ARCHIVES – Hank Stram “miked for sound”

Hank Stram “miked for sound”

The night before the game, Ed Sabol of NFL Films met with Hank Stram and convinced Stram to wear a hidden microphone during the game so his comments could be recorded for the NFL Films Super Bowl IV film. They agreed the microphone would be kept secret. This would be the first time that a head coach had worn a microphone during a Super Bowl. This has led to one of the best-known and most popular of the NFL Films Super Bowl films due to the constant chatter and wisecracking of Stram. Ed Sabol had his number one sound man, Jack Newman – who also wired Vince Lombardi in a previous playoff game – place the microphone on Stram. Newman, a multiple Emmy award-winning sound man and cameraman, shot Stram for the entire game as well as monitored the sound to make sure it continued to work. The success and popularity of this first Super Bowl wiring of a winning head coach led to 24 years of Newman continuing to wire players and coaches for NFL Films.

Some excerpts of Stram include:

  • To Len Dawson: “C’mon Lenny! Pump it in there, baby! Just keep matriculating the ball down the field, boys!”
  • Observing the confusion in the Vikings’ defense: “Kassulke (Viking SS Karl Kassulke) was running around there like it was a Chinese fire drill. They didn’t know where Mike (Garrett) was. Didn’t know where he was! They look like they’re flat as hell.”
  • Before the Chiefs’ first touchdown, he sent in the play “65 toss power trap.” When the Chiefs scored on the play, Stram laughed while yelling to his players on the bench, “Was it there, boys? Was that there, rats? Nice going, baby! Haaa-haaa-haaa-ha-ha-ha! Haaa! The mentor! 65 toss power trap! Yaaa-haaa-haaa-ha-ha! Yaaa-ha-ha! I tell ya that thing was there, yes sir boys! Haa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Wooo!!”
  • One time, as the referees were spotting the ball before a measurement to determine if the Chiefs got a first down, Stram yelled to the officials, “You didn’t mark it right! You didn’t mark it right! C’mon.” When the chains were stretched and the Chiefs indeed had the first down, Stram was then heard saying to the refs, “Ya did good, you’re doing a fine job out there.”
  • On Otis Taylor’s touchdown reception that clinched the game, Stram is heard yelling and laughing while Taylor is running to the end zone “Ha ha, go Otis, that a baby! Woo hoo!”

Super Bowl IV, the fourth AFL-NFL World Championship Game in professional American football, was played on January 11, 1970, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana. The American Football League (AFL) champion Kansas City Chiefs defeated the National Football League (NFL) champion Minnesota Vikings by the score of 23–7. This victory by the AFL squared the Super Bowl series with the NFL at two games apiece. This was also the final AFL-NFL World Championship Game before the two leagues merged into one after the season.

Despite the AFL’s New York Jets winning the previous season’s Super Bowl, many sports writers and fans thought it was a fluke and continued to believe that the NFL was still superior to the AFL, and thus fully expected the Vikings to defeat the Chiefs; the Vikings entered the Super Bowl as 12.5 to 13-point favorites. Minnesota posted a 12–2 record during the 1969 NFL season before defeating the Cleveland Browns, 27–7, in the 1969 NFL Championship Game. The Chiefs, who previously appeared in the first Super Bowl, finished the 1969 AFL season at 11–3, and defeated the Oakland Raiders, 17–7, in the 1969 AFL Championship Game.

Under wet conditions, the Chiefs defense dominated Super Bowl IV by limiting the Minnesota offense to only 67 rushing yards, forcing three interceptions, and recovering two fumbles. Kansas City’s Len Dawson became the fourth consecutive winning quarterback to be named Super Bowl MVP. He completed 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards and one touchdown, with one interception. Dawson also recorded three rushing attempts for 11 yards.

For the first time, the Super Bowl halftime show featured a celebrity instead of college bands. Singer and comedienne Carol Channing led a halftime tribute to Mardi Gras. Super Bowl IV is also notable for NFL Films miking up the Chiefs’ Hank Stram during the game, the first time that a head coach had worn a microphone during a Super Bowl.

 

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