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EventStays.com - Super Bowl History
Super Bowl History
Super Bowl
The highly anticipated Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL), the highest level of professional football in the United States, culminating a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. The Super Bowl is played annually and uses Roman numerals to identify each game, rather than the year in which it is held. For example, Super Bowl I was played on January 15, 1967, following the regular season played in 1966. More recently, Super Bowl XLV was played on February 6, 2011, to determine the NFL champion of the 2010 regular season.
The game was created as part of a merger agreement between the NFL and the American Football League (AFL), which had been competitive rivals up until the merger. It was agreed that the two leagues' champion teams would play in an AFL - NFL World Championship Game until the merger was to officially begin in 1970. After the merger, each league was re-designated as a "conference," and the game was then played between the conference champions.
The day on which the Super Bowl is played is now considered a de facto American national holiday called "Super Bowl Sunday." It is the 2nd largest day for U.S. food consumption, after Thanksgiving Day. In most years, the Super Bowl is the most-watched American television broadcast; Super Bowl XLIV, played on February 7, 2010 between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, became the most-watched American television program in history, drawing an average audience of 106.5 million viewers and taking over the spot held for 27 years by the final episode of M*A*S*H. The Super Bowl is among the most watched sporting events in the world, primarily due to mostly North American audiences, and is second to soccer's UEFA Champions League final as the most watched annual sporting event worldwide.
Because of its high viewership, commercial airtime during the Super Bowl broadcast is the most expensive of the year. Due to the high cost of investing in advertising on the Super Bowl, companies regularly develop their most expensive, and quite often, most humorous advertisements for this broadcast. As a result, watching and discussing the broadcast's commercials has become a significant aspect of the event. In addition, many popular singers and musicians have performed during the event's pre-game and halftime shows because of the exposure.
Origin
The Super Bowl was created as part of the merger agreement between the National Football League (NFL) and its competitive rival, the American Football League (AFL). After its inception in 1920, the NFL fended off several rival leagues before the AFL began play in 1960. The intense competitive war for players and fans led to serious merger talks between the two leagues in 1966. According to NFL Films President Steve Sabol, at the time NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle wanted to call the game "The Big One." The common story behind the name of the Super Bowl tells that one of the AFL's founders and Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, during the discussion to iron out the details, had jokingly referred to the proposed inter league championship as the "Super Bowl." Lamar Hunt, who died in December 2006, states he coined the term in the late 1960s after watching his kids play with a Super Ball, the creation of toy manufacturer Wham-O. The small, round ball is currently on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. However, more recent scholarship suggests that the name was already presented in sports journalism before the Hunt story took place, and that Hunt only applied official cachet to an unofficial nickname.
The name was consistent with post-season college football games, which had long been known as "bowl games." Hunt states he only meant the name to be a stopgap until a better one could be found. "Super Bowl" even sounded rather silly at the time. Nevertheless, the name "Super Bowl" became permanent. . Tickets for the games played in 1967, 1968, and 1969 were printed with the title "World Championship Game."
After the NFL's Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls, some team owners feared for the future of the merger. At the time, many doubted the competitiveness of AFL teams compared with NFL counterparts, though that perception changed with the AFL's New York Jets' defeat of the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in Miami. One year later, the AFL Kansas City Chiefs defeated the NFL Minnesota Vikings 23-7 and won Super Bowl IV in New Orleans, the final World Championship game played between the champions of the two leagues, as the league merger finally took place later that year.
The game is played annually on a Sunday as the final game of the NFL Playoffs. Originally, the game took place in early to mid-January, following a fourteen-game regular season and two rounds of playoffs. Over the years, the date of the Super Bowl has progressed from the second Sunday in January, to the third, then the fourth Sunday in January; the game is currently played on the first Sunday in February, given the current seventeen-week (sixteen games and one bye week) regular season and three rounds of playoffs. Also, February is television's "sweeps" month and it affords the television network carrying the game an immense opportunity to pad its viewership when negotiating for advertising revenue. The progression of the dates of the Super Bowl was caused by several factors: the expansion of the NFL's regular season in 1978 from fourteen games to sixteen; the expansion of the pre-Super Bowl playoff field from eight to twelve teams, necessitating the addition of a third round of playoffs (also in 1978); the addition of the regular season bye-week in the 1990s; and the decision to start the regular season the week following Labor Day. Former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle is often considered the mastermind of both the merger and the Super Bowl. His leadership guided the two competitors into the merger agreement and cemented the preeminence of the Super Bowl.
The winning team receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named after the coach of the Green Bay Packers, who won the first two Super Bowl games and three of the five preceding NFL championships in 1961, 1962, and 1965. Following his death in September 1970, the trophy was named the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and was first awarded as such to the Baltimore Colts at Super Bowl V in Miami.
Game History - Wins/Losses and Host Cities
Year Super Bowl Host City Winner/Loser Score
1967
I
Los Angeles, CA GB Packers / KC Chiefs 35/10
1968
II
Miami, FL GB Packers / Oakland Raiders 33/14
1969
III
Miami, FL NY Jets / Baltimore Colts 16/7
1970
IV
New Orleans, LA KC Chiefs / Minn Vikings 23/7
1971
V
Miami, FL Baltimore Colts / Dallas Cowboys 16/13
1972
VI
New Orleans, LA Dallas Cowboys / Miami Dolphins 24/3
1973
VII
Los Angeles, CA Miami Dolphins / Wash Redskins 14/7
1974
VIII
Houston, TX Miami Dolphins / Minn Vikings 24/7
1975
IX
New Orleans, LA Pitts Steelers / Minn Vikings 16/6
1976
X
Miami, FL Pitts Steelers / Dallas Cowboys 21/17
1977
XI
Pasadena, CA Oakland Raiders / Minn Vikings 32/14
1978
XII
New Orleans, LA Dallas Cowboys / Denver Broncos 27/10
1979
XIII
Miami, FL Pitts Steelers / Dallas Cowboys 35/31
1980
XIV
Pasadena, CA Pitts Steelers / LA Rams 31/19
1981
XV
New Orleans, LA Oakland Raiders / Phil Eagles 27/10
1982
XVI
Pontiac, MI SF 49ers / Cinc Bengals 26/21
1983
XVII
Pasadena, CA Wash Redskins / Miami Dolphins 27/17
1984
XVIII
Tampa, FL LA Raiders / Wash Redskins 38/9
1985
XIX
Stanford, CA SF 49ers / Miami Dolphins 38/16
1986
XX
New Orleans, LA Chicago Bears / NE Patriots 46/10
1987
XXI
Pasadena, CA NY Giants / Denver Broncos 39/20
1988
XXII
San Diego, CA Wash Redskins / Denver Broncos 42/10
1989
XXIII
Miami, FL SF 49ers / Cinc Bengals 20/16
1990
XXIV
New Orleans, LA SF 49ers / Denver Broncos 55/10
1991
XXV
Tampa, FL NY Giants / Buffalo Bills 20/19
1992
XXVI
Minneapolis, MN Wash Redskins / Buffalo Bills 37/24
1993
XXVII
Pasadena, CA Dallas Cowboys / Buffalo Bills 52/17
1994
XXVIII
Atlanta, GA Dallas Cowboys / Buffalo Bills 30/13
1995
XXIX
Miami, FL SF 49ers / SD Chargers 49/26
1996
XXX
Tempe, AZ Dallas Cowboys / Pitts Steelers 27/17
1997
XXXI
New Orleans, LA GB Packers / NE Patriots 35/21
1998
XXXII
San Diego, CA Denver Broncos / GB Packers 31/24
1999
XXXIII
Miami, FL Denver Broncos / Atlanta Falcons 34/19
2000
XXXIV
Atlanta, GA St Louis Rams / Tenn Titans 23/16
2001
XXXV
Tampa, FL Baltimore Ravens / NY Giants 34/7
2002
XXXVI
New Orleans, LA NE Patriots / St Louis Rams 20/17
2003
XXXVII
San Diego, CA TB Buccaneers / Oakland Raiders 48/21
2004
XXXVIII
Houston, TX NE Patriots / Carolina Panthers 32/29
2005
XXXIX
Jacksonville, FL NE Patriots / Phil Eagles 24/21
2006
XL
Detroit, MI Pitts Steelers / Seattle Seahawks 21/10
2007
XLI
Miami, FL Indi Colts / Chicago Bears 29/17
2008
XLII
Glendale, AZ NY Giants / NE Patriots 17/14
2009
XLIII
Tampa, FL Pitts Steelers / Arizona Cardinals 27/23
2010
XLIV
Miami, FL NO Saints / Indi Colts 31/17
2011
XLV
Arlington, TX GB Packers/Pitts Steelers 31/25
2012
XLVI
Indianapolis, IN We shall see...  
2013
XLVII
New Orleans, LA    
2014
XLVIII
East Rutherford, NJ