Rocky Bleier says it seems like a blur, “40 years. Oh man. 40 years.”
Yes, four full decades have passed since the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII and claimed the championship for the third time.
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That magical game in Miami on Jan. 21, 1979, was broadcast on Channel 11, and it was the rematch of the big game from three years earlier.
“It was a big hype game because of Super Bowl X and the Cowboys and their reputation," Bleier told Channel 11's Alby Oxenreiter. "They got a chance to meet again in the Super Bowl.”
The win by the Steelers had Rocky’s fingerprints all over it. When Terry Bradshaw connected with Bleier on a late 2nd quarter touchdown pass, the Steelers had a halftime lead.
Bleier remembers every detail of that play. “As the ball came into the end zone, I leapt, all 5-foot-9 1/2 of me, straight up in the air as high as I could go. I don't know if it was 18,19, 20 feet. I forget after all these years. Or, as Andy Russell used to say, ‘like four inches.’ I threw my hands up and plank, the ball stuck, and I was as surprised as anybody. I came down and got a score that gave us a lead.”
Bleier also played a major role in sealing the win when he recovered an onside kick.
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He remembers not wanting to be the scapegoat, “All I'm thinking, honest to God is 'don't kick it to me,' that's all I'm thinking.”
Bleier wrapped himself around the loose ball and the Steelers were Super Bowl champions for the third time in five years.
While Pittsburgh celebrated another championship, Bleier would find himself on the cover of a Sports Illustrated.
“A lot of people thought that I contributed, or at least in the fact that I made the cover of Sports Illustrated after that Super Bowl, which was terrific," he said.
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