Super Bowl LIII
New England Patriots VS. Los Angeles Rams
By: Cristal M Clark
Leading into Super Bowl Sunday always affords me the opportunity to meet with some really interesting characters in whatever city I find myself visiting. No matter which side of the fence anyone is on, the Super Bowl incites some intense conversation, superstitions and die hard fan arguments over which team will win the nights game. I even meet a few individuals who will tell me that since their particular team lost in the playoffs or prior to them, they stopped watching football for the season, arguably how anyone could consider themselves a die hard fan when you stop watching mid season is beyond me.
I have always been fascinated with the history and some of the superstitions surrounding the biggest NFL game day of the year.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum hosted the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs in the first super bowl back in 1967. Because prior to the AFL and the NFL merging the teams had to use their own balls during the game. The AFL used a ball made by Spalding, it was slightly longer, a little narrower, and had a tackier surface than the NFL’s ball, which was created by Wilson. Each team was allowed to use their own ball while on the offence.
NBC and CBS, televised the game and had to share the one microphone that was available during the postgame show.
Lamar Hunt, AFL principal founder and Kansas City Chiefs owner suggested that the new championship game be known as the “Super Bowl,” the idea have been inspired by the ultra-bouncy Super Ball toy from Wham – O, the producers of the Frisbee and Hula Hoop.
Pete Rozelle, the NFL Commissioner really wasn’t sold on the idea however, thinking that the name was just too gimmicky and lacked the weight, worthy of his league. He suggested calling the championship game the “Pro Bowl” or even “The Big One” before settling on the “AFL-NFL World Championship Game.”
It was fans, journalists and broadcasters who ultimately decided what to call the game by simply preferring to call it the Super Bowl. It was not until the championship games third edition did Pete Rozelle give in and follow suit, officially referring to the game as the Super Bowl.
The first super bowl did not have the fanfare of today’s, tickets sold at around $12 and it was not a sold out game, in fact it is the only super bowl that never sold out, over 32,000 seats were left empty. Tickets to today’s game for some of the least expensive sold for around $2500, and the only time you’d see an empty seat is if someone had to get up to use the restroom.
The two-point conversion rule?
That was from AFL, they used it until the AFL merged with the NFL, after they merged only the traditional point-after field goal was allowed to be used.
The two-point conversion did not come back into play until 1994.
Speaking of do overs, during Super Bowl I the second half kickoff? Well it had to be redone because the camera somehow missed it the first go around.
Yes, NBC missed the opening kickoff of the second half because the network was just way too busy airing an interview with, Bob Hope.
No one can find a complete copy of the broadcast edition of Super Bowl I. Yes you read that right.
The only known recorded footage of the game is being stored in a vault at The Paley Center for Media in Manhattan, but it is not a complete recording as it is missing the halftime show and other parts of the game. A man found it in his attic back in 2005, the tape has never been shown to the public.
The first halftime show, if you could even call it that featured two men flying around in rocket belts and the release of thousands of pigeons over the stadium, one can only imagine all of the bird shit after that.
The coaches looked quite dapper wearing their nicest suits to the game. Not a sight you’ll likely see tonight.
And tonight’s game, happens to be a rematch of Super Bowl XXXVI, the Patriots, who were led by second-year head coach Bill Belichick and back-up quarterback Tom Brady, defeated the heavily favored Rams, who played in St. Louis at the time, 20–17.
Happy Super Bowl Sunday!
Cristal M Clark