Cedar Rapids Gazette, December 30, 1974, Page 22

Cedar Rapids Gazette

December 30, 1974

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Issue date: Monday, December 30, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 30, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Hilgy’s Steal Helps Vikes Grill ‘Ramb Chops’ By Gas Schrader BLOOMINGTON. Minn -A wounded knee didn t stop Iowa’s Wally Hilgenberg from playing a super role in the Minnesota Vikings’ return to the Super Bowl. The Vikes will take their third grab at the brass ring 1*2 when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl IX at New. Orleans’ Tu-lane stadium. They failed on the previous two, losing to Kansas City in 1970 and to Miami last January A merciless defense again will be Minnesota’s biggest ally, and Hilgenberg doesn’t plan to let a knee injury keep him from being part of it. IVIInnesaU fans had warned liOs Angeles that Sunday’s Viking menu special was “Ramb (haps ’, and the defense made good by carving the Rams 14-10 in a bitterly fought battle before 47,404 fans in 31 degree sunshine at Metropolitan stadium. After the Purple Gang had capped their jierformance by sacking Ram quarterback Jim Harris twice for 12 and 17 yards in the fourth quarter, Hilgenberg was interviewed briefly on CBS-TV, then quickly sought the attention of trainer Fred Zamberletti in the Viking medical room Ililgenberg’s right knee was Fran Lets Em Know UPI Telephoto Minnesota QB Fran Tarkenton signaled “touchdown” as Dave Osborn dove over a pile of defenders from the one yard line in the fourth quarter of Sunday's NFC championship game. Minnesota defeated Los Angeles 14-10. : Red Peppers mg lr UM Svhradvr    ... The Old Lockout — As great a defensive thriller as it was, Sunday’s Vikings-Rams NFC championship game was almost an anti-climax for us. It was because of something that happened in the parking lot before the game. No, we didn t run into Mary Ty ler Moore or any of her TV show gang that supposedly performs for a Minneapolis station. We lacked our keys in the car . What a sickening experience that is! You check ta make sare yeu have everything you ll need at the game — notebook, reference material, binoculars, pens. Then you carefully push down the door lock and, after running over your mental check list one more time, you slam the door. Just before it closes, you hear the car radio playing, and the horrible thought strikes you that the ignition is still on Too late You can see the keys dangling by the steering wheel, and th** little button on the door is securely pushed down. You’re 272 miles from your other set of keys and there’s not a familiar face in sight. Nothing but Minnesota “IO,ODO lakes” license* plates. What ta da? Well, Minnesota Vikings games are world famous far their tailgate parlies All around van ruddy-faced people in snowmobile snits are gathered around campers, stationwagon gates or open car trunks. Charcoal braziers are glowing Beer cans are being emptied. Bieldy Marys, Screw Drivers and Salty Dogs are being raised with “Skols!” to the Viking team’s chances. Chicken drumsticks are being gnawed, potato salad devoured, deviled eggs consumed by the dozen. Love That Aroma! What an aroma! The grills are cooking steaks, hamburgers, hotdogs, bratwurst, baked beans. You’d think a parking lot would smell like a filling station grease pit, but the Viking lot carries a mouth-watering odor that you would expect at Charlie’s n*staurant in downtown Mpls. Hut we digress. We started making the rounds of tailgate gatherings, asking if anyone bad a wire coat hanger we could borrow “Oh, locked your keys in your car, huh?” everyone asks brightly But we visit a half-dozen groups without finding the nation’s best tool for opening a locked car One aware gal nuggets we try the campers, as they have closets for hanging up clothes, So we knock on a nearby door but are turned away by a pair of angry voices from within. One of our new friends slyly suggests we must have interrupt^ an ini|Hir-tant conference or something in that one Finally we find a man with coat hanger already bent Into a straight line. By this time we’ve gathered a big crowd of tailgates who find it more exciting than watching hotdogs burn. We have lots of free advice. After several abortive moves we turn the job over to an eager man who may do this for a living. He changes our loop, forces the wire through the door and in a few seconds has lassoed the door catch expertly. A light pull and we’re inside the car. Air-Conditioning, Too An ovation swells from our crowd of onlookers. The hero is toasted by his friends, who suggest that now they might as well open every car in the lot and start finding things before they’re lost. We get to our seat in the pressbox before the kickoff and sit between a Cos Angeles newsman and one from Duluth It must have looked strange for the Rams, this scene around Metropolitan stadium. Just two days before the Rams were hearing their friends shout, "Surf’s up’” and here they are surrounded by a bunch of blond people in snowmobile costumes wearing purple stocking caps Our Los Angeles friend says Carroll Ro-senbloom, the Rams* owner, is being permitted to watch the game on TV He suffered a heart attack a couple of weeks ago The newsman suffers through a 7-3 first half and suggests there was nothing there that would give Rosenbloom’s doctors any fear that their patient might get over-excited There was one more small climax. In the third period the guy who controls the heat must have become confused, as cold air from the air conditioning flooded out of the vents instead of heat. But it was a whale of a game, provided you like your football rock-’em-sock-’em. Arid if you enjoy seeing your Viking friends qualify for cashing more Sujmt Bowl checks OOO Pass the Hash — As New A ear’s day approaches. Moody Hayes says he is pleased with the crisp way his Ohio State players are blocking and tackling in practice Sort of a merry crispness, Woody? WWW — lf you re expecting to get drafted by the National Football league, the annual play-er-selection meeting will In* Jan 28-29 in New York injured on one of his many tackles just after the Vikes scored their first touchdown midway in the second quarter He returned in the third period and came up with the key interception in the end zone that prevented the Rams from scoring after they had moved 98 yards. Another Iowan figured in this. Mike FJscheid, former I’pper Iowa star from Fayette, booted a 37-yard punt out of bounds on the one-yard line. Harris got the Rams out of jail on that one, first on an eight-yard QB sneak, and then on a miraculous 48-yard pass play to fleet Harold Jackson on the Viking two. “It’s just a case of strained ligaments,” Hilgenberg explained, holding an ice bag on his right knee and flinching as Zamberletti applied some orange-colored disinfectant to a “strawberry” on his left hip. “Our doctor has assured rue 1 11 be ready to play in two days.” “At full speed?” an interviewer asked “Well, full speed for Hilgenberg may not be full speed for somebody else,” laughed the former Wilton. Iowa, linebacker who finished a fine career for the Iowa Hawkeye* in 1963. “But it feels damn good to be going back to the Super Bowl. And this time we’re gonna win it, not just prance around down there like the last two times we went. “If we play as well as we did today, we can beat anybody. Oh, sure, we made a few mistakes — had a few turnovers — but I want to tell you this Ram team is an extremely well balanced team, good at every department. We may not have looked impros-sive, but the Rams were awfully good. I think our two games against them — this one and the 211-17 game they Statistics INDIVIDUAL SCORING Min Lash, 29, pass from Tarkenton (Cox kick) LA - FO, Rav 71 Min — Osborn, I run (Co* kick) LA — Jackson, 44, pass from Harris (Ray kick) INDIVIDUAL LEADERS Rushing — Los Angeles, Bcrtelsen IV 70, McCutheon 112/ Minnesota Fore man 22 01, Osborn 20 76. Receiving    Los Angeles, Bcrtelsen V 53, Jackson J 139. MrCutcheon 2 2? Minnesota, Voight 4 43, I ash 2 40, Gilliam 2 33 Passing    LA, Harris, 13-23-2 248 yards, Minn, Tarkenton 10 20 1-123 yards won from us earlier — were our two best and hardest games of the year.” Wright’s Save Jeff Wright, strong safety not famous for his speed, was another Viking who came up with a key play* He was the man who pushed Jackson out of bounds on the two to prevent the Rams from taking a 10-7 lead on that third-quarter play. Harris was being flung around by the Vikings’ front four and seemed certain to Im? sacked for a big loss. But he somehow escaped, started to run and then saw Jackson open down field. His pass was perfect, and then it was Jackson’s turn to do his thing. Jackson cut back twice and finally had outrun every Viking in sight. The speedy receiver headed down the left sideline, but Wright doggedly pursued him at a slight angle. He shoved Jackson out on the two, and what a big play that was to become. Hilgy at Salley The Rams ran lawrence MeCutcheon to the six-inch line and were poised for a second try — a quarterback sneak by the wiry Harris. But suddenly Alan Page, big right tackle of the Vikes, jumped across the line as whistles blew and flags flew . The officials rule "illegal procedure” against the Rams, claiming guard Tom Mack had moved. This entitled Page to shoot across and make contact. The Rams were moved back to the five. Harris rolled out and got back to the two, so it was third down when he called the decisive pass play. “I move to free safety — Paul Krause’s normal spot — on our goal-line defense,” Hilgy explained. “I was on our left side when I saw Harris throw the ball, I don’t know who the intended receiver was (it was Pat Curran), but Jackie Wallace lunged over and deflected the ball right to me.” Hilgenberg was ask<*d if he had thought about running the ball out of the end zone. "Not when I saw that whole crowd of people in front of me!” Hilgy replied. “I’m too old and too slow to think about running a ball out of there like that.” Krause, also a former Iowa star, claimed he had “a light day,” pointing out he had made only two tackles because the rest of the Viking defense was so efficient. Kischeid’s punting was a factor. He had an average of 39.2 on six boots, while the Rams* Mike Burke averaged 43.8 on five. However, Fis-cheid had the game’s longest, a 55-yarder, and his perfecto that went out on the one might have been the difference in many a tight game like this. “Ifs always a big thrill to get one out on the one-yard line,” grinned Fischeid, “and it becomes something special when you do it in a playoff game. It was a funny day for punting, as the cross wind seemed to hold up the ball. The Rams got out of the hole after my punt went out on the one, but I like to think it was a factor in holding down their scoring.” Fischeid said his wife, Joy, will go to New Orleans with him for the Super Bowl, but their three daughters will stay home. His parents also may go, he said. Mike’s father, Kb, is the former lipper Iowa college coach who is retired. Quoting other principals: Bud Grant, Viking coach who looks more like a C boat skipper: “We felt we had to run at the Rams, and it turned out this is what eventually won for us. Just plain hard hitting resulted in a lot of fumbles. . Jeff Wright’s play (in knocking Jackson out of bounds on the two) was. very big. Then the Ranis were called for illegal procedure when Mack moved too soon, and that set them back to the live.” Incidentally, the TV announcers said Grant, an outdoor enthusiast, went duck hunting Sunday morning. “Those guys are running out of material,” laughed Grant, who had been with his team all Sunday morning. Jim Bcrtelsen, Ram fullback who played at the ll. of Texas but hails from Hudson. Wis.: “Yeah, my home town is only 30 miles from here, and I sure wish I could have given my friends there more to cheer about today. I had a hip-pointer, and today I just got it banged ten) many times.” Bertel son was used too much by the Rams. He led them in rushing with 65 yards on 14 carries, caught five passes for 53 yards and returned one punt. He couldn’t play after the third quarter and had his midsection heav ily taped after the game. QB Frank Tarkenton: “There were a lot of crucial plays today. Two of the biggest were the two straight times our defense sacked Jim Harris in the fourth quarter. . Bud Grant The Rams play defense as well as anybody in football. They’re fired up and they were yapping a lot and feisty and finally we cooled them down and got something going. . .The thing that helped today is that Dave Osborn is not playing like he used to. He is much better. He was super today.” Alan Page, Viking tackle telling about his goal-line play: “The Rams got set and I think both Mack and Cowan flinched, just enough for me to leave. They were only nine inches from scoring, and I thought I had nothing to lose. No, I didn t try to tackle the* (Continued Page ll Col. 2) Rooney Feels Like a ‘Big Shot’ OAKLAND (AP) - The Pittsburgh Steelers are heading toward territory in which they’ve never trod before. Oh, they’ve been in New Orleans before. In fact, they've won all Ihree games they’ve played there. But never in their 42-year history have they played a more important game in that city of jazz and Creole cuisine. In other words, they've never played in a National Football League championship. But on Jan. 12 in New Orleans, one of Art Rooney’s dreams comes true. His Steelers will be playing for all the marbles. The other dream, of course, is to win them To do that, the Steelers will have to beat the Minnesota Vikings. But for now, beating Oakland is satisfaction enough for one of pro football’s grand old men. “I feel like a big shot," the subdued, twinkly-eyed 73-year- Mark Fetter Has Surgery IOWA CITY’—Mark Fetter. Iowa fullback the last three seasons, is scheduled to have exploratory surgery on his injured knee Tuesday at SI I hospitals here. Fetter, former all-stater from South Tama high, suffered the injury in the game at Minnesota in mid-season. He was able to play only once after that—for two or three plays when fullback Bob Holmes was injured—and he was still limping at the season’s end. Mark’s father, who lives at Chelsea, said the operation Tuesday would In* an exploratory one, as doctors are not sure what has prevented Mark from regaining full use of his leg. The Iowa coaching staff is hopeful Fetter will recover in time for spring practice. Statistics INDIVIDUAL SCORING Oak — FO Blanda 40 em - FG Grrela 23 Oak — Brants. 38, pass from Stabler (Blanda kick) Pitt — Horris, 8 run (Gerelo kick) Pitt — S*onn, 6 pass from Urodsha* (Gerela kick) Oak — FG Blanda 24 Pitt — Horris, 21 run (Gerelo kick) INDIVIDUAL LEADERS RUSHING Pittsburgh, Harris 29-111, Bleir 18 98, Bradshaw 3 IS. Oakland, C Davis 10 16, Banatok 3 7, Hubbard ll. RECEIVING — Pittsburgh, L Brown 2 37, Bleir 2 26. Swann 2 17, Stallworth ? 16 Oakland. Branch 9 186, Moore 4 32, Bilitnekotf 3 45, C Davis 2 8 PASSING — Pittsburgh. Bradshaw 8 17 I 95 yards Oakland. Stabler 19 36 3 271 yards old president of the Steelers said as he puffed on a cigar, savoring both it and the 24-13 victory over the Raiders in Sunday’s American Confer* ence championship. And how would it have felt to accompany his players on the plane back to Pittsburgh had they lost? “It would have been like taking the body of a loved one back home,” he said. But his loved ones — like a doting, patient parent, Rooney suffered through 39 years of failure with them before they ever played their first playoff game — are very much alive and kicking. In fact, they kicked Oakland's rushing game in the teeth, kicked apart Ken Stablers dreams of a second straight miracle comeback and kicked the Raiders out of the playoff game they were favored to win. If there really is a mystical force calid! destiny, Rooney will get his championship in two weeks. His Steelers already believe in it. Confidence "It was meant to be. We were meant to win this thing,” quarterback Terry Bradshaw said after his cool, precise* signal calling and passing carried Pittsburgh to the summit of Super Bowl IX. “We knew we were going to win this game ... we came here with the confidence to win.” Bradshaw threw the ball only 17 times — and he didn’t even have to do that Not with Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier behind him waiting to take the ball and run it down the Raiders’ throats Harris bulldozed his way through the astoundingly malleable Oakland line 29 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns. And when the Raiders managed to stop him — which was rare — Bleier was right there, adding 98 yards on 18 carries. Even Bradshaw got into the ground game, rushing three times for 15 yards. And astonishingly, his total was more than half the total yardage gained by the entire Oakland running corps. Twenty-one times the Raiders punched into Pittsburgh’s front line of defense. The result was a meager 29 yards, a new low for an AFC title game. “They gave us nothing on the ground,” Oakland t’oach John Madden understated. “Our passing was sufficient but we just couldn’t get the run going. I can’t remember when our ground game was shut down that effectively . . to win, you’ve got to have a mixture on offense. We were able lo call the mixture, but we couldn’t make it go.” Played Run And Pittsburgh’s Mean Joe Greene, the mammoth defensive tackle who was supposes! to wreak havoc on Stabler’* passing game, observed: “We played for the run. We played them man-to-man up front. We felt we could beat them up there” And, with a grin creasing his sweat-drenched face, he added, “I guess we did.” With Oakland going nowhere on the ground, the Raiders had to ride Stabler s left arm. the same arm that haft thrown for 298 yards and four touchdowns in their pulsating victory over Miami a wi*ek earlier. For a while, it appeared he (Continued: Page 13, Col. 7.) • LIFC IMS (MNK I • GROUP MB (MNK! • HEALTH MB (MNK I • PENSION IMS IM NKI • BUSINESS IMS (MNK I L Bennett, CIU Phone 364-2166 Phone 363-8223 AMERICAN MUTUAL LIFE (NSUMANCt COMPANY 904 MwihonH Mw* Mg Mum# 0**ca, Oat Mom#!, lo CONGRATULATIONS DON RAJT0RA Don was involved in over $1,000,000 of real estate transactions during 1974. Our heartiest congratulations go out to Don and the satisfied people he served. Colonial Office Center ^ I 500 Second Avenue SE 366-5363 of (tdui iaptdt luaid al Italian I Multiple listing tavK* IjjCompj dlannj'a, Cli. " BRUSH UP ON BUTTON DOWNS! There is much to learn, as you'll find out with a visit to our shirt counters. Nt»w colors and patterns are far from dull. Fabrics are crisp Workmanship is up to par. And the button-down collar is now just the right touch more ample. SEASON1!) BEST It s time to be joyous and glad . . and to thank our loyal friends who have supported us during the strike. datmjB, Util. In the Roosevelt Hotel Building 366 1116 —Downtown Hours— “Our Back Door Policy” Our 2nd St. Side door is open —directly into our traditional shop. ;