Monday, February 02, 2015

Looking back XLVIII years to the "Supergame" -- or Super Bowl I, as we know it now


Plus update: Howie's headed home! (See below)

For Chiefs QB Len Dawson, the road to the Hall of Fame led
through the L.A. Memorial Coliseum this day in January 1967.

by Ken

Talk about great moments in history! Here we are at the very first Super Bowl halftime, on Jan. 15, 1967, in the luxurious expanse of the lovely L.A. Coliseum. ("Lovely" is maybe not entirely serious, folks. This may be the first time that "lovely" and the L.A. Coliseum have ever appeared in the same paragraph, let alone sentence.)

Of course it wasn't called Super Bowl I. It was called something like the First AFL-NFL World Championship Game, aka the "Supergame" (aren't you glad that one didn't stick?), but we know better. But here, amidst all the glitter and pomp, sitting on his Super Bowl folding chair, is future Hall of Famer Lenny Dawson, QB of the AFL-champ Kansas City Chiefs (that's right, it was still the AFL, an independent league, not yet the mere AFC), er, catching his breath, with "a puff and a Fresca," as my friend Paul put it in passing this historic photo along. (Hey, at least it wasn't a brewski.)

At halftime Lenny D could take pride in keeping the Chiefs within 14-10 striking distance of Vince Lombardi's NFL-champ Green Pay Packers. Alas, the offense of Hank Stram's Chiefs turned out to be done for the day, en route to a final score of 35-10. Traditionalists who insisted that no AFL team had any business being on the same field with any upper-tier NFL team turned out to have a point.

It was a big day -- or maybe just another day at the office --
for Vince Lombardi and his still-powerhouse Packers.

Over the weekend I heard a lot of chatter about a supposed lack of respect for the Super Bowl evidenced in several posts. This should show just who's got the Super Bowl Spirit. On to L!

The lovely Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a National Historic
Landmark since July 1984, is still home to the USC Trojans (below).


I just spoke with Howie, who was waiting for the final details of discharge (and for his ride) before heading for home -- feeling, he says, "a lot better than I have been."