This blog post is about football's biggest game, The Super Bowl. The Sunday this game (this year it's February 4th) is to be played has become a de-facto holiday in America. Guys and their
Either way this great event in sports history only began in 1967. When the NFL champion Green Bay Packers faced the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs. Now this was when there were actually two football leagues and in an agreement in 1966 the NFL & AFL agree to merge to become the new National Football League. This is why there is a NFC (National Football Conference) and an AFC (American blah-blah-blah).
It's unfortunate that the very first super bowl (originally called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game) cannot be found in it's entirety on tape. People didn't see the preservation of this game as important, nor did the economics of the time permit because video tapes were expensive. Either way we don't have much footage of the first two super bowls. And the NFL has put a $1 Million reward for this footage in hopes that someone out there might have the first two super bowls in their video library.
The name Super Bowl didn't stick until the third super bowl in January 1969. The name even had a story. Notice that in College Football near the end of the season they play all these bowl games for bragging rights. Championships of the various College Football conferences as well as for the national championship (which was upon a time was only determined by the winner of the Rose Bowl, yeah thanks to this new concept called the Bowl Championship System).
Well the men behind the world championship game NFL commissioner Pete Rozell and AFL founder Lamar Hunt (who also owned the Kansas City Chiefs) were trying to come up with a good name for the championship between the AFL-NFL. Well Rozelle was thinking about calling this game "The Big One". While watching his daughter playing with this toy called the super ball Hunt jokingly referred to this championship game as the Super Bowl. This particular toy, thanks to its role in football history, is enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. It was intended to be a stop gap until a better name could be created. There wasn't and that's history.
Oh yeah I should mention this trophy. The picture in the upper left hand corner is the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Named for the late great Green Bay Packers coach this is awarded to every winner of the Super Bowl. Just think the NHL has the Stanley Cup, Olympic champions have the gold medal, and the NFL has this great piece of art. Professionally made by the famous jewelers Tiffany & Company.
Damn I didn't know they expanded into that. I didn't know they made the Baseball world series trophy awarded to the winner of the world series and the NBA's Larry O'Brien Trophy awarded to the winner of the NBA world championship finals. Just think all those guys who've spent money for those expensive diamond rings for their wives (at least those with some money) would actually be helping to support the making of these trophies. Very cool.
I hope you enjoyed this brief lesson. I may not always be in the present day when it comes to sport, but I really love sports history. And who knows in a few years all the moments from today that I've missed, are something that I can look at in the future.
Thank you ESPN Classic!!!