I'm not not football fan, so I didn't watch last night's Super Bowl. However, I did wake up wondering what the very first Super Bowl was like. ABC News has a great article entitled "The Story Behind the First Super Bowl" by Michael Rothman. I've posted some of it below.
The AFL-NFL Merger
With professional football's popularity on the rise in the late 1950s, the American Football League was founded in 1959 to compete and also to bring football to new markets. The AFL had teams in new areas like Houston, Buffalo and Kansas City, and were able to steal away top talent from the NFL. The two separate leagues finally decided to merge in 1966, but wouldn't play each other during the regular seasons for four more years (the merger was finalized in 1970).
The two leagues did create a championship for the separate leagues to compete in and determine who was the best team that year. This began in 1966.
It Wasn't Called the Super Bowl
The first championship game was actually called the First AFL-NFL Championship Game and became known as Super Bowl just one year later.
The next year, Super Bowl 4 was the first time the championship game used the now famous title.
Remember those Chiefs that were crushed in the first big game? Lamar Hunt, the owner and founder of the team and of the AFL itself, had been using the term "Super Bowl" for years. Hunt would later explain that his daughter had a toy called the "Super Ball" and he tweaked the name. The media caught on, and eventually, the unified NFL-AFL did as well.
The First Championship Wasn't the Spectacle It Is Today
Let's be clear, this was a big deal. It was broadcasted on two networks, who both used their own announcers, not like today. And it wasn't even close to being a sellout. The game took place at the LA Coliseum and out of the 94,000 available seats, a third were empty. The tickets also cost $12.
The entertainment also wasn't Beyonce or Lady Gaga, but the University of Arizona marching band. The halftime show starred Al Hirt, a famed trumpeter, and men with jet packs.
A lot has sure changed in 50 years.
I'll say a lot has changed in 50 years! What do you think? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!