Super Bowl I

Super Bowl I

Infobox SuperBowl
sb_name = I

visitor = Kansas City Chiefs
home = Green Bay Packers
visitor_abbr = KC
home_abbr = GB
visitor_conf = AFL
home_conf = NFL
visitor_total = 10
home_total = 35

visitor_qtr1 = 0
visitor_qtr2 = 10
visitor_qtr3 = 0
visitor_qtr4 = 0

home_qtr1 = 7
home_qtr2 = 7
home_qtr3 = 14
home_qtr4 = 7

date = January 15, 1967
stadium = Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
city = Los Angeles
attendance = 61,946
odds = Packers by 14
MVP = Bart Starr, Quarterback
anthem = University of Arizona and University of Michigan Bands
coin_toss = Norm Schachter
referee = Norm Schachter
halftime = University of Arizona and University of Michigan Bands
network = CBS and NBC
announcers = CBS: Ray Scott, Jack Whitaker and Frank Gifford
NBC: Curt Gowdy and Paul Christman
rating = CBS: 22.6
NBC: 18.5
share = CBS: 43
NBC: 36
commercial = $42,000 (Both CBS and NBC)
next = II

The first AFL-NFL World Championship Game in professional American football, later to be known as Super Bowl I, was played on January 15, 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.

The National Football League (NFL) champion Green Bay Packers (14-2) scored 3 second-half touchdowns en route to a 35–10 win over the American Football League (AFL) champion Kansas City Chiefs (12-3-1).

Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr earned the first Super Bowl MVP in NFL history by throwing 16 of 23 for 250 yards and two touchdowns, with 1 interception.



The first "AFL-NFL World Championship Game" was established as part of the June 8, 1966 merger agreement between the NFL and the AFL. However, Los Angeles was not awarded the game until six weeks before the kickoff.

Coming into this first game, there was considerable animosity between the two rival leagues, with both of them putting pressure on their respective champion teams to trounce the other to prove each league's dominance over professional football. Still, many sports writers and fans believed that the game was a mismatch, and that any team from the long-established NFL was far superior to the best team from the upstart AFL.

Although the official title of the game was the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, media at the time almost always used the then-unofficial name "Super Bowl."

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs entered the game after recording an 11-2-1 regular season record. In the AFL Championship Game, they beat the Buffalo Bills, 31-7.

Kansas City's high powered offense led the AFL in total points (448) and total rushing yards (2,274). Their trio of running backs, Mike Garrett (801 yards), Bert Coan (521 yards), and Curtis McClinton (540 yards) all ranked among the top ten rushers in the AFL. Quarterback Len Dawson was the top rated passer in the AFL, completing 159 out of 284 (56 percent) of his passes for 2,527 yards and 26 touchdowns. Wide receiver Otis Taylor provided the team with a great deep threat by recording 58 receptions of 1,297 yards and 8 touchdowns. And tight end Fred Arbanas, who had 22 catches for 305 yards and 4 touchdowns, was one of 6 Chiefs offensive players who were named to the All-AFL team.

The Chiefs also had a strong defense, with All-AFL players Jerry Mays and Buck Buchanan anchoring their line. Linebacker Bobby Bell, who was also named to the All-AFL team, was great at run stopping and pass coverage. But the strongest part of their defense was their secondary, led by All-AFL safeties Johnny Robinson and Bobby Hunt, who each recorded 10 interceptions, and defensive back Fred Williamson, who recorded 4. Their Head Coach was Hank Stram.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers were an NFL dynasty after being a losing team eight years earlier. The team had posted an NFL-worst 1–10–1 record before legendary head coach Vince Lombardi joined the team in 1959. But Lombardi was determined to build a winning team. During the offseason, he signed Fred "Fuzzy" Thurston, a player who had been cut from 3 other teams but ended up becoming an All-Pro left guard for Green Bay. Lombardi also made a big trade with the Cleveland Browns that brought 3 players to the team who would become cornerstones of the defense: defensive linemen Henry Jordan, Willie Davis and Bill Quinlan.

Lombardi's hard work paid off, and the Packers improved to a 7–5 regular season record in 1959. Then, they surprised the league during the following year by making it all the way to the NFL Championship Game. Although the Packers lost the game, 17–13, to the Philadelphia Eagles, they had sent a clear message that they were no longer losers. Green Bay went on to win NFL Championships in 1961, 1962, 1965, and 1966.

Packers veteran quarterback Bart Starr was the top rated quarterback in the NFL and won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award, completing 156 out of 251 (62.2 percent) passes for 2,257 yards, 14 touchdowns, and only 3 interceptions. His top targets were wide receivers Boyd Dowler and Carroll Dale, who combined for 63 receptions for 1,336 yards. Fullback Jim Taylor was the team's top rusher with 705 yards, and also caught 41 passes for 331 yards. (Before the season, Taylor had informed the team that instead of returning to the Packers in 1967, he would become a free agent and sign with the expansion New Orleans Saints. Lombardi, infuriated at what he considered to be Taylor's disloyalty, refused to speak to Taylor the entire season.)Bart Starr, "Super Bowl I," "Super Bowl: The Game of Their Lives", Danny Peary, Editor. Macmillan, 1997 ISBN 0-02-860841-0] The team's starting halfback, Paul Hornung, was injured early in the season, but running back Elijah Pitts did a good job as a replacement, gaining 857 combined rushing and receiving yards. And the Packers offensive line was also big reason for the team's success, led by All-Pro guards Jerry Kramer and Thurston, along with Forrest Gregg.

Green Bay also had a superb defense, which displayed its talent on the final drive of the NFL Championship Game, stopping the Dallas Cowboys on 4 consecutive plays starting on the Packers 2-yard line to win the game. Lionel Aldridge had replaced Quinlan, but Jordan and Davis still anchored the defensive line, linebacker Ray Nitschke excelled at run stopping and pass coverage, while the secondary was led by defensive backs Herb Adderley and Willie Wood. Wood was another example of how Lombardi found talent in players that nobody else could see. Wood had been a quarterback in college and was not drafted by an NFL team. When Wood joined the Packers in 1960, he was converted to a free safety and he went on to make the All-Pro team 9 times in his 12 year career.

uper Bowl pregame news and notes

Many people considered it fitting that the Chiefs and the Packers would be the teams to play in the first ever AFL-NFL World Championship Game. Kansas City owner Lamar Hunt was the person who founded the AFL, while Green Bay was widely considered the best team in NFL history. The game gave the Packers an opportunity to show that they were truly one of the best American football teams of all time. (CBS announcer Frank Gifford, who interviewed Lombardi prior to the game, said Lombardi was so nervous "he held onto my arm and he was shaking like a leaf. It was incredible.")Mickey Herskowitz, "Winning the Big I," "The Super Bowl: Celebrating a Quarter-Century of America's Greatest Game". Simon and Schuster, 1990 ISBN 0-671-72798-2] The Chiefs saw this game as an opportunity to show they were good enough to play against any NFL team. One player who was really looking forward to compete in this game was Dawson, who had spent 4 years as a backup in the NFL before joining the Chiefs. (The Chiefs were also nervous. Linebacker E. J. Holub said "the Chiefs were scared to death. Guys in the tunnel were throwing up and wetting their pants.")

In the week prior to the game, Chiefs cornerback Fred "The Hammer" Williamson garnered considerable publicity by boasting he would use his "hammer"--forearm blows to the head--to destroy the Packers' receivers, stating "Two hammers to (Boyd) Dowler, one to (Carroll) Dale should be enough." [ [ - Page2 - 100 Greatest Super Bowl Moments ] ] The two teams played with their respective footballs from each league-The Chiefs used the AFL ball by Spalding, the Packers played withthe NFL ball by Wilson.



This game is the only Super Bowl to have been broadcast in the United States by two television networks simultaneously (no other NFL game was subsequently carried nationally on more than one network until December 29, 2007, when the New England Patriots faced the New York Giants on NBC, CBS, and the NFL Network). At the time, CBS held the rights to nationally televise NFL games while NBC had the rights to broadcast AFL games. It was decided to have both of them cover the game.

Each network used their own announcers: Ray Scott (doing play-by-play for the first half), Jack Whitaker (doing play-by-play for the second half), and Frank Gifford provided commentary on CBS; while Curt Gowdy and Paul Christman were on NBC.

NBC did have some problems. The network did not return in time from a halftime commercial break for the start of the second half; therefore, the first kickoff was stopped by the game's officials and was redone once NBC was back on the air. NBC was also forced to broadcast the game over CBS' feed and cameras (CBS received prerogative to use its feed and camera angles since the Coliseum was home to the NFL's Rams). In other words, NBC's crew had little to no control over how the game was shot (i.e. the camera angles).

Super Bowl I was the only Super Bowl in history that was not a sellout in terms of attendance, despite a TV blackout in the Los Angeles area. Days before the game, local newspapers printed editorials about what they viewed as a then-exorbitant $12 USD price for tickets, and wrote stories about how to pirate the signal from TV stations outside the Los Angeles area.

Lost footage

Much to the dismay of television historians, all known broadcast tapes which recorded the game in its entirety were subsequently destroyed in a process of wiping, the reusing videotape by taping over previous content, by both networks. This has prevented contrast and compare studies of how each network handled their respective coverage. Despite this, Television and sports archivists remain on the lookout, and at least two small samples of the telecast survives: a recording of Max McGee's opening touchdown and Jim Taylor's first touchdown run (Packers' second touchdown), both were shown on HBO's 1991 two-part sports documentary, "".

NFL Films had a camera crew present, and retains a substantial amount of film footage in its archives, some of which has been released for home video and cable presentations.

Ceremonies and entertainment

The first Super Bowl halftime show featured American trumpeter Al Hirt, and the marching bands from the University of Arizona and Grambling State University. ( [ [ entertainment-honorroll] ] incorrectly lists the University of Michigan Band.)

The postgame, trophy presentation ceremony was handled by CBS' Pat Summerall and NBC's George Ratterman. Summerall and Ratterman were forced to share a single microphone.

Game summary

After both teams traded punts on their first possessions of the game, the Packers jumped out to an early 7–0 lead, driving 80 yards in 6 plays. On the last play, Bart Starr threw a pass to reserve receiver Max McGee, who had replaced injured starter Boyd Dowler earlier in the drive. McGee slipped past Chiefs cornerback Willie Mitchell, made a one-handed catch at the 23-yard line, and then took off for a 37-yard touchdown reception. On their ensuing drive, the Chiefs moved the ball to Green Bay's 33-yard line, but kicker Mike Mercer missed a 40-yard field goal.

Early in the second quarter, Kansas City marched 66 yards in 6 plays, featuring a 31-yard reception by receiver Otis Taylor, to tie the game on a 7-yard pass to Curtis McClinton from quarterback Len Dawson. But the Packers responded on their next drive, advancing 73 yards down the field and scoring on fullback Jim Taylor's 14-yard touchdown run with the team's famed "Power Sweep" play. With a minute left in the half, Mercer kicked a 31-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-10.

At halftime, it appeared that the Chiefs had a chance to win. Many people watching the game were surprised how close the score was and how well the AFL's champions were playing. Kansas City actually outgained the Packers in total yards, 181–164, and had 11 first downs compared to the Packers' 9. The Chiefs were exuberant at halftime. Hank Stram said later "I honestly thought we would come back and win it." The Packers were disappointed with the quality of their play in the first half. "The coach was "concerned" said defensive end Willie Davis later. Lombardi told them the game plan was sound but that they had to tweak some things and execute better.

On their first drive of the second half, the Chiefs advanced to their own 49-yard line. But on a third down pass play, a heavy blitz by linebackers Dave Robinson and Lee Roy Caffey rushed Dawson's throw, and the ball was intercepted by Willie Wood, who then returned it 50 yards to Kansas City's 5-yard line.("the biggest play of the game," wrote Starr later). On their first play after the turnover, running back Elijah Pitts scored on a 5-yard touchdown run to give the Packers a 21-10 lead.

The Packers defense would then dominate the Chiefs offense for the rest of the game, only allowing them to cross midfield once, and for just one play. The Chiefs were forced to deviate from their game plan, and that hurt them. The Chiefs' offense totaled 12 yards in the third quarter, and Dawson was held to 5 out of 12 second half pass completions for 59 yards.

Meanwhile, Green Bay forced Kansas City to punt from their own 2-yard line after sacking Dawson twice and got the ball back with good field position on their own 44. McGee subsequenlty caught 3 passes for 40 yards on a 56-yard drive that ended with his 13-yard touchdown reception. Midway through the fourth quarter, Starr completed a 25-yard pass to Carroll Dale and a 37-yard strike to McGee, moving the ball to the Chiefs 18-yard line. Four plays later, Pitts scored his second touchdown on a 1-yard run to close out the scoring, giving the Packers the 35-10 win. Also in the fourth quarter, Fred Williamson, who had boasted about his "hammer" prior to the game, was knocked out when his head collided with running back Donny Anderson's knee, and then suffered a broken arm when Chiefs linebacker Sherrill Headrick fell on him. Williamson had three tackles for the game.

Although Starr was named MVP, much of the Packers' success during the game can be attributed to McGee. During the regular season, McGee had only caught a total of 4 passes for 98 yards and 1 touchdown, but he ended up recording 7 receptions for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Super Bowl. McGee later said after the game that he spent the previous night out on the town, was in no condition to play the game, and was counting on not playing that day.

Hornung was the only Packer not to see any action. Lombardi had asked him in the fourth quarter if he wanted to go in, but Hornung declined, not wanting to aggravate a pinched nerve in his neck.

The Green Bay Packers were each paid a salary of $15,000 as the winning team. The Chiefs were paid $7,500 each. [ [] ]

Scoring summary

tarting lineups

Source: [Neft, David S., Cohen, Richard M., and Korch, Rick. "The Complete History of Professional Football from 1892 to the Present." 1994 ISBN 0312114354 ]


*Referee: Norm Schachter (NFL)
*Umpire: George Young (AFL)
*Head Linesman: Bernie Ulman (NFL)
*Line Judge: Al Sabato (AFL)
*Field Judge: Mike Lisetski (NFL)
*Back Judge: Jack Reader (AFL)

"Note: A seven-official system was not used until 1978."

Since officials from the NFL and AFL wore different uniform designs, a "neutral" uniform was designed for this game. These uniforms had the familiar black and white stripes, but the sleeves were all black with the official's uniform number. This design was also worn in Super Bowl II, but was discontinued after that game when AFL officials began wearing uniforms identical to those of the NFL during the 1968 season, in anticipation of the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

Weather conditions

*72 degrees, sunny

ee also

*1966 NFL season
*American Football League playoffs


* [ Super Bowl official website]
*cite book | title=2006 NFL Record and Fact Book | publisher=Time Inc. Home Entertainment | id=ISBN 1-933405-32-5
*cite book | title=Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League | publisher=Harper Collins | id=ISBN 1-933405-32-5
*cite book | title=The Official NFL Encyclopedia Pro Football | publisher=NAL Books | id=ISBN 0-453-00431-8
*cite book | title=The Sporting News Complete Super Bowl Book 1995 | id=ISBN 0-89204-523-X
* - Large online database of NFL data and statistics
* [ Super Bowl play-by-plays] from USA Today (Last accessed February 5, 2006)
* [ All-Time Super Bowl Odds] from The Sports Network (Last accessed October 16, 2005)

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