January 31, 1982
From Wire Reports
HONOLULU- A strange phenomenon awaits the country's football fans when they turn on their television sets next Sunday looking for football games.
The fans won't find any.
Believe it or not, football season finally ended with the American Football Conference's 16-13 victory over the American Football Conference in Sunday's Pro Bowl.
Nick Lowery of Kansas City kicked the game winning field goal, a 23-yarder with six seconds left. Needless to say, the Pro Bowl was a typical All-Star game, with little game preparation.
John McKay of Tampa Bay, the losing coach, pointed to the difficulties of installing a workable offense in a game such as the Pro Bowl.
"I figured it would be a low scoring game," he said. "There was just too much defense. It takes longer to get an offense coordinated."
San Francisco's Joe Montana, the Super Bowl XVI hero, said he found the adjustment confusing at times.
"There's a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks in a game like this," he said. "New plays and formations to learn, new people to get to know. I know I started to call plays from our (49ers) formations a few times."
The NFC's back-up signal caller, Steve Bartkowski of Atlanta, agreed. "I'm disappointed we didn't play better," he said, "but there's not a lot of time to diversify the offense."
On the winning side, Miami's Don Shula, who coached the AFC, had better luck in meshing his offense.
"We were moving the ball well and I felt we could get going in the second half," he said.
"With four pass rushers like we had their quarterbacks did not have a lot of time to throw."
One AFC player who took advantage of what little the defense yielded was San Diego's Kellen Winslow- who along with Tampa Bay's Lee Roy Selmon, who recorded four quarterback sacks, were voted the co-Most Valuable Player of the game.
Winslow also said the game gave him an opportunity to showcase his talents.
"It gave me a good chance to get an evaluation of what my strengths and weaknesses are," he said. "Now, I have to keep up my strengths and work on my weaknesses and hopefully make it back to the Pro Bowl again next year."
Dan Fouts, an old master at last minute heroics, guided the AFC to its winning field goal- moving the team 69 yards in 2:29.
"On the final drive, our offensive line dominated the play," said the San Diego quarterback. "We knew we didn't need a touchdown because Nick Lowery has such a strong leg. We were just trying to get the ball to the 30-yard line and Lowery into position for the winning field goal. The pass to Winslow down the middle broke their back. Kellen is such a very intelligent player and he did a good job of hitting the seam in the middle."
The drive followed a 74-yard scoring march by the NFC- started by Dallas' Everson Walls' second interception of the game- that was capped by a 5-yard run by Tony Dorsett of the Cowboys. That came with 2:43 to play left.
Walls' first interception of a Foutsí pass set up the game's first score in the second period, a 4- yard pass from Montana to Tampa Bay's Jimmie Giles.
The AFC moved ahead in the third quarter with Chuck Muncie of San Diego capping an 80-yard drive with a 2-yard sweep and Houston's Earl Campbell plunging over from the 1.
The second score was set up by the Klecko-Gastineau combination.
Klecko stripped Montana of the ball and Gastineau scooped it up at the NFC 22 and ran it back to the 1.
Nick Lowery kicked the game winning field goal with Steve Largent holding.