Hall of Fame obtains full Super Bowl I post-game audio

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame has obtained a full audio recording of the post-game show following Super Bowl I, and it’s a fascinating 30 minutes for anyone who’s interested in the history of football.

Pat Summerall, who was then 36 years old and recently retired as a player, handled the post-game proceedings and deftly showed the broadcasting talent that would make him the smoothest voice in pro football for decades to come. Summerall handled interviews with players, coaches and NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who had recently been named commissioner of the American Football League as well.

The Super Bowl wasn’t always called the Super Bowl back then; some referred to it as the “AFL-NFL Championship Game,” and although others used the term “Super Bowl,” it hadn’t yet been formally adopted.

One thing that stands out in listening to the broadcast is that virtually everyone took it as obvious that the NFL was a superior league to the AFL, and even though the NFL’s Packers had blown out the AFL’s Chiefs 35-10, Summerall acted surprised that the Chiefs were even able to keep it that close.

“I think if you watched, you were surprised, possibly — or possibly you knew — that Kansas City was as strong as they are,” Summerall said.

Packers coach Vince Lombardi scoffed when asked after the game whether AFL teams were on the same level as NFL teams.

“That’s a good football team and it doesn’t compare with the National Football League teams,” Lombardi said of the Chiefs. “I think the Kansas City team is a real tough football team but it doesn’t rate with the top teams in our league.”

Given that attitude, it’s unsurprising that the AFL Jets’ victory over the NFL Colts in Super Bowl III is still considered the greatest upset in the history of pro football.

Rozelle talked about the future of football with the NFL and AFL finally meeting on the same field, and he sounded particularly interested in how the two leagues would merge their rules. Rozelle said he hadn’t decided whether the two-point conversion, a staple of the AFL, would make its way to the NFL.

“One of the main ones left open was that two-point conversion,” Rozelle said. “As to the future of the two-point conversion, we’ll take it up after this summer, perhaps.”

As it turned out, the old-school NFL decided not to implement the newfangled two-point conversion until 1994.

The audio also includes Rozelle giving Lombardi the now-famous silver trophy and saying, “Vinny, this is the first Super Bowl trophy, and something Green Bay can keep — we’re going to have a new trophy each year.” That trophy, of course, continues to go to the winner of the Super Bowl each year, and now bears Lombardi’s name.

The Super Bowl I post-game audio was believed to be lost to history, as is the full TV broadcast of the Super Bowl I game. But a former production manager for an Ohio television station recently informed the Hall of Fame that he had recorded the show at the time that it aired and still had the tape. For fans of football history, that’s like finding buried treasure.

12 responses to “Hall of Fame obtains full Super Bowl I post-game audio

  1. The days of YA Tittle. Wow, was a young boy but still remember vividly him on his knees, bloodied and beaten at the end of a game. That was football in my mind. 🏈

  2. ” still remember vividly him on his knees, bloodied and beaten at the end of a game.”

    Back in the day, players took knees AFTER the game because they gave it everything they had.

    Now they take knees BEFORE the game because they think they are everything.

    The game has changed and not in a good way.

  3. They take knees after the game to join their fellow combatants, whom they just tried to kill and maim for the previous three hours, in prayer circles to thank the Lord for not letting it; for the most part, happen.

  4. The Super Bowl 1 broadcast was found and refurbished. The owner wants 5 million and the NFL threatened suit, so the tape is sitting in the Paley Center in Philly rotting.
    You’d think the Packer ownership consortium would get it. Like someone finding a video of your grandparents wedding, and you’re too cheap to pay them. Disgraceful!

  5. You have to remember the climate of those times. After the Giants signed Pete Gogolak away from Buffalo, there was all out war in trying to sign each others players. The NFL couldn’t let this little upstart league beat them on the field.
    The 8 original AFL teams from 1960:
    AFL East
    Boston/New England: 4 SB wins
    Buffalo: 0
    New York: 1
    Houston/Tennessee: 0

    AFL West:
    Oakland/Los Angeles: 3
    Denver: 3
    Kansas City: 1
    Los Angeles/San Diego/Los Angeles: 0

    Dallas also came into the league in 1960 and have 5 SB wins , almost half as many as the original 8 AFL teams combined.

  6. “The Super Bowl wasn’t always called the Super Bowl back then; some referred to it as the “AFL-NFL Championship Game,” and although others used the term “Super Bowl,” it hadn’t yet been formally adopted.”

    The audio also includes Rozelle giving Lombardi the now-famous silver trophy and saying, “Vinny, this is the first Super Bowl trophy, and something Green Bay can keep — we’re going to have a new trophy each year.”
    ———————————————————-
    I’m just curious: Who were the “others” who used the term Super Bowl” at that time? Evidently, Rozelle, was one of them.

  7. I’m just curious: Who were the “others” who used the term Super Bowl” at that time? Evidently, Rozelle, was one of them.
    ————-
    I’m certain that Lamar Hunt was one who used that term.

  8. Very interesting to listen to the postgame audio after the first Super Bowl, especially the trophy presentation. I’d never heard that before. And to hear from Paul Hornung, too. Thanks for sharing it!

    It should be noted, though, that at least some of the videotape of this coverage has survived. When NFL Network aired its reconstruction of the game with NFL Films footage last January, the program included Pat Summerall’s interview with Pete Rozelle.

    This and videotape of the pregame player introductions, which were also shown as part of that program on NFL Network, leads me to believe that the NFL has recovered a good amount of one of the Super Bowl telecasts, either the NBC or CBS version, or perhaps some of both, from a source or sources other than the videotape owned by Troy Haupt.

    Highlights of the game and maybe even the Rozelle interview could have been preserved at the time the game aired, but I find it hard to believe that would also have been true of the player introductions. I’ll bet that footage is just some of what the NFL has managed to find of the game telecast in the years since Super Bowl I was played.

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