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Super Bowl VIII

January 13, 1974 - Rice Stadium

By

Miami Dolphins 24
Minnesota Vikings 7

Don Shula had his Miami Dolphins in the championship for an unprecedented third-consecutive season when they faced off against the Minnesota Vikings in Houston Texas for Super Bowl VIII. Once again, quarterback Bob Griese commanded an offense with a bruising running game led by Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris.

Bud Grant's Vikings featured a feared defense called "The Purple People Eaters" and one of the first "scramblers" to play quarterback in the NFL in Fran Tarkenton. Tarkenton was known for running 30 to 40 yards without crossing the line of scrimmage, before throwing the ball to a would-be receiver.

The week before the Super Bowl was marred by a controversy related to the practice facilities each team was assigned to. Since Miami was considered the home team, they were allowed to use the practice facilities and dressing quarters of the Houston Oilers.

The Vikings were given the training field quarters at Delmar School that Grant claimed were totally unacceptable. Apparently, the locker room had no lockers, only three of the 15 shower heads in the shower room actually worked, and the practice field had no blocking sleds.

Grant vented his frustration by blasting the commissioners office, "This is a Super Bowl game, not a pickup game. The league is responsible and Pete Rozelle runs the league. I don't think our players have seen something like this since junior high school." Grant was fined $1,500 for his comments.

The Dolphins set the tone for the game, by taking the opening kickoff and driving 62 yards for a touchdown, with Csonka taking the ball in from the five yard line. The Vikings first possession was not so successful, as they were forced to punt after three plays.

The Dolphins took over again at their own 34-yard line and once again methodically marched down the field and scored on a one-yard plunge by Jim Kiick. The first touchdown of the year for Kiick put Miami up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. Garo Yepremian added a field goal in the second quarter to move the score to 17-0.

The Vikings came back with their best drive of the game, moving the ball into scoring position before Oscar Reed fumbled on the six-yard line on a fourth-down play. When asked later if the Vikings should have gone for the field goal in that situation, Tarkenton said, "No! We had the first down, we just fumbled."

The Dolphins came out in the second half and got right back to work with another Csonka touchdown which gave Miami a dominating 24-0 lead. The Vikings did manage to put the ball in the endzone in the fourth quarter, but Miami was never challenged and held on for their second-consecutive Super Bowl victory, 24-7

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