Anniversary Of The First Super Bowl ~
January the 15th marks the anniversary of the very first Super Bowl. Although it was not originally called the Super Bowl (that would be a name it would gain later), it was still the introduction to a new and historic chapter in american football history.
Anniversary Of The First Super Bowl
This game began with the emergence of the American Football League, or AFL, just a few years before the game was played. Up until that time, the only professional american football league was the NFL. Although other professional American football leagues had tried, none of them had succeeded in challenging the NFL for superiority. But when owners Lamar Hunt, Bud Adams and Al Davis collaborated to bring professional football to their home cities and formed the league in 1960, the NFL had its first real challenge. The AFL succeeded in taking a vast majority of the top college players that year and the NFL realized that they were in for a fight.
The AFL survived for six seasons on its own, but strapped for cash and battling higher salary demands brought on by the competition between the two leagues, the AFL agreed to a merger with the NFL in 1966. Both leagues operated separately with the exception of the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, which would later become known as the Super Bowl.
The game featured the NFL Champions, the heavily favored Green Bay Packers, coached by the legendary Vince Lombardi, the man for whom the Super Bowl winner’s trophy is now named, and the AFL Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, coached by Hank Stram. The game also featured two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, the Packers’ Bart Starr and the Chiefs’ Len Dawson. It would be played in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The first half of the game was pretty close, with the Packers holding a 14-10 lead at halftime (a halftime, by the way, which featured marching bands, not the huge stars that their are in today’s Super Bowl halftime shows). In the second half, however, Green Bay took control and scored 21 unanswered points to win the game by a final score of 35-10. Bart Starr would be named the Most Valuable Player.
This would be the first of two consecutive Super Bowl victories for the Packers, cementing their legacy and earning Green Bay the nickname of “Titletown USA.” It would not be until Super Bowl III that the AFL would mount a serious threat to the NFL, when Joe Namath would lead the upstart New York Jets against a heavily favored Baltimore Colts squad, lead by an aging Johnny Unitas. But, that’s another story for another time…