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The Super Bowl has quickly become one of those culturally defining events of the American People with nearly one-third of all Americans tuning in to see the game every year. With Super Bowl LVIII around the corner now is as good a time as any to look back in time to Super Bowl One in 1967, back when the carefully choreographed and planned game was first being tried out in the national eye.
The first Super Bowl was not called “The Super Bowl”, but rather “The First AFL-NFL World Championship Game.” It was not until a few years later when Lamar Hunt, the then-owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, coined the term Super Bowl after recalling one of his favorite toys as a child, the Super Ball.
The original Super Bowl had a capacity problem. No, not that there wasn’t enough space but rather that there was too much space. I guess the hype just wasn’t there in the beginning for what would become a massive cultural phenomenon.
To put it into perspective, the original cost of the Super Bowl 1 ticket was $12, or $111.88 in today’s money if you account for inflation, which is obviously far less than the price of tickets today.
The very first Super Bowl touchdown ever was completed by wide receiver Max McGee who was reportedly hungover at the time and was not expecting to be put on the field that day since he had broken the team curfew the night before.
The Super Bowl as we know it was not the same as it was during Super Bowl I. When the AFL and the NFL worlds collided, there were a few inconsistencies with rules and such including the football itself.
The AFL used a ball made by Spalding Co. that was longer and rougher to the hand while the NFL teams were using the Wilson ball that became the ball we know and love today. This created some confusion since it would be a little unfair for one-half of the league to be forced to play with a ball they have never used before and so it was decided that they would switch on and off with the balls depending on whoever was on offense. Even the referees on the field were a mix of the AFL and the NFL refs.
The second half of the first Super Bowl had to be reshot because NBC’s cameras missed it. NBC was responsible for relaying the kick-off to nearly one-half of everyone viewing the event, so it had to be redone. Imagine having to be the guy to tell the referees/teams that it had to be redone. After this mix up every Super Bowl since then has been broadcasted by one network only.
There is no complete footage of the first Super Bowl available to be viewed. Yes, only short clips are available since back then it was a standard practice of networks to not save TV broadcasts since the price of recording onto tape was very expensive.
However, there is some hope that one day fans will be able to watch the first Super Bowl since in 2005 a Pennsylvania man found a home movie in his attic that his father recorded off their home TV of the original broadcast. HOWEVER, don’t hold your breath because the footage was purchased and promptly locked away and is now the subject of a legal tug-of-war.
In 2016, the NFL undertook a massive project to reconstruct the game. They scoured their archive footage and stitched together all the random pieces of film and then overlayed that with the existing commentary recordings. This project is the most fully complete and widely available footage of the game and was aired for the 49th anniversary of the game to mixed reviews by audiences.
There is a major myth that in major cities the sewage is known to back up during the Super Bowl Halftime show for all the people that have been holding it during the games. It is not clear if this is a real problem or not.
When Jacksonville Florida hosted the Super Bowl in 2005 there weren’t enough hotels. So, in order to save the hosting contract, they brought in five cruise ships to act as hotels for all the people coming into the city.
Only once in Super Bowl history has a member of the losing team been awarded the title of Super Bowl MVP when in 1971 Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley won the title for intercepting two passes and forcing a fumble.
Remember when the Miami Dolphins won the Super Bowl?
No one would have more reason to remember it than the Miami Dolphin coach Don Shula, and not just for his amazing win. Years later when asked about his win he revealed, “You know, I never said anything to anybody, but when I was being listed out, somebody stole my watch.
I could feel somebody grab my hand, and I wasn’t sure why they were trying to grab my hand. When I got back to the locker room, I realized my watch was gone. Somebody ripped me off!”
Super Bowl XXX had some technical difficulties when the official Super Bowl website was blocked in many places due to its unfortunate “XXX” title.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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