Green Bay Wins First Super Bowl 52 Years Ago Today
As kids we almost all had them. SuperBalls were made by Wham-O a mid-twentieth century specialty toy company that first brought hula hoops to America.
As kids we all had balls, all boys did in my day. We had baseballs, and footballs, tennis balls, golf balls the list goes on. One particular ball was the rubber ball, mostly intended for a child to entertain himself with, bouncing it off walls and catching it until mother could no longer stand the bump-whump, bump-whump, bump-whump of the ball hitting the wall and returning. Most rubber balls for some reason were colored red.
No matter how hard you threw the rubber ball, it could only bounce back ten or twelve feet at best. The Wham-O Super Ball was a different animal, it wasn't even made of rubber but according to the internet: A Super Ball (a.k.a. SuperBall) is a toy bouncing ball based on a type of synthetic rubber invented in 1964 by chemist Norman Stingley. It is an extremely elastic ball made of Zectron which contains the synthetic polymer polybutadiene as well as hydrated silica, zinc oxide, stearic acid, and other ingredients.
In a short word, it was: super, and it wasn't even red, it was black and bad assed.
A boy could slam this thing into the ground and it'd bounce forty feet high. Completely over a house (lost one like this), it was amazing, it was a Super Ball like no one had ever seen. Just under tennis ball size, a kid could fling this thing a mile, then watch it bounce another mile (BTW I was a super child who didn't mind chasing balls two miles)
Maybe that's what Lamar Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs had in mind when he suggested copying college football games playoff monikers of bowl games combined with a game he thought would be super, that the world had never seen, the two best professional teams squaring off to see who would be world champion in a Super Bowl. Some have suggested Hunt directly copied the toy ball's name for the football game since the advertising and popularity of the toy were at its height in the mid-1960s.
Anyway, on this date in 1966 the Vince Lombardi Green Bay Packers faced the Kansas City Chiefs in what would be the first ever SuperBowl NFL Championship.
Max McGee the 34-year-old receiver for the Packers who didn't expect to play that day, spent the night out carousing in Los Angeles until 5 am, was called off the bench and caught a Bart Starr pass in the left flat, behind him with one hand, and scored the first ever SuperBowl touchdown.
What has now become an American mid-winter tradition, where advertisers unveil their best commercial ideas, where pop bands compete to play at the halftime, started off as a poorly attended regionally televised game whose first TD was scored by a hungover over thirty veteran of the game who just wished his head would stop hurting.
By the way, Green Bay scored three TD's in the second half to win 35-10 in front of a non-sellout LA Collesieum crowd of 61,946. Each Packer player received a then unheard of $15,000 bonus for the win.
The first SuperBowl, sixty-two years ago today.