This Sunday, February 7, 2021, all Americans will be behind their television sets to watch the Super Bowl! This year’s American Football Championship final will see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Kansas City Chiefs. But do you know the origin of this super popular sporting event, and do you know why the Super Bowl is called the Super Bowl? We explain to you.
Every first Sunday in February, the Super Bowl brings together many Americans behind their television screens. It is also the most-watched sporting event on TV in the United States. In 2017, they were more than 100 million viewers to watch the Big Game. But why such a craze? And what is the story of this NFL final?
It all started in 1920 when the National Football League (NFL) was born. At the time, the principle of the American Football Championship was simple: the team with the most wins at the end of the season won. Only here, in 1932, it is the perfect equality between two teams. To decide between them, the NFL, therefore, decided to organize a match between these two teams. From then on, the idea of a final between the two teams was created. The NFL then imagines two divisions with, at the end of the season, a final where the two best teams face each other in a dry match. But this historic first final inaugurated in 1932, and crowning the Chicago Bears, did not yet have the nickname Super Bowl as a.
This term appeared across the Atlantic in 1967. It was in this year that the very first American football final was organized between the winner of the NFL and that of the AFL. As a little reminder, the American Football League was created in 1960 by wealthy owners. Very quickly, the AFL became a serious competitor for the NFL, to the point that a merger was officially sealed in 1970 between the two conferences.
But where exactly does this nickname come from Super Bowl, when the first finals between the two conferences were dubbed “ AFL-NFL World Championship Game ”? Several versions exist. One of these relies on Lamar Hunt, one of the founders of the American Football League, and also the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. According to some, the businessman would get this nickname from one of his children’s toys, the “ Super Ball ”, very popular among the youngest in the 60’s.
Others recall that the New York Times would have first used the term Super Bowl in 1967. But it was in 1971 that the nickname was really adopted, for the fourth edition of the NFL-AFL final. That same year, the numbering of the final in Roman numerals was also approved. Besides, why the Roman numerals? Quite simply to avoid confusion linked to the year of the Big Game. Indeed, the Super Bowl is played one year after the season, that is to say, that the Super Bowl LV, played in 2021, closes the 2020 season. For Lamar Hunt, again, the use of Roman numerals gave more value and prestige in the final.
But back to the nickname of the ” Super Bowl “, and more particularly the ” Bowl “. Presumably, this word (“ saladier ” in French) had been used to refer to the shape of the stadium of Yale, Connecticut, opened in 1914.
In the end, whether you are a fan of American football or not, you will not be able to not escape the phenomenon this February 7. And if you are not a fan of the oval ball, know that the Super Bowl also offers a musical show for half-time. This year, The Weeknd was chosen to set the mood for the occasion.