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Super Bowl LVIII

Bill Vinovich’s first game on CBS was playing D-III football during the 1982 NFL strike

Vinovich had an early and unusual national football debut



This is an amazing find!

Those of us who have seen a few seasons of football and still to this day mistakenly refer to the Baltimore Colts every once in while will recall the fall Sundays of 1982 without football. The NFL players went on strike and CBS and NBC were scrambling to find something to fill the massive hole in their schedule.

CBS convinced some Division-III college football schools to move their games so that there was someone throwing around a prolate spheroid on Sundays. This created logistical problems, like placing the announcers in open-air scaffolding perches for schools that lacked adequate press boxes. One such game had the University of San Diego taking an early-morning bus to Occidental College in Los Angeles. Dick Stockton and Hank Stram called the action.

For everyone on the field, this was their one and only chance to be seen in a game broadcast on CBS. Everyone except for a wide receiver for the San Diego Toreros, senior Bill Vinovich. It was the Super Bowl for these players, but Vinovich will now be calling his third nonmetaphorical Super Bowl, the first of those to air on the network that gave him his national debut.

Our partner site Quirky Research has the video of the game with the highlights of Vinovich. As a bonus clip, Stockton was covering a late season Washington-Dallas game in 2004, and mentioned Vinovich was in his first year as an NFL referee, but Stockton didn’t mention that their paths crossed 22 years previously.

And it’s further proof that no bit of football minutiae gets by Quirky Research.

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  1. Anonymous

    February 9, 2024 at 11:57 am

    My Alma Mater had awesome uniforms back in the day…

  2. Anonymous

    February 9, 2024 at 9:17 pm

    We were ranked #2 in country for that game in D-III. Too much focus on getting hair cuts, trying to get on the camera and being caught up in the whole excitement of TV and lost the game. Fun times!!! Another crazy note is the back up QB was Tracy Gallagher. AKA Trace Gallagher with Fox News Tonight.

  3. phil griffin

    February 10, 2024 at 7:48 am

    the 1983 bill vinovich, d 3 1983 video, was fantastic, with hank stram on the mike, brings back memories of stram, in the 199os, i drove, stram from a nfl allumni, golf outing, here in town, to the airport, his golf bag was a huge, cbs logo bag, i watched in 1963, several chiefs games, i watched the very first chiefs game, in 1963, they played themselves, a meet the squad nite, to introduce the sport, it was played at old municipal stadium, which is torn down, stram told me some great stories, on that trip. thank you for the vinovich film. fantastic job. by your staff, i always learn something new.

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