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Historical Tidbits - Super Bowl's roots

 
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
Posts: 16311
Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Sun 2/1/09 2:28 pm    Post subject: Historical Tidbits - Super Bowl's roots Reply with quote

Although today is the date of Super Bowl 43, I probably won’t get to see as much of the game as I intended, as I’m leaving for work shortly and am not sure when I’ll be finished. (Rest assured the Dodger Dogs® I have promised my friends are on the way well in advance of me!) Very Happy

However, not that this is going to be a thread about today’s game. I wanted to share a little bit of background on the origins of the Super Bowl. At work this week, I was asked to (in my “spare time”, LOL) find out some obscure facts to be used for a trivia game at our church youth group’s Super Bowl party.

Well, it just so happens I have a friend, a now-retired coworker of mine back in the 1980s, who was in attendance at what later became known as "Super Bowl I."

SB I, not that I cared much about it when I was in first grade, is a grainy memory of sorts for me. We had a black and white TV (it was the year before our household went “color”). I vaguely remember there being talk about a “bowl playoff football game” that wasn’t a college game. I do know the Green Bay Packers played and they won, beating K.C., 35-10. The game took place on January 15, 1967. It was billed simply as the "AFL-NFL World Championship Game", and was played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Historians will note that 61,000 fans were on hand for the inaugural game, but many people would lose sight of the fact that it didn’t even sell out.

The game was created as a result of the 1966 merger agreement between two football leagues, the National Football League and the American Football League, with the NFL absorbing the AFL. Today, the Super Bowl game sites are determined years in advance; back then, Los Angeles was not awarded the game until six weeks beforehand.

From wikipedia:

Quote:
Coming into this first game, there was considerable animosity between the two rival leagues, with both of them putting pressure on their respective champion teams to trounce the other to prove each league's dominance over professional football. Still, many sports writers and fans believed that the game was a mismatch, and that any team from the long-established NFL was far superior to the best team from the upstart AFL.


(This theory was borne out by the final score.)

The halftime show was a far cry from what the entertainment for such is today. Trumpeter Al Hirt (a favorite of my parents) performed, as did the marching bands from two colleges, Arizona and Grambling State.

The Green Bay Packers were each paid a salary of $15,000 as the winning team. The Chiefs were paid $7,500 each.

Game time and weather conditions for Super Bowl I:

* 4:00 p.m. EST/1:00 p.m. PST
* 72 °F (22 °C), sunny


Super Bowl I was the only Super Bowl to have been broadcast simultaneously on two networks, by CBS and NBC. Because it was not a sellout, the game was blacked out in the L.A. market. (Imagine that!)

Also from wikipedia:

Quote:
Days before the game, local newspapers printed editorials about what they viewed as a then-exorbitant $12 USD price for tickets, and wrote stories about how to pirate the signal from TV stations outside the Los Angeles area.


AFC founder and Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, whose team lost Super Bowl I, had suggested the championship game be named the “Super Bowl", a play on words from the “Super Ball”, a toy of the ‘60s (a small rubber ball with super-abilities which just about every kid on the block had). Once the merger became official in 1970, the game began to be known as that, followed by the Roman numeral designating its sequential order. Hunt only intended for it to be a temporary name, but the name “Super Bowl” stuck, and the previous three games were retroactively named SB I, II and III.



The highest-rated game according to Nielsen was Super Bowl XVI in 1982, which was watched in 49.1 percent of households (73 share) or 40,020,000 households at the time. Ratings for that game, a San Francisco victory over Cincinnati, may have been boosted by a large blizzard that affecting much of the northeastern United States on game day, keeping even more people than normal at home in front of the TV.

Then there are the ads. Companies paid an average of $2.3 million for a 30-second ad in the 2004 Super Bowl; by 2009, NBC charged an average of $3 million for 30 seconds. Ads in 1967 cost just $42,000, according to Advertising Age magazine (just over $121,000 in 2008 dollars).

No team has played the Super Bowl in its home stadium, although some have been in very close proximity. The 49ers played Super Bowl XIX in Stanford Stadium rather than Candlestick Park, and the Los Angeles Rams played Super Bowl XIV in the Rose Bowl rather than the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

As for personal connections, my own hometown has hosted the Super Bowl three times, in 1988, 1998, and 2003. I worked at the NFL Experience two of those three years. We even have one poster on this board, Nurse Cozmo, who has shared with us her experience of actually performing as a dancer in Super Bowl entertainment.

Sometime between 1967 and 2009 (around the late ‘70s, by my recollection), the Super Bowl became more than just a game and an all-out reason to party, whether you were a football fan or not. In other words, it outgrew simply being a championship game and became an event of super-hyped proportions.

But it had its modest beginning 42 years ago last month. I started this thread because I became aware that very few people have knowledge of the origins of the Super Bowl, and those I've shared the above with have tended to find it very interesting.


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"The Dodgers have always occupied an enormous place in the history of the game. If the Yankees are the most successful team in baseball history, the Dodgers are the most essential. Their legacy is unique."

-Baseball Hall of Fame
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IlliniAmy
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PostPosted: Mon 2/2/09 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really enjoyed this one (though I was hoping for a different victor). The game was never out of hand.
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sunnyblue



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1779
Location: San Diego County, CA

PostPosted: Mon 2/2/09 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
However, not that this is going to be a thread about today’s game. I wanted to share a little bit of background on the origins of the Super Bowl. At work this week, I was asked to (in my “spare time”, LOL) find out some obscure facts to be used for a trivia game at our church youth group’s Super Bowl party.

I started this thread because I became aware that very few people have knowledge of the origins of the Super Bowl, and those I've shared the above with have tended to find it very interesting.


I understand you not wanting to make this about the current Super Bowl but keeping it on the history, so I emailed you my comments separately. That's a lot of research that went into that and some interesting stuff. I'm going to pass it on to my sister-in-law for her class if that's OK. I'll bet a lot of the kids didn't know most of those things because I'm pretty sure the adults I know didn't know it either. About the guy you know who went, does he still have his ticket and would he be willing to part with it? I'm not kidding. I know someone who would be interested but it's probably out of his price range. Your coworker probably wasn't looking at it as a long term investment when he went to the game though, lol. $12 for the better tickets? Think of the thousands people pay these days. And $15,000 for the winning team. They sure did not get rich on that, lol. Though I'm sure $15,000 went a lot further back then than now. Thanks for the thread.
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
Posts: 16311
Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Tue 2/10/09 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I haven't been in the OT folder for a week now. Are you back in town yet? Anyway,

Quote:
About the guy you know who went, does he still have his ticket and would he be willing to part with it? I'm not kidding. I know someone who would be interested but it's probably out of his price range.


He's held onto it for years only because of the novelty/sentimental value, and intends to pass it on after his death. He doesn't have kids of his own, but his niece has coveted this memorabilia item for years. I don't think he considers it as having a price tag.
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"The Dodgers have always occupied an enormous place in the history of the game. If the Yankees are the most successful team in baseball history, the Dodgers are the most essential. Their legacy is unique."

-Baseball Hall of Fame
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