SITE: TULANE STADIUM, NEW ORLEANS
DATE: JAN. 12, 1975
CLAIM TO FAME: HARRIS, THE GAME'S MVP, RUMBLED TO 168 YARDS ON 34 CARRIES AND A KEY THIRD-QUARTER TOUCHDOWN.
ONE OF THE things I always hear from fans who traveled to New Orleans to watch us play in Super Bowl IX was how cold it was in the stands at Tulane Stadium. But the thing I'll never forget was how great the weather was all week. On the day before the game I remember walking around town and thinking how beautiful it was. And then overnight I guess you could say Pittsburgh and Minneapolis weather came on in. [The temperature at kickoff was 46�.]
But if anything had us shivering on the field, it was our nerves. Even though we were pretty loose for a team that was playing in its first Super Bowl, there was a tightness that it seemed we just couldn't shake. Part of that was due to the play of both defenses. The Vikings' D in particular had made the day real tough and had us playing a little more cautious than normal. But despite that early tightness, we had a huge reserve of confidence from beating Oakland in the AFC Championship Game and knew we could tap into that when we needed it most. We felt that we were the best team in football and that if we did what we had to do and executed down the stretch, we'd find a way to win.
We finally had our chance early in the third quarter when, leading 2-0, we recovered a fumbled Vikings kickoff return at their 30-yard line. Back then we liked to call a lot of running plays that capitalized on our offensive line's ability to trap, a blocking scheme wherein a pulling interior lineman slides to the outside of the line and blocks an onrushing defender toward the sideline. Then at certain times we'd throw in a wrinkle called a seal, where that lineman would block the rusher away from the sideline instead. Facing second down and 10, we stuck with the trap, our bread and butter. [ Harris ran for 24 yards, then lost three on his next carry.] Then we hit 'em with the seal. Gerry Mullins got me around the left corner for a nine-yard touchdown, and all of a sudden we were sitting on a 9-0 lead.
Even though we ended up winning 16-6, the game was a lot tighter than the final score suggests. A couple of turnovers or some fumbles go the other way, and it could've been a completely different outcome with a completely different Most Valuable Player, an award that came as a surprise to me. I mean, I had no idea what my yardage was  or what the carries were . I didn't even think about it. The only thought in my mind was, We won.
—As told to Andrew Lawrence