Photo: AP Images
The first Super Bowl was played in 1967, between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. And the productions seen 45 years ago looked nothing like what we know of the Super Bowl today.In fact, there are quite a few facts about the first Super Bowl that might surprise you, given what we know about the game today.
On the next few pages, we will take a look at some of the more interesting tidbits about the first Super Bowl and how it compares to the big game today.
Prior to the first Super Bowl, the AFL and NFL were embroiled in a nasty war that was getting out of hand. So Tex Schramm, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and Lamar Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, met and worked out a truce that would include a championship game between the champions of the two leagues.
The first Super Bowl was actually called the 'World Championship Game,' and was later retroactively renamed the Super Bowl. However, the name 'Super Bowl' was conceived prior to the first Super Bowl by Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, who named it after his daughter's 'Super Ball.'
When Lamar Hunt first conceived the name 'Super Bowl,' he assumed that it was a temporary nickname, 'which obviously can be improved upon.' And Pete Rozelle, the commissioner of the NFL, hated the name. It wasn't until Super Bowl III, that he relented and the name became official. Additionally, the use of roman numeral designations did not begin until Super Bowl V.
The first Super Bowl aired on both CBS and NBC on January 15, 1967. Two networks were used as they represented the networks of the AFL and NFL, and both leagues wanted the game on their network. The two networks paid a combined $9.5 million for the rights to the first four Super Bowls. 40-five years later, NBC, CBS, and Fox signed a recent deal that will pay the NFL $3.1 billion per year.
There is no known copy of the original airings of Super Bowl I. Both networks taped over their copies to record other material, including a soap opera on CBS.
Tickets for reserved seats at the first Super Bowl were $10-12. That translates to $67-81 in 2011 dollars if we consider inflation. This year, the face value for Super Bowl tickets is $800-1,200. And of course, it will cost you much more than that on the secondary market.
In fact, the first Super Bowl did not even come close to selling out. Attendance at the L.A. Coliseum was just 61,946 that day, in a stadium that held close to 100,000 at the time.
CBS aired the Harlem Globetrotters prior to the first Super Bowl. NBC aired a football year-in-review show.
Obviously, the Green Bay Packers did not win the 'Lombardi Trophy' as they were coached by Vince Lombardi. At the time, the trophy did not have a name, and was simply inscribed with the words 'World Professional Football Championship,' along with the location and the final score. The trophy was named in honour of Lombardi in 1970.
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