In mid-January, 1967, the AFC and the NFC met for the first time in the Super Bowl. I just didn't know it at the time. It wasn't called the Super Bowl until a couple of years later.
I was almost 17 years old and a junior in high school when that first Super Bowl was played. The AFC was my favorite league by far. They were the fun league.
It featured high scoring games with flamboyant coaches. I loved the Oakland Raiders when they weren't playing the Chiefs. I rooted for Jack Kemp, the Buffalo Bills quarterback, who would go on to become a powerful politician.
Most of all, I hated the boring NFL. Vince Lombardi and his Green Bay Packers dominated everything with their grind it out ground game and generic quarterback, Bart Starr. I guess they lost two games in 1966, but I didn't have the pleasure of witnessing the happy events.
Lamar Hunt's daughter is responsible for the term Super Bowl. It's really true. Hunt, the long-time owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, found his daughter's super ball lying around the house. As he picked it up, he thought, "What a great name for the championship game." That's how a super ball became the name of the greatest sporting event.
As Lamar's Chiefs was facing off against the mighty Packers, I threw my Super Bowl party. I guess party is stretching the truth. The game was at the Los Angles Coliseum. The Coliseum holds 100,000 fans, but only a little over 60,000 people showed up.
Both ABC and CBS were allowed to broadcast the game. ABC had the AFC regular season games and CBS had the NFC. That's a lot of acronyms for one sentence. There was absolutely no interest in my house to watch this game on a sunny winter afternoon. I knew I couldn't watch the game at my house despite my passion for the Chiefs.
I had an ace in the hole. My great uncle, Henry Steinmeyer, lived next door. Uncle Henry was well into his 90's, having out-lived two wives. He was in the hospital for pneumonia, but nothing could kill Uncle Henry. We check his house while he was avoiding the Grim Reaper for about the tenth time.
The old guy was really ahead of his time. He had a fancy black and white television with a remote control unit. Nobody had remote controls in 1967, but good, old Uncle Henry had one.
I grabbed the keys to Uncle Henry's house, snuck out a bag of potato chips and a glass bottle of Coke. I was ready for some football and my own private party. There were only four channels back then. Three were from Omaha.
They were hard to watch with all the snow. But CBS out of Lincoln came in pretty clear. Of course, with the remote in my hand, I began the habit that sticks with males everywhere today. I channel surfed.
Commercials cost only $75,000 a minute in 1967.
They were more like "Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz," rather than the glitzy Rock and Roll commercials of today's Super Bowl. The 1967 commercials were so boring; I got to practice my channel surfing, even if there were only four stations.
I was totally disappointed when a hung-over, Max Magee, caught two touchdown passes as the Packers pounded the Chiefs by a 35 – 10 score. Magee caught only four passes in the entire regular season. He had seven catches against the Chiefs.
That was the beginning of my rein as the King of Super Bowl Parties. Of course, it took a few more years for me to grow up, graduate from college and actually get a job. I just want to give you a few highlights of my dynasty.
My homemade, spicy, thick, Super Bowl chili became a staple of the party. I never began to make it until after midnight Saturday. The same ingredients were never used because I didn't write them down. However, no one ever died from this delicacy.
When the first big screen televisions came out, I rented one for my Super Bowl party. I think this was in 1984. I had it delivered on Saturday. That night, as I defrosting the hamburger for my chili, I hooked up a VCR and watched Steven King's Cujo.
Cujo is about a St. Bernard who contacts rabies. I should never have let my 5 year old step daughter watch it. She was scared to death of her pet Labrador for several months.
Sadly, my run on great Super Bowl parties ended when I became a college basketball coach in 1985. Scouting reports trumped inviting the community over for food, fun and football. Now that I'm retired, I don't think I'll throw a party Sunday, but I may try to duplicate that chili.
By Gene Steinmeyer Guest Columnist
The Maryville Daily Forum - Maryville, MO
By Gene Steinmeyer Guest Columnist
Updated Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:47 pm
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