Super Bowl V was the fifth edition of the Super Bowl and first modern-era National Football League (NFL) championship game….in an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Baltimore Colts and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys to decide the NFL champion for the 1970 season. The game was played on January 17, 1971 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida….and was the first Super Bowl game played on artificial turf….a first-generation known as Poly-Turf.
This was the first Super Bowl played after the completion of the AFL–NFL merger….so, beginning with this game and continuing to the present day….the Super Bowl has served as the NFL’s league championship game….with the winner of the AFC Championship Game and the winner of the NFC Championship Game facing off in the culmination of the NFL playoffs…..as per the merger agreement….all 26 AFL and NFL teams were divided into two conferences with 13 teams in each of them….when the Colts, the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to join the 10 AFL teams to form the AFC…..with the remaining 13 NFL teams formed the NFC. This explains why the Colts represented the NFL in Super Bowl III….but they represented AFC for Super Bowl V.
Baltimore advanced to Super Bowl V after posting an 11–2–1 regular season record….while the Cowboys were making their first Super Bowl appearance after posting a 10–4 regular season record. The game is sometimes called the “Blunder Bowl” or the “Stupor Bowl” because it was filled with poor play like a missed PAT, penalties, turnovers, and officiating miscues. The two teams committed a Super Bowl record 11 combined turnovers in the game….and the Colts’ seven turnovers are currently the most ever committed by a winning team in a Super Bowl. Dallas also set a Super Bowl record with 10 penalties….which cost them 133 yards. It was finally settled with nine seconds left when Colts rookie kicker Jim O’Brien kicked a 32-yard field goal with 5 seconds left in the game. In order to win the game, Baltimore had to overcome a 13–6 deficit after three quarters….in addition to losing their starting quarterback Johnny Unitas in the second quarter….as super-sub QB Earl Morral replaced him and led the Colts to victory.
It is the only Super Bowl in which the Most Valuable Player Award was given to a member of the losing team….when Cowboys’ linebacker Chuck Howley….who intercepted two passes….as sacks and tackles were not yet recorded. Howley was the first non-quarterback to win the MVP award. An interesting side note to the poor play on the field….Colts defensive end Bubba Smith would later refuse to wear his Super Bowl V ring because of the “sloppy” play.