-countenanced Steelers kicker Roy Gerela on the head following a missed field-goal attempt. The highlights focus on the two sides of the Lambert — the intimidating s.o.b. who invoked fear in many an opponent, and the honorable leader who defends any of his fellow black-helmeted players without hesitation.
“Super Bowl X was the most exciting ever,” we are told as the “This Week in Baseball” theme music makes a return engagement from the previous year’s highlight film, and with other common musical cues from previous Super Bowl highlight films — “The Raiders,” for instance, serving as the backdrop for Terry Bradshaw’s fourth-quarter touchdown pass to game MVP Lynn Swann — it’s almost as though Films was getting some common threads of early Super Bowl highlight films out of its system. A year later, there would be a significant shift in how the Super Bowl highlights were constructed … but we’ll get to that in the forthcoming Super Bowl XI piece.
Call me a nitpicker, but I know that a shot of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader shown right after the John Warner-conducted coin toss was taken at Texas Stadium, and not in the Orange Bowl. (Ditto for a later shot of Cliff Harris.) There’s also a shot where the camera zooms in on the ample chest of a woman wearing a “Superman” t-shirt. Why do I get the feeling this was a throwaway shot that the cameraman never intended to see the light of day?
BEST NARRATION: “From the opening kickoff to the final gun, Super Bowl X had more fireworks than any bicentennial celebration could possibly match.”
A good piece, and it doesn’t make the second-quarter Swann leap-and-catch into more than what it is, recognizing the vaster significance of his fourth-quarter touchdown grab from Bradshaw.