When did the Super Bowl Start?
The first Super Bowl was played on January 15, 1967. But it wasn’t called the “Super Bowl” at the time. The game was called the “AFL-NFL World Championship.” The owner of the Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL proposed calling the game the “Super Bowl.” However, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle didn’t like the name. Commissioner Rozelle instead proposed that the game be called “The Pro Bowl” or “The Big One.” The two leagues, AFL and NFL, finally decided on naming it the “AFL-NFL World Championship Game.”
But the name never caught on. Informally, members of the press and the public referred to the game the way that Chiefs Owner Lamar Hunt suggested: as “the Super Bowl.”
Super Bowl I
Super Bowl I was a championship game between the AFL champion and the NFL champion. In 1966 there were two major professional football leagues in the United States: the AFL and NFL. There was an intensifying rivalry between the two leagues, made worse by AFL and NFL teams signing players away from each other.
In 1966, the two leagues agreed to a merger. It set up plans for the AFL to merge into the NFL after the 1969 season. It established a common draft of college football players between the two leagues. And, most significantly, it created the AFL-NFL World Championship Game—which would later become known as the Super Bowl.
Who played in the first Super Bowl?
The winner of the AFL, the Kansas City Chiefs (11-2-1), played the winner of the NFL, the Green Bay Packers (12-2), in the first Super Bowl. Because the AFL was newer and the NFL was more established, many people viewed the NFL as the better of the two leagues. However, the game was more competitive than most expected.
Where was the first Super Bowl?
Super Bowl I was played at the Los Angeles Coliseum in southern California. The stadium was a third empty that day, making the first Super Bowl the sole game in the series that was not sold out. Every Super Bowl since has achieved that feat.
Who won the first Super Bowl?
The Green Bay Packers won the first Super Bowl. The Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35 to 10. The game was close at halftime, however, with Green Bay leading just 14-10. The Packers would then score 21 points unanswered in the second half to win Super Bowl I.
The Packers outgained the Chiefs 361 yards to 239 yards. The Packers picked up more first downs (21 to 17) and converted far more third downs (73% to 23%) than the Chiefs.
The game was a crowning moment for Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi. The trophy for the Super Bowl was later renamed after him. Following his death in 1970, the trophy was branded as the “Vince Lombardi Trophy,” the name it has to this day.
MVP of Super Bowl I
Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr won the MVP award for Super Bowl I. Bart Starr completed 69.5% of his throws for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns. He threw one interception.
What was the AFL?
The AFL was a professional football league in the United States that was founded in 1959. The AFL played its first season in 1960. It began with 8 teams but grew to 10 teams by the time it merged with the NFL in 1970.
The 10 teams from the AFL that would go on to join the NFL were the:
- Kansas City Chiefs (formerly the “Dallas Texans”)
- Denver Broncos
- Buffalo Bills
- Boston Patriots (now the “New England” Patriots)
- Houston Oilers (now the “Tennessee Titans”)
- Miami Dolphins
- New York Jets
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Oakland Raiders (now the “Las Vegas” Raiders)