Super Bowl XV

Louisiana Superdome
January 25, 1981

Oakland Raiders 27
Philadelphia Eagles 10

Super Bowl XV was the pinnacle of Jim Plunkett’s comeback. The 1970 Heisman Trophy winner was drafted by the New England Patriots and was the 1971 NFL Rookie of the Year. However, he had 5 losing seasons with the Patriots, and 2 unimpressive seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He was picked up as a free agent by the Oakland Raiders in 1978 to be the backup quarterback to Dan Pastorini. The Raiders started the 1980 season with a 2-3 record, starter Dan Pastorini broke his leg and suddenly Plunkett was thrust into the starting role. Plunkett got off to a bad start, throwing 5 interceptions in a 31-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after relieving Pastorini. However, he recovered and led the Raiders to victory in 9 of their last 11 games in the season, qualifying for the playoffs as a wild card team. The Raiders defeated the Houston Oilers, 27–7, the Cleveland Browns 14–12, and the San Diego Chargers, 34–27. In doing so, Oakland became the third wild card team to advance to the Super Bowl, and the first wild card team to win three postseason rounds since the NFL expanded to a 10-team playoff format in 1978.

Under Head Coach Dick Vermeil, Philadelphia advanced to their first ever Super Bowl in team history, and had not played in a league championship game since their 1960 NFL championship. The Eagles were led by quarterback Ron Jaworski, who completed 257 out of 451 passes for 3,529 yards during the regular season, including 27 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. Another key player on the Eagles offense was halfback Wilbert Montgomery, who was widely considered one of the top running backs in the NFL and had rushed for over 1,200 rushing yards in the last 2 seasons.

The Eagles actually beat the Raiders 10-7 during the regular season, in Philadelphia as they sacked Plunkett 8 times.
The Eagles advanced through the playoffs, defeating the Minnesota Vikings, 31-16, and the Dallas Cowboys, 20–7.
Oakland linebacker Rod Martin intercepted Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski’s first pass of the game and returned it 17 yards to Philadelphia’s 30-yard line, setting up Jim Plunkett’s 2-yard touchdown pass to Cliff Branch 7 plays later. Oakland scored once again in the first quarter to jump to a 14-0 lead – from which Philadelphia would never recover. The score was 14-3 at halftime. The Raiders scored on the first drive of the second half to a 21-3 lead.
After another field goal, and the Raiders up 24-3, the Eagles finally managed to score a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to cut their deficit to 24–10. Oakland came back with another field goal, to go up 27-10. Oakland’s defense then dominated the rest the game, forcing two turnovers on Philadelphia’s last 2 possessions of the game to prevent any chance of a comeback. The Raiders went on to become the first wild card team to win a Super Bowl.

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Super Bowl XIV

As the Super Bowl approaches this week, let’s take a look back at the Super Bowls of the ’80s.

January 20, 1980:
Pittsburgh Steelers 31
Los Angeles Rams 19

This Super Bowl was held at the Rose Bowl before a record crowd of 103,985. It was the Steelers’ second Super Bowl win in a row, and it was their fourth total. This Super Bowl was Terry Bradshaw’s last.
Lynn Swann was Bradshaw’s favorite target, but John Stallworth was the Steelers hero in this game.
The lead had changed several times. The Steelers started off with a 3-0 lead. Then the Rams came right back with a 7-3 lead. The lead changed hands once again 10-7. By halftime, however, the Rams got a couple of field goals to take a 13-10 lead.
Very quickly in the second half, the Steelers took another lead 17-13.
Yet again,the Rams took the lead on a touchdown, but the extra point was missed. So the score was 19-17.
Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Terry Bradshaw hit John Stallworth with a long touchdown pass, which put the Steelers in the lead for good. The score was 24-19. Then late in the quarter, Bradshaw hit Stallworth with a 45 yard pass. A couple of plays later, the Steelers got the ball on the 1 yard line on a controversial pass interference call when Pat Thomas cut in front of Jim Smith. They were then able to score from there to make the final score 31-19.

Note: See Jim’s comment below to see the Bradshaw-to-Stallworth TD pass.

Thanks Jim!!

Daily Trivia – 1/31/11

Question: What show became the lowest-rated series ever brought back for a second season, after it picked up a record 21 Emmy nominations?


Last Question: Who went by the name Leaf Phoenix when appearing in the movies Russkies and SpaceCamp?

Answer: Joaquin Phoenix

Before he starred as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line, and before his music career hoax as a rapper, Joaquin Phoenix started his acting career in the ’80s. Other than being known as River Phoenix’s younger brother, Joaquin used the stage name Leaf. He made his big-screen debut in the 1986 movie Space Camp. His first starring role was in Russkies (1987). He later co-starred in Ron Howard’s Parenthood (1989).

Battle of the Bands – Tiffany vs. Debbie Gibson

OK, here we go! In honor of “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid” event tomorrow, here is the battle of the ’80s teen queens once again. The battled it out for attention to appear in Tiger Beat and Teen Beat, and later on in Playboy. Although they did not really fight against each other, they battle it out tomorrow:

Now they will fight it out again here at Return to the ’80s. Feel free to read up on the articles I just posted on Tiffany and Debbie.

Who is your favorite?

Guilty Pleasures – Tiffany

The former teen-queen will star along side fellow teen-queen, Debbie Gibson, in the upcoming guilty pleasure itself, “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid” on SyFy tomorrow.

I liked Tiffany. Her voice has kind of an edge to it. It is kind of like Stevie Nicks-lite (which is a compliment). Her dance music was popular, but I think her ballads are just as good, if not better.

In 1985, Tiffany appeared on Star Search with Ed McMahon, where she came in second place.

In 1987, Tiffany released her first album – Tiffany. In order to promote the album she went on a tour of shopping malls across the United States, called “The Beautiful You: Celebrating The Good Life Shopping Mall Tour ’87”. Her popularity exploded with the release of the Tommy James & the Shondells hit, “I Think We’re Alone Now”. The song skyrocketed to number 1. In February 1988, her ballad, “Could’ve Been” also shot up to number 1. She also had a hit with “I Saw Him Standing There”, which was a modified remake of the Beatles hit, “I Saw Her Standing There”. When she went on a concert tour in 1988, she cast the then-unknown singing group New Kids on the Block as the opening act. During the tour she briefly dated Jonathan Knight.

In late 1988, Tiffany released her second album, Hold an Old Friend’s Hand, which was less successful than her first album. Although it did not feature any number one hits, the song “All This Time” made the top ten. The album still went platinum.

However, like most ’80s acts, Tiffany’s popularity disappeared in the early-90s as musical tastes changed. Grunge and harder-edged rap were taking over, and dance-pop was fading.

Tiffany has been slowly coming back over the past decade. In the April 2002 issue of Playboy, she appeared fully nude. Then she started appearing in reality/competition shows. On April 2, 2005, Tiffany was featured on the British TV show Hit Me Baby One More Time, winning the first heat and securing a place in the show’s finale (which Shakin’ Stevens won). She also appeared on the U.S. version of the show on June 2, 2005, but lost to hip-hop group Arrested Development. Both versions of the show aimed to bring former pop stars back into the limelight. In 2007, Tiffany was also one of the contestants on the fifth season of the TV show Celebrity Fit Club, going from 152 to 124 lbs for a loss of 28 lbs. On October 18, 2008, Tiffany appeared on the CMT reality show Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling (CCW) where she was eliminated in the first episode due to poor wrestling performance. She was the first contender to be eliminated from the show.

Tiffany continues to record new music.

Here is my top-10 Tiffany songs:

10. I Saw Him Standing There

This song was a huge hit for Tiffany. But, I do not recommend listening to the Beatles’ version first. If you do, then you might be able to take Tiffany’s version for about 2 seconds before your ears start hurting, and you need to turn it off.

9. It’s the Lover Not the Love

This was a nice ballad off of Hold An Old Friend’s Hand. It sounds like it could be a Gloria Estefan song.

8. Spanish Eyes

This a good song that is not a ballad, but not a fast paced song either. However, you can get quite the earworm from this one. There could be worse songs that get stuck in your head, though.

7. Here In My Heart

This was a really good ballad from Tiffany’s New Inside album. It was written by Diane Warren.

6. All This Time

This was a big hit off of Hold An Old Friend’s Hand. It is a pretty good ballad:

5. I Think We’re Alone Now

Now this is a great remake. It deservedly became a hit. It’s a good fun song, and she made it her own. I like Tommy James and the Shondells, but I think I actually like Tiffany’s version better.

4. Hearts Never Lie

I love this duet off of Hold An Old Friend’s Hand. She is singing with Country Music artist Chris Farren. This could probably be a hit on Country Radio today.

3. Could’ve Been

Tiffany’s first hit ballad. It’s a really good heartbreaking song:

2. Hold An Old Friend’s Hand

This was always one of my favorites. The lyrics kind of have a country or folk feel to them. It’s another one of those songs that record companies probably did not like because it wasn’t a ballad, and it wasn’t a dance song.

1. Feelings of Forever

“Could’ve Been” was a bigger hit, but this was always my favorite ballad by Tiffany. The music is powerful, and it is very uplifting.

Daily Trivia – 1/28/11

Question: Who went by the name Leaf Phoenix when appearing in the movies Russkies and SpaceCamp?


Last Question: What Tim Burton film did Warner Bros. consider distributing under the title Scared Sheetless?

Answer: Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice was released in 1988, and had a great cast: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones, and the man himself – Michael Keaton.

Here are some quotes from the movie:

– Adam: What are your qualifications?
Betelgeuse: Ah. Well… I attended Juilliard… I’m a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I’ve seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT… NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU’RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY… NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK? You think I’m qualified?

– Betelgeuse: [to Lydia, about the owner of the finger he pulled out of a wedding ring] I’m tellin’ ya, honey, she meant nothin’ to me. Nothin’ at all!

– Betelgeuse: [after Lydia says his name three times] It’s showtime.

– Betelgeuse: [as a snake] We’ve come for your daughter Chuck.

– [Head spins wildly and begins shrieking]
Betelgeuse: Don’t you hate it when that happens?

– Betelgeuse: [to Lydia, about the owner of the finger he pulled out of a wedding ring] I’m tellin’ ya, honey, she meant nothin’ to me. Nothin’ at all!
Betelgeuse: [after kicking down a model tree] Nice f*$#g model!

[last lines]
[in the waiting room, Betelgeuse is sitting next to a witch doctor, who is next in line]
Betelgeuse: Pardon me. Did you do that?
[points to explorer with shrunken head]
Betelgeuse: That’s very nice work. Let me ask you something. How do you get them so sma… Hey, there goes Elvis! Yo, King!
[as the doctor looks away, Betelgeuse switches numbers]
Betelgeuse: Well, looks like I’m next. Good thing, too. I gotta do a photo shoot for GQ in about an hour and a half. Yeah, they’ve been after me for months. Doin’ some underwear deal. I don’t know what…
[the witch doctor sprinkles some powder on Betelgeuse’s head; it starts shrinking]
Betelgeuse: [voice getting higher as head gets smaller] Whoa, hey! What are you doing? Hey, stop it! Hey, you’re messing up my hair! C’mon! Whoa! Whoa! Stop it! *Whoa!*… Hey, this might be a good look for me.

Daily Trivia – 1/27/11

Question: What Tim Burton film did Warner Bros. consider distributing under the title Scared Sheetless?


Last Question: What troubled NBC newswoman drowned in the Delaware Canal in 1983?

Answer: Jessica Savitch


Jessica Savitch was a Washington correspondent for NBC News before she got promoted to be the news anchor of the weekend NBC Nightly News. She was also an anchor for Frontline on PBS. However Jessica’s rise to fame apparently came with a price as rumors about drug use and instability dogged her. The following is from imdb:

Things came to a head on October 3, 1983 when, during a live news update, Jessica appeared incoherent in which her speech was slurred, she deviated from her copy and ad-libbed her report. She at first explained that her monitor had malfunctioned. But her agent inadvertently contradicted her alibi by saying that she was under medication from a head injury several weeks earlier. A short while later, Jessica seemed to get back on track for her contract at NBC was extended and she was ranked high on the list of replacements for Jane Pauley who was scheduled to take a maternity leave. But things came suddenly to an end when on Sunday, October 23, 1983, Jessica and her boyfriend, New York Post executive Martin Fischbein, drove to New Hope, Pennsylvania when they leisurely shopped for antiques. That evening, they ate dinner at the Chez Odette, a restaurant along the Delaware Canal. A fierce rainstorm set in and the couple became anxious to return to New York. Fischbein drove and Jessica sat in the back seat with her dog Chewy, a Siberian husky. The weather conditions made the driving difficult. Fischbein apparently mistook a dirt road for an exit and in a matter of seconds the car flipped off the road and plunged into the canal sinking almost instantly. Seven hours later, the bodies of 36-year-old Jessica Savitch and Martin Fischbein were pulled from the canal.

Here is Jessica’s last broadcast for NBC News Digest:

Daily Trivia – 1/26/11

Question: What troubled NBC newswoman drowned in the Delaware Canal in 1983?


Last Question: Who earned Oscar nominations three straight years for The World According to Garp, The Big Chill, and The Natural?

Answer: Glenn Close

Glenn Close was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her roles as Jenny Fields in 1982’s The World According to Garp, Sarah Cooper in 1983’s The Big Chill, and Iris in 1984’s The Natural. She has also been nominated for Best Actress Awards for Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons. Unfortunately, she did not win the award for any of her roles.

She also earned critical acclaim for her role as Sunny von Bülow in the 1990 film Reversal of Fortune. She also brought the iconic role of Cruella de Vil to life in the live action version of 101 Dalmatians. She was also great in the FX show The Shield. She was so good in that, that she now has her own show on FX called Damages.