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From the Archives: Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV

Jan. 20, 1980: Lynn Swan catches a 47 yard third quarter touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw giving P
Jan. 20, 1980: Lynn Swan catches a 47-yard third quarter touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw giving Pittsburgh a 17-13 lead. Rams defenders are Pat Thomas, left and Nolan Cromwell.
(Boris Yaro / Los Angeles Times)

The heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers were expected to easily roll over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV.

Times sports columnist Jim Murray wrote:

The outcome was as predictable as San Diego weather. Pittsburgh Steelers always win Super Bowl games. They're getting monotonous. But they must have thought somebody else showed up in Ram uniforms. These were no Hollywood sissies, no college of profiles, no rhinestone cowboys, no Sunset-and-Vine lilacs waiting for their big break in pictures, no guys bucking for a screen test. The Rams didn't show up with mirrors or makeup men, they were a scratching, scrambling, stubborn, socking team of alley fighters, swarmers spoiling for a scrap.

They came into the game with a rookie at quarterback, their best player playing on a broken leg and a 9-7 record and a team that scored only 323 points and gave up 309. They shouldn't even have been able to get tickets. The first 50-0 game in Super Bowl history was freely predicted, indeed, expected. …

But the game turned out to be a classic. The lead changed hands seven times. The Rams led 13-10 at halftime and 19-17 at the start of fourth quarter. Two fourth-quarter Steelers touchdowns gave Pittsburgh a 31-19 victory.

The Steelers' victory was their fourth Super Bowl win in six years.

Ahead of the 2016 Super Bowl, The Times’ Mike DiGiovanna asked members of that 1979 L.A. Rams team to recall their unlikely run to the championship game.

This post was originally published on Feb. 3, 2011.

Jan. 20, 1980: Rams Wendell Tyler breaks loose for a 39-yard run in the first quarter. Donnie Shell
Jan. 20, 1980: L.A.'s Wendell Tyler (26), escorted by teammate Kent Hill (72), breaks loose for a 39-yard run in the first quarter to set up the Rams' first touchdown. Pittsburgh's Donnie Shell (31), harassed by Rams' Billy Waddy, gives chase. Larry Sharkey / Los Angeles Times
Jan. 20, 1980: Ram quarterback Vince Ferragamo hands off to Cullen Bryant as Dennis Harrah blocks Pi
Jan. 20, 1980: Ram quarterback Vince Ferragamo (15) hands off to Cullen Bryant (32) as Dennis Harrah (60) blocks Pittsburgh's Joe Greene (75). Martha Hartnett / Los Angeles Times
Jan. 20, 1980: Steeler defensive back J.T. Thomas wrestles Wendell Tyler to the turf, stopping the R
Jan. 20, 1980: Steelers defensive back J.T. Thomas (24) wrestles the Rams' Wendell Tyler (26) to the turf after a short gain in the second quarter. George Rose / Los Angeles Times
Jan. 20, 1980: Charle Young (86) and Terry Nelson (83) of the Rams signal touchdown after Cullen Bry
Jan. 20, 1980: The Rams' Charle Young (86) and Terry Nelson (83) help make the call after Cullen Bryant's one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. George Rose / Los Angeles Times
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jack Lambert (58) comes down under the foot of Los Angeles Rams recei
Jan. 20, 1980: Steelers linebacker Jack Lambert (58) comes down with the ball after intercepting a pass meant for Rams receiver Ron Smith (84) in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XIV. Associated Press

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