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Re: Super Bowl, Super Ball

Posted by ESC on November 15, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Super Bowl posted by ESC on November 15, 2003

: : I've heard that the Super Bowl (Championship game of the National Football League of the United States) was not called the Super Bowl until the 3rd Super Bowl in 1969. I was pretty young then so I don't remember.

: : They say the original title was something dry like "The AFL-NFL Championship", which was fine when the game was won every year by Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers. But a New York sportswriter wanted to come up with a new name that would do justice to the star power of Jets quarterback Broadway Joe Namath, so he informally dubbed it "The Super Bowl" and the name caught on.

: : Any truth to that, or is it just Jet fan propaganda?

: Looks like I found a different date but no origin yet. The 1967 could just mean when the teams started playing, not the actual naming.

SUPER BOWL - "A final contest between the outstanding contenders. The term alludes to the Super Bowl of football, the championship game between the best teams of the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference respectively. This Super Bowl has been held annually since 1967, when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in Los Angeles. In the late 20th century, the term was gradually transferred to the other competitions determining a final champion, at first to other sports (Super Bowl of Bowling, Roller Skating, etc.) and then to nonathletic contests, such as spelling bees. "Southpaws & Sunday Punches and other Sporting Expressions" by Christine Ammer (Penguin Books, New York, 1993).

"The first was held in the Los Angeles Coliseum on January 15, 1967, after the end of the 1966 season, the NFL's Green Bay Packers, under coach Vince Lombardi, beating the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs 35 to 0. Legend has it that this climatic postseason 'bowl' game was named the 'Super Bowl' by AFL founder Lamar Hunt after hearing his daughter call her toy rubber ball a 'super ball,' his mind then jumping to 'Super Bowl' since professional football was then searching for a name for this annual game. The L*tin prefix 'super-,' above, over, in addition, has been used to form new English words since the 15th century, it was first used as a slang word for 'superior' around 1925." From "Listening to America" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1982).

WHAM-O SUPERBALL - "After more than 20 years, the original Super Ball is bouncing back. The 1-13/16-inch-diameter ball landed on shelves last fall. Wham-O, the company that brought out the original toy, used the same molds and Zectron 'double top-secret' formula to re-create it. Zectron was an accidental discovery by chemical engineer Norman Stingley. He was looking for something else, but found a material which, when formed into a ball at a pressure of 50,000 pounds, was amazingly bouncy. It rebounds 90 percent. He brought his discovery to Wham-O, which had produced such hits as the Hula Hoop, Frisbee, and Slip 'n' Slide. Super Balls began to hit sidewalks (and chandeliers) in 1966. Wham-O had another success." Online article, March 4, 1999 "The Wham-O Super Ball" by Stephanie Cook. Accessed November 15, 2003.