This Week in Sports History | Sports News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
click to enlarge Johnny Unitas
Johnny Unitas

Jan. 11, 1906

The University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball team plays its first game, a loss to Wooster. The team would finish the season but not play again until 1911.

Jan. 11, 1983

Steelers wide receiver and future Hall of Fame inductee Lynn Swann retires.

Jan. 12, 1969

Beaver Falls native Joe Namath, of the New York Jets, squares off against Mount Washington’s Johnny Unitas, of the Baltimore Colts, in one of the most famous Super Bowl games ever. The Colts, of the NFL, were a huge favorite to beat the AFL’s Jets. Prior to the game, Namath made his infamous guarantee of victory. Few believed the Jets could win, but Namath led his team to victory, 16-7.

Jan. 12, 1975

The Pittsburgh Steelers win their first Super Bowl, 16-6 over Minnesota. Dwight “Mad Dog” White tackles Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton in the end zone for the first safety in Super Bowl history.

Jan. 14, 1951

The first-ever NFL Pro Bowl is held in Los Angeles. The Steelers are represented by Bill Walsh, Joe Geri and Jerry Shipkey.

Jan. 14, 1996

The Steelers win their first trip to the Super Bowl since 1980 when they narrowly defeat the Indianapolis Colts, 20-16. Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh nearly wins the game on a last-second Hail Mary pass that falls incomplete in the endzone after being batted down by the Steelers’ “Boo” Bell. The play is dubbed the Immaculate Deflection.

Jan. 15, 2006

Ten years after the Colts and Steelers met in the Immaculate Deflection game, the two teams face each other in another postseason contest that comes down to a miracle play. The Steelers, ahead by three, give the ball to Jerome Bettis on the two-yard line. Spinning into the end zone, Bettis fumbles for the first time all season. The ball is picked up by Indy’s Nick Harper, and it appears Harper will score with ease. However, a diving Ben Rothlisberger manages to tackle him by the shoestrings. Indy’s Mike Vanderjagt then misses a 46-yard field-goal attempt, giving the Steelers the win.

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