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NFL – 1980 – NBC Special – Super Bowl XV – Raiders VS Eagles – The Road To New Orleans – Part 2


Super Bowl XV is another one of those memory packed sporting events that Bone Daddy saw live at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, LA….as this trip to the Crescent City was truly one of those “magic carpet rides” through the fields of cajun food, Lucky Pierre’s and Raider Nation that will never lose its wonderful memories….for I have written at least a dozen stories about this sojuoun into the heart of sports that I will post in my L E’s Stories Section upon completion of the posting of Bone Daddy’s entire vintage video library….as these are tall tales for another day. 

In the days leading up to this game….most sports writers were speculating over what would happen if the Raiders won….since NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle would have to present the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the team’s owner Al Davis….who prior to the season had the league decline to approve the Raiders’ proposal to move from Oakland, California to Los Angeles….to which in reaction, Al Davis and the Raiders had sued the NFL for violating antitrust laws. The conflict caused a great deal of friction between Rozelle and Davis….as later on the Raiders would eventually win the lawsuit….thus allowing the team to move to Los Angeles before the 1982 season.  

This was the first Super Bowl where both teams came into the game using a 3–4 defensive formation as their base defense….whereas the Raiders were the first team ever to use the 3–4….when they did so in Super Bowl XI against the Minnesota Vikings….although the Miami Dolphins used a version of the 3–4 known as a “53 defense” in Super Bowl VI, Super Bowl VII and Super Bowl VIII….for the 3–4 would be used by at least one team in every Super Bowl between Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XXVIII.  The Raiders became the first team to appear in a Super Bowl in three different decades (1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s)…. after having previously played in Super Bowls II and XI.    

The game was broadcast in the United States by NBC with Dick Enberg handling the play-by-play duties and Merlin Olsen serving as color analyst….while John Brodie and Len Dawson, in a separate broadcast booth, also provided occasional analysis during the game. Bryant Gumbel and Mike Adamle of NFL ’80 anchored the pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage. Also taking part on NBC’s coverage of the game were Pete Axthelm and Bob Trumpy.  Like the Super Bowl XIII two years before….NBC used the same custom synthesizer-heavy theme in place of their regular music. This game would also be the first Super Bowl to air with closed captioning for the hearing impaired.    

The pregame festivities honored the end of the Iran hostage crisis…. which was announced 5 days before the game….while featuring a performance by the Southern University band. A large yellow bow 80-foot (24 m) long and 30 feet (9.1 m) wide was attached to the outside of the Superdome….as miniature bows were given to fans.    

Singer, actress, and dancer Helen O’Connell sang the national anthem. The coin toss ceremony featured Marie Lombardi, the widow of Pro Football Hall of Fame Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi.  The halftime show featured singers and dancers in a “Mardi Gras  Festival”….with a performance from “Up With People” in a rousing patriotic theme.    

Toward the end of NBC’s coverage….a montage of the game including  the arrival of the hostages following their release….along with the inauguration of Ronald Reagan as the 40th President of the United States aired to the tune of Celebration by Kool & the Gang.   

This Super Bowl is featured on NFL’s Greatest Games under the title “The Cinderella Super Bowl”….which happens to also be a part of Ima Sportsphile’s awesome vintge football videos library….as the Bad Boys from Oakland became the first team to avenge a regular-season loss in the Super Bowl….after the Eagles defeated the Raiders 10–7 on November 23 at Veterans Stadium. 

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