The American football league is 100 years old, but since the 1960s the grand final has been played, which paralyzes the United States every year.
In its centuries-old history, the National Football League (NFL) has two well-marked stages, whose turning point was imposed with the appearance of the Super Bowl in the late 1960s, the final that resolves the champions of each season and that in the 55th edition, which will be held on February 7 at the Raymond James Stadium in the city of Tampa, will mark a tiebreaker between the two conferences that make up the league.
The first edition of the Super Bowl was played in 1967, when the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. The previous year had been sealed the agreement between the NFL and the American Football League (AFL), founded in the early 1960s, to unite into a single powerful league.
One of the conditions of that pre-agreement established the celebration of a final that would determine the “world champion” of American football. The commissioner of the NFL, Pete Rozelle, wanted to call this game The Big One. However, the name “Super Bowl” proposed by the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs and founder of the AFL, Lamar Hunt, was finally imposed. It occurred to him after watching his son play with a ball called “Super Ball.”
On the other hand, the name “Bowl” was already used for college football finals, so it ended up being imposed despite the fact that it was originally going to be a temporary name.
In the first four years, both organizations kept their respective names, until from the 1970-71 season, the NFL came to have control of the league and with the division of its two current conferences, the National and the American.
The pre-Super Bowl era began in 1920, and the competition was governed by the American Professional Football Association (APFA) until 1922, when the NFL name is implemented. The first 13 championships were defined by the league system: they played all against all and the team with the best percentage of victories was crowned.
Since 1933 the playoffs were implemented, which followed the regular season, the same system that is maintained today. Since that year a final was played to define the winner of the year.
Between 1920 and 1966, Green Bay Packers was the team with the most titles, nine, followed by Chicago Bears, with eight, and since then one of the great rivalries of the NFL has been known. In fact, they are the two most winning franchises in 100 years of professional football, with 13 victories for the Wisconsin team and 9 for the Illinois team.
Even the Packers won the first two editions of the Super Bowl, the 1967 against Kansas City and the 1968 against the Oakland Raiders, which were also the first two conquests of the National Conference.
That Green Bay team was led by Vince Lombardi, a legendary football coach, so much so that the trophy for the Super Bowl champion bears his name.
After that, the AFL tied with the triumphs of the New York Jets (1968) and the Kansas City Chiefs (1969). By 1970, both leagues joined and the Conference format began.
Teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Colts went from the NFC to the AFC; the latter wins Super Bowl V and, from that moment, the American Conference dominated the National.
Although the Dallas Cowboys leveled things again, with their victory in Super Bowl 6, the Miami Dolphins established the supremacy of the AFC; consequently, the Steelers appeared, with their dynasty in the 70s, when they won four games for the title (SB 9, 10, 13 and 14), in addition to the Oakland Raiders, who were crowned in editions 11, 15 and 18I of the SB .
For the NL, the Cowboys only came out on top in Super Bowl 12, while the Minnesota Vikings lost four times (SB 5, 8, 9 and 11).
The rest is complemented by the triumphs of the San Francisco 49ers (SB 16) and the Washington Redskins (SB 17). At this moment, the record in 18 games was 12 wins for the AFC and only six for the NFC.
Following the Raiders’ victory in Super Bowl 18, came nearly a decade and a half of overwhelming supremacy by the National Conference over the AL.