Although predominant in North America, the Super Bowl has become one of the top sports events in the world. In the US alone, the game is ranked the most-watched television broadcast every year. It’s fair to say that the history of this annual playoff championship of the National Football League is central to the history of sports in the US.
It usually takes place on a Sunday either in January or February. As a result, a lot of fans across the world come together to stand in awe and enjoy the full-blown excitement the game offers. Whether you participate in the Super Bowl or you fancy its fun, this article will provide you with all the information you need about the history of the event. Stay tuned at the realmoneycasinoonline.ca
Breaking the NFL into Two Franchises
Technically, the Super Bowl could be said to have started in 1960, even though the NFL had long organized 20 years earlier. The Super Bowl was initially conceived as a breakaway football event or rather an alternative league to the NFL by some rich investors. However, the bid was turned down, thus leading to the formation of the American Football League (AFL) which served as a rival league to the NFL. By 1966, the two rival franchises, after a series of successful negotiations, agreed to collapse the NFL and AFL into one, giving rise to the formation of what is today known as the Super Bowl.
The First Super Bowl Event
The first Super Bowl event, then called the ‘AFL-NFL World Championship Game’, was staged on 15 January 1967 between what was then known as Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL and Green Bay Packers of the NFL champion. The name ‘Super Bowl’ was suggested by AFL owner Lamar Hunt and the two franchises unanimously agreed to replace the existing ‘AFL-NFL World Championship Game.’ As expected, the premier event of 1967, staged at the Los Angeles Coliseum, was not a sellout as only 61,000 fans came to cheer the players, with $12 being the ticket price. Initially, and understandably so, the idea of fans traveling miles to neutral sites did not receive much endorsement.
The Major Super Bowl Upset and Rise in Credibility
There are a lot of events that shaped the growth in popularity of the Super Bowl. The first and arguably the biggest was the merger of the two rival groups. The second was the first major upset in the game: the result of the match between two visibly and historically unequal teams on January 12 1969. The event drew the attention of millions of fans following the shocking defeat suffered by the NFL champion Baltimore Colts, a 16-7 favorite in the hands of the AFL champion 17.5-point underdog New York Jets. From then on, the Super Bowl started to draw greater attention, increase in popularity, and gain more credibility. Surprisingly, the Colts, under the tutelage of Don Shula, did not record a single point until the fourth quarter of the game. Baltimore went to finish the regular season 13-1, defeating the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings in the event’s playoffs. After the merger of the AFL and NFL, the latter conference broke into two franchises, the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC).
The Super Bowl from 1960 to Date
By 1970, the Super Bowl had grown in popularity with businesses and other activities shutting down while television broadcasts would dedicate January and February to the event. The NFC was the dominant conference over their AFC counterpart up until the 80s. The 16 of the 20 Super Bowls played in the 1980s were won by the NFC with a host of teams and names standing out at the time. The New York Giants, the Washington Football Team (then Washington Redskins), the Chicago Bears, and the San Francisco 49ers were among the teams will unparalleled successes during this period. Players such as Lawrence Taylor, Kellen Winslow, Jimmy Graham, Dan Marino, Deron Cherry, Dwight Stephenson, are among the top names that held sway in the 1970s and 80s.
From then on, several other great teams have resurged and taken the centre stage, leading to a lot of tougher competitions and wider viewership across the United States and the world. Some of the Super Bowl matchups worth mentioning include the January 27 1991 Super Bowl XXV which featured the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants, with the Giants winning 20-19 after the missed field goal by the Bills. Another important epic game was the Super Bowl LI, pitting the Atlanta Falcons against the New England Patriots, with the Patriots winning 34-28 after overcoming a 25-gap deficit.
Prospects of the Super Bowl
In the last two decades or so, the rise of cable TV has tremendously impacted a greater number of interests in the game. The Super Bowl today is a multi-billion revenue-generating event in the US. Although an annual sports event organized to determine the champion of the NFL, the Super Bowl has assumed cult status, both in terms of the amount of money it gulps and generates and the lead it takes among other sporting events across the world. In recent years, the event has increased in commercials, sponsorship deals, and attendance.