Kansas City Chiefs 10
One day Lamar Hunt, architect of the AFL and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, came across his daughter's Super Ball and was given the inspiration for the name of the championship game between the upstart American Football League and the old-guard National Football League.
"Why not," he wondered, "call our championship game the Super Bowl?"
The name, however, wasn't applied to this first contest until a couple years later when it was retroactively labeled. The game itself, though, caught on quickly and thus, an American tradition was born.
The first of these "Super" contests pitted Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers (13-2) against Hank Stram's Chiefs (12-2-1) and was played before 61,946 fans in Los Angeles' 100,000-seat Memorial Coliseum. The television audience for this game is estimated to have been approximately 60 million viewers.
The game itself featured an unlikely hero in Green Bay wide receiver Max McGee. McGee was strictly a backup and did not receive much playing time. In fact, in 14 games during the 1966 season he had caught only four passes for 91 yards.
Legend has it that Max had spent most of the previous night out on the town and was in no shape to play football, especially in a championship game. But he felt safe in knowing the only way he would get into the game was if Boyd Dowler got hurt.
McGee was later quoted as saying, "I waddled in about 7:30 in the morning and I could barely stand up for the kickoff. On the bench Paul (Hornung) kept needling me, 'What would you do if you had to play?' And I said, 'No way, there's no way I could make it.'"
As fate would have it, Dowler did get hurt early in the game and McGee was suddenly thrust into a game he had no business being in.
Just moments after entering the game though, he caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Bart Starr to cap off an 80-yard drive that gave the Packers an early lead. On the day, McGee caught seven passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns as the Packers went on to win the first Super Bowl, 35-10.
Each player on the Packers received a $15,000 bonus for winning the game, while members of the Chiefs earned $7,500. A one-minute television commercial sold for $75,000 to $85,000; pocket change compared to the millions spent on air time now.