The First Super Bowl

The first Super Bowl took place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, owned by the University of Southern California. It was played on January 15, 1967, as the championship game between the NFL (National Football League) and the upstart AFL (American Football League) and marked the first time that the two leagues had come together to play for a single championship.

The two leagues would merge in 1970 and would codify the "Super Bowl" name, making the previous championship games that would pick a winner of the league only a semifinal match to determine who plays in the Super Bowl.

Image: Los Angeles Coliseum, 1967.

The stadium broke ground on December 21, 1921, opening two years later. Throughout its lifetime, it has been home to the USC Trojans, the NFL’s LA Rams (1946-1979; 2016-2020), LA Chargers (1960, 2018-2020), and LA Raiders (1982-1994), the XFL’s LA Extreme (2001), the MLB’s LA Dodgers (1958-1961), and several other professional sports teams.

The first Super Bowl was a meeting between the NFL Champion Green Bay Packers, and the AFL Champion Kansas City Chiefs, played on 1/15/1967. Tickets were $12. Originally called the “AFL-NFL World Championship Game”, Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt proposed the term “Super Bowl” to market the game similar to NCAA Bowl games. This coining wouldn’t become official until Super Bowl III in 1969.

The first Super Bowl, then known as the AFC-NFC Championship Game. Water Iooss photo, SF Gate.

Unfortunately, the Packers beat the Chiefs 35-10, and even worse, they would win the next Super Bowl as well. 2021 could have seen a rematch between the two clubs who played in the first game, however the Packers would lose to a team headed by a 43 year old, 6th round draft pick

In 2024, the Chiefs will once again look to take home the Lombardi Trophy, having last won the game twice in the last four years. In their way is 2022's Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy.

In 1970, the NFL and AFL would merge into the modern NFL, and the two leagues would become the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC), respectively.

Thanks as always for reading!


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