In 1976, the Steelers were going for their second straight Super Bowl victory and faced the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL's first super bowl where the two franchises to play had both previously been crowned as a Super Bowl champion.
While everyone knows the end result of the historic game, most people aren't aware of the access that a small group called Top Value Television (TVTV) had on the players, fans and activities in Miami for the game. The group had the benefit of a crew with portable cameras, which at the time was still fairly new technology to the public. TVTV saw a niche for their style of reporting because at the time there were only three major news networks in the United States, and each of them filmed with large studio cameras that could not be as casually carried as one of the portable cameras which TVTV used.
While the group only lasted about five years, they were able to get great access to players and the families of players because of the lack of NFL regulations on the use of portable cameras at the time.
Below you can see footage of many Steelers' legends away from the news cameras during the week leading up to the super bowl as they relaxed before the game. The documentary is broken down into four parts on youtube.
The first segment highlights a poolside interview with Steelers defensive tackle, Ernie Holmes. Among other pieces of the conversation, you get an idea of how intense of a player he was as he said, "I am moody ... right now I feel like breaking the mic. You know, just take it and crush it, beat in on the concrete; put my sandles on and stomp it." He goes into his childhood a little bit and reveals a little more behind one of the legends of the steel curtain. You also get to see some of the players' wives talk about their opinions on the super bowl.
Segment two features a celebrity and retired NFL touch football game that included Sonny Jeugenson, Paul Hornung and Johnny Unitas among other retired NFL greats at the time. You also get to see a young Bill Murray as he provides commentary and interviews those in attendance.
As the clip continues to roll you see Lynn Swann sing the opening verse to the Andy Williams' classic, Moon River, and interview fans in his hotel room. John Stallworth eventually gets on the microphone as you get a brief cameo of Franco Harris before he quickly leaves.
Segment three focuses more on the fans attending the game either as they travel or while the wait outside the stadium. It also has an interesting one-on-one with Lynn Swann about the injuries he suffered in the previous game against the Oakland Raiders. The end of this segment is a segue into the final part of the documentary which has on-field camera access talking with players, fans, cheerleaders, the Gerela Gorilla and different footage of the actual game.
The finale focuses more on the game itself; with some footage being of the actual broadcast and other footage being sideline video from the portable cameras. After Lynn Swann's "levitating leap" catch, the film cuts back to the one-on-one interview with Swann as he says what little he remembers from the concussion he suffered because of a hit delivered to him via George Atkinson against the Raiders in the AFC championship game. It even gets some brief post-game interviews with some of the players.
The documentary is surely something to enjoy if you haven't already. The candidness of the conversations with players is something that any old-school Steelers fan can appreciate. The conversations too also delve a little into the injury issues players dealt with at the time as well as the financial struggles of NFL stars during the offseason. This piece of work was surely before it's time.