The Super Bowl Has Come A Long Way In 46 Years

Vince Lonbardi Pete Rozelle Super Bowl I

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.

The first Super Bowl was conceived as a peace offering

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 not officially called the Super Bowl

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.'

Pete Rozelle hated the name 'Super Bowl'

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 was seen on two networks

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.

No network footage exists of the first Super Bowl

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.

The first Super Bowl was cheap

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.

And yet, the first Super Bowl did not sell out

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.

The Super Bowl was not seen in Los Angeles

As a result of not being sold out, the first Super Bowl was blacked out within 75 miles of Los Angeles. Unfortunately for those fans, there were no websites illegally streaming the game.

The first Super Bowl's pre-game show consisted of the Harlem Globetrotters

CBS aired the Harlem Globetrotters prior to the first Super Bowl. NBC aired a football year-in-review show.

The first Super Bowl trophy was not called the Lombardi Trophy

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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