It is truly amazing what has happened to pro football in the span of 40 years. The Super Bowl is an American institution with a worldwide following. It has grown from an AFL-NFL merger to become the biggest sports betting event in the world.
The Super Bowl started with the AFL-NFL merger in 1966. Under terms of the agreement, the leagues agreed to maintain separate schedules through the 1969 season before forming one league with two conferences in 1970 but would begin playing an annual World Championship Game following the 1966 season. Kansas City Chiefs owner and AFL founder Lamar Hunt came up with the name "Super Bowl" and it is still called that today. Even though the official title remained the NFL-AFL World Championship Game for the first two games, the media and public liked the term "Super Bowl" and officially used it for the 1969 game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Jets. The first two games in Super Bowl history saw the Green Bay Packers of the NFL win easily and the AFL was a huge underdog in Super Bowl III. Joe Namath guaranteed victory though and the New York Jets, a big 17 point underdog upset the Baltimore Colts 16-7.
The Super Bowl was not always what it is today. The first Super Bowl was not that well received. Tickets for the game were priced as low as $6 and attendance for the game was 61,946 in the L.A. Coliseum, which was not even close to a sellout. Think about how things have changed now. Beginning with Super Bowl V in 1971, the trophy awarded to the winning team became known as the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named after the Green Bay coach.
Face value of tickets for Super Bowl LV were between $4000 and $7000 compared to $6 and $12 back in 1967 but scalpers get anywhere from $3,000 to as much as $7,000 or more for most seats. The winning players in Super Bowl I got $15,000 each while the losers got $7,500. Each winner of Super Bowl XL got about $70,000 and the loser nearly $40,000. The only teams that have not been to a Super Bowl are Cleveland, Detroit, Jacksonville.
The Super Bowl is viewed in about 60 percent of all U.S. homes with 90 million viewers tuned in. Super Bowl games appear as 20 of the top 50 most watched television broadcasts in history.
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