A look at the Steelers' first Super Bowl

| Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009

A weekly glance at the 1974 season, the first time the Steelers went on to lift the Lombardi Trophy:

Starr rises Title Town

With Dan Devine leaving to take over the Notre Dame football program, the Green Bay Packers moved quickly to promote Bart Starr as the new head coach, hiring him on Christmas Eve. Starr won five championships for the Packers in the 1960s, including the first and second Super Bowl titles. Following his final season, in 1971, Starr was the Packers' quarterback coach for three seasons. Starr, however, didn't have the same success as a coach in Title Town. He compiled a 52-76-3 record in nine seasons, and it wasn't until his eighth year in Green Bay that he led them to the playoffs.

Phil-ling up the net

Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins became the sixth NHL player to record 500 career goals when he beat Detroit goalie Jim Rutherford. The exclusive club included Rocket Richard, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Jean Beliveau and Frank Mahovlich. Esposito reached 500 goals in 803 games, becoming the fastest player to accomplish the feat. That record stood until 1986 when Mike Bossy and then Wayne Gretzky eclipsed it. There currently are 41 members of the 500-goal club, and Penguins' star Mario Lemieux was 9 when Esposito scored his milestone goal.

This week in 1974

• Muhammed Ali was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year

• Ryan Seacrest of American Idol hosting fame was born (Dec. 24)

• Comedian Jack Benny died of stomach cancer at 80 (Dec. 26)

What the Steelers did

Trailing 10-3 in the fourth quarter, the Steelers scored 21 points to defeat the Oakland Raiders, 24-13, in the AFC Championship Game to reach Super Bowl IX. The Steelers ran over Oakland for 224 yards, while holding the Raiders to 29 rushing yards on 21 carries. Ken Stabler had 271 yards passing and a touchdown, but he was intercepted three times — two by Jack Ham. Franco Harris rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns, and Rocky Bleier added 98 yards on the ground. Terry Bradshaw completed 8 of 17 passes for 95 yards and a 6-yard TD pass to Lynn Swann in the fourth quarter that gave the Steelers a 17-10 lead. In the NFC title game, the Minnesota Vikings beat the Los Angeles Rams, 14-10, to reach their third Super Bowl.

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