American football playerAmerican football player

A Brief History and Rundown of the NFL Final

Every year, the Super Bowl attracts millions of NFL and American sports fans around the world.

The Super Bowl is the grand finale of the American football championship, marking the end of the National Football League (NFL) season. How does the Super Bowl unfold, and what are the traditions surrounding it? Let’s dive in!

History of the Super Bowl

Before discussing the Super Bowl, it is essential to revisit the origins of professional American football. American football–or simply football to North Americans–derived from rugby and began to gain popularity in the United States in the late 19th century. The first professional leagues emerged in the early 20th century, but it was in 1920 that the National Football League (NFL) was officially created.

The Super Bowl was born out of the competition between the NFL and the American Football League (AFL), a rival league established in 1960. During the 1960s, the NFL and AFL competed for talent and public attention, leading to the merger of the two leagues in 1966. The merger was to be completed in 1970, but before that, both leagues decided that their respective champions would face off in an annual match to determine the ultimate champion of American football.

The first of these matches, not yet called the Super Bowl, took place on January 15, 1967. The NFL's Green Bay Packers faced the AFL's Kansas City Chiefs at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This historic match was won by the Packers and was retroactively designated as Super Bowl I.

Jerry Kramer offensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers superbowl I in 1967Jerry Kramer offensive lineman for the Green Bay Packers superbowl I in 1967

It was Lamar Hunt, the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, who reportedly suggested the term "Super Bowl." Inspired by a popular toy of the time, the "Super Ball," Hunt proposed the name "Super Bowl" for the championship final. The name was adopted and has remained since.

From its inception, the Super Bowl has captured the attention of the American public. The combination of high-level football and the accompanying celebrations, including often innovative advertisements and halftime shows featuring celebrities, has made it much more than a sporting competition. The Super Bowl has become a true cultural event, highly cherished by Americans.

How Does the Super Bowl Work?

The Super Bowl marks the end of the NFL season after months of spirited competition. At the end of the regular season, the top teams from each conference compete in the playoffs until qualifying for the coveted Super Bowl.

It is typically played on the first Sunday of February and pits the champions of the AFC and NFC against each other. The winner takes home the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The location of the Super Bowl is chosen several years in advance and rotates among different American cities, often in stadiums with mild climates or domes.

The Vince Lombardi Trophy

Established in 1967, the trophy is named after Vince Lombardi following his death in 1970. Vince Lombardi was the head coach of the Green Bay Packers, the team that won the first two Super Bowls. His philosophy of hard work, discipline, and determination made him a legend, and the trophy aims to reflect these values.

Designed by the renowned jeweler Tiffany and Co, the Vince Lombardi Trophy is a work of art made of sterling silver, depicting a football in its kickoff position. It stands 56 centimeters tall, weighs approximately 3 kilograms, and is entirely handcrafted, requiring about four months of work for each piece.

Vince Lombardi NFL TrophyVince Lombardi NFL Trophy

Super Bowl Traditions

The Super Bowl is not just an American football game; it is a cultural phenomenon accompanied by many traditions.

  • Food: The Super Bowl is synonymous with festivities, most notably "Super Bowl parties." Fans gather to watch the game while enjoying typical American dishes such as chicken wings, nachos, hot dogs, and pizza (you can find plenty of authentic American products on our American grocery store My American Market!)
  • Ads: The commercial breaks during the Super Bowl are almost as anticipated as the game itself. Brands spend astronomical amounts to secure a slot and create unique and memorable ads.
  • Halftime Show: The Super Bowl halftime is famous for its grand concerts. The biggest international stars perform, offering spectacular and sometimes controversial performances.
Halftime show NFLHalftime show NFL
  • The National Anthem: Before the start of the game, singing the national anthem is a solemn tradition. Every year, a celebrity is invited to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner," adding an emotional touch to the event.
  • Sports Betting: The Super Bowl is also an opportunity for many viewers to engage in sports betting, from simple bets like "who will win the game?" to more specific bets on gameplay actions.

The Super Bowl is much more than just an American football game. It is a unifying event that transcends the boundaries of sport to become an integral part of American culture.

Whether you are a die-hard fan or a casual viewer, the Super Bowl is a spectacle not to be missed!

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