The Super Bowl is just a few weeks away, which means its time to brush up on useless football trivia. Like, oh, for example, who coined the term “Super Bowl”?
The Super Bowl wasn’t always the name of the game that decided the NFL champs. Back in the day (“the day” in this case being the 1960s and earlier), the big game was simply called the National Football League Championship Game. It wasn’t until the NFL merged with the AFL that the Super Bowl was born.
Football legend Lamar Hunt is the one who came up with the term. According to legend, Hunt was at home watching his child play with a bouncy ball (aka a super ball). Inspiration struck, and Hunt decided that “Super Bowl” would make a heckuva name for a game.
Of course, he was right. But not everybody thought “Super Bowl” was the way to go. Another football legend, Pete Rozelle, lobbied for a different name. The blog Mental Floss explains that Rozelle, then the commissioner of the league, wanted to call the title game “The AFL-NFL Championship Game.” Yawn. Owners pushed back and suggested it be called “The Big One.” Eventually, the “Super Bowl” came out on top, despite Rozelle’s objections that the term was “corny.”
It’s probably a good thing that Rozelle lost the debate. Today, the Super Bowl is practically a national holiday and one of the most widely viewed sporting events on the planet. Clearly, Lamar Hunt knew a good name when he saw one.
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