Sunday we get Super Bowl LI. Tom Brady and the flat footballs vs. the Atlanta Falcons, the underdogs. The hype, of course, is overwhelming. It’s even rumored that Lady Gaga might perform her halftime show from the roof of the stadium. If she turns political, many are hoping she falls off of that roof!
What got all of this started? In 1967 the Green Bay Packers of the NFL took on our Kansas City Chiefs, representing the AFL. There were a lot of hard feelings in this one. The upstart AFL had finally forced their way to a spot at the big poker table. Owners of teams in the NFL didn’t like it.
Fred “The Hammer” Williamson of the Chiefs stated before the game that he would use his “hammer” -a forearm to the head- to destroy the Packers’ receivers, Boyd Dowler and Carroll Dale. It partially happened as Dowler was knocked out of the game in the first quarter. Williamson himself, was carted off of the field on a stretcher in the fourth quarter of that game.
In 1967, Lady Gaga was merely someone’s dream, or nightmare, depending on your point of view. The halftime entertainment was a little more traditional, featuring trumpeter Al Hirt and the marching bands of the University of Arizona and the Anaheim High School Drill Team. There were no political protests or speeches or crotch grabbing, that was reserved for the future, for times when our society was a little more “advanced!”
In an unusual turn of events, the game was broadcast by two networks, CBS and NBC. CBS held the contract for NFL games and NBC was televising AFL games so an agreement was reached to let them both televise the game. It is the only Super Bowl game in history to have been televised by more than one network. Sadly, both networks later destroyed their broadcast tapes so no comparison was ever done between the two broadcasts. I am sure though, that there was too much talking!
The cost for a 30-second commercial this year is expected to be over $5 million dollars. In 1967, that cost was $42,000. It is just my untrained opinion that most of these companies are wasting their money! The commercials, most of them anyway, are vastly overrated and after watching them, the most asked question is, “What were they selling?”
The cost for a Super Bowl ticket this year at StubHub is $4,945, with the cheapest ticket going for $2,499 and the most expensive one selling for $15,432. In 1967, you could get in for the exhorbitant price of $12! That still seems about the right price to pay now! That 1967 game was not a sellout by the way.
In 1967, America wasn’t protesting about losing an election, they were protesting the Vietnam war. Some things never change! Ronald Reagan had just been inaugurated as the Governor of California and it was the year of the famous Six Day War when Israel spanked their Middle East opponents worse than the Packers whipped the Chiefs!
The Beatles released “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band” album and the first issue of Rolling Stone Magazine hit the streets and it was the year of the United States’ first Cryonically-Preserved Man! Dr. James Bredford was cryonically preserved-frozen-immediately after his death, to be preserved for a time in the future when he could be restored.
No, I don’t think Dr. Bredford will be unfrozen and brought back to life as part of the halftime ceremonies for this years’ Super Bowl, though I do admit that it might be preferable to having to watch Lady Gaga!
By the way, don’t bet against Tom Brady. Patriots 34, Falcons 24.
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at email@example.com.