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Brief History of the Super Bowl:
In 1961 the AFL and NFL agreed to merge together to create one "Super League" called the NFL. In this agreement between the AFL and the NFL they arranged to begin playing a championship game between two conferences the AFC and NFC after the 1966 season.
Originally the Championship game was named the AFL - NFL Championship, but it was soon nicknamed the Super Bowl. According to one story, one NFL team owner, Lamar Hunt, architect of the AFL and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, thought the formal title was... well, too formal. Lamar came up with the new name while watching his daughter play with a super ball and was given the inspiration for the name "Super Bowl" for the championship game between the upstart American Football League and the old-guard National Football League. The truth is probably more mundane and the name was most likely created by a sportswriter who invented the tag. As is apt to happen the name "Super Bowl" was immediately picked up by the rest of the NFL community and then finally by the NFL.
Since the AFL and NFL merger, the Super Bowl has been the NFL Championship Game, played between the NFC and AFC champions, who first have to make the playoffs then emerge as the conference champions from those playoff games.
The Superbowl is the climax of the season, but unfortunately the Super Bowl has all too often been anti-climactic. Surprisingly the average margin of victory has been about 14 points. The 14 point Superbowl victory margin is well above the average for a regular - season NFL game. Historically the conference championship games have been more interesting to watch as the games are far more competitive.
Nevertheless, the Super Bowl game has become the major national sporting event. After weeks of intensive media hype, the Superbowl draws millions of television viewers both casual and hardcore fans. The number of Super Bowl parties is probably surpassed only by the number of New Years Eve parties. Many of the celebrants do not even have any interest in the NFL or the Super Bowl game itself. The NFL has done a masterful job in promoting this event over the years which is clearly evident given the above facts.
The Super Bowl is the perennial television ratings leader among all televised sports events. Not only that but it is always on the list of the fifty top - rated TV broadcasts, the game appears twenty times.
The first Super Bowl, though, between the NFL's Green Bay Packers and the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs, wasn't so eagerly anticipated. With Green Bay's perennial dominance the only question seemed to be was how large would Green Bay's margin of victory be. Even though the tickets cost only $12, the game still wasn't a sellout.
Super Bowl I was the first Super Bowl, the championship of American football. The game was played on January 15, 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. Not surprisingly the Packers won Super Bowl I (1), 35-10, and then they also went on to win Super Bowl II (2), 33-14 over the Oakland Raiders. It wasn't until Joe Namath guaranteed victory for the AFL's underdog New York Jets in Super Bowl III (3) that interest began to rise after Joe Namath delivered his promise, a 16-7 win over the Baltimore Colts.
Kansas City's win in Super Bowl IV (4) evened the series between the AFL and NFL and started to fuel a rivalry between the conferences. After the merger, the AFC won nine of the next eleven. That record is a little misleading though, as five former NFL teams accounted for five of the eleven victories. Since Super Bowl XVI (16), after the 1981 season, the NFC won fifteen of sixteen games and thirteen in a row before the Denver Broncos beat the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII (32).
As a result of the playoff system and the Super Bowl, the NFL season now stretches from one year into the next, which can be mildly confusing for the average fan. The team that wins the 2005 Super Bowl, for example, will be crowned the 2004 NFL champions.
There was enough confusion that the NFL decided to have the Super Bowl referred to by Roman numerals rather than by the year in which it's played. This problem may seem insignificant when compared with the problem our future generations will have to face deciphering such monstrosities as Super Bowl DXXLVIII.
Since Super Bowl V, in 1971, the trophy presented to the Super Bowl winning team has been known as the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Vince Lombardi was a legendary man who coached the Green Bay Packers to the first two Super Bowl championships (Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II). The NFL decided to name their most prestigious team award after Vince Lombardi following his death in September of 1970.