The Superbowl is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, and many people look forward to it. It has become a spectacle, and well-known music artists even perform during halftime. The Superbowl’s origins weren’t nearly as grand, but the first Superbowl was still a huge deal. Read on to explore the origins of the Superbowl.
The First Superbowl
The first Superbowl was held in 1967 on January 15. The idea for the big game was to bring the best team from the National Football League (NFL) and have them square off against the best team from the American Football League (AFL). This first Superbowl was contested between the Green Bay Packers from the NFL and the Kansas City Chiefs from the AFL. The Packers won the game handily, defeating the Chiefs 35-10.
At this point in time, the NFL and AFL were separate professional football companies. Bringing the two leagues together for this ultimate championship game was seen as a big deal. It did great rating numbers for the time too. The game was broadcast over two different networks due to the NFL and AFL having separate TV deals.
Where Did the Name Come From?
You might be wondering where the name Superbowl came from. Initially, Superbowl I was referred to as the AFL-NFL Championship Game. It has retroactively been referred to as the Superbowl, although the term Superbowl wasn’t in use back then. You see, the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs is credited with coining the phrase.
Lamar Hunt was the owner of the Chiefs, and he was trying to think of a good name for this momentous football game. He saw his child playing with a bouncy ball that was referred to as a “super ball,” and it got the gears turning in his head. The story goes that he came up with the name Superbowl as a riff on the “super ball” that was a popular toy with children at the time. Some historians refute this claim and say that the networks came up with the phrase, but most seem to accept Lamar Hunt as the originator of the Superbowl term.