Super Bowl History 101

In honor of Super Bowl weekend, why not throw it back to where it all began? This will be the 51st year of having the Super Bowl. Its inception came to be due to the ongoing debate as to whether the American Football League or National Football League was more dominant. The NFL had been around for 40 years at this point, but the new and upcoming AFL had gained tremendous popularity. Football fans began to question whether the NFL was better than the AFL. So, on January 15, 1967, the champions of each league met at the Los Angeles Coliseum for the first ever “AFL- NFL World Championship Game”. The Kansas City Chiefs represented the AFL and the Green Bay Packers represented the NFL. The Packers were dominant in a 35-10 victory, which is why the Super Bowl trophy was named after the legendary Green Bay coach, Vince Lombardi.


Eventually, the two leagues resolved their differences and merged together to become the National Football League. They broke the two leagues apart into conferences: the National Football Conference and American Football Conference. Each conference is broken down into 4 divisions; North, South, East, and West. The winner of each division makes the conference playoffs, along with the 2 runner-ups of the conference, or “Wild Card”. The 6 teams in each conference play a Wild Card round, Divisional round, and Conference Championship. The winner of each conference championship goes on to represent their respective conference in the Super Bowl. This year, the Atlanta Falcons of the NFC South will represent the NFC, as the New England Patriots of the AFC East will represent the AFC in Super Bowl LI. Who will you be cheering for?


-Carly Sprinkles

22 thoughts on “Super Bowl History 101

  1. Within the past month I have found myself taking an interest to football, more so than usual. I began to watch the playoff games with my dad, asking him a thousand questions about how the game works. By the way, GO PATRIOTS!

  2. Thank you for this post! I never knew the backstory of the NFL and the Super Bowl. Now next time my friends try to make me look uneducated about football, I’ll have this information to go on. I’m still wishing that the Panthers could have made it back for this game, but there is always next year.

  3. I have never been one to watch sports, it just wasn’t part of my life growing up, so I’m not really familiar with sports in general. This was a nice history lesson on the creation of the event, I feel more knowledgeable on the basics of how a team makes it to the “Big Game”. I have noticed that there seem to be SuperBowl favorites, like the patriots making their way into 8 SuperBowls since 1986, with 6 of them being within the last 15 years. I normally always tune into the game even if just for the commercials, however, this year I feel like I might find more value in it other than a Doritos commercial.

  4. I have never been a football fan but am for the first time ever watching the Super Bowl with my man. I think the best part of the show is half time and the snacks and the patriotism that is celebrated of being an American watching grid iron. I hope you enjoy the game and liked your break down of how the AFL and NFL came to be. I learned something new.

  5. Very insightful. Most people have no idea that this is how the NFL and the Super Bowl came to be. I would have loved to hear a little more about the how the first Superbowl played out, but thats just me personally. You also could have included some input on how over the years the Superbowl has become the biggest platform for markets to communicate to a large audience. Great job though!

  6. I like how you decided to look back at the history of the super bowl. Not many people know that the original super bowl was between the American Football League and the National Football League.

  7. This was an informed as well as entertaining post. As a NFL fan, myself I never knew about the AFL and the merge of the two organizations. I like the contrast in the two photos they made the transition in the post run smoothly. The black and white displays the discussion of the history of the NFL and the modern-day color picture of Matt Ryan brings the reader back to the current NFL. I enjoyed reading the post!

  8. I’ve never really been into American football so I didn’t have a clue how it all started, interesting!
    Do you think it will be popular in the future or has the Super Bowl had its prime?

  9. I never knew how the Super Bowl actually became a thing so it was interesting to read how it was originally between the AFL and the NFL and to read that the Green Bay Packers won by a landslide was awesome too!

  10. I was hoping for a great game and I got one! This was one of the best games in Super Bowl history! It came as a surprise that it was the first one to go into overtime too! Great job at going through the history! I was rooting for the Falcons, but I was glad to see Tom Brady get his fifth ring! It was cool to read about how the two differing sides of football came together after years of trying to compete!

  11. I thought this was a very well written and approachable article. It appealed to those who know a lot about football but also those who do not. Its interesting how pure competition and drive to be the best lead to such a huge tradition for our country and all around the world. I wonder if Lombardi knew it would get this large.

  12. I’ve been a football fan since the day I was born, because of the fact that my dad played in the NFL for 10 years so I constantly around or hearing about football. The New England Patriots was actually one of the teams he played for. This past SuperBowl was a great game! Talk about a life lesson. My mom always said, “the game isn’t over until it’s over.” Just because the Patriots were losing the whole game, didn’t mean it was impossible to come back for the victory.

  13. I am so glad you posted this blog because I was just talking about how I know so little about the Super Bowl, yet I celebrate it every year like it is a holiday. I can use this as a comeback next time my boyfriend makes fun of me for not knowing anything about sports. I wasn’t a fan of the teams that played this year, and am still upset over the Panthers loss last year, but hopefully they too will make a comeback in years to come!

  14. Not everyone watches football, but everyone watches the Superbowl. I have more recently taken an interest in sports, and I was eager for the Falcons to take the win this year. Regardless of the outcome this Superbowl was one of the most interesting games I have ever seen. It is nice to get a little backstory on the big game. My favorite part about football is actually learning about the players and their many humanitarian efforts.

  15. I was a cheerleader in high school so I always would get super into the football games especially being down on the field. I never knew the background of the NFL and AFL so now I feel more educated about football! My dad will be so excited when I can actually talk about football with him. Great post Carly!

  16. What a game this was! I was pulling for the Atlanta Falcons, BUT, how could I be mad at the outcome of that game. It was an incredible battle between two great teams, and Tom Brady deserved that 5th ring. I also am happy about the fact that the NFL broke down into the AFC and NFC, it brings even more competition to the game we all love.

  17. I am not a huge football fan, but I will forever support my Dallas Cowboys. I have always wondered the history behind the NFL and its divisions and I found this post really helpful and it’s really interesting how it came about. I really wanted the Falcons to win this year and they did good the first half too, but they fell short after the halftime show. Speaking of the halftime show, Lady Gaga had an amazing performance and that was my favorite part of this years Super Bowl.

  18. It’s crazy to think how much has actually changed over the years of football. With all the new rules and regulations it has come a far way from what it use to be. Very interesting that it has maintained its followers and managed to gain more. GO Pats!

  19. I have always been a fan of football for as long as I can remember. Some of my favorite memories as a child were the super bowl parties my parents would have at the house. I really enjoyed this post because I like sports history and never really knew the story behind the super bowl. Thank you for your post!

  20. I never knew that the NFL was once two different leagues! This post was very interesting, football is my favorite sport and I’ve been a Carolina panthers fan since i was a kid so reading this was very entertaining.

  21. I’ve always loved watching football and of course the Super Bowl. Companies take full advantage of this marketing opportunity through advertising and promotions. I was searching relentlessly for one of the golden Bud Lights so that I could have a chance to win Super Bowl tickets for life. Sadly, the many cases of Bud Light purchased yielded no golden ticket. Although the quest for the golden can was fun, I came up unsuccessful and was forced to watch this year’s Super Bowl from my couch at home. The Super bowl is a great tradition and a money making machine. I just think that the Monday afterwards should be a national holiday with the amount of viewers staying up past their bedtime to watch the craziest fourth quarter and only overtime ever. Instead, we are forced to wake up for our 8:00 am COM 200 lecture and reap the consequences of the night before. Truly a tradition unlike any other.

  22. The Super Bowl is a huge part of society in the United States. Almost every home will have it turned on Super Bowl Sunday. The history of the Super Bowl is very interesting and I hope that I will one day get to attend a Super Bowl. I’m a big Panthers fan and wish that they could have pulled it out last year, but it was still a good season. The Super Bowl brings people together and also makes lots of money through commercials.

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