Americans have been cheering on their favorite football teams for generations, and each season comes down to one last game, the Super Bowl. Although American football has been played for over 100 years, the Super Bowl only became a thing in 1967. This is the story of the very first Super Bowl and how it came about.
Before the Super Bowl
Before the Super Bowl, there were two football conferences who each held their own championship game. It’s a traditional match that’s still played today as NFC and AFL conference teams to fight for supremacy in their region. The Super Bowl was cooked up before the AFL and NFC merged, and was meant to determine who the ultimate champion of American football was.
It would feature the NFC champions against the winners of the AFL conferences, and they would play in a one-off, winner-takes-all game. So in 1967 the AFL champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, took on the NFC winners, the Green Bay Packers, in the first-ever Super Bowl.
The road to glory
One of these teams would have the chance to say they were the best football side in America. There was a lot of pressure on each team as fans from both sides of America wanted their conference to win. This was a fight for both teams’ fans, but they were representing their conference and trying to show whose league was stronger.
The Chiefs had a good campaign record (11-2-1) and defeated the Buffalo Bills 31-7 in the AFL Conference final. Green Bay were coming into the Super Bowl with a near identical record of 12-2 and had beaten the Cowboys in a close conference final 34-27. Judging by the two finals, Green Bay were in for a tough game, but the betting odds had them as favorites.
Super Bowl I
There was plenty of animosity between rival fans of the AFL and NFC as they sought bragging rights over their conference rivals. It looked as though it was going to be a close game, with Green Bay taking a 7-0 lead heading into the second quarter. By halftime, Kansas fought back and were only trailing 14-10. The game was finely poised, and it looked as though it was going down to the wire.
There proved a pivotal moment in the third quarter that would mark the beginning of the end for the Chiefs. Green Bay turned the ball over and returned it fifty yards to the five-yard line. This began to amp up the pressure on the Chiefs. The final score was 35-10 to the Packers as the Green Bay side were crowned the first-ever Super Bowl champions. Packers quarterback Bart Starr was awarded the MVP as he controlled the game while America watched on.
Green Bay were the winners of the first-ever Super Bowl, and they liked the taste of winning so much they came back the following year and won it again. The Packers were coached by Vince Lombardi, whose name would be given to the Super Bowl trophy, so it was fitting that he won the very first one.