I remember watching Super Bowl I back in 1967. There was not a lot of hoopla about the game....just another pro football match up. NBC and CBS each televised the game and there were no special commercials or "Puppy Bowl" broadcasts. The Green Bay Packers easily dispatched the Kansas City Chiefs and, if I remember correctly, there was not a full house in attendance to watch the game. With the Packers also beating the Oakland Raiders soundly the next year, there was talk that the American Football League would never be able to match up with teams from the National Football League.
But...they were proven wrong the very next year in Super Bowl III.
Joe Namath and the New York Jets pulled off one of the biggest upsets in history in 1969. They beat the Baltimore Colts in the game that I remember more vividly than any other Super Bowl. I was a huge Colts' fan and loved Johnny Unitas, the Colts' quarterback and back then, the GOAT of professional football. Unitas had been injured earlier in the season and had missed most of the games in the regular season. He had been replaced as the starter by Earl Morrall, who played well enough to be the NFL Most Valuable Player. However, Morrall struggled greatly against the Jets and Unitas was put in the game too late. He led the Colts to their only touchdown but the Jets prevailed, 16-7. I was a senior in high school that year and lost fifty dollars betting on the Colts.
Another, not so super Super Bowl was 2013. I looked forward to this one as much as any other I can remember. The Denver Broncos with former Vol Peyton Maning were a 2.5 point favorite over the Seattle Seahawks. I wore my ill-fitting number 18 Manning jersey and we had enough food to feed an army as we hosted our entire family and a few others. The game was over almost as soon as it started. A bad snap for the Broncos led to a Seattle safety but for Denver, things only got worse. The Seahawks scored a 43-8 win and the Broncos returned to Colorado with their tails between their legs. The Broncos had lost, and there was all that food that someone had to eat.
There was a period that I cared so little for watching the Super Bowl that I missed several of them entirely. I would go to a movie or play with my kids when they were small. My interest in the game improved when I started work at WRCB-TV in 1994. Our staff covered the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV, and the Atlanta Falcons, the previous year.
I'm hoping this year's game will be an exciting one. The Eagles and Chiefs have been good for a long while and the two quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts, are among the very best in the game. I have no preference as to which team comes out on top, I just want to watch a great contest. I'm also not picking a winner. I really don't care who wins and my success at picking pro football games is nonexistent.
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Randy Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org