In 1960, the newest rival to the NFL began playing: the American Football League. After half a decade of running up player contracts, the two leagues secretly met to agree to merge into one league. Part of the agreement was a common draft beginning in 1967, plus a championship game played immediately after each league's own championship games had concluded.
In 1967, the first championship game between the two leagues was played in Los Angeles between the NFL Champion Packers and the AFL Champion Chiefs. The first two games were called the "AFL-NFL Championship Game."
Before the third "AFL-NFL Championship Game" between the AFL Champion Jets and the NFL Champion Colts, Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt began loosely calling the game the "Super Bowl" while attending various league and merger meetings. He called it a "bowl" game because in college football, bowl games were the most important and prominent games of each team's season. The "super" portion was coined from his children playing with a Wham-O toy called the Super Ball.
Soon, the term "Super Bowl" was being used by various media, and even coaches and players, although an unofficial name for the game.
The commissioner of the NFL, Pete Rozelle, didn’t like the term “super” thinking it had no sophistication and was simply an ordinary term. He recommended that the game be called "The Big One," but by the time the third game was set to play, the moniker "Super Bowl" was already wide-spread. For the third championship game, it was made official and the first Super Bowl was born.
Today, the Super Bowl is an unofficial national holiday affectionately entitled "Super Sunday." It is also the biggest food production day in the food retail business. One in every six televisions is bought just prior to the game. Snack companies increase production of potato and tortilla chips in anticipation of higher sales. Pizza delivery companies hire more drivers and sell more pies than at any other time of the year. The big game sends sales of beer, soda, chips and salsa through the roof.
Super Sunday is the third largest alcohol consumption celebration behind New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day. One in four workers will participate in a game pool while the weekend is the slowest for weddings.
Basically, the Super Bowl is the most influential amphitheater in the universe of TV advertising. In the world of advertising it is viewed as judgment day. New ad campaigns often begin their kickoff airing during the game.
The only television event that generates more viewers for a singular event is the UEFA Champions League final. What is unusual about the Super Bowl broadcast is that it was created on the premise that the primary audience would be watching the game on television.
Of the NFL's existing 32 teams, few have not played in a Super Bowl. Teams such as the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings have won their respective league titles, but failed to win a Super Bowl.
The NFL has named a league champion since 1920. The NFL titles won from 1920 to 1969 and the AFL titles won from 1960-1969 are still valid despite not being coined a Super Bowl champion. The Super Bowl is simply a modern term for the NFL Championship. After Super Bowl 50, if the NFL decided to change the name of its championship game to something new, the 50 Super Bowl championships would still be valid.
Super Bowl 55 will be played February 7th. Kick off time is 6:30pm ET. It will be played in Tampa Florida by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs. It will be broadcast on CBS.
From Mr. Food
Did you know you could "buffalo" just about anything? Our recipe for Buffalo Cauliflower uses the original sauce from Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. Folks will be surprised when you show up with this kickin' take on a veggie favorite!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/4 cup cayenne pepper sauce (see Note)
- 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles