I watched the first Super Bowl. I’ve watched all the Super Bowls. I guess, unless I go blind, I will watch them all until the “sands in the hourglass” run out.
The first one wasn’t called the Super Bowl. It was the AFL-NFL World Championship Game back then. Not only has the name changed, but the game itself doesn’t resemble the first one. More cameras than there are angles, scantily clad cheerleaders instead of pleated skirts, Bobbi socks and saddle shoes, commercials that were sometimes more interesting than the game itself, half-time extravaganzas instead of marching bands and different rules that the officials continue to blow. Pretty much the only thing that hasn’t changed is me…laughing, are you?
My love for the game of football hasn’t changed…even though I don’t recognize it as the game I coached and played for three and a half decades. It seems to be more fun-loving, a less brutal game than the original “three yards and a cloud of dust”version. Much more fan friendly I guess. Blame the old fun-loving, more offensive minded, pass-happy AFL, I guess.
As a young child, fall Sundays were reserved for church and a single football game on CBS. That’s correct…one football game and nine times out of ten it was a Redskin contest. We did have a thirty-minute highlight show of the previous Colts game. I’m sure my father prayed at church that no one would decide to visit during the thirty-minute highlight show before the Washington Redskin’s weekly beating at the hands of anyone they might be playing.
Still, I became a fan…of Sonny Jurgenson’s lasers and Billy Kilmer’s wobblers. It didn’t matter who was under center in the early sixties, victories were far and in between. At least I had those replays of Johnny U and the Colts…but they weren’t very good either, except in ’59 and ’64.
Every Sunday, late in the game, my father would make the same observation about the Redskins, “I think they have shot their wad.” For clarification, shooting one’s wad related to old muzzle-loading muskets and not…your dirty mind.
In 1960 a new kid dared to approach the NFL block…an always snowy new kid. We would attempt to adjust our Sears rotary antenna to distant Ashville hoping the ABC affiliate and AFL game of the week would come into view. Click, click, click, “Whoa! That’s too far, go back!” It didn’t matter, early September or late November, the games always looked like it was snowing in black and white on the old RCA. Later they would move to NBC, a channel we could pick up without snow.
These were the days of the New York Titans, Dallas Texans, Houston Oilers and a few names that would still be recognized today. No, the Dallas Texans were not the forerunners of the Dallas Cowboys, but the Kansas City Chiefs. The Cowboys were the first NFL expansion team and while briefly known as the Steers, they opened their first season in 1960 as the Cowboys.
The two leagues would eventually merge but not before the 1967 AFL-NFL World Championship played between the Bart Starr led juggernaut Green Bay Packers and the upstart Kansas City Chiefs with Len Dawson under center. The score was close at half-time but a runaway by the end of the game. Green Bay’s smash-mouth brand of football won 35-10 and began fifty-three years of futility as I repeatedly pull for the wrong team.
I’ve quit pulling for anyone…well, maybe I’ll pull against someone…like Brady. It won’t matter. If he were a religious figure, he’d walk on water. Is that blasphemy or heresy? I can never remember.
I’ll watch to the bloody end, maybe the commercials will be good. I’ll watch and heft a beer and toast my father. I’ll even use his favorite phrase when watching a fourth-quarter pass fall harmlessly to the ground…”Well, looks like they’ve shot their wad again.”
The only thing to be decided is who shoots their wad and how many of those beers I heft. Go Budweiser Commercial!!!!
Further musings and a book or six can be found at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM