21. Super Bowl XIV, 1980: Pittsburgh 31—Los Angeles 19
The final act of the Steelers’ amazing four rings in six years barnstorming tour was an entertaining but relatively benign battle against an underdog Los Angeles team from a demonstrably inferior NFC. Pittsburgh went off as a ten-and-a-half point favorite — and eventually covered — but not before a feistier than expected contest from the nettlesome Rams.
Competitiveness: 8 out of 10. The canny Rams took a 13-10 lead into halftime and seemed surprisingly able to move the ball against the Steel Curtain defense. The teams traded body blows into the fourth quarter until the Steelers conjured their patented Super Bowl magic.
Star Power: 9 out of 10. The Steelers’ roster of this year reads like a Beatles’ Best-Of. What does it matter? They’re all great. The Rams contributed stalwarts Jackie Slater and Jack Youngblood.
Intrigue/Controversy: 8 out of 10. Fans turned out in force to see if the dominant Steelers could become the first team to win four Super Bowls. With the airing of the Mean Joe Greene Coca Cola commercial, ads became a crucial sidelight to the actual game.
Aftermath: 6 out if 10. The Steelers would remain competitive under coach Chuck Noll until his retirement, but never reached another Super Bowl during his tenure. Noll’s imprint remains on a franchise that values tradition and continues winning.
Aggregate Score: 31 out of 40.
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