Super Bowl tidbits

This year’s Super Bowl is the 47th in a long series of games.

Over the years, the event has come to over shadow the game itself. Big halftime shows, blockbuster commercials and all the hoopla that surrounds the game sometimes leads to a big letdown.

This year’s Super Bowl teams have a historic rivalry that actually predates their time in the NFL. In the late 1940s, the All-American Football Conference was formed as a competitor to the NFL. The Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49’ers were two of the top teams in that league and after four years the AAFC folded and they joined the NFL. The Browns later moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens, while Cleveland got a new Browns team.

The first Super Bowl was played between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers represented the “old school” National Football League while the Chiefs were the upstarts from the new American Football League.

The first Super Bowl I can remember was after the 1968 season, when Joe Namath “guaranteed” that his New York Jets would beat the Baltimore Colts. Namath’s brash prediction brought a lot of scorn and ridicule, but he backed it up in one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets.

The next year brought the first of four appearances by our beloved Minnesota Vikings in the big game. It was also the first of four Super Bowl losses for the Purple Gang.... One more source of frustration for local pro football fans. However, it does lead to one good trivia question most people will get wrong: How many NFL championships have the Vikings won? The answer is one. The 1969 season was the last before the AFL and NFL merged and the Vikings were the NFL champions. The Vikings were in three other Super Bowls in the 1970s, losing to Miami, Pittsburgh and Oakland.

Besides the game, many people look forward to the commercials. Because of the huge ratings the game draws, TV networks make big bucks from the sale of commercial time. Super Bowl Commercials have helped bring about such cultural icons as the Bud Bowl, the Budweiser frogs, a game of horse between Michael Jordan and Larry Bird, and of course, the most famous Super Bowl commercial, the Apple Macintosh 1984 commercial.

I can’t promise that this year’s game will be memorable, but I’m sure something about the game will be, whether it’s a new commercial, the halftime show or some hyped up story line.

Regardless, it’s the Super Bowl... I’ll be watching.