Remembering Super Bowl I

I remember vividly watching with my Dad the very first Super Bowl. It occurred on my 16th birthday, January 15, 1967. It pitted the NFL champion Green Bay Packers against the upstart league AFL champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.

The first reaction my Dad and I had to the announcement of this game was who would give this ultimate football game such a cheesy name.

Super Bowl?

How uncreative we thought.

Super Bowl I was carried on two national networks. CBS and NBC both had broadcasting rights for the game, and most viewers were watching on black and white television sets at home!

The real championship game in our minds had been played on December 31st of 1966, when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys in the Ice Bowl at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Packers edged the Cowboys that day by a score of 21 to 17, with the winning touchdown scored by Bart Starr on a quarterback sneak in the bitter cold of Green Bay Wisconsin. The Green Bay Packers were truly legendary with Coach Vince Lombardi, hall of fame quarterback Bart Starr, running backs Paul Horning, Elijah Wood and Jim Taylor. The team included all star receivers Carroll Dale and Max McGee.

The Cowboys’ quarterback was dandy Don Meredith, and the team included running backs Dan Reeves and Walt Garrison. The Cowboys had Bob Hayes, an Olympic 100 meter medalist, as a wide receiver.

So following the NFL championship, it was onto this new “joke” game in our minds, when the powerful Packers met this upstart Chiefs team from an upstart league called the AFL.

Super Bowl I was played at the Los Angeles Coliseum before a crowd of 61,946 fans.

The 12-2 Packers would face the 11-2-1 Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs had Len Dawson as their quarterback with Mike Garret and Curtis McClinton as running backs. The Chiefs had made it to the Super Bowl by defeating the
Buffalo Bills 31 to 7.

My Dad and I knew that the Packers were going to kill the Kansas City Chiefs.

The game went to half time with a score of 14-10 for the Packers. This was certainly far closer than we thought and liked.

The half time show included jazz trumpeter Al Hirt and several marching bands.

During the second half, the Packers scored 21 unanswered points, to seal the first Super Bowl victory 35-10.

All was right in the world. Our NFL team had proved to be the better team.

The upstart team and league were put in their place by our NFL champions.

The following year, the Packers defeated the Oakland raiders to win Superbowl II.

One year later, in Superbowl III, all our confidence in the NFL came crashing down. In 1969, a brazen young quarterback named Joe Namath and his New York Jets team, won Superbowl II by defeating the Baltimore Colts.

So enjoy Super Bowl LV! With a thousand times more hype than Super Bowl I, and a vastly superior half time show, it will be entertaining. Even the TV commercials are a thousand times more interesting.

By Garth Vanstone

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