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Packers beat Chiefs in first Super Bowl

Packers beat Chiefs in first Super Bowl



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On January 15, 1967, the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL) smash the American Football League (AFL)’s Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10, in the first-ever AFL-NFL World Championship, later known as Super Bowl I, at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

Founded in 1960 as a rival to the NFL, the AFL was still finding its way in 1967, and the Packers had been heavily favored to win the game. As 60 million people tuned in to watch the action unfold on television, the Chiefs managed to keep it close for the first half, and by halftime Green Bay was ahead just 14-10. The Chiefs’ only touchdown came in the second quarter, on a seven-yard pass from quarterback Len Dawson to Curtis McClinton.

The Packers, however, proceeded to break the game wide open, after safety Willie Wood intercepted a Dawson pass and returned the ball 50 yards to set up a touchdown. Green Bay scored three more times in the second half, as Elijah Pitts ran in two touchdowns and backup end Max McGee–who came on the field after the starter Boyd Dowler was injured on the sixth play of the game–caught his second touchdown pass of the day. Prior to the game, McGee had made only four receptions all season; he made seven that night, for a total of 138 yards.

The Packers’ famed quarterback, Bryan Bartlett “Bart” Starr, completed 16 of 23 passes on the night. The score at game’s end stood at 35-10, and Starr was named Most Valuable Player. Asked to comment on the match-up after the game, Green Bay Coach Vince Lombardi expressed the common opinion that even the best of the AFL—the Chiefs—“doesn’t compare with the top NFL teams.”

Two years later, the AFL proved itself to doubters by winning its first championship, when Joe Namath led the New York Jets to an upset 16-7 victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. In 1970, the AFL and NFL merged into one league, as the Colts, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to join the 10 AFL teams to form American Football Conference (AFC). Since then, the Super Bowl has been the annual meeting of the top teams in the AFC and the National Football Conference (NFC) for the championship of the NFL.


When is the last time Packers went to a Super Bowl? History of Green Bay's big game appearances

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When the Green Bay Packers make it to the Super Bowl, they normally win it.

The Packers have won four out of five appearances in the Super Bowl, tied for the best winning percentage among franchises with at least three appearances in the big game. Green Bay's history with the Super Bowl dates back, of course, to the first two Super Bowls, both of which were won by the Packers.They weren't even known as the "Super Bowl" at the time, instead called the AFL-NFL World Championship. Retroactively, though, those two Packers wins are recognized as the first two Super Bowl titles.

The current face of the Green Bay franchise, Aaron Rodgers has made it to one Super Bowl. He and the Packers won the 2011 Super Bowl (at the conclusion of the 2010 regular season) with a 31-25 victory over Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Here's more to know about Green Bay's history in the Super Bowl, which in some ways is as deep as any franchise's.


Packers vs. Chiefs: A look back at the first Super Bowl

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs had no way of knowing what the Super Bowl would become when they met at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1967.

All they knew was they didn’t like each other much.

The NFL had for years successfully fended off rival leagues, but the AFL came along — founded by Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt and his buddies in the “Foolish Club” — with proven staying power. Eventually the two leagues would merge, but first came a matchup between their respective champions.

More Packers coverage from FOX Sports Wisconsin

The teams from the NFL, including the Packers, were out to prove their dominance in professional football. Their counterparts from the AFL came in with a considerable chip on their shoulders.

“They called us a Mickey Mouse league,” recalled Chiefs linebacker Bobby Bell, one of 14 players to take the field that day who would land in the Hall of Fame. “We’re like, ‘Hey man, wait a minute. We’re not Mickey Mouse. We put our uniforms on just like everybody else.'”

The Chiefs proved that at the start, playing perhaps the best team from Packers coach Vince Lombardi’s dynasty to a near-stalemate in the first half. But things turned in the third quarter, when Willie Wood picked off Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson and nearly returned it for a touchdown.

Packers quarterback Bart Starr, the game’s MVP, called it “the biggest play of the game.”

Elijah Pitts scored on the very next play to extend the Green Bay lead to 21-10, and the shaken Chiefs never got back on track. Max McGee caught his second touchdown pass later in the third quarter, and Pitts scored his second touchdown in the fourth to clinch a 35-10 victory.

“We said going into halftime, ‘We can beat these guys, you know?’ the Packers’ Hall of Fame offensive lineman, Jerry Kramer, told NFL Network for a special on the 100 greatest games in history. “The first half was almost even and we got sobered up at halftime and got about our business.”

The game was played before a crowd of 61,946, leaving thousands of empty seats in the cavernous Coliseum, though an estimated 51 million viewers tuned into the broadcast shown simultaneously by CBS and NBC. Both networks later erased the game footage, which was pieced together a few years ago.

The halftime entertainment that mild January day in Southern California? Not the Beatles or The Rolling Stones or even The Beach Boys with their smooth surfer vibe but the marching bands from the University of Arizona and Grambling State University.

Much has changed over the years. Tickets for the Super Bowl go for thousands of dollars, if you can find any for sale, and the broadcast of the game is the centerpiece of parties all over North America.

The halftime show for February’s game in Miami? Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

As the Packers and Chiefs prepare to meet again Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium, here’s a look at how that first Super Bowl affected each franchise in subsequent seasons:

Gallery: PHOTOS: Packers vs. Raiders

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The game signified the high-water mark for Lombardi’s dynasty of the 1960s, though the Packers would go on to beat Oakland to make it back-to-back Super Bowl triumphs the following year. Green Bay went just 9-4-1 that season, and several of its biggest stars began showing signs of aging.

Lombardi would hand the franchise over to his longtime assistant, Phil Bengtson, in 1968 and a rapid regression followed. The Packers went 6-7-1 and missed the playoffs, and would qualify for the postseason just twice — in 1972 and 󈨖 — until Mike Holmgren took over nearly 25 years later.

Led by a hotshot young quarterback name Brett Favre, the Packers returned to prominence, winning another Super Bowl in 1996. Mike McCarthy led them to their most recent championship in 2010.

KANSAS CITY

The Chiefs failed to make the postseason the next year, but coach Hank Stram and his team of veterans weren’t done yet. They went 12-2 in 1968 before losing in the playoffs, then captured that elusive Super Bowl championship when they beat the Vikings in the fourth edition on Jan. 11, 1970.

It remains the only Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

The 1970s and 󈨔s were lost decades for the Chiefs. Marty Schottenheimer and Dick Vermeil led a renaissance beginning in the 1990s, but for all their success, they only made one AFC title game.

The Chiefs finally made it back last season, losing to the Patriots on the brink of a Super Bowl.

MEMORABLE GAMES

1993: The Packers and Chiefs have only played 12 times, including their Super Bowl matchup, but none of the other meetings was meaningful until this one. Greg Hill had two touchdowns running and one through the air, helping Kansas City to a 27-20 win between a pair of playoff teams.

Green Bay went on to finish 9-7 and beat Detroit in the playoffs before losing to Dallas in the divisional round. Kansas City went 11-5 and won the AFC West, beat Pittsburgh and Houston to reach the AFC championship game, then lost 30-13 to the Bills on a frigid day in Buffalo.

2003: Ten years after that memorable matchup, the Chiefs edged the Packers 40-34 in overtime in another matchup of eventual playoff teams. Eddie Kennison caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from Trent Green with 6:11 left in the extra session to give the Chiefs the win.

2015: The Packers beat the Chiefs 38-28 on their way to a 6-0 start. Aaron Rodgers threw for 333 yards and five touchdowns in the win, while Jamaal Charles scored three times for Kansas City.

Green Bay eventually lost to Arizona in overtime in the divisional round of the playoffs, while the Chiefs followed a 1-5 start with 11 straight wins. That streak included a postseason victory in Houston before a loss in New England in the divisional round.


Contents

Origins Edit

When the NFL began its 41st season in 1960, it had a new and unwanted rival: the American Football League. The NFL had successfully fended off several other rival leagues in the past, and so the older league initially ignored the new upstart and its eight teams, figuring it would be made up of nothing but NFL rejects, and that fans were unlikely to prefer it to the NFL. But unlike the NFL's prior rivals, the AFL survived and prospered, in part by signing "NFL rejects" who turned out to be highly talented players the older league had badly misjudged. Soon the NFL and AFL found themselves locked in a massive bidding war for the top free agents and prospects coming out of college. Originally, there was a tacit agreement between the two not to raid each other by signing players who were already under contract with a team from an opposing league. This policy broke down in early 1966 when the NFL's New York Giants signed Pete Gogolak, a placekicker who was under contract with the AFL's Buffalo Bills. The AFL owners considered this an "act of war" and immediately struck back, signing several contracted NFL players, including eight of their top quarterbacks. [ citation needed ]

Eventually the NFL had enough and started negotiations with the AFL in an attempt to resolve the issue. As a result of the negotiations, the leagues signed a merger agreement on June 9, 1966. Among the details, both leagues agreed to share a common draft in order to end the bidding war for the top college players, as well as merge into a single league after the 1969 season. In addition, an "AFL-NFL World Championship Game" was established, in which the AFL and NFL champions would play against each other in a game at the end of the season to determine which league had the best team. [13]

Los Angeles wasn't awarded the game until December 1, less than seven weeks prior to the kickoff [14] likewise, the date of the game was not set until December 13. [12] Since the AFL Championship Game originally was scheduled for Monday, December 26, and the NFL Championship Game for Sunday, January 1, the "new" championship game was suggested to be played Sunday, January 8. An unprecedented TV doubleheader was held on January 1, with the AFL Championship Game telecast from Buffalo on NBC and the NFL Championship Game telecast from Dallas on CBS three hours later.

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

The players' shares were $15K each for the winning team and $7,500 each for the losing team. [15] This was in addition to the league championship money earned two weeks earlier: the Packers shares were $8,600 each [16] and the Chiefs were $5,308 each. [17] [18]

Kansas City Chiefs Edit

The Chiefs entered the game after recording an 11–2–1 mark during the regular season. In the AFL championship game, they defeated the Buffalo Bills 31–7.

Kansas City's high-powered offense led the AFL in points scored (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 of 284 (56%) 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 for 1,297 yards and eight touchdowns. Receiver Chris Burford added 58 receptions for 758 yards and eight touchdowns, and tight end Fred Arbanas, who had 22 catches for 305 yards and four touchdowns, was one of six 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. The strongest part of their defense, though, 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 four. Their head coach was Hank Stram. [19]

Green Bay Packers Edit

The Packers were an NFL dynasty, turning around what had been a losing team just eight years earlier. The team had posted an NFL-worst 1–10–1 record in 1958 before legendary head coach Vince Lombardi was hired in January 1959. "Their offense was like a conga dance," one sportswriter quipped. "1, 2, 3 and kick." [20]

Lombardi was determined to build a winning team. During the preseason, he signed Fred "Fuzzy" Thurston, who had been cut from three other teams, but ended up becoming an All-Pro left guard for Green Bay. In addition Lombardi also made a big trade with the Cleveland Browns that brought three players to the team who would become cornerstones of the defense: 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. They surprised the league during the following year by making it all the way to the 1960 NFL Championship Game. Although the Packers lost 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 for 1966, and won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award, completing 156 of 251 (62.2%) passes for 2257 yards (9.0 per attempt), 14 touchdowns, and only three 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, adding four touchdowns, and caught 41 passes for 331 yards and two touchdowns. (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.) [21] The team's starting halfback, Paul Hornung, was injured early in the season and replaced by running back Elijah Pitts, who gained 857 all purpose yards. The Packers' offensive line was also a big reason for the team's success, led by All-Pro guards Jerry Kramer, and Fuzzy Thurston, and tackle Forrest Gregg.

Green Bay also had an excellent defense that displayed their talent in the NFL championship game, stopping the Dallas Cowboys on four consecutive plays starting from the Packers 2-yard line on the final drive 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 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 went on to make the All-Pro team nine times in his 12-year career. [22]

Pregame news and notes Edit

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. Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt had founded the AFL, while Green Bay was widely considered one of the best teams in NFL history (even if they could not claim to be founding members of their own league, as the Packers joined the NFL in 1921, a year after the league's formation). Lombardi was under intense pressure from the entire NFL to make sure the Packers not only won the game, but preferably won big to demonstrate the superiority of the NFL. 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." [23] 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 competing in this game was Len Dawson, who had spent three years as a backup in the NFL before joining the Chiefs. However, the Chiefs were also nervous. Linebacker E. J. Holub said, "the Chiefs were scared to death. Guys in the tunnel were throwing up." [13] [23]

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." [24]

The two teams played with their respective footballs from each league the Chiefs used the AFL ball, the slightly narrower and longer J5V by Spalding, and the Packers played with the NFL ball, "The Duke" by Wilson. [4]

The AFL's two-point conversion rule was not in force the NFL added the two-point conversion in 1994 and it was first used in the Super Bowl that same season, Super Bowl XXIX in January 1995. [25]

This is also the only Super Bowl to feature the off set-style goalposts and where the numeric yard markers were five yards apart, rather than 10 as is customary today. Beginning in 1972, marking yard lines ending in "5" became illegal under a rule designed to standardize field markings. [26]

Justin Peters of Slate watched all the Super Bowls over a two-month period in 2015 before Super Bowl 50. He mentioned the first Super Bowl's having "two dudes in rocket packs who flew around the stadium. I can forgive a lot of bad football as long as the game features two dudes in honest-to-God rocket packs." [27]

The temperature was mild with clear skies. [28]

Television Edit

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, NBC held the rights to nationally televise AFL games while CBS had the rights to broadcast NFL games. Both networks were allowed to cover the game. During the week, tensions flared between the staffs of the two networks (longtime arch-rivals in American broadcasting), who each wanted to win the ratings war, to the point where a fence was built between the CBS and NBC trucks. [29]

Each network used its 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. [30] While Rozelle allowed NBC to telecast the game, he decreed it would not be able to use its cameramen and technical personnel, instead forcing it to use the feed provided by CBS, [31] since the Coliseum was home to the NFL's Rams.

Super Bowl I was the only Super Bowl that was not a sellout, despite the TV blackout in Los Angeles (at the time, local blackout was required even at a neutral site and even if the stadium did sell out), shutting out the vast Los Angeles market and network-owned stations KNXT (Channel 2, CBS now KCBS-TV) and KNBC (Channel 4, NBC). Of the 94,000-seat capacity in the Coliseum, 33,000 went unsold. [32] Days before the game, local newspapers printed editorials about what they viewed as a then-exorbitant $12 ($92.18 in 2019 money) price for tickets, and wrote stories about how viewers could pull in the game from stations in surrounding markets such as Bakersfield, Santa Barbara and San Diego.

This is the only Super Bowl that Curt Gowdy called for NBC where the NFL or NFC team won (the AFL/AFC teams won the others, even though the Baltimore Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers were part of the old NFL before moving to the AFC following the AFL-NFL merger).

CBS received a 22.6 rating and a market share of 43 for its broadcast, which was seen by 26.75 million people. NBC received an 18.5 rating and a market share of 36 for its broadcast, which was seen by 24.43 million people. Combined, the game received a market share of 79 and reached 51.18 million viewers. [5]

All known broadcast tapes of the game in its entirety were subsequently wiped by both NBC and CBS to save costs, a common practice in the TV industry at the time as videotapes were very expensive (one half-hour tape cost around $300 at the time, equivalent to $2260 in 2019 dollars), plus it was not foreseen how big the game was going to become. [33] This has prevented studies comparing each network's respective telecast.

For many years, only two small samples of the telecasts were known to have survived, showing Max McGee's opening touchdown and Jim Taylor's touchdown run. Both were shown in 1991 on HBO's Play by Play: A History of Sports Television and on the Super Bowl XXV pregame show. [33]

In January 2011, a partial recording of the CBS telecast was reported to have been found in a Pennsylvania attic and restored by the Paley Center for Media in New York. [33] The two-inch color videotape is the most complete version of the broadcast yet discovered, missing only the halftime show and most of the third quarter. The NFL owns the broadcast copyright and has blocked its sale or distribution. After remaining anonymous and communicating with the media only through his lawyer since the recording's discovery, the owner of the recording, Troy Haupt, came forward to The New York Times in 2016 to tell his side of the story. [34]

NFL Films had a camera crew present, and retains a substantial amount of film footage in its archives, some of which has been released in its film productions. One such presentation was the NFL's Greatest Games episode about this Super Bowl, entitled The Spectacle of a Sport (also the title of the Super Bowl I highlight film). [35]

On January 11, 2016, the NFL announced that, "in an exhaustive process that took months to complete, NFL Films searched its enormous archives of footage and were able to locate all 145 plays from Super Bowl I from more than a couple dozen disparate sources. Once all the plays were located, NFL Films was able to put the plays in order and stitch them together while fully restoring, re-mastering, and color-correcting the footage. Finally, audio from the NBC Sports radio broadcast featuring announcers Jim Simpson and George Ratterman was layered on top of the footage to complete the broadcast. The final result represents the only known video footage of the entire action from Super Bowl I." It then announced that NFL Network would broadcast the newly pieced together footage in its entirety on January 15, 2016–the 49th anniversary of the contest. This footage was nearly all on film with the exception of several player introductions and a post game locker room chat between Pat Summerall and Pete Rozelle. [36]

The Los Angeles Ramettes, majorettes who had performed at all Rams home games, entertained during pregame festivities and after each quarter. Also during the pregame, the University of Arizona band created a physical outline of the continental United States at the center of the field, with the famed Anaheim High School drill team placing banners of each NFL and AFL team at each team's geographical location.

The halftime show featured trumpeter Al Hirt, the marching bands from the University of Arizona and Grambling State University, 300 pigeons, 10,000 balloons and a flying demonstration by the hydrogen-peroxide-propelled Bell Rocket Air Men. [4] [31] [37]

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. [30]

Balls from both leagues were used – when the Chiefs were on offense, the official AFL football (Spalding J5V) was used, and when the Packers were on offense, the official NFL ball (Wilson's "The Duke") was used. Even the officiating crew was a combination of AFL and NFL referees, with the NFL's Norm Schachter as the head referee. [38]

First quarter Edit

The teams traded punts on their first possessions, then the Packers jumped to an early 7–0 lead, driving 80 yards in six plays. The drive was highlighted by Starr's passes, to Marv Fleming for 11, to Elijah Pitts for 22 yards on a scramble, and to Carroll Dale for 12 yards. On the last play, Bart Starr threw a pass to reserve receiver Max McGee, who had replaced re-injured starter Boyd Dowler earlier in the drive. (Dowler had injured his shoulder two weeks prior after scoring a third quarter touchdown Cowboys defensive back Mike Gaechter had upended him several steps after scoring and he landed awkwardly.) 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 (McGee had also caught a touchdown pass after replacing an injured Dowler in the NFL championship game). 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.

Second quarter Edit

Early in the second quarter, Kansas City drove 66 yards in six plays, featuring a 31-yard reception by receiver Otis Taylor, to tie the game on a seven-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 Packers sweep play. Taylor's touchdown run was the first in Super Bowl history. This drive was again highlighted by Starr's key passes. He hit McGee for 10 yards on third and five Dale for 15 on third and ten Fleming for 11 on third and five and Pitts for 10 yards on third and seven to set up Taylor's TD run on the next play.

Dawson was sacked for an eight-yard loss on the first play of the Chiefs' next drive, but he followed it up with four consecutive completions for 58 yards, including a 27-yarder to Chris Burford. This set up Mercer's 31-yard field goal to make the score 14–10 at the end of the half.

At halftime, the Chiefs appeared to have 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 Green Bay in total yards, 181–164, and had 11 first downs compared to the Packers' nine. The Chiefs were exuberant at halftime. Hank Stram said later, "I honestly thought we would come back and win it." [23] The Packers were disappointed with the quality of their play in the first half. "The coach was concerned", said defensive end Willie Davis later. [23] Lombardi told them the game plan was sound, but that they had to tweak some things and execute better. [39]

Third quarter Edit

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 collapsed the Chiefs pocket. Robinson, tackle Henry Jordan, and Packer right end Lionel Aldridge converged on Dawson who threw weakly toward tight end Fred Arbanas. The wobbly pass was intercepted by Willie Wood. [11] Wood raced 50 yards to Kansas City's five-yard line where Mike Garrett dragged him down from behind. This was "the biggest play of the game," wrote Starr later. [39] On their first play after the turnover, running back Elijah Pitts scored on a five-yard touchdown run off left tackle to give the Packers a 21–10 lead. Stram agreed that it was the critical point of the game. [9] [10] The Packers defense then dominated the Chiefs offense for the rest of the game, allowing them to cross midfield only once, and for just one play. The Chiefs were forced to deviate from their game plan, and that hurt them. The Kansas City offense totaled only 12 yards in the third quarter, and Dawson was held to five of 12 second-half pass completions for 59 yards.

Meanwhile, Green Bay forced Kansas City to punt from their own two-yard line after sacking Dawson twice and got the ball back with good field position on their own 44-yard line (despite a clipping penalty on the punt return). McGee subsequently caught three passes for 40 yards on a 56-yard drive. Taylor ran for one first down, Starr hit McGee for 16 yards on third-and-11, and a third down sweep with Taylor carrying gained eight yards and a first down at the Kansas City 13. The drive ended with Starr's 13-yard touchdown toss to McGee on a post pattern.

Fourth quarter Edit

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 one-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. [23] Williamson had three tackles for the game.

Hornung was the only Packer to not 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. McGee, who caught only four passes for 91 yards and one touchdown during the season, finished Super Bowl I with seven receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns. After the game was over, a reporter asked Vince Lombardi about if he thought Kansas City was a good team. Lombardi responded that though the Chiefs were an excellent, well-coached club, he thought several NFL teams such as Dallas were better. [40]


Chiefs Super Bowl history

When is the last time the Chiefs went to a Super Bowl?

You know this answer: 2020. The Chiefs played in Super Bowl 54 in February 2020, beating the 49ers thanks to a comeback led by Patrick Mahomes. It was the third appearance in the big game in franchise history but the first since 1970.

Game Date Opponent Result MVP
Super Bowl 1 Jan. 15, 1967 Packers Packers 35, Chiefs 10 Bart Starr
Super Bowl 4 Jan. 11, 1970 Vikings Chiefs 23, Vikings 7 Len Dawson
Super Bowl 54 Feb. 2, 2020 49ers Chiefs 31, 49ers 20 Patrick Mahomes

(AP Photo) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/8c/28/teams-kansas-city-1969-len-dawson-012816-ap-ftrjpg_1pad7h2layl4o183jsqf1w1bbq.jpg?t=2069663483&w=500&quality=80

How many Super Bowls have the Chiefs won?

The Chiefs have won two Super Bowls, 50 years apart. Their first title came in 1970 over the Vikings, with Len Dawson earning game MVP honors. That was three years after the Chiefs lost in the first-ever Super Bowl, which was then known as the AFL-NFL World Championship. Bart Starr and the Packers got the better of them that day.

Of course, the Chiefs claimed their second ring a year ago. Patrick Mahomes led a comeback to beat the 49ers, 31-20.

How many teams have won back-to-back Super Bowls?

Entering the 2020 NFL regular season, seven franchises have won consecutive Super Bowls, and it's a feat that's been accomplished eight times overall. The list:

  • Packers
  • Dolphins
  • Steelers (twice)
  • 49ers
  • Cowboys
  • Broncos
  • Patriots

If the Chiefs win Super Bowl 55 on Feb. 7, 2021, they'd be the eighth franchise to claim consecutive Super Bowl titles after winning in 2020. It'd be the ninth time overall that such a feat was accomplished.


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Bart Starr, behind a stout offensive line, hooked up with Max McGee for two touchdowns in the rout of the Chiefs. (Photo: Journal Sentinel files)

Editor's note: This story was originally published Jan. 16, 1967.

Los Angeles, Calif. -- This was the day the old pros from Green Bay proved they are the best in the world of football.

Taking on the tough kids from the wrong side of the tracks in the first annual Super Bowl game Sunday before a crowd of 63,036, the pressure-proof Packers delivered a classic lesson to the young Kansas City Chiefs on how the game should be played.

When the blocking and tackling were over, it was Green Bay 35, Kansas City 10.

All week long the papers were full of Bart Starr, Jim Taylor, Lenny Dawson and Mike Garrett. Nobody remembered Max McGee, the Packers' 34-year-old substitute receiver.

McGee, pressed into service when starter Boyd Dowler was injured on the third play of the game, cut the Kansas City defense to ribbons by catching seven passes for 134 yards, including touchdown receptions of 37 and 13 yards.

Watching in horror was Willie Mitchell, the Chiefs' 24-year-old defensive halfback. McGee, who caught more passes against the Chiefs than he had caught all year (five), had too much know-how for his youthful opponent.

After the historic showdown between the champions of the National and American Football Leagues was over, McGee announced his retirement. Maxie, after riding the bench for the last two years, had climaxed a brilliant 13-year career at Green Bay by playing a key role in the biggest game of his life. This was a close affair only in the first half as the Packers held a 14-10 lead. Thereafter, the Packers rolled on like a runaway beer truck.

After McGee made a spectacular one-handed catch of his first touchdown pass form the start of the first quarter, the Chiefs countered as Dawson fired a 7-yard strike to fullback Curtis McClinton in a the second period. Taylor swept 14 yards for the Packers' second touchdown and the Chiefs struck back again with a 31-yard field goal by Mike Mercer late in the second quarter. After that, it was all Green Bay. Elijah Pitts scored on a 5-yard run in the third quarter and McGee scored on his second touchdown on a 13-yard pass. In the fourth period, Pitts climaxed an 80-yard drive by plowing over from the one.

Dawson annoyed the NFL kingpins in the first half with his rollout passing as he completed 11 of 15 passes for 152 yards and consistently had the Chiefs on the move.

With plenty of time to throw, Dawson was hitting Garrett, Chris Burford, Otis Taylor and Fred Arbanas with regularity.

In the second half, the Packers' defense went after Dawson like a piece of chocolate cake as it nailed the Chief quarterback three times and allowed him to complete only 5 of 12 passes for 49 yards.

The turning point came early in the third quarter when Dawson, under heavy pressure of a full Green Bay blitz, hurried his throw and Willie Wood intercepted and raced 50 yards to the Kansas City 5-yard line. On the next play, Pitts scored to make it 21-10.

The Packers did not execute their plays well in the first half, but in the second half Starr called his shots cooly and passes perfectly.

Starr pierced gaping holes in the Kansas City defense by completing 16 of 23 passes for 250 yards. He also had his first pass intercepted since Oct. 16 at Chicago. Mitchell picked one off in the fourth quarter. He had thrown 173 times without an interception.

After the game, the Packers' veteran quarterback was named the game's most valuable player. Besides a winning $15,000 pay check, Starr will get a sports car presented by a national sports magazine.

McGee wasn't the only Packer to come off the bench. When center Bill Curry hurt his knee in the second half, Ken Bowman replaced him and performed as he did when he held the starting job last season. Bowman, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in a preseason game, cut down the bigger Chiefs as if they were so many logs.

The Packers not only had a better defense, but they outgained the Chiefs rushing, 130 to 72, passing 228 to 167, and had a 21-17 margin in first downs. The Packers also averaged 5.6 yards per play, compared with the Chiefs' 3.7.

17 For Garrett

The Chiefs' leading ground gainer was Dawson, who wheeled out of his rollout formation three times for 24 yards. Garrett, the key to the Chiefs' running attack, was held to 17 yards in six trips.

Green Bay's Taylor was the game's leading rusher with 53 yards in 16 carries, while Pitts picked up 45 yard in 11 tries.

The teams felt each other out like boxers in the opening minutes. But the second time the packers got the ball, Starr triggered an 80-yard touchdown drive of six plays.

He set up the first score by escaping a rush and firing a perfect shot to Pitts for a 22-yard gain.

Then, from the KC 37, Starr hit McGee on the left side. Mitchell, the defender, made a desperate dive at the ball, but Maxie snared it with one hand and was off to the races. Don Chandler, who kicked all five conversions, added the extra point.

Dawson, enjoying plenty of time to pass off rollout formations, moved the Chiefs 54 yards to the Green Bay 33 before running out of gas. The kicker Mercer, who failed to make the Minnesota Viking team, missed a field goal from the 40.

Chiefs' Lone TD

Early in the second quarter, the Chiefs scored their long touchdown. Following a Chandler punt, Dawson hit Garrett over the middle and the fleet-footed rookie broke through Dave Robinson for 17 yards before Wood caught him on the Packer 49.

Dawson, with a great fake to his fullback, McClinton, caught the Packers napping when kept the ball an cooly passed to Otis Taylor, who was wide open. The play gained 31 yards to the Packer 7.

Now Dawson came back with the same play. He hit McClinton in the end zone for the touchdown but could have thrown to Taylor, who was open too. Mercer kicked the extra point and the game was tied.

The Packers quickly bounced back, although they had to score "twice" for their second touchdown.

After a 64-yard touchdown pass form Starr to Carroll Dale was called back because a Packer lineman had moved, Starr promptly went to work and came up with third down success en route to the Packers' second touchdown.

On third down plays, Starr hit Dale for 15 yards, Marv Fleming made a great catch for an 11-yard gain and Pitts gained 10 yards from the Chiefs' 24 on a pass.

Then, behind the scissors-like blocks of Fuzzy Thurston and Jerry Kramer, Taylor swept around the left side, broke free and dragged defender Chuck Hurston into the end zone.

Again, the Chiefs bounded back, moving 74 yards in 8 plays. With fourth and two from the Green Bay 24 and less than a minute to play in the first half, Mercer kicked a 31-yard field goal to cut the Packers' lead to 14-10.

The third quarter quickly backfired for Dawson when Wood intercepted a hurried throw and raced 59 yards before Garrett caught him on the KC 5-yard line. Pitts cored on the next play, darting in after getting a key block from Bob Skoronski.

Later in the third period, the Packers were on the go again. McGee again came up with two key catches (11 and 15 yards) before grabbing a 13-yard scoring strike from Starr.

Maxie bobbed the ball in the end zone, but hung on for dear life for the Packers' fourth touchdown. Mitchell, the closest defender, was not even within shouting range.

Chiefs Stumble

Mitchell, however, intercepted Starr's pass intended for McGee on the Chiefs' 11-yard line in the fourth quarter. But the Chiefs couldn't get past the Green Bay 46 as they desperately tried to get back in the game.

Following a 61-yard punt by Jerrel Wilson, which sailed into the Packer end zone, Starr again tore apart the KC pass defense.

First, he hit Dale for a 25-yard gain, then fired a bomb to McGee, who was ridden piggy-back by Mitchell for 5 yards en route to a 37-yard gain to the Chiefs' 18.

Pitts climaxed the 80-yard drive on the eighth play when he hit over left tackle from the one for the fifth touchdown.

Pete Beathard replaced Dawson as the Chiefs' quarterback. After he fired a 17-yard pass to Burford and ran 14 yards to the Packer 44, Green Bay got tough again and forced another punt from the Chief 40.

Vince Lombardi now called off the dogs, with Zeke Bratkowski and his millionaire rookie runners -- Donny Anderson and Jim Grabowski -- taking over.

The second time Anderson carried the ball he ran over Fred Williamson so hard that the Chiefs' defender had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. Williamson, who before the game had promised he was going to drop the "Hammer" on Green Bay, got the Packer gong instead.

In the final analysis, the Kansas City defense was not up to NFL caliber. The Chiefs tried to blitz Starr, but for some reason didn't cover close on the inside like NFL teams do when they blitz. Consequently, Starr had a Field Day spotting receivers, especially McGee.

The Chiefs can now go home and brush up on their pass defense. If they are the class of the AFL, the junior circuit still has a lot of work to do before taking on the NFL for keeps.


Vintage newsreel: Super Bowl I, Packers beat Chiefs

As the 50th Super Bowl rapidly approaches, take a look back at the very first, then called the AFL-NFL Championship.

This vintage newsreel from 1967 shows hall of famer Bart Starr's epic passing game as he and head coach Vince Lombardi lead the Packers to defeat the Chiefs.

Behind the passing of Starr, the receiving of Max McGee and a key interception by safety Willie Wood, Green Bay broke open a tight game with three second-half touchdowns.

With Green Bay leading 14-10 early in the third quarter, Wood's 40-yard interception return to the Chiefs 5-yard line set up Elijah Pitts' touchdown run that gave Green Bay an 11-point lead.

McGee had broken curfew the night before not expecting to play in the game. Instead, he came in when Boyd Dowler was injured early in the game and caught seven passes from Starr for 138 yards and two touchdowns. McGee had caught only three passes during the 1966 season.

1 of 44 Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr (15) drops back to pass during Super Bowl I, a 35-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. James Flores/Getty Images Show More Show Less

2 of 44 Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi watches his team in admiration during Super Bowl I, a 35-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Vic Stein/Getty Images Show More Show Less

4 of 44 Green Bay's Elijah Pitts (22) runs with the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs' defense during Super Bowl I at Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1967, in Los Angeles. Focus On Sport/Getty Images Show More Show Less

5 of 44 Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr (15) hands off to running back Elijah Pitts (22) during Super Bowl I, a 35-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. James Flores/Getty Images Show More Show Less

7 of 44 Green Bay wide receiver Max McGee (85) catches the first touchdown pass of Super Bowl I on Jan. 15, 1967, against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Tony Tomsic/Getty Images Show More Show Less

8 of 44 CBS broadcaster and former player Frank Gifford does a piece before Super Bowl I, a 35-10 Green Bay Packers victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Vic Stein/Getty Images Show More Show Less

10 of 44 Green Bay fullback Jim Taylor (31) turns the corner with Kansas City defensive tackle Andrew Rice (58) trying to catch up during Super Bowl I, a 35-10 Packers victory on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. James Flores/Getty Images Show More Show Less

11 of 44 Kansas City guard Ed Budde (71) pops out of his crouch during Super Bowl I, a 35-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. James Flores/Getty Images Show More Show Less

13 of 44 Green Bay running back Jim Taylor carries the ball in the famed "Green Bay sweep" against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Packers' 35-10 win in Super Bowl I played on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. James Flores/Getty Images Show More Show Less

14 of 44 Green Bay linebacker Ray Nitschke (66) wraps up Kansas City quarterback Len Dawson (16) during Super Bowl I, a 35-10 Packers victory on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. James Flores/Getty Images Show More Show Less

16 of 44 Jim Taylor of the Green Bay Packers runs during Super Bowl I against the Kansas City Chiefs at Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1967, in Los Angeles. The Packers defeated the Chiefs 35-10. Focus On Sport/Getty Images Show More Show Less

17 of 44 Kansas City running back Mike Garrett (21) tries to avoid the tackle of Green Bay's Jim Grabowski (33) and Red Mack (27) during Super Bowl I on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Tony Tomsic/Getty Images Show More Show Less

19 of 44 Kansas City safety Johnny Robinson (42) tries to get to Green Bay fullback Jim Taylor (31) during Super Bowl I, a 35-10 Packers victory on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Vic Stein/Getty Images Show More Show Less

20 of 44 Green Bay tight end Marv Fleming makes a catch in front of Kansas City safety Johnny Robinson (42) during Super Bowl I, a 35-10 Packers victory on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Fred Roe/Getty Images Show More Show Less

22 of 44 Len Dawson of the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl I against the Green Bay Packers at Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1967, in Los Angeles.
Focus On Sport/Getty Images Show More Show Less

23 of 44 Len Dawson of the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl I against the Green Bay Packers at Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1967, in Los Angeles. Focus On Sport/Getty Images Show More Show Less

25 of 44 Members of the University of Arizona marching band perform on the field during the halftime show at Super Bowl I between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 1967. The University of Michigan marching band also performed at the halftime show. Robert Riger/Getty Images Show More Show Less

26 of 44 Green Bay running back Elijah Pitts (22) scores a touchdown during the second half of Super Bowl I on Jan. 15, 1967, against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Tony Tomsic/Getty Images Show More Show Less

28 of 44 Green Bay's offense looks for an opening against Kansas City during Super Bowl I at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1967. Art Rickerby/Getty Images Show More Show Less

29 of 44 Green Bay kick returner Donny Anderson (44) looks for more running room as teammate Herb Adderly (26) sets up for his next block during Super Bowl I on Jan. 15, 1967, against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Kidwiler Collection/Getty Images Show More Show Less

31 of 44 Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr (15) calls out the signals at the line of scrimmage during Super Bowl I on Jan. 15, 1967, against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Kidwiler Collection/Getty Images Show More Show Less

32 of 44 Green Bay's Elijah Pitts (22) runs with the ball during Super Bowl I against the Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1967, in Los Angeles. Focus On Sport/Getty Images Show More Show Less

34 of 44 Kansas City's Dave Hill (right) is filmed by a CBS Television camera crew at Super Bowl I between the Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 1967.
Robert Riger/Getty Images Show More Show Less

35 of 44 Kansas City's Fred Williamson lies prone on the field after a collision with an opponent during Super Bowl I against Green Bay at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 1967. Robert Riger/Getty Images Show More Show Less

37 of 44 Kansas City's Fred "The Hammer" Williamson (24) is taken off the field on a stretcher during Super Bowl I against Green Bay at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 1967. Robert Riger/Getty Images Show More Show Less

38 of 44 Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr (15) drops back to pass during Super Bowl I, a 35-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. James Flores/Getty Images Show More Show Less

40 of 44 Green Bay's Jim Taylor (right) runs with the ball as teammate Forrest Gregg blocks for him during Super Bowl I against Kansas City in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 1967. Robert Riger/Getty Images Show More Show Less

41 of 44 Kansas City quarterback Len Dawson (center, 16 in white) throws the ball as Green Bay's Lee Roy Coffey (left, 80) closes in during Super Bowl I in Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 1967. Robert Riger/Getty Images Show More Show Less

43 of 44 Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi holds a football over his head and grins as he is interviewed by reporters in a press conference, probably after the Packers scored a 35-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs and won Super Bowl I, 1967. Robert Riger/Getty Images Show More Show Less

Pitts ran for two scores and Jim Taylor, who led all rushers with 53 yards, scored the Packers' other touchdown.

Starr completed 16 of 23 passes for 250 yards and was chosen the most valuable player. The Packers collected $15,000 per man and the Chiefs $7,500 &mdash the largest single-game shares in the history of team sports.


NFL at 100: Packers beat Chiefs in first Super Bowl

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 1967, file photo, Green Bay Packers' Elijah Pitts (22) charges into the end zone, eluding Kansas City Chiefs' Bobby Hunt (20), during the first Super Bowl in Los Angeles. Pitts scored from the five on the play following Willie Wood's interception in the third quarter. The Packers and the Chiefs had no way of knowing what the Super Bowl would become when they met at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1967. (AP Photo/File)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs had no way of knowing what the Super Bowl would become when they met at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1967.

All they knew was they didn't like each other much.

The NFL had for years successfully fended off rival leagues, but the AFL came along — founded by Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt and his buddies in the "Foolish Club" — with proven staying power. Eventually the two leagues would merge, but first came a matchup between their respective champions.

The teams from the NFL, including the Packers, were out to prove their dominance in professional football. Their counterparts from the AFL came in with a considerable chip on their shoulders.

"They called us a Mickey Mouse league," recalled Chiefs linebacker Bobby Bell, one of 14 players to take the field that day who would land in the Hall of Fame. "We're like, 'Hey man, wait a minute. We're not Mickey Mouse. We put our uniforms on just like everybody else.'"

The Chiefs proved that at the start, playing perhaps the best team from Packers coach Vince Lombardi's dynasty to a near-stalemate in the first half. But things turned in the third quarter, when Willie Wood picked off Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson and nearly returned it for a touchdown.

Packers quarterback Bart Starr, the game's MVP, called it "the biggest play of the game."

Elijah Pitts scored on the very next play to extend the Green Bay lead to 21-10, and the shaken Chiefs never got back on track. Max McGee caught his second touchdown pass later in the third quarter, and Pitts scored his second touchdown in the fourth to clinch a 35-10 victory.

"We said going into halftime, 'We can beat these guys, you know?' the Packers' Hall of Fame offensive lineman, Jerry Kramer, told NFL Network for a special on the 100 greatest games in history. "The first half was almost even and we got sobered up at halftime and got about our business."

The game was played before a crowd of 61,946, leaving thousands of empty seats in the cavernous Coliseum, though an estimated 51 million viewers tuned into the broadcast shown simultaneously by CBS and NBC. Both networks later erased the game footage, which was pieced together a few years ago.

The halftime entertainment that mild January day in Southern California? Not the Beatles or The Rolling Stones or even The Beach Boys with their smooth surfer vibe but the marching bands from the University of Arizona and Grambling State University.

Much has changed over the years. Tickets for the Super Bowl go for thousands of dollars, if you can find any for sale, and the broadcast of the game is the centerpiece of parties all over North America.

The halftime show for February's game in Miami? Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

As the Packers and Chiefs prepare to meet again Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium, here's a look at how that first Super Bowl affected each franchise in subsequent seasons:

The game signified the high-water mark for Lombardi's dynasty of the 1960s, though the Packers would go on to beat Oakland to make it back-to-back Super Bowl triumphs the following year. Green Bay went just 9-4-1 that season, and several of its biggest stars began showing signs of aging.

Lombardi would hand the franchise over to his longtime assistant, Phil Bengtson, in 1968 and a rapid regression followed. The Packers went 6-7-1 and missed the playoffs, and would qualify for the postseason just twice — in 1972 and '82 — until Mike Holmgren took over nearly 25 years later.

Led by a hotshot young quarterback name Brett Favre, the Packers returned to prominence, winning another Super Bowl in 1996. Mike McCarthy led them to their most recent championship in 2010.

The Chiefs failed to make the postseason the next year, but coach Hank Stram and his team of veterans weren't done yet. They went 12-2 in 1968 before losing in the playoffs, then captured that elusive Super Bowl championship when they beat the Vikings in the fourth edition on Jan. 11, 1970.

It remains the only Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

The 1970s and '80s were lost decades for the Chiefs. Marty Schottenheimer and Dick Vermeil led a renaissance beginning in the 1990s, but for all their success, they only made one AFC title game.

The Chiefs finally made it back last season, losing to the Patriots on the brink of a Super Bowl.

1993: The Packers and Chiefs have only played 12 times, including their Super Bowl matchup, but none of the other meetings was meaningful until this one. Greg Hill had two touchdowns running and one through the air, helping Kansas City to a 27-20 win between a pair of playoff teams.

Green Bay went on to finish 9-7 and beat Detroit in the playoffs before losing to Dallas in the divisional round. Kansas City went 11-5 and won the AFC West, beat Pittsburgh and Houston to reach the AFC championship game, then lost 30-13 to the Bills on a frigid day in Buffalo.

2003: Ten years after that memorable matchup, the Chiefs edged the Packers 40-34 in overtime in another matchup of eventual playoff teams. Eddie Kennison caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from Trent Green with 6:11 left in the extra session to give the Chiefs the win.

2015: The Packers beat the Chiefs 38-28 on their way to a 6-0 start. Aaron Rodgers threw for 333 yards and five touchdowns in the win, while Jamaal Charles scored three times for Kansas City.

Green Bay eventually lost to Arizona in overtime in the divisional round of the playoffs, while the Chiefs followed a 1-5 start with 11 straight wins. That streak included a postseason victory in Houston before a loss in New England in the divisional round.


What the Earliest Super Bowl Commercials Tell Us About the Super Bowl

The earliest commercials aired during the Super Bowl have not aged well.

“This flat tire needs a man,” the Goodyear Tire narrator declared in one spot that aired during that first national championship game between the established National Football League and the up-and-coming American Football League.

It featured a damsel in distress stranded roadside after her car’s tire blows. Because the shadowy cover of night was no place for a single gal to linger, the woman wraps her coat protectively tight and seeks a payphone, presumably to call a burly man to get her out of the situation. “When there’s no man around, Goodyear should be,” the commercial crowed, plugging the company’s Double Edge Tire (“A Tire in a Tire!”).

That the ad was playing for the men in the room is not so surprising. Before the Super Bowl was even officially called the Super Bowl, the AFL-NFL World Championship Game in 1967 hinted at how the game was to be sold to the public going forward.

“They weren’t really expecting women to watch,” says Danielle Sarver Coombs, an associate professor at Kent State University, who specializes in sports fandom. The Goodyear ad, in turn, she believes, can be viewed as a direct appeal toward men’s hypermasculinity, with the subtext being “You don't want to be the one to let your wife or your daughter down because you put her in an unsafe environment with unsafe tires.”

Super Bowl I was the logical follow-up to the announcement of a merger between the leagues. While the game was billed as the faceoff, no one really expected the AFL’s best team, the Kansas City Chiefs, would upset Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers. And it didn’t the Packers beat the Chiefs 35-10 in the reliably temperate Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on that historic January 15 faceoff.

The only known copy of the game remains, frustratingly, in limbo (the NFL, which owns the content, won’t pay the asking price for the tapes, which are held by a private citizen in the Outer Banks, and the league has threatened legal action if the footage is made public), but we do at least know who some of the advertisers were. Details provided by the late marketing expert Bernice Kanner in her book The Super Bowl of Advertising: How the Commercials Won the Game, note that the spots that aired during that warm mid-winter day in L.A. came from Ford, Chrysler, RCA, RJ Reynolds Tobacco, McDonald's, Budweiser, among others.

Four years before Archie Bunker became the stand-in for the white, American working class on “All in the Family,” Kanner contends the commercials aired during Super Bowl I were aimed at reaching that image of a white, blue collar “manly man.”

Cultural historian Bob Batchelor who co-edited We Are What We Sell: How Advertising Shapes American Life. . . And Always Has with Coombs, believes that first Super Bowl also captured advertising itself in a state of flux. “The first Super Bowl is a really interesting time frame,” he says. The medium itself was becoming more sophisticated in the late 1960s—Ad Age called it a "creative revolution," where traditional styles were eschewed in favor of "innovation, sophistication and a growing youth culture." That came, in part, because the agencies themselves were becoming more reflective of their consumer base, becoming younger and even a little more female. While the people making the decisions in the room were still likely to be the type personified by Don Draper in “Mad Men,” Batchelor says the Peggy Olsons were starting to rise, particularly as advertisers came to understand that half the population in the United States was under 25, and they needed to sell to them. “Advertising [had] to stop just talking to men and start understanding that there's a connection between the products that they're trying to sell and the audience that most needs to hear that message,” Batchelor says.

That being said, the Super Bowl still reflected the culture of the time. As Coombs explains, for a hyper masculine sport like football, hyper masculine-focused advertising followed in turn. “What I think is really interesting is how that has carried through,” she says, pointing out how football commercials today continue to cater to the male market despite a documented shift in the demographic tuning in.

Football’s inherent compatibility with television—the built-in pauses, for instance, make for easy commercial transitions—gave the game a special relationship with television from the start. CBS and NBC, who owned air rights to the NFL and AFL, respectively, had agreed to simultaneously broadcast the first championship game. (It wouldn’t be until its third iteration in 1969 that the title game was formally renamed the Super Bowl, the name that Lamar Hunt, owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, was said to have first come up with after watching his daughter play with her Wham-O Super Ball, the “it” toy of Christmas 󈨆, which was alleged to bounce six-times higher than a mere rubber ball.)

In the lead-up to gameday, both networks made a to-do about the showdown, hoping to capture the larger viewing public. And they did capture a relatively large market. An estimated 56 million watched the first Super Bowl (news outlets were already referring to the game by the more headline-friendly title, despite the NFL's stated distaste toward it).

The majority of viewers would have preferred no television advertising during the programming, says Coombs, referencing a National Association of Broadcasters public opinion survey taken in 1969. Yet even from the earliest Super Bowl, the networks had their eyes on the advertiser first, as best explained by a mishap involving entertainer Bob Hope. During halftime, Hope went long in an interview with an NBC broadcaster, and because of that the network was still running commercials when the gameplay resumed.

That meant while CBS viewers were watching the second-half kickoff, NBC viewers were still stuck on a Winston cigarette commercial. Once the referees realized NBC was still on break, they called the ball dead (while it was apparently still in the air), forcing a second kickoff so that everyone watching at home could witness it. “[The NFL] would re-kick it rather than hold their ground and say, ‘Sorry, you missed it, we’re moving on,’” says Coombs, which shows the sway the networks had on football, and commercials had on networks even then.

Unlike today, few spots made their debut during the first NFL championship, but already they “carried considerable clout,” according to Kanner. Still, it would take until a 1973 commercial starring Super Bowl III MVP Joe Namath and actress Farrah Fawcett for Noxzema Shave Cream that dripped in sexual innuendo for the Super Bowl to establish itself as an event for advertisers.

Even then, says Batchelor, advertisements still had a ways to go before Apple released its famous �” spot, which paved the way for making Super Bowl commercials an integral part of the Super Bowl tradition. “I remember watching the Super Bowls in the 󈨊s, 󈨔s, the advertising was considered fun or interesting, but it wasn't considered a must-see TV moment, that's for sure,” he says. They weren’t yet dictating “what's in, what's considered creative, how we should be looking at the world, how advertisers should be presenting the world to us.”

Still, the roots of what was to come stretch all way back to that 1967 game. That might be why today, Coombs observes that “there’s still this expectation of [the Super Bowl] being a man’s game—even though it hasn’t actually been that for years.” She points to statistics that show, for instance, nearly half of the modern NFL audience identifies as women.

The recent controversy over the Gillette ad addressing toxic masculinity speaks to that. But while you won’t be seeing it air during this year’s Super Bowl—not because of any backlash, according to Procter & Gamble, but rather because the cost of running the two-minute spot would have been astronomical—you will be seeing more women-facing spots. Ad Age, for instance, led this year’s coverage with the headline “Super Bowl LIII Commercials: The Year of the Woman,” pointing to a shift in brand coverage.

For the Super Bowl faithful, that’s something. “[T] his year's Big Game is far and away the friendliest to its female audience ,” journalist Jeanine Poggi points out in the article.

Still, when it comes to representation and diversity in Super Bowl advertising, there's a long road ahead. At least this year, though, rather than watch a woman fail at fixing a flat tire, you can check out Toni Harris, the first woman who does not play a specialist position to earn a college football scholarship, star in a Toyota commercial where she also is featured with a tire, only this time, it's a giant, heavy truck tire that she literally flips in the air.

About Jackie Mansky

Jacqueline Mansky is a freelance writer and editor living in Los Angeles. She was previously the assistant web editor, humanities, for Smithsonian magazine.


Watch the video: The Media reactions to Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl 55 win (August 2022).