The Super Bowl is the championship game played every year between the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC) division champions of the National Football League (NFL). It was originally the deciding game between the American Football League (AFL) and NFL champions until the AFL eventually merged into the NFL.
The inaugural game was not officially known as the Super Bowl. In a 1966 letter to then-NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, AFL founder and Kansas City Chiefs owner, Lamar Hunt, wrote in reference to the AFL-NFL championship game, “I have kiddingly called it the Super Bowl, which obviously can be improved upon.” According to Hunt, the name was inspired by the Super Ball, the popular rubber children’s toy. Rozelle thought the name was too gimmicky and lacked seriousness. He suggested calling the championship game the Pro Bowl or even The Big One before eventually settling on the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. The AFL-NFL World Championship Game was quite a mouthful for fans, journalists, and broadcasters who instead followed Hunt’s lead and informally referred to the game as the Super Bowl. Rozelle officially changed the name of the game to the Super Bowl prior to Super Bowl III.
1. 216 official game balls are custom-produced for each Super Bowl game.
2. The original video footage of the first two Super Bowls was accidentally erased over to film soap operas. Luckily, a single fan was found to have recorded the games, preserving the Super Bowls for posterity.
3. The Super Bowl is broadcast internationally in 34 different languages.
4. The NFL uses Roman numerals to “clarify any confusion that may occur because the Super Bowl is played in the year following a chronologically recorded season.”