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Stephen Kroninger
Jack Davis and the Super Bowl
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It’s another Super Bowl Week and that gives me a good excuse for sharing this look back at a Jack Davis spread from the January 22, 1971 issue of LIFE Magazine. Each ran as a full page. As depicted in the opener, the Baltimore Colts and the Dallas Cowboys met in Super Bowl V. For those keeping score, the final was Colts 16, Cowboys 13. Text: “The last crunch-at last! At 8:30 p.m. last June 27, on a sultry summer evening in Lubbock, Texas, the cameras flicked on and Jim O’Bien of the University of Cincinnati kicked off for the East in the coaches All-America football game. Shortly thereafter TV addicts coast to coast were savoring their first crucial third down of the 1970-71 season. Summer mellowed into autumn and autumn raged into winter and promised “great halftime shows” came and went unwept. It will be all over-finally-next Sunday, Jan 24, after the Pro bowl all-star game in Los Angeles. Between June and January the three major networks gave us 500 hours of televised football-as many hours as an average man puts in on the job in twelve weeks. Artist jack Davis, as sturdy and faithful a fan as exists among tens of millions, here offers parting shots his musings on the season as it passed…and passed…and ran…and passed.”
Text: “A frazzled fan…”
Text: “…and his fantasy: There were games on Monday nights, and then playoffs upon playoffs, and bowls for every fruit and flower. The true fan was a man engorged with his mania, feared by those he loves, inflated of stomach and 10 yards wide at the eyeballs, happy only at feeding time on the screen. Davis imagines that by 1990, Superfan won’t have to put up with today’s homey clutter (above), but will require as much gear as an Apollo astronaut. To see games blacked out locally, he’ll cruise the country in his specially designed fanmobile equipped with a wall of TV screens (A) and stereo speakers (B), enabling him to follow every instant replay in the entire expanded 96-team league. His long-suffering family will be isolated in the driving compartment (C). A beer keg (D), headset, (E). mechanical masseuse (F), cigarette smoking machine (G), and a tape deck (I) for statistical reference will ease him through the games. An intercom (J) will provide minimal communication with his family, and a fluid-filled jar (K) stands ready for emergency intravenous feeding. Fanship, predicts Davis, will be no bed of AstroTurf.
Text: “And Now, a Word from Jim Thorpe: If the famous (but untelevised) Indian all-American of 60 years ago had a chance to comment on the past season, he would probably reply in a word of just one syllable.”
Here’s Jack Davis’ 1977 TIME cover for Super Bowl XI. Final score: Oakland Raiders 32, Minnesota Vikings 14.
another Davis Time football cover. This one on the October 16, 1972 issue featuring New York Jets Quarterback Joe Namath surrounded by fellow Qauterbacks Greg Landry (Detroit Lions) Bob Greise (Miami Dolphins), Johnny Unitas (Baltimore Colts), Fran Tarkenton (Minnesota Vikings) and Terry Bradshaw (Pittsburg Steelers).


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