Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xlv Champions

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It has become an American national holiday. On the Sunday when the Super Bowl is played, the country stops. Families and friends gather around televisions armed with beer, brats, bravado and Buffalo wings to experience the extreme water-cooler event.

As evidenced by the 2011 game on February 6, 2011, when the Green Bay Packers discomfited the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 to win Super Bowl XLV, the game is more prominent than the sport itself.

On television, not one thing eclipses the power of the Super Bowl. An approximated television audience of 111 million tuned into that game, making it the most watched program in history.

Pete Roselle presenting the introductory NFL – AFL World Championship Trophy to Vince Lombardi – January 15, 1967

“If Jesus Christ were alive today,” minister Norman Vincent Peale allegedly once said, “he’d be (watching) the Super Bowl.”

So how did this game come to be called the Super Bowl? The legend started out auspiciously in 1959 when Lamar Hunt was instrumental in forming a competitory football league to the long-existing NFL.

On the strength of his outstanding inherited oil wealth, Hunt applied for an NFL elaboration franchise in 1959, but was turned down. The thinking amongst NFL executives was that the league will have to be careful not to oversaturate the market by expanding too quickly. Hunt likewise attempted to buy the NFL’s Chicago Cardinals franchise in 1959 with the intent to move them to Dallas, but was again turned down.

In response, Hunt neared various other businessmen who had likewise unsuccessfully sought NFL franchises, including fellow Texan and oil man K.S. Bud Adams of Houston, with regards to forming a new football league. The American Football League (AFL) was traditionalisti in August 1959. The league started out play on September 9, 1960, with eight teams – the Boston Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Texans, Denver Broncos, Houston Oilers, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Titans and Oakland Raiders.

Hunt became owner of the Dallas Texans and hired future Hall-of-Famer, Hank Stram, as the team’s initial head coach. By 1963, the Texans was struggling to compete for attendance and interest versus the standard Dallas Cowboys, so Hunt re-located the club to Kansas City and the Chiefs were born.

Reggie White achieved his Super Bowl dream, and we all rejoiced with him.

In the meantime, the AFL’s believability was on the rise. Since the NFL’s inception in 1920, the league fended off various rival leagues before the AFL started out play in 1960. The intense contest for players and fans led to severe merger talks amidst the two leagues beginning in 1966.

From those talks, the idea of an NFL-AFL Championship Game was born but not given an official nickname.

The origin of the Super Bowl name may have had a subconscious lineage back to college.

In 1902, the Tournament of Roses committee decisive to heighten the day’s parade festivities by adding a football game – the initial post season college-football game ever held. Stanford accepted the invitation to take on the powerhouse University of Michigan, but the West Coast team was flattened 49-0. The lopsided score prompted the Tournament to give up football in favor of Roman-style chariot races, according to the Tournament of Roses website. In 1916, football returned to stay and the crowds soon outgrew the stands in tiny Tournament Park. William L. Leishman, the Tournament’s President in 1920, prevised a stadium similar to the Yale Bowl, the introductory outstanding innovative football stadium, to be built in Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco area. The new stadium hosted it is primary New Year’s football game in 1923 and soon earned the nickname “The Rose Bowl” in honor of the Rose Parade and the fact the new venue was in a literal sense shaped like a bowl that sat over 100,000 revelers.

Exploiting the popularity of the Rose Bowl stadium and the college championship game of the same name, the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl football games were invented in 1935, followed by the Cotton Bowl in 1937. “Bowl” therefore became a popular term and other “bowl games” were devised in later years.

So, when the traditionalisti NFL started out to merge with the upstart AFL in 1966, football fans at last got their wish – a showdown amidst the two league champions, billed as the “NFL-AFL World Championship Game.”

In the book, The Super Bowl: An Official Retrospective, Lamar Hunt recounts the origin of the name he concocted. “There were three super balls given by my wife to our three children at that time, Lamar Jr., Sharon and Clark. It was a highly concentrated rubber ball fabricated by the Wham-O company. You could bounce it off concrete and it would in a literal sense bounce over a house. The kids were always talking with regards to these super balls. I think that’s how the name came about.

“In the fall of 1966, in one of our joint committee meetings amongst the AFL and NFL, we were talking in regards to where we were going to have this championship game. One of the people said, ‘Which game are you talking about?’ I said, ‘Well, you know, the last game after the last game. The final game. The championship game. The Super Bowl.’ The members of the committee – three of us from the AFL and three from the NFL and (commissioner) Pete Rozelle – looked at me, and we all kind of smiled. Thereafter, the committee started out to refer to the game as the Super Bowl. It was three or four years before the league officially adopted that name, but the media and public seized on it. Especially when CBS and NBC promoted that basi game as Super Sunday.”

Later that summer, Hunt sent a memo to Commissioner Rozelle proposing that the merged leagues must ultimately coin a proper phrase for their new championship game. “I have kiddingly called it the Super Bowl,” Hunt wrote, “which evidently may be bettered upon.”

Rozelle agreed. The commissioner despised the word “super” because it lacked sophistication. Rozelle, with his background in journalism and public relations, was a stickler on words and grammar. The game, for now, would proceed to be called the “AFL-NFL World Championship Game.”

That bulky title didn’t last. People caught wind of Hunt’s name and soon everyone, from media members to players, were calling the title game the Super Bowl. By the end of 1966, network executives were referring to the day of the introductory game as “Super Sunday.” After Hunt’s Kansas City Chiefs discomfited the Buffalo Bills in the AFL Championship Game, the next day’s Kansas City Star headline declared that the Chiefs were “Super Bowl Bound.” In Los Angeles, on the morning of Jan. 15, 1967, an NFL Films crew fellow member could be heard giving a sound cue – “Super Bowl, reel one” – before shooting the original pre-game footage at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The firstborn two NFL-AFL Championship games were anything but “super” as the NFL’s 1960s powerhouse Green Bay Packers demolished their AFL counterparts both times (35-10 over the Chiefs in January, 1967, and 33-14 over Oakland in 1968). At the time, numerous doubted the competitiveness of AFL teams equated with NFL counterparts.

Even Coach Vince Lombardi famously told his players before the meeting versus Oakland that, “You damn well better not let that Mickey Mouse (American Football) league beat you. It’d be a disgrace, a complete, utter disgrace.”

But that sensing changed when the AFL’s New York Jets discomfited the Baltimore Colts 16-7 in the third such championship game in January, 1969.

The merger amongst the leagues became official after the 1969 season and beginning with the 1970 season, the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC) were formed with each conference’s winner meeting in what was now officially called the Super Bowl.

Yet few fans noticed as they’d been calling the big game the Super Bowl since the primary one was played.

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xlv Champions

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xlv Champions Photo

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xlv Champions

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xlv Champions Image

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xlv Champions

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xlv Champions Image

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xlv Champions

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xlv Champions Image

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xlv Champions

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xlv Champions Picture

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xlv Champions

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Xlv Champions Photo

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