With the Super Bowl coming once again to Miami this February, we at Imagine Lifestyles would like to offer up a brief synopsis of the rich history of the elite game. This is part of our official kickoff of Super Bowl blogs this week to amp up anticipation and inform our own fans of where to stay, dine and what to drive during Super Bowl 44.
The Super Bowl was first played on January 15, 1967, as a clash of the champions of the NFL, and a then-rival league known as the AFL. After the merger of the two leagues in the 1970s, each league became a "conference", and the game was played between conference champions. Over the years, the Super Bowl has produced some memorable, and some not-so-memorable battles.
After the Green Bay Packers easily won the first two AFL-NFL championships games in 1967 and 1968, (not yet called "The Super Bowl") there were fears that a planned NFL-AFL merger might not be wise because the NFL’s Packers had been so dominant in those first two title games.
That changed, however, in one of the most famous football games ever. It came in 1969, in Miami, where the title game first became known as "The Super Bowl." Joe Namath and the New York Jets defeated the mighty Baltimore Colts to legitimize the AFL. One year later, another of the AFL teams, the Kansas City Chiefs, pulled off an upset as well, whipping the more-established Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, to claim Super Bowl IV.
In the 1970’s, the Super Bowl was dominated by just two teams-the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Miami Dolphins, with the Dolphins winning Super Bowl VII to cap the only undefeated season in NFL history. If the Indianapolis Colts continue with their current record (14-0), they could join that ranking this year at the 2010 Super Bowl in their home city, Miami.
In the 1980’s, an impressive streak of dominance by the NFC teams began. From 1981 to 1996, NFC teams won fifteen of sixteen Super Bowls, including thirteen in a row. The most successful team in those years was the San Francisco 49ers, who won four times in the 1980’s.
The 1990’s were dominated by the Dallas Cowboys, who won four times in that decade, but similarly interesting was the streak by the Buffalo Bills, who went to the big game four straight years, but lost every time.
The New England Patriots became the dominant team of the early 2000s, winning the championship in three of the first five years of the decade. They were vying for a fourth win in Phoenix in 2008, in Super Bowl XLII, but lost in a last-minute comeback victory by the New York Giants.
Last year saw another thriller as the surprising Arizona Cardinals pushed the Pittsburgh Steelers to the limit before the Steelers claimed Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa. The Steelers hold the record for most Super Bowl victories with 6.
The Dallas Cowboys have been there the most with 8 appearances in the big game.
In all, 17 different teams have won the championship game. Only five of the current 32 teams in the NFL have never appeared in the Super Bowl (Cleveland, New Orleans, Detroit, Jacksonville, and Houston-sorry guys).
After Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, the next three host cities will be: Dallas in 2011, Indianapolis in 2012, and New Orleans in 2013.
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