Super Bowl Anthology: Super Bowl X

By Nick Shook
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Lynn Swann’s Pittsburgh Steelers sat atop professional football’s throne in America’s 200th year of existence, 1976. Coming off a 16-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IX, the Steelers were the defending champions and one of football’s two most-popular franchises. Along with wide receiver John Stallworth, Swann was the star of a passing attack led by quarterback Terry Bradshaw.

Pittsburgh took the Miami Orange Bowl turf prepared to win a second straight world championship. At the other end of the field stood America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys. After three quarters, Dallas looked poised to take home the title.

An unseating of the reigning champions wasn’t going to come easy.

After kicking a 36-yard field goal to grab a slim 12-10 lead, Pittsburgh took the field with 4:25 left to play. The Steelers faced a third and 6 from their 36-yard line when Bradshaw dropped back and heaved a deep pass to Swann. The acrobatic receiver caught the ball at the 5-yard line as defensive back Mark Washington fell in a vain attempt at a tackle and Swann trotted into the end zone, tossing the ball over his shoulder and raising his arms in celebration.

Swann finished the game with 161 receiving yards and a touchdown, good for Super Bowl X Most Valuable Player.

Swann recalled the Steelers’ second world championship to Nick Shook at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.

‘Well for us, it was staying in the routine. We had learned that from the first Super Bowl, that having a good routine helps youin your preparation. You don’t really have to think about a lot. You just stick to the routine, stick to the plan, and things will take care of themselves.’

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