The first Super Bowl game was played on Jan. 15, 1967. It was held at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. Attended by 61,946 football fans, it is the only Super Bowl on record that was not sold out. The rivals were the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers. Officially, it was called the AFL-NFL World Championship, having been dubbed the First Super Bowl, or Super Bowl I, at a later date. The championship became known as the Super Bowl by the third time it was played. Today, the last Sunday of January (or sometimes the first Sunday of February) is widely known as Super Bowl Sunday.
Credited for leading the Green Bay Packers to its 35-10 victory, Bart Starr was named the Most Valuable Player of the first Super Bowl game. He completed 16 out of 23 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Starr may have earned MVP, but the story of this first Super Bowl game was a Green Bay player named Max McGee. Strictly a back-up player, Max McGee was sure he wouldn't be playing in the game. He'd broken Coach Vince Lombardi's curfew, and hadn't come in until about 6:30 that morning. McGee later admitted that he was dozing in the sun at the end of the bench, when he heard Coach Lombardi yelling for him to "get the hell in there!" The game had barely begun, but Boyd Dowler had injured his shoulder. The only way McGee could end up playing in the first Super Bowl game had just happened! On the field, a few minutes later, McGee caught a pass from Bart Starr and made a 37-yard touchdown.
Though the first half ended at 7-0, the first Super Bowl was not a sure thing for the Packers. The Kansas City Chiefs were not about to fold. By intermission, the game score was 14 -10, with Green Bay holding a not-so-cozy lead. After the second half kick-off, Green Bay got a break. While tight end Fred Arbanas was reaching for a pass from Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson, Willie Wood managed to beat Dawson to the ball. Wood made it all the way to the Kansas City five-yard line before getting planted into the dirt. Then, Elijah Pitts stormed through to the end zone. Green Bay had another touchdown. That was the turning point of the first Super Bowl game. The Green Bay Packers kept control, with Pitts and McGee (who was obviously still awake) adding one more touchdown each. McGee, who'd barely made four catches all season, ended up catching seven passes for 138 yards and scoring two touchdowns. His 138-yards became a Super Bowl record and wasn't broken until Super Bowl X.
A lot has changed since that first Super Bowl game between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Tickets to that first Super Bowl would have cost you $12.00 dollars. Today, you can expect to pay $500.00 dollars for a ticket to the Super Bowl. In fact, ticket brokers have been known to charge thousands of dollars for club seats.
The game officials handled the coin toss at the beginning of the first Super Bowl game. At Super Bowl XX, Bart Starr, the first MVP player, tossed the coin. At the first Super Bowl game the Universities of Arizona and Michigan played the National Anthem. The bands also played during half time. Later, singers like Charlie Pride, Diana Ross and Neil Diamond would perform the National Anthem. Millions of people now look forward to the half-time entertainment and the commercial advertisements with as much anticipation as they look forward to Super Bowl game.
Doc's Sports Handy Links:
Super Bowl 2006
Super Bowl History
Super Bowl History