Which TV show made a game between the Steelers and Minnesota Vikings a key part of their plot?
At the height of its fame, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” made a special plot point about gambling on NFL games with hilarious results. Called “The System,” Episode 17 of Season 5 appeared January 11, 1975, the night before Super Bowl IX.
In the episode, Ted Baxter (played by Ted Knight) reveals that he has a “system” of betting on NFL games by taking any underdog getting 11 points or more. Why 11? Because it’s his lucky number.
Lou Grant (Ed Asner) joins Ted on the action, until the Super Bowl. In the show, the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers by 12 points. The fictional newsroom that is the setting of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” was in Minneapolis, so a little home-field advantage can be understandable in the script’s writing.
However, as the show’s credits rolled, Mary Tyler Moore did a special voiceover where she reminded viewers that their predictions about the outcome of the Super Bowl the next day were purely fictional.
But if the Vikings do win the Super Bowl, she added, “remember you heard it first at WJM.”
Here’s the entire episode if you wish to watch it:
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