The Dawn of the Super Bowl

1960 marked the NFL’s 40th season; however, it also represented a major turning point in the organization’s history. A new rival had appeared on the scene in the form of the American Football League (AFL), an aggressive and progressive organization that continually signed up former NFL players in a bid to compete with the established NFL. Unlike previous leagues, the AFL turned out to be a true competitor to the NFL and a fierce bidding war to attract the best college prospects started to unfold. Following a series of dirty tactics that went against previous unspoken agreements not to sign players who were already under contract with the opposing league, the NFL initiated negotiations to merge the two leagues. As part of this process, a World Championship Game that would see the top AFL and NFL teams play against each other was arranged.

Just six weeks before the first ever Super Bowl, Los Angeles was awarded the rights to host the game at its Memorial Coliseum stadium, and the date was set for January 15, 1967 

With both the NFL and the AFL keen to prove their superiority, Super Bowl I was set to be a highly charged game. However, the pundits’ pre-game forecasts proved to be accurate with the long-established NFL outplaying its AFL advisory on the day. Although Kansas City showed promise in the second when Merser’s 31-yard goal brought the Chiefs to within four points of the Green Bay Packers, the Packers rapidly responded, proving once and for all why they were widely regarded as the best team in the United States at that time. Through sheer determination and resilience, they produced three touchdowns in the second half.

McGee, who had been a last-minute replacement for Boyd Dowler, whose performance during the season had been severely lacking, successfully caught seven passes from Starr and scored two touchdowns. Elijah Pitts produced the two other scores.

Starr completed 16 of 23 passes and scored two touchdowns, earning him the title of the first ever Super Bowl’s MVP.

Some would argue that there were no real losers in Super Bowl I. The game marked a major moment in Super Bowl’s history.

The Packers were each awarded $15,000 and the Chiefs $7,500. At the time, this marked the largest prize money in the history of any team sport in the United States.

Final Score: Kansas City Chiefs (AFL)-10 Green Bay Packers (NFL)-35
Date: January 15, 1967
Stadium: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
MVP: Bart Starr, Quarterback
Pre-game Favorite: Packers by 14
Referee: Norm Schachter
Attendance: 61,946

Anthem: The marching bands from the University of Arizona and the University of Michigan
Coin Toss: Norm Schachter
Half Time: Al Hirt, and the marching bands from the University of Arizona and Grambling State University